Where did they come from? Who was the first? How did it become acceptable to wear them to a club? We’ve done some snooping to give you a brief history lesson..
Leggings in various shapes, forms and sizes were traditionally worn for warmth and protection by both men and women throughout the centuries.Leggings are any of several sorts of fitted clothing to cover the legs. Originally leggings were two separate garments, one for each leg.
Oh yeah, we remeber these. Mostly used as a way of keeping a dancers’ ankles warm – nessasary saftey precaution of day to day life. This was not the beginning though.
Leggings in various forms and under various names have been worn for warmth and protection by both men and women throughout the centuries. Worn by men in Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries (the Renaissance period) “Hose” were a form of leggings, as are the “Trews” of the Scottish Highlands. Separate leggings of buckskin leather were worn by some Native Americans. These were adopted by some long hunters, French fur trappers, and later by mountain men. They are the leatherstockings of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. The Buckskins, however were mostly a dull grey (tanned with brains!), not the bright, glossy vegetable tanned leather we so commonly see today. It was also common for leggings to be made of light wool.
Cowboys wore leggings of buckskin to protect from chafing caused by riding, wear and tear to their pants, and bites from such animals as snakes or insects in the scruff such as ticks.The linen pantalettes worn by girls and women under crinolines in the mid-19th century were also a form of leggings, and were originally two separate garments. Leggings became a part of fashion in the 1960s, as trousers similar to the capris pants but much tighter.
It was not until the fitness and aerobics craze in the very early 1980s that leggings became fashionable as gym-styled street wear for women. Cindy Lauper, Madonna and even Olivia Newton John brough the sweatbands, leggings and body suits into our lives (let’s not get started on body suits!)
Popular ways leggings were worn in the 80’s through the mid 90’s included with skirts, and short dresses like babydoll dresses, oversized shirts, sweaters, etc… and with slouch socks and Keds.Once you’ve allowed yourself the comfort of stretch cotton and an elastic waist, is there any turning back? Everything else must classify as snug, constricting. Godforsaken zippers. Pesky buttons. The generational leggings-as-pants crossover is dangerous.
But on the flip side making your legs look super slim and allowing you to wear that super short tube dress are two of my fav reasons to always have several pairs of opaques and leggings readily available in your wardrobe to bust out on a daily basis. its a no brainer!!
Leggings are widely available in every colour and style you can imagine- midnight black, fluro, footless, stocking style, ballet strap, capri, bunched, ruched, studded, mesh inserts..and as for fabrics- cotton, spandex, leather, PVC..you name it they have done it! But..please take note of the following famous saying..Spandex is a privilege, not a right! If you are a bit bigger in the womanly areas (like most for us x) remember hide what you don’t like and flaunt what you love!
Leave it to the lucky adolescent bodies to wear leggings like jeans with tight little tops. If you are old enough to want to be taken seriously, wear your favorite baby doll mini dress cinched in with a belt with opaque leggins and ankle boots for an up to the minute and fashion savy look.
Blue jeans are cool. Leather jackets are cool. White tee shirts are cool. Beat up sneakers are cool. Leggings are ??? You finish it off how you would like..
But above all else, leggings are not pants.. full stop!
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