I was home for the holidays and (after an extended quarantine) spent quite a bit of time with my parents. Like every other woman alive right now, my mom’s gotten into leggings over the last year.
Taking the plunge was a few years in the making. We don’t talk about women’s clothing all that often, but she’s mentioned leggings on occasion. Initially, only with derision, saying things like, “Well, I don’t know what to work out in anymore, all the girls at the Y are wearing tights nowadays.” (She meant “leggings”, but lest I sound too in-the-know, I didn’t correct her.) You have to read that in a slightly-sneering holier-than-though tone of “ummmm, leggings are not pants you know”, as you used to hear from the fashion resistance a decade or so back, before the flood gates collapsed and the leggings craze ate the western world.
But I could tell that although she was saying one thing, she meant another, and kind of wanted some leggings for herself. She held out longer than most, but broke down and 2020 and bought some – and not just for exercise, but for wearing around town in authentic athleisure style.
So anyway, back to my recent trip. Now that the leggings themselves were a fait accompli, my mom started making a big deal about how she needed to go shopping for a longer jacket so that when she wore them, her bum wouldn’t show.
Me on the outside: “Yep, very sensible decision Mom! Leggings show off way too much.”
Me on the inside: “You do not understand why girls wear leggings :)”
Like a lot of women’s clothing, there’s an ostensible reason why girls wear them, and then there’s a real reason. You’ve heard the ostensible reason a million times before: “they’re soooooo comfy”. You’ve also heard the real reason, but less often: “they make my butt look great.” There’s a bit of truth to both versions of the story, but the second one’s not very ladylike, so the first is usually cited for plausible deniability.
My mom bought the long jacket, as she should have. There’s a wide age bracket where you still want to wear leggings (they really are comfy), but want to show less.
Well, I’m that barbarian girl who doesn’t wear long jackets with her leggings. Not having experienced a lifetime’s worth of creepy staring (like most girls get), I don’t generally mind it if people want to admire my bum.
For my money, here’s the ideal way to wear leggings: a hoodie/top that’s about normal length, and as it falls naturally, ends up sitting right on top of the bum. Here’s me rocking that style, paired with some absolutely ludicrous leggings I found on Amazon:
But I’m starting to show my age. These days younger girls are starting to pair short/crop tops with leggings, exposing the entirety of the legging-ed abdomen, which is a little too risqué for me. I’m known to be occasionally guilty of wearing that look, but to be fair, I wouldn’t wear it out (or I don’t think I would anyway ;).
As for the leggings themselves:
- They should be tight, like second skin tight. Avoid sloppy fits.
- Pair with low-profile sneakers and no-show socks. Some allowance is made for cold climates where bare ankles are a liability.
- Visible panty line is a cardinal sin. Do. Not. Do. It. Buy higher quality leggings with some thickness, and throw out old pairs when they get threadbare.
- Introduce color somewhere. Either the leggings themselves, or your top, or a midlayer between the leggings and the top which peaks out in between. Also, watch me break this rule below.
- If you’re a crossdresser, you’re living life in hard mode unfortunately. Trust me, I wish it weren’t so. But despite that, you must keep things above bar – no unsightly bulges. Perfectly flat in front and perfectly flat underneath. If you’re having trouble getting that right, consider a different outfit. (Don’t pull a Cyberpunk 2077.)
Girl's best friend
After indulging in a few (dozen) too many cookies over the holidays, I got back home more than a few pounds heavier. This forced me to confront the unfortunately reality that all of my jeans – bought skinny during a year that I was doing great on weight – were now tight enough around the waist as to be uncomfortable. When not in public, I started leaving the top button undone – a very bad sign. I can’t tell if they betrayed me or I betrayed them.
But you know what didn’t betray me? My leggings collection. Just as comfortable as ever. I don’t even feel the extra pounds.
Current status: dolled up, in some brand new leggings from Athletica which are a better fit than my own skin. Very satisfied :)
January 25, 2021 (3 years ago) by