War of the Words: Are leggings a legit sartorial choice?

Lose the leggings, ladies

By Sharon Miki, Editor in Chief

As the weather cools and the bright neon sun of summer fades into the pumpkiny chill of fall, women everywhere are trading their sandals and bare legs for boots and pants. And yet, I’ve noticed a disconcerting trend: some people seem to have forgotten what pants are. Instead, ladies are strutting about town with nothing but cottony wraps of fabric turning their once—warm flesh into human sausage casings—and it shall not stand for a moment longer.

Look, I get it: leggings, with their stretchy Lycra-Spandex mix are incredibly comfortable. But, do you know what else is really, really comfortable? Being naked. You wouldn’t go out in public naked, so why would you wear leggings?

No matter what size you are, chances are that these skin-hugging leg-condoms are not the best look for you. By nature, leggings show every millimeter of your shape—so unless you feel at ease walking around school in a bikini, you should probably think twice about the leggings. Oh, what? You have a supermodel body and you look amazing covered in nothing but a sheer film of fabric? Well, that’s good for you, but I still don’t approve. I don’t need a constant reminder of how perky your butt is when I’m walking down the hallway, so put it away!

Besides, regardless of how good or bad you look in them, the fact is that leggings are simply not an appropriate substitute for pants. They give off an overly casual vibe that harkens to a life of either extreme leisure or laziness. While personal expression through fashion can be a positive, creative outlet, few people intentionally set out to convey an appearance of sloth.

So, am I suggesting you throw out your collection of leg sheaths? Of course not. Leggings are a great option to wear around the house, or in a functional environment, like the gym, where you actually need extreme comfort and to see the shape of your legs in order to accomplish the task at hand. Or, you can wear your leggings as a warm under-layer with skirts or tunics. Just don’t get confused and mistake leggings for pants.


How I learned to stop worrying and love my leggings

By Sophie Isbister, Staff Writer

It all started in my first semester of college. I had resisted for so long, but then I caved. I started wearing leggings as pants. Jeggings, or “gateway leggings” as I like to call them, got to me first. Super-tight, oft-embellished, denim-esque Spandex tubes into which I could stick my legs, pair with a loose tee and some cute flats, and be considered a style maven? What’s not to love? Once I realized that leggings were just jeggings in black, I was in real trouble—if you consider extreme comfort-meets-style to be trouble.

But then the backlash started. And with the backlash came The Rules. Draconian restrictions on my new sartorial staple include such gems as Only Wear Leggings With Shirts That Cover Your Butt and Only Wear Leggings If You’re Skinny. Well I’m here to say, rules be damned! Leggings are here to stay, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Anyone who has lived in the Lower Mainland for more than five minutes knows that the climate here is fairly moderate. When the weather transitions between winter and summer (about eight months out of the year), it can be a challenge to dress appropriately. Too cold for skirts, but too warm for pants. This is where leggings-as-pants play a key role in a Vancouver-chic wardrobe. When there’s a cool bite in the air, like the last few weeks, there isn’t anything more comforting than a thin layer of cotton-Spandex blend covering your vulnerable ass-to-ankles region.

Furthermore, leggings fit my booty as well as my budget. Rent is expensive in this world-class city, and if I can shave a few dollars off my clothing allowance while also shaving some what-to-wear hassle off of my morning routine, it seems like an all-around win. I also save on laundry. Did you know that your washing machine can fit three pairs of leggings for every pair of denim jeans? The savings just multiply!

Perhaps the most compelling argument to wear leggings as pants is a simple one. They just look good, and if you think they don’t, then I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I needed the world’s tacit approval to simply walk around. Leggings fly below the radar. They don’t scream, “I’ve given up!” like sweatpants, and they don’t imply, “Hey, I’m a douchebag!” like a TapouT shirt. Our clothes do speak volumes for us, but ultimately, all leggings say is, “I’m committed.” Committed to looking cute and being comfy.