The Great Leggings Debate

Leggings: Are they pants or not? Wars have been fought over this. Actual wars. The Revolutionary War. No way that wasn’t about the right for men to wear leggings. (Too soon to make Revolutionary War jokes?)

War’s over, dude. You lost.

I wear, with little hesitation, the smooth shape of a legging whenever I write. The elastic waistband serves as a girdle, but with less punishment, and I feel free. — Oscar Wilde.

The American Apparel winter leggings (I own 8 pairs, 4 black) are thicker than the jeans I own. [It’s not like I’m wearing] a pair of beige opaque Leggs and a crop top, full mussittouchits in sight. And yes, you should cover your privates with some sort of tank top or a longer sweater, but there ain’t no shame in the legging game.Molly McAleer

Okay, fine, I never said the above quote. — Oscar Wilde

Here is where I stand on the great leggings issue. I gained weight. Leggings + sweater or long button up = a happy, comfortable me. Like Molls, I firmly agree that one should cover their privates when donning a crisp legging. You are not Rod Stewart.

I am. And even I barely get away with this.

My dear friend and fellow HelloGiggles contributor Laura Kadner was featured in Glamour’s “Dos and Don’ts” section about 5 years ago. The photographer snapped Laura wearing leggings under a skirt. The caption was, “They reappeared under skirts this year. Why?” and she was branded a “Don’t.” And proud of it. (To answer the question, “Why?” the answer is that it’s cold in NYC in the winter and leggings are warmer than tights.) Then, a few issues later, they praised leggings, doing a two page spread on all of the great leggings out there and what to wear them with!

Because Laura Kadner is awesome, that’s why.

We change our minds on leggings a lot, don’t we? I used to think they were solely for running errands or working out. Now I find myself at bars and parties in leggings. There’s just some great leggings out there now and there’s so little that separates them from a skinny jean that why wouldn’t I choose the one with the elastic waistband?

I wouldn’t however go with these, “Hey we’re leggings JUST KIDDING WE’RE SHORTS wait JUST KIDDING AGAIN WE’RE LONGER THAN SHORTS.”

I looked leggings up on Wikipedia, and here are some of my favorite facts.

— Originally leggings were two separate garments, one for each leg.

— Cowboys wore leggings of buckskin to protect from chapping caused by riding, wear and tear to their pants, and bites from animals, such as snakes or insects in the scruff, such as ticks.

— Since the late 19th century, soldiers of various nations, especially infantry, often wore leggings to protect their lower leg, keep dirt, sand, and mud from entering their shoes, and to provide a measure of ankle support.

— Leggings in the form of skin-tight trousers, a tighter version of the capris ending at mid-calf or near ankle length, made its way into fashion in the 1960s and were worn with a large belt and slip-on high heels or ballet flat-styled shoes.

— By the early-1990s, leggings were actually outselling jeans in many parts of the United States.

And in 1987, Debbie Harry made a huge mistake.

The article goes on to say that in the late 1990s, “fashion turned its back on leggings” but then came around again in 2005. Does anyone else feel like they dropped off again and came back again since? I can’t keep up. But I’m wearing them now and so are a lot of people. Maybe if we felt more secure about our bodies we would wear regular pants. Like the normals. I feel like I’m Ariel. I want to be part of your world, but I’m just not ready yet. So chill out about the leggings.

What do you think?

Image source: WikipediaLIFE Magazine Archives, Glamour Magazine, Kevin WinterAnn Clifford.

More like this

fashionAmerican Apparel90s fashionleggingsBeauty
newsletter illustration

Giggles in Your Inbox