There is no shortage of divisive topics in our world these days. Gun control, abortion, gay rights, how you feed your baby, team Jacob vs. team Edward... just to name a few. But the one that seems to get no less than at least a half a dozen mentions a day on my twitter feed alone, and that is nothing when you look at the plethora of dedicated Facebook, reddit and tumblr sites, is none other than the Great Leggings Debate! Now for the record, and in the interest of full disclosure, I have been firmly entrenched in the "leggings are NOT pants" camp for quite some time. I did not wear leggings for anything other than the gym or yoga, I held off for a long time on buying any kind of jean that resembled a legging or hugged too tight (or was officially called a "jegging") and even though I sometimes peruse sites like Blackmilk to see the latest in printed styles, I have always resisted the urge to buy. I have gotten into heated discussions with friends about the legging. I have been accused of policing others choices because of my stance on leggings. And yes, I have even sent my 4-year old daughter back to her room to add a skirt or a longer top or dress to her outfit because of my strict leggings rules.
In my world, leggings ARE NOT PANTS.
A week ago I read a post from Amanda Hess over at Slate's XX Factor and by golly, I think this woman is on to something. For one thing, she fully agrees with me that leggings are not pants.
Pants are great if you’re a woman with the perfectly-calibrated corporate-sanctioned ratio of waist to ass to leg. What are you, a ringer for the jeans industry? It’s time to stop squeezing our lower bodies into constrictive denim prisons and instead envelope them in a forgiving cotton-spandex jersey. Never again will we be forced to choose between visible ass-crack and bulging muffin top.
She goes on to list some very compelling reasons why leggings are in fact far superior to pants. They are sturdy, footless (think toe seams on tights), don't bind us with control tops and are as she puts it "the sartorial equivalent of a warm bath." There was nothing in her post that I could argue with and much that I laughed out loud to.
Last Sunday as my daughter and I spent the day at the mall, I stopped into one of my favourite new stores, LOLE. It is an active wear clothing store that is bright and beautiful and it makes me happy every time I walk through it. They happened to be having a 30% off sale and without hesitation I grabbed these leggings, headed to the till and bought them on the spot. I didn't even try them on. I just knew. I knew they were the ones.
I went home and put them on immediately. And I fell in love, or as Amanda so aptly puts it, into a warm leg bath. She was so right! Leggings really are superior to pants. Pants do nothing but make you focus on your bodies short comings. If they are not too tight in one area, they are too low in another. How often do you hear of a woman's incessant search for the perfect pair of jeans! I know I have yet to find them. But these leggings, with their lycra goodness, are sheer perfection!
My rules do still apply to them. I will not wear them without covering up my bum (and front) and the preferable footwear choice is still a boot. These are my rules folks, if you choose to adopt them as your own, be my guest. If not, I am not going to judge. Your body, your clothing choices, your life. If this is how you feel comfortable, who am I to be the one to tell you otherwise. Perhaps it is my age (or the wisdom of my years), but I appreciate comfort a lot more these days. I also have a thing for knee high socks and boots right now and the legging really works with this look.
So YES! I am throwing up the proverbial white flag, surrendering myself to the spandex-y goodness and donning my leggings with comfort and yes, some pride too!
And to be perfectly honest, fighting about what someone chooses to put on their legs is not the hill I want to die on.
What actions do you choose when confronted with those who don't see things as you do? Do you fight? Do you argue? Do you negotiate? Do you surrender? Let me tell you something right now. If you live more than a few days you will find conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional. You don’t have to fight about everything. Even the Marines have a saying, "Choose the hill you want to die on." If you must fight about something, if there must be that thing that will make you raise your voice, grind your teeth and pound your fist on a desk, let it be something that has to do with respect, dignity and integrity; or someone's attempt to deny another of one or all three of those things.
~ Demitri C. Kornegay
My legs, my leggings, my pride socks!!