“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months” – Oscar Wilde

One particular fashion trend that has stayed in vogue right from the 80’s, and still has the ‘leggings’. This is probably the only garment which can be played down as well as hammed up with the right accessories.

We all know that the ‘jeans’ is a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe, both men and women alike. Yet many women do experience discomfort on bloated days or simply stifled during summer when they put on even the most comfortable jeans. A faulty zipper or button can cause sufficient trauma. Trauma can also be caused by plus sized women who attract unwanted attention by wearing skinny jeans and minimalist tops.

This is where the ‘leggings’ comes to the rescue. Leggings come in different types, colors and variations. From cotton to spandex, these are best worn under layered tunics.

Leggings have high utility value, as they protect the legs from chaffing and keep them warm during wintertime. This unisex garment is used especially during treks, walks, hiking, exercising, dancing, under cheerleader skirts and as a woman’s fashion statement outside these situations.

Leggings have been worn as a source of protection and warmth by men and women of various countries in various styles, right from Native America to present day Korea. It became panache during the fitness and aerobic mania of the 80s. Towards the late 80s even soldiers worldwide began to adorn leggings to protect their feet from dirt and grime.

In 2007, outfits with leggings exclusively for men hit the markets. Women soon began to wear them under short skirts, short dresses, short shorts and long oversized sweatshirts, sweaters and tops, adorned with a belt. Leggings topped with the right accessories portray both style and spunk.
Today they are the beacons of high fashion.

The shiny legging variant has been brought onto the ramp by prominent designers and further popularized by various celebrities such as Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan.

In India, Bollywood actresses have been featured wearing leggings at high society events and parties, sporting the right accessories and hairdo. Gone are those days when divas were spotted sporting the same hairdo and dressing style for every movie.

Be it Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor or Deepika Padukone, all have been seen introducing some new look or the other in all their latest movies – leggings being a salient feature.

Owing to these actors’ influence on millions of fans across the country, leggings have become quite popular here in conservative India today. Young women at college have taken to the fad as they not only stay within modest limits but are also trendy. Moreover leggings can be worn in a 100 different permutations and combinations, thereby giving the wearer an opportunity to create a new look each time.

For those who know Archie’s girlfriends Betty and Veronica, they will find leggings in almost all the series of this comic book. Those who also watch the musical comedy-drama series, Glee, will find ‘leggings’ everywhere, even on Kurt!

I am a ‘leggings’ freak myself with over 8 pairs in my wardrobe alone. I wear them to work, to the mall, to parties and on Saturdays when I go bike riding. I love them because of their multipurpose, their lack of zippers and hooks, and their ease and simplicity to slide on and off.

Reshma Raju

Image Source: [http://www.flickr.com/photos/idhren/4724919797/sizes/l/]