A catsuit is a tight-fitting, one-piece bodysuit. With an image that ranges from the raunchy to the entirely practical, few items of clothing are as varied in their use and connotations as the catsuit. Sportspeople, dancers, gymnasts, and aerobics devotees all wear catsuits, yet so do dominatrixes and those who wear catsuits as fetishwear. Some catsuits are appropriate for clubbing, while others are more suited for dance aerobics classes at the local health club. While a PVC catsuits always goes over well at a fetish ball, the same catsuit may cause offence if worn to an office fancy dress party. Selecting a catsuit is an adventure in itself, as the prospective shopper will have tread a careful path. For those buyers seeking a good choice of catsuits, online retailers such as eBay offer catsuits in a variety of materials, colours and styles. Being able to see and compare such a large selection, makes buying a catsuit online an attractive option.
What Is a Catsuit?
A catsuit is a one piece bodysuit which normally covers the torso and legs, plus the arms, though the arms are sometimes left free. Strictly speaking, all catsuits share a similar design. Catsuits do vary with respect to their neckline and whether or not the design permits open or covered arms. The catsuit can have a polo neck, which can sit high across the throat, or a boat neck, which is lower and more revealing. Some catsuits have a collar that stands upright to brush the base of the chin.
A characteristic of catsuits is that in order to put one on, the wearer must open the catsuit from the neck almost to the waist This opening is otherwise fastened with with a zip. This zip can be found on the front of the catsuit or the back. Catsuits of an erotic nature may have zips strategically placed all over the catsuit.
Combined with thigh-high boots, a catsuit made from certain materials such as latex rubber has come to be a signature item of clothing for those who wear fetishwear. Erotic catsuits are frequently black, although they can be any colour or combination of colours. Leopard print and other dramatic or suggestive motifs are also common. Catsuits worn for dancing or exercise may also be leopard print or similar themes, as well as come in bright, lively colours.
Catsuits and Bodysuits
Conventional catsuits intended for dancing or equivalent uses, are made from the same materials as other bodysuits. This is why the terms ‘bodysuit’ and ‘catsuit’ are often used interchangeably.
A unitard is another close-fitting one-piece bodysuit. It generally covers the legs and arms. Unitards are often worn by gymnasts, athletes, sportspeople and fitness devotees. There is not a great deal of difference between everyday catsuits and unitards, except that a catsuit normally has a zipper, and a unitard generally does not.
A leotard may resemble a catsuit if it is worn with leggings, but a leotard alone is easily distinguished from a catsuit in that unlike the catsuit, a leotard does not cover the wearer’s legs.
A jumpsuit is a one piece bodysuit, and superficially sounds similar to a cat suit. However, jumpsuits are much looser in their fit. A jumpsuit is generally worn as an outer garment worn over something else. Jumpsuits generally lack the figure hugging characteristic of the catsuit.
Materials Used to Make Catsuits
A good clue to the purpose for which a catsuit is put to comes down to the material used to make the catsuit. Catsuits worn for sports, athletics, and gymnastic, and other conventional purposes, are generally made from materials which are lightweight and do not restrict the wearer’s movements. Leather and PVC are used to make catsuits worn for fancy dress parties, as intimate apparel, or as fetish wear.
Nylon is strong, light, affordable, and very flexible material. A nylon catsuit is comfortable to wear, allows easy movement, and is very durable. Nylon is resistant to tearing and can be easily washed and dried. All these qualities make it a practical and cost effective option. The downside of nylon is that it is not very breathable, and sweat may gather inside the suit.
Lycra (a brand name for the material called spandex) is another lightweight synthetic material. Lycra fibres have special properties. When woven into a textile, the resulting fabric is able to stretch and then easily return to its original shape. For ease of movement and comfort, this makes Lycra an ideal catsuit material. On its own, Lycra is not very durable. Frequently Lycra is combined with other materials such as cotton, or nylon. This allows the Lycra to lend its stretchability to the durability of nylon and the comfort of cotton. Lycra can be combined with many different materials to produce a shiny, foil effect, so allowing for catsuits with metallic finishes. Lycra is an extremely popular option for catsuits, as well as other bodysuits.
Latex is the raw material from which natural rubber is made. It was traditionally tapped as a milky white sap from a species of tree, although these days latex is produced synthetically. Latex rubber has long been used for specialised clothing such as wetsuits, because it is waterproof. Latex is a material that has a very distinctive feel to the touch. Despite looking smooth, latex generates a high degree of friction against the skin. Close fitting, latex catsuits often give the appearance of being a second skin, as it hugs the body contours well.
