Tuesday, October 07, 2008

legging opinion extravaganza

in february of 2007 i posed the question, leggins', yea or nay? when i originally posed the question, i was just needing feedback on this important subject as i had not yet formed an opinion. over a year and a half later, i think that i have finally formed my opinion.
i like them.
more like occasionally.
if they are worn the right way.
and if they are not worn as a pant replacement.
and if they are not actually just opaque tights being called leggings.

how did i come to make this decision?
first of all, i love to wear my running pants which resemble leggings. even though they are worn when i am sweating like a football player on a saturday in august in alabama and i am looking my worst, i still feel a bit chic when i wear them.
secondly, i observed images of leggings being worn correctly:

leggings are neither pants nor pantyhose. they are a subtle accessory. they complete and anchor an outfit without making a statement. the correct pair make your actual statement pieces standout. the key is to be more audrey hepburn and her signature black cigarette pants and less lindsay lohan, crack whore.

normally i don't recommend wearing white on the lower half of your body, but this particular subject does it well. her blue blazer becomes an effortless focal point and the length of the legging keeps the dress from looking like it is competing in length with the jacket. the leggings are a visual lengthener without screaming, "my skirt is WAY to short to be worn alone!"

some bad examples of leggings:

lindsay lohan(who else?). her leggings are obviously footless tights worn with a too short tunic top. the monochromatic color scheme is not slimming. the camera flashes reflect off of the tights and brings your eyes to her thighs. few people want attention on their thighs. the overall look screams, "i forgot my PANTS! this is all your fault dina lohan!"

PVC leggings. these should only be worn by steven tyler at a concert. and even then you don't want to be on the front row. nothing shows off more flaws or accentuates more bulges than rubber hose legs. if you are going to a dance class or going snorkeling or are on your way to hell, you are fine. otherwise, TAKE THEM OFF! heavens to besty, we don't want to look like fergie!

a few last thoughts:

1. back in around the 3rd century BC, leggings were called hosa. they were worn by all sorts of military personnel as then went to conquer in colder climates. they were invented by the visigoth tribes of ancient germany. of course, the idea was stolen by the romans so that is who gets credit. leggings have made appearances all throughout the history of costume in many different incarnations. let us all remember that leggings(hosa) are as old as sand, and that we should be honoring a legacy, not flaunting an open reference to jazzercise gear

2. leggings are tricky! if you want to wear a slim black pant, do just that! find a nice medium weight black pant with more obvious side seams and fly(avoid the camel toe) and for the love all cross stitch, BACK POCKETS are a must! then proceed to channel your best audrey hepburn or lucille ball.

3. if you have muscular or well rounded calves as i do, avoid leggings, or any pant for that matter, that cut straight across the widest part of your leg.
4. leggings give a dress a more casual vibe. use your descretion as to where they can be appropriately worn. when i was in utah this past summer, i was able to attend the temple. as i was leaving, TWO unassociated women left the dressing room wearing leggings. neither of their dresses were anywear near knee length and one sweet spirit had excessive cleavage exposed. leggings do NOT make a mid-thigh dress long enough. and leggings should NEVER be worn to the temple. please folks. it's the house of the Lord, not the mall.

5. i think the most difficult question to answer is, is it okay to wearing leggings with dresses that would otherwise be too short or revealing alone? yes and no. is the dress tight and mid thigh? NO! is the dress loose and flowing and only a inch or two above where it needs to be? YES! are they true leggings or are they thick tights? in my opinion(and that's all it is), tights should be worn with things that are knee length. tights are more revealing and sheer. a legging can be worn with a tunic or shirtwaist or trapeze style dress that is almost knee length to guarantee a few more inches of coverage. the legging does need to be thick enough so that bulges, dimples and other lines are obscured. they should provide some modicum of warmth. if the dress is exceeding short, then you might as well put real pants with it, because you aren't fooling anybody. you are giving the illusion of wearing a miniskirt. you are merely wearing something that is too short for proper wear and should then be worn as a shirt.


lrbodine said...

My favorite is question number 5 since I have seen way too many people use it as an excuse to wear things that aren't appropriate! Which is ironic considering garments are hard to hide under such clothing as leggings anyway....

Will and Natalie Giddens said...

Wow, that is a lot to digest. But, once again, I think you are correct. I, personally, would never wear leggings, but I can see how they are capable of looking cute, ie, the white ones with the blue blazer.

I appreciate a woman who can have a frank legging discussion. Where have you been lately? I've been remiss without my heidiluxe fill!

Caroline said...

I am laughing SO hard at the camel toe remark!

I would look RIDICULOUS in leggings with my huge legs-so I have never even thought about them!

Paula said...

Amen sister. I loved question/observation on #5 and agree with everything you said about leggings. I might be willing to try them out using the "correct" pictures as a guide but I don't know if I am that fashion forward. I do have a question though, you said you discourage wearing white on the lower half of your body, but what about white pants during the spring/summer?

Angie said...

mmm I would never wear leggings, but I do think they're cute on Ella and her little friends. It's a great way to stop the flashing of the underwear to strangers at the store.

Kristen said...

i'm waiting with anticipation for your post on michelle obama's election night outfit. i know you've got some stuff to say about it!