In defense of leggings

Silver Leggings. Leggings aren’t pants. They’re freedom.
(Photo courtesy of Maria Morri/Flickr)
Story by Amanda Hess
(Slate)
Thu, Mar 14, 2013
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At BuzzFeed, Amy Odell presents 23 reasons why leggings are the worst. She’s made her point carefully, employing a compelling combination of cell phone creepshots, stock photos and Kardashian jokes. And yet, she is wrong. If we must cover our lower bodies, the legging is the superior choice. Here’s why:

• Leggings aren’t pants.

No, they are not. And thank goodness! Pants are great if you’re a woman with the perfectly calibrated corporate-sanctioned ratio of waist to butt to leg. What are you, a ringer for the jeans industry? It’s time to stop squeezing our lower bodies into constrictive denim prisons and instead envelope them in a forgiving cotton-spandex jersey. Never again will we be forced to choose between visible crack and bulging muffin top. Whenever a woman steps out in leggings, the fashion police hiss: Leggings aren’t pants. You forgot your pants. Put some pants on. Keep digging yourselves deeper, you guys. We’ll be over here unwinding in the sartorial equivalent of a warm bath.

• Leggings aren’t tights. Right?

Tights have exerted their control-tops over our torso-crotch areas for too long. They snag on everything. They warp in the wash. They create itches that cannot be scratched. The discomfort of the toe seam is, frankly, egregious. But it doesn’t have to be this way: Sturdy. Footless. Washable. Leggings.

• Leggings are practical.

BuzzFeed would have you believe that a legging should be hidden from public view. But the greatest barriers to lower-body freedom are those we have erected in our own minds. Once we accept that leggings are ideal for lounging at home alone, it becomes more and more difficult to justify hiding this feeling from the wider world. You can wear leggings on a train. On a plane. In a house. With a mouse. At the gym, or in front of the 7-Eleven novelty ice cream freezer. Wear them while pregnant with a human baby, or stuffed with a food baby. Just wear them outdoors in the hope that one day, our daughters, and our daughters’ daughters, will be free to live in comfort without shame.

• Leggings are not fashionable.

In typical BuzzFeed fashion, Odell has presented her argument in the form of a cursory Google image search: Two dozen photos of people looking dumb in leggings. Point taken: Leggings are not fashionable. They’re like sweatpants for people who care even less. And you know who doesn’t care? Cool people. Do you think this lady wearing a pair of “Bodies: The Exhibition” leggings while standing in line at some soulless bureaucratic office cares that her butt doesn’t look “good”? Wake up, sheeple! Not caring is the point of leggings.

fashion, leggings, style
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