Leggings are in the fashion hot seat right now as they receive both critique and praise from magazines, notable fashion bloggers, designers, and celebrities. Some stylists praise the versatility and comfortability of leggings; they can be worn in the daytime with a loose fitting tunic and layers, or at night with heels and a leather jacket. Other stylists point to how sloppy leggings look. Are leggings the new sweatpants, or are they a stylish, comfortable alternative to skinny jeans?
Fashion magazines are abuzz with suggestions on how to wear leggings. Some suggest that leggings are only appropriate if one’s behind is covered by a shirt or sweater, or that leggings only work with tall leather boots. Other fashion magazines claim leggings can be worn with any ensemble, and even with loose shearling boots and sweatshirts for a comfy boyfriend look. One magazine suggests leggings are only suitable for daytime. Other magazines advise that leggings can be worn at any time of the day, and for almost any occasion. The one consistent, uncontested piece of advice from fashion magazines states that leggings should only be worn by women with slender legs.
As Thanksgiving approaches, fashion bloggers are asking their audiences if they will be wearing leggings to the dinner table. The opinions on Thanksgiving leggings are divided, mimicking the overall divided pattern of if leggings, and when leggings, are allowable. One argument suggests leggings are not appropriate for Thanksgiving, but are perfect for Black Friday shopping, especially when paired with a long comfortable sweater, big sunglasses, comfortable flats, and a scarf.
Celebrity gossip magazines highlight when and how celebrities wear leggings. Paparazzi photographs show celebrities, such as Anne Hathaway, leaving the gym in tight leggings, and Carmen Electra’s stylish outfit with leggings that she wore this week on her flight to Los Angeles. The captions accompanying the paparazzi photographs often comment on how slim, slender or toned celebrity’s legs are when wearing leggings.
Other celebrities, however, speak out against the leggings fad. On Monday Kathleen Hanna, feminist singer from Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, told Huffington Post Live, “I hate stretch pants. I like the shiny leggings… but I’m not that into the stretch pant thing, especially ones with flowers all over them.” While Hanna embraced the punchy fashions of the 90s, she wishes that leggings did not resurface.
Despite the amusingly contradictory fashion advice about how and when leggings should be worn, fashion magazines overstep the line in the common declaration that leggings are reserved exclusively for thin women. If people are able to decide if they cover or expose the contours of their behind when wearing leggings, or what accessories to pair with their leggings, any person, of any size, is empowered to decide if they wear or do not wear leggings.