A catsuit is a skin-tight one-piece garment usually with long sleeves and leggings, mostly used in fashion, fetish and erotic context. Catsuits can be worn by both genders, but are usually seen worn by females in a sexual fetish context, and despite the name, catsuits in general do not have feline characteristics.
Catsuits date back at least as far as the 1940s. Although a lot of catsuits are now made of spandex, the fabric was not invented until 1959. Therefore, it was likely these earlier suits were first made of knits or by hand knitting, a process that would have been more practical and less expensive than rubber. (Rubber catsuits can be sweaty to wear but some fetishists may like this feel.)
A catsuit is usually made of leather (or pleather), rubber/latex, PVC, velour, or spandex. It is skin-tight one-piece garment with sleeves and long legs, and sometimes with feet, gloves or a hood. It usually has a zip closure in the front or back, but other necklines are possible. Catsuit with both feet gloves and a hood, which totally encloses the wearer is called a zentai (the Japanese word for "whole body").
Feet, if present, might be like socks, which is the most common case, or they might be some sort of integrated boot, sometimes high heeled. Instead of gloves there also might be bondage mittens, which might have D-ring at the top, and some of such catsuits can be used as straitjackets in the context of bondage. Some catsuits have incorporated monoglove instead of sleeves and they can also be used for bondage. Catsuit may also have incorporated corset and/or neck corset.
Although catsuit is identical to a unitard in construction, its use rarely involves sports. It is mostly used in the context of fashion, fancy-dress costume, or fetishist clothing. In works of fiction, such as comics and movies, it is often worn by superheroes of both sexes. In reality, catsuits are standard attire for dominatrixes.
Appearance in popular cultureEdit
The catsuit is often used in popular culture such as in movies, television, music videos and computer games. On The Mighty Boosh, Vince Noir, portrayed by Noel Fielding, is often seen wearing catsuits, including the legendary mirror suit. The Batman villain Catwoman famously wears a black slashed catsuit, giving the garment its name. Trinity from The Matrix wore a black PVC catsuit. Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham wore a black catsuit in the "Say You'll Be There" music video from the Spice Girls' Spice, as well as in the "Too Much" video from the "Spiceworld"
- Fetish fashion
- Gimp suit
- Latex and PVC fetishism
- Latex clothing
- Spandex fetishism
- Pop-culture reference to 'first catsuit' ("Witness the group's formation and the first time they wore catsuits!" - Editorial review of Archie Americana Series Best Of The Forties Book 2 on Amazon)
- Invention of wetsuits ("Bradner took the first plunge in a neoprene wetsuit in the winter of 1950 at Lake Tahoe.")
- Catsuit pattern drafting
- How to make a catsuit
- See also Latex fetish sites at the Open Directory Project