It’s not secret that I decry the comeback of the legging. We’ve all been enjoying, and I mean really, really enjoying the more flattering cuts and comforts of yoga pants and slightly flared legs and boot cuts when along comes fashion-as-art. The fashion industry sustains itself on change, and the latest change – a throwback to the 1980s – is one time warp I could cheerfully live without.
Leggings worn in the wild are essentially extra-thick hose with a thick elastic waistband adding more girth when you’ve already got girth. It’s tempting to wear them with gigantic T-shirts on “I hate my body days” but part of loving your body is refusing to indulge that self-hatred and dressing well anyway. When your inner critic grudgingly admits you look good, you know you’re making progress with yourself.
I’m seeing some strange attempts to modernize and rebrand the legging. I’ve seen yoga pants relabeled as “legging.” I’ve seen denim leggings. I’ve seen flared leggings.
And I must insist, that those are not leggings.
Leggings are not made of denim. They do not flare. They may be worn in yoga, but do not bear the yoga name. They may have decoration on them, whether from an ill-advised round of puffy paint or from some other form of design, but they do not have slits of fancy shapes in them. Leggings cling to your leg for dear life. Just look at what they do on Lindsay Lohan; they’re just as afraid she’s going to take them off and run bottomless through the streets as her onlookers are, and are clinging there for fear of an ignominous fate involving paparazzi, teeth, and ebay sale and uses by the end buyers of which we will not speak.
I do not approve of leggings – I think on plus sized women, they accentuate the aspects of ourselves we hate the most. It is equally unflattering on stomach, hips, thighs and butt. But I do know leggings for what they are. And, properly identified, we can move on.
It’s just fine to get that yoga-cut legging. It’s not really a legging.