Latex catsuits have a very specific following, and are very popular among a variety of sexual fetishist movements. These catsuits are commonly polished to a shiny black, and frequently have strategically placed zips which make clear their specialised, erotic nature.
For uses such as gymnastics, athletics, dancing and other general purposes, latex catsuits are not ideal, for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are relatively cumbersome to put one when compared with lycra or nylon, and do not allow the same freedom of movement. Secondly, rubber is warm to wear, which make it good for applications such as underwater wetsuits that require insulation, but uncomfortable for high energy activities out of water. Due to their demand for specialist uses, latex catsuits tend to be expensive.
Fine grained leather is soft, supple, and luxurious. As an entirely natural material with the feel and characteristics of skin, leather is perfectly suited to making the ultimate skin-tight catsuit. However, due to its high cost, leather is a less common material for catsuits than latex. Like latex, leather catsuits can be considered erotic, although a really well made leather catsuit could also be worn socially, letting the quality of the leather and stylish cut speak for themselves.
Leather is more comfortable than latex in terms of its ability to breathe. It is also probably more durable than latex, although leather does require occasional attention if it is to last its full lifespan.
PVC is another synthetic material used to make catsuits popular with those who appreciate exotic, intimate apparel. Shiny and unashamedly plastic, PVC can be considered glitzy by some and brazen by others. Like latex, PVC catsuits often have zips in places which would make them unsuitable for daily use.
PVC is tough, reasonably lightweight, and waterproof. It does not breath, or stretch, which makes a PVC catsuit less than ideal for conventional activities such as athletics or dancing. Given these qualities, and its connection with erotiscism, wearing a PVC catsuit, especially in black, is therefore a strong fashion statement, which needs to be considered with care.
Shopping For Catsuits
If you are considering buying a catsuit, you have probably already decided on its intended use. This is important, given the widely different uses to which catsuits can be put, and the social implications of wearing a catsuit to an occasion where the wearing of such a garment may be inappropriate.
Having already decided on the purpose for the catsuit, the choice of materials will be an easy one. If you are buying it for erotic purposes, latex, PVC or leather are likely to appeal. If you are buying it for aerobics, dancing or other uses, Lycra, nylon, or a blend fabric including either of these is more likely to be your choice.
When making your purchase, you will want to peruse the widest range of catsuits you can, in order to choose the material, style and colour that you like best. One option for buying a conventional catsuit is to visit your local high street, although the range of catsuits available there is likely to be very limited. If you are looking for an erotic catsuit, the high street is unlikely to be very much help at all. In either case you could seek out a specialist retailer, although these are few and far between. Many people facing these difficulties choose instead to shop online, where catsuits are readily available. Online retailers such as eBay offer an excellent selection of catsuits, for dance, sporting and fetish use, and make the process of finding the right catsuit much easier.
How to Find Catsuits on eBay
Searching for catsuits on eBay is not difficult. To begin your search, go to the eBay home page. Every page on the eBay site has a search bar. Simply enter a description of the catsuit you are after into the search bar. For example, if you are in the market for a black Lycra catsuit, you would enter ‘black lycra catsuit’ into the search bar. This action will call up a results page that is populated with all the listings for black Lycra catsuits. If you are looking for a black lycra suit for a dance class, you do have the option of sorting the listings to only show those catsuits used for dancing. There are two ways to buy items on eBay. You can either participate in an auction or you can buy the item at the listed price. The seller will specify the buying method in the item description. If you have any questions about the catsuit listed, you can contact the seller through the contact link in their profile. To participate in an auction or buy an item for its listed price, you will need to register as an eBay member first. Registration is free.
The catsuit is a one-piece, close-fitting bodysuits. Although there are other bodysuits available, the catsuit has differences which set it apart. Body hugging as it is, the prosaic catsuit takes on a new dimension when manufactured out of certain materials. Latex, PVC, and leather catsuits are widely worn for erotic purposes. That said, catsuits made from nylon or Lycra are also commonly worn for dancing, sports and athletics, aerobics and other similar purposes. For these catsuit wearers, the close fit and ease of movement the outfit offers are essential to the pursuit of their sport or art. Not without reason the catsuit is associated with feline grace, as it allows for free, light, and nimble movements.
Catsuits are sometimes available in the high street, but the range is not generally very large. Specialist retailers are few and far between. Whether shopping for a conventional catsuit or an erotic one, the range available at online retailers such as eBay is much wider than that generally available in the high street.