Sunday, September 14, 2014

Madame Predicts: Leggings are Back

Miranda Kerr and her little dog too

They're b-a-a-c-k. For some, leggings have never gone away. What started as "footless tights" turned into actual bottom pieces— heavier than tights and worn in place of pants (see "Leggings are not pants" below).

Then there were the "legging jeans", jocularly nicknamed "jeggings"— more substantial than lycra/spandex alone, hell to get into with a comfort level of zero.

Leggings may never have gone away, skinny jeans are still here, but leggings are coming out loud and proud. No fashion publication or guru on high has pronounced it so, but Madame has eyes, and what she sees at the mall are LEGGINGS. To whit:

The formerly sparse display of the Hue brand in Macy's near the garage entrance on level 2 has grown to include a good selection of Hue's 44 different styles available in a myriad of colors. There are leggings that look like jeans, of course, and wild ones that we will forget we saw. The majority of leggings are pull on, with or without various seams and stitchings. There are corded varieties, textured weaves and some with tuxedo stripes. The legging gold standard is rayon/lycra/spandex heavyweight, black and to the lower ankle.

Leggings are in the House

White House Black Market (what ever does that mean???) has a window display announcing a sub-shop called The Leggings Studio with 8 styles available in regular and petite. This is clearly an investment by the WH/BM people. They would not have gone out on such a limb had they not a pretty solid hunch leggings are back.

Madame also has eyes and sees what women wear, particularly when they are dressing for themselves. I see them out every day, doing what they do, in and out of The Lovely Boutique Where I Work.

Leggings are easy, and today's big tops and tunics require skinny bottoms. Since tummy and waist are essentially hidden under the top, it's the leg that shows. If the thigh is a problem, the top should be longer, but you knew that already. Even if you don't like your legs, leggings are so "Ford Model T" they make your leg dismissible if not invisible. In other words, the state of your leg in leggings doesn't count.

What about footwear with leggings? Ballet slipper? Check. D'Orsay flat? Check. Bootie? Check. Chunky heel? Check. High heel pump or running shoe? The check bounced.

Two things to remember:
1) Leggings are not the same as footless tights. Leggings could almost stand on their own with a little assist. Tights are as flimsy as pantyhose.

2) Leggings are not pants.  Nothing gets tucked in and worn in public. Fortunately I've seen this look only on someone too young to have seen "Flashdance" in a theater. Lucky you if you are reading this. For the rest of us, leggings are meant to be comfortable and not complicated. That's why they're back!

Shall we be dusting off the leg
warmers and sweatbands too?


  1. Important points of differentiation, Jilly! Since they're inexpensive, or can be, I'm seeing them on all the young'uns, but there is here a preference for prints that, once seen, can't be unseen. Yikes, really. Speaking of yikes, I am still dismayed to see so many of us older women in calf-high footless tights and summery dresses with their flips. So good to make the difference clear. Soon it will be too cool to wear this travesty, anyway!
    I like it that there is still this option to balance the very boxy top-half pieces of this year ... and they really do make a boy-boot work well.

  2. I called you Jilly. How stupid. I know you're Michelle. Micky? Sorry, regardless. Brain burp.