Leggings: on their last legs or still standing strong?

14 April 2009

Lycra, cotton blend, polyurethane and spandex: when it comes to leggings, you (and your calves, thighs and rump) can have it all. Or can you?

Re-introduced to a younger generation of Madonna wannabes sometime around 2003, leggings are the comeback kids that have no plans to shrink into the corner anytime soon. Thanks, mostly, to Lindsay Lohan and her seemingly endless fashion budget. But, I digress: are oversized t-shirts, knee-length sweaters and billowy blouses, a.k.a. the prototypical legging pairing, also here to stay; or will they, too, wash up on the shore of flared jeans, too-tight logo baby tees from Abercrombie & Fitch and other styles from fashion past?

Let’s start with every girl’s best friend – Spanx!


See, i.e., their Footless Tights, $26. See, also, the extremely obvious control top. While shaving inches off of your waistline and hips may inspire you to frolic gaily through a flower market or to tapdance down 8th Avenue, I beg of you: keep your Spanx covered, or, save it for the comfort of your living room after a Ben & Jerry’s binge.

American Apparel, with whom I have a love/hate relationship, takes the term “shiny little things” and brings it to a whole new level with their Shiny Legging, $42 (!).


First of all: if I wanted to spend $42 to make my rear end look as wide as humanly possible, I’d be at McDonald’s, bingeing on Happy Meals and milkshakes. Second, gold lame pants, paired with what appears to be a cotton oxford shirt, is neither office nor nighttime appropriate. In fact, I’d say that the only place I’d be caught wearing something like this would be to my therapist’s office, who would understand such a tragic and failed attempt to be cool.

Now, now. Before you decry me some sort of trend-basher, I’ll throw in these footless wonders from the Gap, but only because they’re on sale (for $43, which is no bargain to me):


These, to me, look more like glorified sweatpants; to sell them as “tailored” leggings is a bit misleading. But, I suppose if you add a “cropped” hooded sweatshirt and “fresh” sneakers, you’ve got yourself a date… to the gym, that is.

For these reasons, and for many others that would fill endless pages, I rest my case: leggings belong under clothes, not under the spotlight.

-Karyn Polewaczyk

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Posted by karynpol at 06:00 AM
APPAREL , bargain news |

2 thoughts on “Leggings: on their last legs or still standing strong?

  • April 14, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I wouldn’t wear them but I think they are here to stay. If you look at the runway pictures Fall 2009 they are everywhere. Not just plain vanilla, but leggings as the focal point of the outfit: decorated, with rhinestones and embroideries.

  • April 14, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Leggings, as a layer piece, are one thing; leggings in lieu of pants are another. What’s so wrong about pants? I just have to scratch my head in bewilderment.


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