Fashion is a part of our culture and means a great deal for most people. No matter what era we’re living in, we might notice that society sets a standard about the appropriate clothes to wear. The idea of these clothes and their accessories has progressed with time. For instance, many decades ago, pants in general were considered improper for women to wear. In the present time, pants are now considered a standard.
However, fashion has also been a platform for several debates about what is proper to wear and what isn’t. You might have found yourself wondering whether you could get away with wearing leggings as pants. It’s not just a matter of whether they cover up enough, though. Claiming that leggings are too revealing to wear alone is insufficient to our society where women and men wear a myriad of clothes ranging from the decent to the absurd. After all, women now wear miniskirts and revealing swimsuits when out in public.
The question of whether one can wear leggings as regular pants is more of a fashion one, perhaps akin to the debate about wearing socks with sandals. Some people might like to wear their leggings when out and about as a matter of comfort. Others might dismiss the very idea with horror as being a fashion faux pas. Yet another group might try to find some compromise, debating on the thickness of the leggings and whether they can look fashionable enough when paired with the right accessories.
In order to answer this question in more detail, let’s first look at the role of leggings up until now. We can then ask ourselves a few questions about this article of clothing:
A Short History of Leggings
Since the 14th century, leggings have been around and were originally designed for men. Five centuries later, icons like Olivia Newton-John and Jane Birkin donned colorful and shiny versions of the garment. In the 1990s, the mysterious era before athleisure became popular and people began wearing stretchy and comfortable clothing everywhere, celebrities and models wore leggings under oversized shirts and miniskirts.
The Debate About Leggings
Choosing an outfit is an important decision we have to deal with every day. Recently, there’s been debate over wearing leggings as pants. Some people are in favor while some people are against it. From gym, classrooms, to fancy dinners or even the workplace, people show up wearing leggings as pants. This popularity gave birth to the word Jeggings; a mashup of the word jeans and leggings.
The argument against leggings as pants has two evident points: first, people who are against it claim that wearing leggings can make you look inappropriate. As such, leggings aren’t suitable for work and/or school. Leggings can be compared to low-cut blouses, in that it can be a poor choice to wear them in professional and educational settings. The second argument is that people question whether leggings are excessively provocative. Some bloggers claim that a person wearing leggings is essentially naked because it is a very tight-fitting type of clothing that does not leave anything to the imagination. What’s more, some sheer types of leggings might even be prone to tearing, which can lead to quite an embarrassing situation.
Some people would contradict this reasoning, being are in favor of wearing leggings as pants. They would say that if the leggings you are wearing don’t reveal the color of your underwear, then they might be acceptable to wear in public. Another argument for leggings is, of course, the comfort factor. Leggings are stretchy, forgiving, and can easily be slipped on as opposed to slacks, pants, and jeans. There are no buckles, buttons, or belts to worry about. Some even argue that wearing stretchy clothes saves both energy and money if your weight tends to fluctuate. Since many people tend to bloat and have fluctuating weight throughout their lives, this is a huge factor to consider.
Answering the Question for Yourself
No matter what other people say, the fact remains that you have to answer the leggings as pants question for yourself. You’re feeling all comfy and snug in your leggings after a workout, so do you absolutely have to change before you pop down to the store? Or what about going out with friends? This is something you’d have to decide according to your own preferences, but asking a few leading questions can help you decide.
No matter where you stand on the argument, here are four things you should ask yourself before you decide to wear leggings as pants:
1. Can you see through the leggings?
If your answer to this question is anything but no, then wearing those leggings as pants is not a good idea. If you can completely see your skin or your inner clothing, then you aren’t wearing leggings, you’re wearing tights. It’s best to put on a pair of real pants here, whether you’re going out to run errands or catch up with friends. For more formal occasions, of course, wearing proper pants is a given. If not that, you might want to top the leggings with a dress instead of a top.
2. Have you noticed anyone wear an outfit similar to the one you have on?
When you’re in doubt about your fashion choices or are feeling insecure, it’s a good idea to take a look around. Some areas might have an unwritten, unspoken dress code where leggings as pants are a definite no-no. Though we might like to think that we don’t care what people say, making a good impression is only going to work in our favor. In a city like New York, for instance, you can probably wear anything and get away with it. For the suburbs, though, you may have to think twice before stepping out as you are.
If your answer to this question is no, it would be a good idea to snap a pic and send it to your best friend for some honest feedback. Listen to whatever advice she gives, even if she says you must go put on real pants. If you’ve seen someone wearing an outfit like yours before, try to remember where you saw this person, and think of a reason why that person was wearing that outfit on that day. Most important of all, ask yourself if that person looked good and appropriate for the location where you saw them and where you are going.
3. Does your outfit fully cover your parts?
The only acceptable answer to this question is yes. It is a very bad idea to wear leggings if the overall look isn’t decent. Choose an outfit that does not compromise your mobility and dignity. You might want to use leggings as pants when traveling due to their comfort level. As long as the pair is opaque and not liable to tear easily, there’s no reason why you can’t do so.
4. What kind of shoes are you wearing?
Generally speaking, there are a few acceptable shoes when wearing leggings. These are mostly flat and boots, not sandals. The only situation where the shoes would not matter is if the outfit is part of a costume. In any case, it’s not wise to wear heels with leggings.
5. Where are you wearing them?
We’d all like to be comfortable all the time, but you might not have a choice about leggings in certain situations. If your workplace has a strict dress code, for instance, you probably can’t get away with wearing leggings for pants, even those that are designed to look like slacks or jeans. Of course, you can reserve your leggings for casual Fridays or when you go out after work.
While we may puzzle over the question of whether we can wear leggings as pants, the answer is not a straightforward one. Technically, we can absolutely wear leggings as pants, but we need to ask ourselves if we should. Several people do this on a daily basis, so there’s nothing major to worry about on that count.
You can decide to go with pre-ripped leggings, or those with bold, funky prints and stripes. Check out some sporty outfits that you need to have in your wardrobe to get some ideas on how to pair leggings with the right accessories. With a little research and care, you can rock those leggings as pants every single day!