The first time I saw a young woman wearing leggings, I wrongly assumed she was about to take part in a sporting event. But I was wrong, she was simply walking around the shops. At first, all the leggings I saw were grey marl, much like these.
It wasn’t long before black became the most ubiquitous colour, and could be seen worn by many women instead of jeans or trousers.
I didn’t really get it. They were not tights, (pantyhose) and not track-suit trousers. Rarely worn with anything covering them, the fact they had no feet section seemed to change the idea of the girls and women wearing them about what was acceptable everyday wear.
Some women who would never have been seen dead in public without wearing a skirt over tights suddenly thought it was acceptable to commute to work dressed like this. (She is wearing some. Look just above her shoes and you can see the bottoms of them.)
It wasn’t long before it caught on with the older age groups, though they sometimes wore a longer top to accompany the leggings.
(And yes, that includes my own wife. Though this is not her in the photo.)
I am sure that many girls and women find this clothing item exceedingly comfortable. But for my taste it lacks the class of either trousers, or skirt or dress worn with nylons. As I have said before, I am old fashioned. I accept that women should be free to dress as they please, and that my opinion doesn’t matter in the slightest.
But that said, I really wouldn’t be happy if my wife or girlfriend was walking around dressed like this.
Sorry, female readers. I don’t like them.
When I was young, I often damaged my clothes. Climbing over walls and fences, trying to get across gaps that were too wide, or playing rough games and sports. If I returned home with scuffed shoes, I would be told that I should be more careful. If I tore my trousers or shorts, my Mum would wash them, then repair or patch the tear. I would also be told that clothes were expensive, and had to be taken better care of. Wearing those heavily-sewn or patched items soon became embarrassing, and I slowly began to learn my lesson.
When I got into my teens, I took pride in my appearance. My shoes were polished, clothes clean and pressed, and I wouldn’t have been seen dead in something stained, or torn. I took this to be part of the growing-up process, and welcomed the change in my attitude.
Just recently, I have seen many examples of women (and some men) wearing clothes that are deliberately damaged before they even buy them. Ripped jeans, torn leggings, and some items that look like they have more rips and holes than material. This is not the niche fashion of the Punk era, nor something reserved for some inner-city ‘smart set’. It is ubiquitous, even in places as small and rural as our local town of Dereham, and the nearby village of Beetley. Out and about earlier today, it seemed to me that every female between the ages of 14 and 40 was wearing some version of a garment like the one shown in the above photo.
Someone was clever enough to persuade a huge chunk of the population to part with good money for something that others might well have thrown into a bin. I salute that person, for their business acumen, and sharp thinking.
But why they buy them is a mystery to me.