A decade of leggings controversy, explained

The years-long debate over whether or not ladies need to wear leggings in public — and while — is by some means nevertheless raging. As reported with the aid of the Washington Post, Maryann White, a woman who identified herself as a Catholic mother of 4 sons, caused a stir on the University of Notre Dame campus by writing a letter to the scholar newspaper editor. The letter, titled “The legging problem,” expresses her dismay at seeing college students in leggings at Mass on campus remaining fall.

It has many high-quality turns of words, such as, “I wonder why no person thinks it’s odd that the fashion enterprise has brought about ladies to disclose their nether areas in this way voluntarily,” and, “I idea of all of the different men around and in the back of us who couldn’t help but see their behinds. The letter also refers to leggings as “a problem best ladies can solve” and describes the women who wear them as exhibitionists forcing young boys to confront their “blackly naked rear ends.” In advocating that Notre Dame college students lead the anti-leggings revolution, White asks, “Could you think of the moms of sons the following time you buy groceries and take into account selecting jeans instead?


In response, students at Notre Dame prepared a remarkable-casual protest: About a thousand students RSVP-ed to a Facebook occasion celebrating Leggings Day and agreed to wear leggings to elegance on Tuesday. Ph.D. scholar Dani Green told the Washington Post that it changed into “difficult to inform” who participated in the protest and turned into simply sporting leggings because they had been wearing leggings. Some students additionally shared images of their outfits on Twitter. (This one is bike shorts, but factor communicated!)

If it all sounds familiar, the controversy is approximately athleisure, as pants have popped up dozens of times. Leggings are in no way just leggings. Girls and women can never wear them in peace, and court cases approximately them can by no means just be overlooked — the extremely vintage, extremely extended conversation about what’s suitable to put on and what’s appropriate to mention approximately what other people are carrying always appears to grow to be a countrywide information story.

Most fashion bloggers will inform you that leggings first evoked evaluations and remarks after they became one all-actress and “it woman” Edie Sedgwick’s signature sartorial selections, maximum notoriously in a Vogue image shot in 1965. The quibble there was now not that Edie shouldn’t be displaying off the shape of her butt; however, that she changed into some distance too wealthy and glamorous for sports clothing. The 1970s saw a glitzier leggings fad, spearheaded by Olivia Newton-John’s Grease costume and followed by a disco. Then came the Eighties technicolor fitness obsession and Olivia Newton-John once more.

Leggings did not take a hiatus; they form-shifted to in-shape fashion trends throughout the ’90s and early aughts. Histories of leggings frequently forget the role played via mall subculture circa 2006 to 2010. Wet Seal leggings were, from time to time, like, three for $10. And you wore them under denim skirts or boys’ hoodies. To appearance horrible! This short phase of exceptional-reasonably-priced, frequently inadvertently see-thru leggings changed into a gold mine for tabloid bloggers and coincided with the quick heyday of “belted clothes on the pinnacle of jeans.

But it wasn’t till the rise of athleisure inside the United States that there was a real backlash towards leggings. Jump-commenced via the promotion of conspicuous exercise and the bonkers reputation of excessive-quit yoga brand Lululemon, spurred by the high-fashionization of streetwear and sneaker cults, and solidified by using the participation of about one in 4 running celebrities, it ends up the maximum famous and maximum rewarding mode of dressing — particularly in the last five years or so. Kate Hudson’s Lululemon competitor Fabletics debuted in 2013, and Beyoncé launched her activewear line in 2016.

Reebok signed Gigi Hadid last yr, simply after Adidas stole Kylie Jenner from Puma. This week, Lululemon reported a record region, with earnings growing 39 percent yearly, and current estimates say leggings on my own are a $1 billion industry in the US. The first mainstream burst of wearing exercise garments around as non-exercising staples, although, become among university-age ladies, become a hassle for many human beings.

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