*This article was written by our friend Laura Sweeney. Laura sings sweetly.
Fashion is fun in many respects. One, being that it comes in cycles. We blend our trends, new and old, with our own twists and tastes keeping the fashion world fresh and vibrant. Expressionism is a beautiful freedom that fashion affords us. However, there are many mistakenly “trendy” individuals who don’t know the first thing about high fashion but are fickle followers of high-street couture. These are often the ones to express overkill instead of beauty; consumerism over class. Figuratively speaking, they generally place their emphasis on the wrong syllables when it comes to style. This brings me to an important point involving a favored retro- throwback that has become a staple of pop fashion in recent times: The Legging.
Reintroduced in their modern day debut in the 1980’s, surrounded by Popmobility Aerobics, Flashdance, and the like, Leggings became more than gym attire- the perfect, go-to piece that accompanies the miniskirt, the tunic, and of course, the leg-warmers. Both comfy and conforming for all shapes and sizes, the legging has made a huge comeback in the past two years after hibernating through phases of drainpipe jeans and flares. It has become a restored favorite among fashionistas everywhere. However, there will always be those who misuse and abuse trends of the times. Their ignorance is far from blissful for the rest of us.
There are actually do’s & dont’s to be be considered in order to preserve the rightful respect due the beloved trouser. Let’s begin with the Do’s:
DO accompany appropriate mini-skirts/dresses/hot pants with leggings for modesty without distracting from the main piece.
DO wear long, dark leggings beneath opaque or sheer vintage summer slips and dresses for the necessary coverage and a soft, romantic look.
DO wear leggings with a long tunic tee, wide-banded belt and a pair of spike heels for a sophisticated, casual, classic combo that enhances body contour, rather than cutting it.
Now, since the legging has become all the rage again, I have unfortunately witnessed several Dont’s.
Note: Stretch blend fabrics worn in plain view are a privilege, not a right. Stick figures and supermodel status usually bear this privilege, but even the skinny minnies of the world can’t always avoid the curse of cellulite– which, no matter how black the fabric, will prevail when present. Now regardless, there is nothing condemnable in expressing a little sex appeal, but blatantly exhibiting one’s assets with no regard to the potential audiences (rear and/or frontal) risks giving an impression that leaves little for the imagination. Hence, the Dont’s:
DON’T coordinate colored leggings with an ensemble of the same matching color. Whatever you may be attempting to achieve here, you will undoubtedly be trying too hard. As some would say, don’t die the lily.
DON’T wear nude leggings less than six shades off of your own skin tone, or else you will fare an unsightly or naked look.
DON’T wear above-the-bum tops with leggings outside the comfort of your own home. They are called “leggings” for a reason!
*In rare exception, stick to all black; covering at least 3/4 of the cheeks when making only a brief appearance, once in a blue moon.
Though you may have committed one or more of the above clothing crimes in the past, it is never too late to change your ways. Set a positive example for your peers and influence any ignorant loved ones that may be naive of the proper wear of leggings, before they are forced back into the fashion vault prematurely by intolerant kings and queens of the catwalk. When wearing them, always remember to respect others, your leggings, and most of all, yourself.
*this article was featured on August 18. 2007