(Necessary disclaimer: let me suffice by saying that I don’t expect a lot of people to agree with this standing, but I could rant about this issue for HOURS, so I thought a post was necessary.)
If you attend a university, or perhaps go to a public high school, you’ve all seen this sight before. Beautiful girl walking down the sidewalk/hallway/up the stairs. Hair perfectly coiffed or perhaps up in a messy bun. Cute winter coat, backpack, scarf, sweater visible, and on the bottom half? Leggings.
If you’re me, you gasp. Why? Because…
LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS.
NOR SHOULD THEY EVER BE WORN AS A REPLACEMENT FOR PANTS.
There, I said it. Now, some of you may disagree with me or think I’m being ridiculous, citing the often-heard rebuttals when I bring up the leggings-are-not-pants-issue.
“But they cover all the skin on my legs!”
“They are pant-shaped!”
“I lost all the rest of my pants!”
“My dog ate my common sense!”
And to all of that I say phooey. Leggings are not pants, nor should they ever be employed as such. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, so let me lay them out for you.
7 Reasons Not To Wear Leggings As Pants
1. Leggings were originally invented as an extra layer of warmth, originating in the 15th and 16th centuries. The “tights” that Renaissance men wore were actually more like leggings – no one had invented nylon or lycra by then, so they were made mostly of cotton and wool. So if you wear them, you are going beyond “vintage” to “eww, men use to wear these over 400 years ago.” Not cool.
2. Leggings have about the same amount of fabric as a pair of tights. Tights were manufactured to be worn under things like skirts, dresses, etc. Therefore, leggings were invented to wear with something else, and if you wear them solo, you aren’t using them properly.
3. Leggings are not warm. I hardly go a day in the winter without wearing my CuddleDuds (warm version of leggings) underneath my jeans. Jeans alone simply aren’t warm enough for me. Logically, then, every girl who wears leggings as pants either has a severe nerve disorder in her legs which makes her impervious to the wind, snow, and sleet, or she just doesn’t want to admit that they aren’t warm. THEY ARE NOT WARM. I have worn them. I can attest to this. They are simply not warm enough to wear as pants, no matter where you live, but especially in Nebraska where the average low temperature is 14° – and that’s without wind chill.
4. Leggings were what your mom made you wear when you were 5. You might want to be “hipster” and bring back styles from your youth, but leggings are not ones that should be ever brought back. I remember having a horrible pink pair that had little yellow flowers in swirl patterns on them that my mother made me wear under every dress I ever wore out of the house, and I’ve been forever scarred by it. For something to be hipster/vintage, it’s gotta be at least 25 years old. Therefore, your leggings just aren’t cool enough to make that cutoff – plus I’m sure you have some emotional baggage from that time as it is, don’t you?
5. Leggings are not flattering on any body shape. I feel this is the most controversial reason of my 7 reasons, but trust me on this – it’s true. From a girl’s perspective, leggings are simply not flattering, no matter your body shape or size (I can’t say anything about the guy perspective, but I have a guess that they agree). If you’re tall, skinny, and have the metabolism of an NFL player, leggings make you look like a giraffe. They elongate your legs to the point of exponential increase, and soon enough all you are is leg (and not in a good way). If you’re normal size and height, leggings accentuate every “flaw” you usually try to hide. I put “flaw” in quotes on purpose, because God made our bodies and He doesn’t make mistakes, but every girl is a little self-conscious about her body (thank you, unrealistic media!). If you’re wearing leggings, everyone can see EVERYTHING. Literally everything. If you’re short, leggings make you look like a hobbit-gnome-minstrel. If you don’t know what that is, just look at a short girl wearing leggings. They just aren’t flattering, period.
6. Leggings make it look like you aren’t wearing anything to a guy. This is the most fundamental reason you should not wear leggings as pants. Men are visual creatures, you see. They are as attuned to their eyes and images as women are to emotions and feelings. When they see an image, their brains are simply wired to react to them, most of the time in a lustful or harmful way if the image is provocative. I don’t have time in this post to go into the details about this topic, but there is plenty of research out there available if you’re looking for it. So to a guy, when you wear leggings, you might as well be wearing nothing at all. Yes, I know that the fabric technically covers all of your skin, but that is no excuse. You certainly can’t wear sensible underwear with them, which is certainly attractive and therefore bad. And really? There is nothing left to the imagination. Your legs and rear might be colored black instead of your skin color, but every nook and cranny of them is as visible to a guy as if you were naked. He can see your curves, and that is provocative stimuli for a man. If you wear leggings, you are (intentionally or not) leading men to lust after you. If you’re doing that on purpose, shame on you! Getting a guy to lust after you is not something you should aspire to. If you want a good husband when you’re older, or wouldn’t want a girl to do that to your brother/cousin/guy friend/boyfriend, then don’t do it to them. If you’re not doing it on purpose, be more conscious from now on, and please, choose pants next time.
7. Jesus doesn’t want you to. No, seriously, He doesn’t. Most of this relates to the previous point, insomuch that Jesus doesn’t want you to lead others to sin if you can help it. This is why He calls women to dress modestly. He loves you unconditionally and wants you and everyone you know to be with Him forever in Heaven. If you are leading men to sin because of the way you dress, that is harmful to both you and the men you affect. And let’s be honest – modest is actually hottest. If you give everything away at the beginning…what’s the fun in that?
I hope you are now more informed as to why leggings are NOT pants. Don’t get me wrong, they are comfy and super helpful in the frigid weather…underneath other pants, though. Stay warm, girls.