Here’s one thing I absolutely love about being alive at this particular place and time: The prevalence and popularity of leggings. I am so grateful that I have the ability to wear something so convenient and comfortable to keep my body warm and stylish. Here’s one thing I absolutely hate about being alive at this particular place and time: The prevalence and popularity of snotty opinions on leggings and how women wear them. Are they pants? Are they tights? Do we care? UGH.

Now, I know the debate of “Are leggings pants or not?” has been done to death, including right here on The Gloss. But I’ve seen and heard it popping up again lately, including in my own personal life. So, I just want to set the record straight and debunk some of these damn myths about the wearing of leggings.

MYTH: If you’re a woman of size, you shouldn’t wear leggings.
This is fucking ridiculous, almost too ridiculous to address, but it’s a sentiment I often see expressed by internet trolls and dudebros alike. And it’s not only men that say this! A woman I went to college with posted some kind of snarky comment about a larger person she saw wearing leggings on Facebook just recently. Yup, defriended.

When people say that only thin women have the right to wear leggings, that’s body-shaming. Or maybe we should call it clothing-shaming? Either way, it’s an attempt to police the bodies and the choices of women based on arbitrary societal rules about what bodies are acceptable. It’s judgmental and it’s not ok. Stop it.

MYTH: If you wear leggings, you’re a lazy and slovenly dresser.
Wanting to be comfortable means you suck at fashion? No. No. We no longer live in a world where women need to wear gloves, hats and pantyhose just to go to the department store. It’s not 1955. If you think leggings make you look lazy, don’t wear them in public. And hey, just look at Emma Watson‘s Golden Globes outfit. Whether you like it or not, girl is NOT slovenly.

MYTH: You’re wearing leggings to turn guys on.
So, we’ve already seen how the discussion around leggings can easily turn to body-shaming. BONUS TIME! Women who wear leggings can get slut-shamed, too!

Because, if you wear leggings, it’s obviously because you want dudes to check out your ass. It’s clearly because you think you look like hot shit and you want your body admired. It has nothing to do with your comfort level, your plans for the day, or what is happening in your life at that moment. Nope, the only reason women wear anything, including leggings, is to attract male attention.

MYTH: Leggings are for young women. 
If you’re over a certain age (40? 50? 60?), you shouldn’t wear leggings because they’re too tight, they show too much of your body, and well, you’re just TOO DAMN OLD. Nope. Not true! Leggings are for anyone who wants to wear them, no matter if they’re fresh out of the womb or freshly admitted to a nursing home.

I think we definitely could continue to debate things like the proper fabric thickness, if you must wear a top that covers your ass when you wear leggings, if leggings should be worn with flip-flops and the finer points of cotton/Spandex/Lycra blends. But, in summation:


I really can’t say it any better than this Redditor starspinningdizzy did:

So why don’t we stop making arbitrary rules on what people can wear in public (as long as it doesn’t break some sort of health code) on the grounds that certain looks might make us uncomfortable or grossed out. You don’t like a certain fashion/style/look? Fine. You’d never wear it yourself? Fine. You silently judge people who do wear it? Fine. Just don’t try to turn your opinion into an obligatory social rule by stating it loudly in public or repeatedly in social media, and keep your judgements to yourself. And let the rest of us wear our leggings with our long sleeved t-shirts and be done with it.

Amen. Praise. Turn your legs towards the direction of this comment and genuflect five times a day while wearing or not wearing leggings.

Photo: Cavan Images via Getty Images