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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Leggings Are Not Pants

"Leggings are not pants." This is one of the new dress code guidelines at the school where my mother-in-law works. The dress code is for the teachers. Grown women who are educating children are not aware that leggings are not pants. Clearly my work is not yet done.

In case you are one of these confused, grown women, here are two reasons to look into pants. First, leggings are not opaque. They may appear opaque from the front, but when you put a strain on them by bending over (or in my case just stretching them across my butt), the skin and underwear underneath show through. Second, leggings are a tight knit. Knits conform to your shape, which is why people find them so comfortable. However, this means that leggings are showing off every conture of your lady parts and no one, least of all your students, wants to ponder your vagina. If you wouldn't wear lycra bike shorts to work, don't wear leggings as pants.

"But I love leggings!" you say. "How can I wear them if they're not pants?" Well, that's easy. Think of leggings as super tights. You have a cute dress you want to wear, but it's 20 degrees outside? Leggings and knee boots. Sometimes I even wear leggings over sweater tights for ultra cozy legs. For blistering cold, I wear a triple layer of tights, leggings and jeans. Take that, Winter!
Sweater Dress and Leggings

While leggings  aren't thick enough to preserve the details of your behind when left alone, pairing them with a short dress, tunic, or skirt works. The leggings are thick enough that if your skirt accidentally creeps up when you bend over to remove your boots or try to climb on a high stool, no one will have the time to notice the aforementioned things leggings reveal. The flash will be quick enough any observes will only register the color of your leggings, unlike tights which would fill everyone in that you like polka dot undies. This is obviously not an option for professional attire, but for a casual occasion, break out the leggings if you feel your dress may be creeping into shirt territory.  I have a couple dresses that have shrunken slightly, so I wear them in the winter with leggings.


Rosie said...

Where I live we wear leggings as pants. We don't see people wearing skirts or dresses over leggings. Leggings are pants and should be worn as such. Even super opaque tights are not the same as leggings and they shouldn't be worn as pants. I wear leggings everyday because they are super comfy and I know I look good in them.

becca said...

I maintain that leggings aren't pants. Lots of people wear them as pants--we're not arguing with that fact--but that doesn't make them good pants. They're technically an athletic item or undergarment regardless of how people choose to wear them--even if they do look good in them.

If you're the type to wear athletic attire while running errands--that's really up to you. I personally think there are more flattering and still comfortable options. But in a professional setting, especially a setting where you are teaching (as Jael mentioned in the post) or in front of others all day, they just can't be worn as pants.

I think leggings actually work great as that perfect solution to the age old question of "is this a dress or a shirt?" The answer is now--it's a leggings companion. And even though I like the idea of wearing leggings this way, I wouldn't recommend this as professional attire, especially for teachers or public speakers. (Depending on the type of office in which you work).

I mostly wear them as "super tights," like Jael talks about, because my office is freezing.