Ainsliewear and Mariaa Leotards

This is round two of the leotard reviews from my time in New York. I actually bought both of these at the Capezio store near Times Square. I bought a couple of other warm up items (to be featured in another post) but not a single leotard was actually Capezio brand, go figure.

I got to the store very late, they actually closed while I was there. In all fairness I’d have checked out while they were still open but there was a lady in front of me in line who was arguing about the return policy on tights (yes she had worn them, no they didn’t want to take them back cause gross, they ultimately did it anyways cause they have fantastic customer service). While I was busy touching every last item in the store I came across the clearance rack. They were doing a promo on those items and it was buy one get one free, on top of the clearance price! So I actually got the Mariaa one for free! Makes me feel a little better about it. A lot of you are already aware of this, but for those that aren’t Mariaa is basically a Yumiko knockoff. They have been very overt in copying their designs but since suing over copying a clothing design is almost never successful the line has not only continued since it’s initial debut, it’s expanded.

This store had a great selection and was just overall lovely. It’s also huge by New York standards. This isn’t the best photo but it’ll give you an idea.


That whole display off to the right hand side, those are all Ainsliewear leotards. That particular brand used to be a bit harder to find but now I feel like I’m seeing it everywhere. They’re the official uniform of Canada’s National Ballet School, and yes, they’re a Canadian brand. So far I’ve seen this brand at one of my local dance shops here in Washington, at Discount Dance in California, Grishko in NYC, and this store. So they’re definitely catching on here in the States. They’re very nicely made. Not overly fussy but they still have some nice design details. Here’s the one I ended up with.



Now I definitely feel a bit exposed in this one. The entire back save for that tiny bit that covers my bum, is mesh. The sides are the same, and dare I say, it’s a bit risqué. I always wear a bra with this one even though there’s no way to ever hide it just because I feel so exposed. I still like it though. I didn’t own a purple leotard previously, so I was excited about the color. I definitely won’t have to worry about over heating in this one, so there’s that too, lol. One thing I don’t like is the seam that runs down the center back. None of my other leotards have that so I’m not used to it and I find it annoying.


It has a simple bust liner. It doesn’t offer any support, and it’s dark enough that it doesn’t really need it but it’s nice that they added it in.


I had to cut the tag out. It was huge and well, inconveniently located. It had to go. You can see that center back seam I hate so much. The mesh is not tacked or anything to allow freedom of movement. I have no complaints about it. Despite the seam and the exposure I really like this one and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from the brand again. This one was plenty long enough, so it’s fine if you have a longer torso.

Next up is my Mariaa leotard.


The legs really are that high cut and I’m not a fan. I don’t need a high cut leg and I hate the way it looks on me personally. But if you’re someone who likes that, this is a brand to consider. This is also a brand that I feel runs a bit shorter. It’s long enough to work, but I wish it was longer. As you all know I’m not a fan of cut out backs. I avoid them whenever possible, especially when they come down this low. Again, I just don’t like it. I feel very exposed. The Mariaa leotards, like the Yumiko ones are heavy on the cutouts. That’s not to say you can’t find one without a cutout, but they’re few and far between.

As this one was free I’m a little less picky about it. I was lucky in that they just happened to have two leotards in colors I wanted in my size. They really didn’t have many leotards on the clearance rack, it was mostly Betsy Johnson stuff. So I was very lucky. I actually wore this one today and it was fine. It didn’t twist, shift, bunch, pinch, ride up, or do anything weird. By the time I got home I was happy to take it off, but it was just fine during class and for quite some time afterwards.



Finally I’ve managed to capture a color accurately! Yes, it really is this electric. It almost glows, and it’s shiny. 🙂 This shelf bra actually does something, but only because this leotard is actually rather snug. Partly it’s the cut, and partly it’s the fabric. The fabric is just not the same as Yumiko’s. It’s thicker and the more basic sort of stuff you’d encounter at the fabric store. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially if you don’t want to wear a bra. I’ve cut that tag out as well, this one kind of sticks to you. I just cut them all out, saves a lot of hassle cause I’ll probably hate them all.

So there you have it. These are all the leotards I bought while in New York. I did buy a few other things while I was there, warmups and the pointe shoes I’d mentioned previously. I’m not sure when I’ll get those posts up but I’m trying. I do have to go away again, as usual. Then we have the holidays so I make no promises. I also have the photos taken for an Elevé review that’s seriously overdue. I bought and received those leotards in summer. You can’t even get some of the fabrics anymore it’s been so long. But I still think the review will be worthwhile given the solids are always worth a look at and the lace comes in and out of stock and it’s good to know if you want it or not so you can order it as soon as it becomes available because it does tend to go quick. So there’s lots to come. It’s just a matter of when I’ll be able to get it up.

See you next week (I hope)!


4 thoughts on “Ainsliewear and Mariaa Leotards

    • Oh they’re not even similar, they’re flat out copies. They are able to get away with it the same way Forever 21 does. Art is often plagiarized but it’s difficult to prove two people didn’t have the same “unique” idea. Two people visit the same field on a sunny day and paint what they see. The two paintings look very similar but neither is a copy of another. The current laws we have are to protect people who genuinely created something they thought was unique. But there are definitely others who exploit those laws for their own benefits. Also, there are very few laws that cover clothing specifically so it’s harder to sue. Then there’s the cost of prosecuting someone in a case that could very well lose. And with how fast fashion moves, some designers feel it’s not worth spending thousands of dollars, and possibly years in court over something that’ll be on the clearance rack in a couple of months. If you want to learn more about how companies get away with this I recommend this post.

    • It’s no problem, I highly recommend this article. And I know there was one on another blog that talked about the Mariaa leotards specifically but I can’t remember which. There are a lot of articles out there on designer knock-offs and how they get away with it. A quick Google search will tell you more than you ever wanted to know!

      And thanks. 🙂 I actually have a few more in production. I’m hoping and praying I’ll find the time to get a post up as soon as they come in but I’ve had a lot going on in the past several months so the blog is on the back burner. I can say that I always post about my Elevé leo’s as they’re custom and have a long waiting period, so people want to see what they look like and get an unbiased review of that sort of thing. It just might take a while.

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