Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tights vs. Leggings

I consider myself a very lucky blogger in that I rarely if ever get anything even remotely resembling a negative comment. But every once in awhile someone will respectfully chime in with a, "that item of clothing/cut of dress/color/etc. just isn't for me" type of observation, and it's sometimes this type of comment that ends up being the most thought-provoking and productive. Such was the case several days ago when one commenter mentioned that she finds leggings to be really unattractive (though of course saying it in the nicest possible way, as my readers are all awesome people who would never thoughtlessly hurl unkind words at me). And for the next few days I contemplated leggings, because in fact I used to be opposed to them myself and have only recently come around to wearing them the way I'm showing here.

The reason I've recently seen the light has everything to do with the weather here, as I've mentioned before. Leggings are one of the only ways I can achieve a more seasonally-appropriate look while not freezing to death or scaring my coworkers with my golfball-sized goosebumps. But I get why many people don't like them, I really do. On many figures they are leg-truncating and thigh-widening, two features that most women try desperately to avoid. But even for those of you who think it'll be a cold day in hell before you'd ever don a pair of these hideous things, I'm about to explain why you just might have a need for them in your wardrobe after all.

If you hate the chopped legs look of leggings, then forget about them for the warmer months, but consider them as a layering piece for winter wear. On really cold days you can layer a pair of long socks over them when wearing dresses and skirts, which gives you extra warmth while also covering the bottom of the leggings. But if you're just going to cover up the bottom hems, then why not just buy tights, you ask? Because oftentimes that extra layer means that your shoes won't fit comfortably, whereas with leggings you'll only have one layer that goes all the way into the shoes.

The other advantage of leggings is that they tend to be available in a wider variety of colors, patterns, and textures than tights. So although you may be relegated to wearing them only with boots, don't be so hasty to pass up that amazing silver lamé or Spiderman pair simply because they have no feet.

One last thing I'll point out: though leggings are frequently built a lot like pants, and are often thicker than their footed cousins the tights, they are still NOT PANTS.

Shirt: Target
Tunic: Forever 21
Waistcoat: Last Kiss
Pettipants, worn as shorts
Leggings: Kersh


C said...

I love all the buttons!!! Oh, and I'm a die-hard leggings fan...their comfort speaks for itself.

Fashion and more said...

lol Audi, good one, but I still don't like them, and it is winter here in Australia at the moment.
As I said "maybe i'm old fashioned" which at almost double your age, i suppose i'm.
Still think you are very original with your outfits, and you got great color sense (and a great smile).

WendyB said...

Good post...sometimes you have to just go with what you want to wear.

Jennie said...

I personally am not opposed to leggings worn in a layered fashion (ie: under a dress/skirt/pair of shorts).
However, I can't stand it when people where leggings as PANTS! as in, they have nothing covering their butt/private parts! That's just TMI.

I like what you're doing in this look, though. Leggings are so comfortable and functional -- but they can also look cute! Especially when not worn as pants.

fröken lila said...

you know what? you just made me think that i actually might want to get myself a pair of leggins. though, i wore them in the 90s when i was a teenager and still get shivers thinking about it..

Andrea Eames said...

I hate leggings on me, but love them on other people - and you're one of them!

Karen T said...

Audi, you can rock the leggings like nobody's business. I'm not sure I could pull it off, but I won't know until I try. I've got a couple of cute tunics that just might work! Thanks once again for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

I'm a recent convert, too, and really do adore leggings ... no matter how much 80s-related teasing I get from HM. I think it's interesting that you've found more variety amongst leggings than tights ... I've found just the opposite!

i_b_erin said...

I too have started to wear them.
I live up in Northern Cal, and have the same freezing problem up here.

I really like how they also give me more modesty when wearing a shorter skirt at work. (nothings worse than wearing a short skirt and suddenly finding yourself needed to help move a sofa!!)

Sheila said...

I like that you're writing more in your blogs lately, by the way.

I am just too short/old/a victim of 80s flashbacks to wear leggings. They are just not me, no matter how I slice it.

But you look awesome!

hillary said...

I too have been very very lucky and have yet to get a bad comment. Probably because I only have 4 readers. ha.

Diana said...

I've just recently come around to love leggings too, and I love how you've styled them here.

I also heartily agree, they are NOT pants, ever.

Seeker said...

Great post, if I was thinking of investing on leggings now I'm completly excited about it.

Looking great.


Mervat said...

For me wearing leggings in the warmer months means I can wear skirts at the knee without exposing my knees (not vanity just fact that they are better covered up;)). And I see leggings as an alternative to wearing a longer tulle skirt under skirts that need a little length in them sometimes.

Stephanie N. said...

Thank you for making it very clear that leggings are not pants (except when Erin over at Work With What You've Got rocks her denim leggings... she looks hawt in them!). Seriously, that cracked me up, because sometimes when I walk by gals wearing leggings as pants here in Philly, I want to stop them and get on my knees and beg, "please, please, please" put something on over your leggings that will cover your bum... a skirt, a tunic, a dress, even some shorts, anything, please!" Fortunately, I have kept myself from doing this. So far.

Emily Kennedy said...

Way cute outfit. I too just started working with leggings this past year. Prior to that they were waaaay to '90's for me. Ugh. They still have the hint of '80's-'90's upon them.

But I digress. I have to say, the one other thing that makes them better than tights is usually they are thicker than tights. Love the opacity!

Jayme Erin said...

Love your look!
I'm a guy and I wear leggings as much as possible......
Mostly my black ones, but sometimes gray and I love my brown ones with an oversized brown sweater.