Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just Say No

It is hard to walk five minutes on the streets of London without being visually accosted by women as diverse as a Benetton ad, wearing leggings under summer dresses. Now we knew dresses were in this summer, and assumed that was practical given the temperatures on the Tube and the one-piece ease. But who decided that either of those rationales would be complemented by adding an additional layer?

Cold legs? Think tights. Or even trousers. Or, my personal choice, suffering. Please don't take this as an affront on high fashion. I read Grazia and TopShop nearly has a restraining order on my switch card, for goodness sake. I just don't think "trendy" has to equal "ugly". It is a truism that bad fashion ideas never die, they just lie dormant, like zombies waiting to rise, terrifyingly to walk the earth again. But leggings, people. Leggings.

Please do not take this obscenity onto the public streets of London. Leggings should not be worn inside the house, much less outside. If we allow leggings under a dress to go by unnoticed, it is a slippery slope to pairing them with a giant neon tee shirt with an iron-on of Bon Jovi. And then the next thing, we are listening to Debbie Gibson, and nobody wants that.

There is nothing you can do to make leggings flattering. We tried in the Eighties by pairing them with high heels. The effect was dismal. A Lycraclad leg finishing in a foot stuffed into a white stiletto was horribly close to a boiled pig's trotter. They are just universally unflattering. They expose not only calf and knee, but thighs and bottom as well. Everybody looks shorter and fatter. Like in a carnival fun house mirror. They don't even do Sienna's pipe-cleaner legs any favours. She looks faintly bandy in them.

As if this wasn't enough, peculiarly for a fashion trend that depends on dispensing with clothes, i.e. ditching the skirt or trousers, leggings are not popular with men. Magnify that by a hundred when worn under a dress, the one item of clothing men used to get excited about us wearing.

And therein lies the ultimate Just Say No campaign, unless you are after a fashion inspired means of birth control. Leggings act as a protective layer whilst also repelling the opposite sex. It's a shame the 80s were so caught up with fighting drugs, I say we wage a new campaign here. Just Say No to leggings.

Fight the leggings, hipsters. Fight them. Tights are just as comfortable, leave Madonna to relive her Desperately Seeking Susan days. Stay strong. Stay free of leggings.

But if you are after the birth control option:

Best value leggings or "footless tights" are made by Falke.
Available in most hosiery departments.
Circa £5-£7


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad somebody had the guts to say it city slicker
Where did they come from
Make them stop
I join your campaign

12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too true!!!!!!!!

12:54 pm  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh I am so with you on this one....I've seen so many beautiful dressed ruined this summer by nasty opaque black leggings underneath. This seems to be the seasonal manifestation of the 'jeans under dresses' look which I find so toe-curling the rest of the year. Liberate your legs ladies!!!

2:54 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah, I have to say this is one time I am happy to live in The Midwest because this fashion trend is hard to find! Thanks for your wonderfully cheeky blog!

3:04 pm  
Blogger Pie said...

Perhaps the Government could introduce a legging-levy so that all leggings are taxed to oblivion.

I have a strange urge to watch 80's music videos now, that decade has so much to answer for.

4:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Yes so very true Slicker
Am joining your campaign today

6:43 pm  
Blogger ems said...

My father taught me at a young age that leggings should be considered a functional piece of clothing. Cyclists and rock climbers are entitled to them when cold. Girls avoid them.

Mentioning the 80s has made my head whizz. Where do you stand on reversible jumpers, ski-pants and leg warmers?!

7:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOVE the writing voice city slicker
v original and ve honest
keep IT up!!!!!!!!!

12:06 am  
Blogger Heather said...

I am so glad someone else hates this "trend" as much as I do! Down with leggings!

8:01 pm  
Blogger Gentleman-hobbs said...

Sign me up for this campaign of common sense... this from a guy who belittling big brov at the present

8:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderfully constructed piece
You de woman!

11:16 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks to Elizabeth for spotting this when commenting on my weekly Tube Fashion Victims post.

I will readily join the campaign as they are a pet hate of mine too.

Cheers - Annie

11:42 am  
Blogger Idiot Cook said...

Ha! I'm glad you wrote this...I was around the first time leggings were in, and they didn't flatter my thick little girl legs...and they sure as hell don't flatter my grown-up ones now (we also did this other thing during the 80s--we pulled our socks up OVER our the bottom of our pants...this may have just been a U.S. thing...and perhaps just a Boston thing).

Great blog...I'll be back to visit!


5:53 pm  
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10:00 am  
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