In the eighties, it was super on trend to wear them with an oversized baggy jumper and a perm if you dared. In the nineties, it was all about bright colours and patterns, and I am not ashamed to admit, I sported a rather fetching Minnie Mouse pair. However, now they are more of a functional and essential wardrobe staple. Of course, if your intrinsic fashion mind hadn’t guessed already, I am referring to the very humble pair of leggings.
From glamming up an evening outfit, completing a summer look without forcing you to brave a bit of leg in the not so dependable British weather, being the flattering gym attire of choice which makes ones legs appear nice and slim during too many minutes of having to face oneself in a mirror whilst looking sweaty, and not forgetting, being the ultimate comforting loungewear with no buttons to have to undo after that pizza takeaway, where would we be without our leggings?! Almost all of us own at least one pair, some of us two, many of us ten; stored in various different drawers in order to reassure us that a clean pair will always be available in any times of need and for when occasion calls.
Leggings have become almost a comfort item; something we can turn to when unsure of what to wear. We know they will always work, always compliment the look and the best thing about them is that they are not seasonal. This favoured leg attire can be worn in winter, spring and summer, with boots, wellies, flip-flops and heels of all varieties. So advantageous are leggings in fact that they are definitely up there with the wonderous and unassuming pair of jeans.
There are rules though. Unwritten but important and if there ever was a holy style guide, these rules would surely feature.
Firstly, leggings can never be worn with socks. Unless of course, the socks are underneath boots and the boots rise above the top of the socks, although specific long socks designed to be seen can be excluded from this rule as long as they are pretty.
Secondly, good legs should never be hidden away in a pair of these streamlined beauties. If it is summer and you want to wear a short dress then one must always do so and not have anyone convince you otherwise.
Finally, the ultimate rule. As soon as the leggings become worn or when the elastic is not quite as stretchy as it once was in its youth, under no circumstances is one allowed to leave the house unless the corresponding upper garment reaches at least to your knees. So many times have I been walking behind some poor, unknowing casualty, whose knickers are on show for all the world to see as the leggings no longer cover up as much as they used to. Unlike the unfortunate skirt tucked in incidents, this one cannot be rectified until returning home and so until then, flowery love heart prints or bright pink frillies are bared to all.
This, I believe, sums up why leggings will never quite make it to jeans status.
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