Leggings, however controversial, are here to stay. No longer reserved for horse riders and gym buffs, these tight fitting leg covers can be bought on the high street for less than a fiver. Yes, they’re comfortable and, some, stylish but let’s face it we’ve all seen some legging disasters! Some body shapes are just not suited for the all-exposing skin tight cut of Lycra and jersey, and some people just don’t know when it’s not right to wear what are essentially leisure wear accessories.
Done right, leggings can be fashionable and effortless. Done wrong, they are the epitome of vulgar fashion faux-pas’. Here’s a look at the ‘should-be’ rules of wearing leggings:
First of all, let’s clarify that leggings are a form of hosiery. Hosiery is a form of underwear. Leggings should find themselves in the same category as tights, stockings, fish-nets and Spanx. Would you go out in public with just these on your lower half? Perhaps if you’re creating some sort of Halloween monstrosity it would be acceptable… but in your local supermarket? No.
If we recognise that leggings are a form of hosiery, this means acknowledging that leggings are not a form of trouser! Some women feel that leggings are just an extension of the skinny jean but just finished in a spandex or jersey material and with no pockets or button-front. The trouble is, unlike denim jeans, leggings show off everything - every curve… every lump and bump! Leggings are far more intimate. Perhaps you could consider leggings a Yoga trouser? Here they would be appropriate allowing complete flexibility.
Jeggings are of course another matter. Jeggings (jean leggings) HAVE been designed to be an extension of the skinny jean. They may be worn on their own as a trouser, and still look acceptable.
Although leggings should not be considered a trouser, this doesn’t mean that you can only wear leggings beneath a dress. Those who wear leggings should simply ensure that the top they wear is long enough to cover their buttocks there’s nothing worse than walking behind a woman and feeling like you’ve seen her bottom naked, because the leggings are revealing not only a VPL, but every dimple!
It’s not just on the behind that leggings can be totally unflattering. Take a look at those hideous cut-of designs, or perhaps just the women who wear leggings that are too short. The only time this is acceptable is when you’re off on a jog but even then cut-off jeans (which stop mid-calf) seem unnecessary and leave the wearer looking short and stumpy.
Finally, when it comes to wearing leggings don’t take them so seriously! This doesn’t mean ignoring all the advice regarding keeping your bottom covered (you really should, no matter how pert your behind) but instead to venture into the playful side of their design. Patterned leggings are huge at the moment, which means it’s time to step away from the dull black options and have a go with Aztec prints (like this), Polka dots and stripes!