Leggings bring ’80s styles back to the future

Posted April 7, 2006

Kristen Chocek
Staff Writer

The article of clothing that everyone swore they would never don again is back: leggings. You know, the ones your mom dressed you in with an oversized puffy-painted, bedazzled t-shirt and solid-colored Keds.

It seems as if all the sudden, leggings are having a fashionable moment – key word being moment.

“I have been wanting to buy a pair, but I know they are going to go out of style in the very near future,” said Alexis Moreno, a University of La Verne senior psychology and broadcasting major. “It’s been tempting though.”

However before you cringe at the thought of squeezing into leggings similar to what you wore in the late-1980s, the new legging is not being worn like a pant, but rather as a hosiery item.

Leggings are now being layered under skirts, dresses and even shorts.

And this trendy look is slowly making its wayonto the ULV campus.

Sophomore broadcasting major Alyssa Coopman recently wore a pair of black skull-and- rose-print leggings, which she paired under a short denim skirt.

“I have three pairs,” Coopman said. “I like them because they are very comfortable and they keep me warm. They are

Sidebar:
Leggings 101

making a comeback.”

This trend certainly proves that fashion comes in cycles. However, designers are turning this look into a more sophisticated silhouette this time around.

In the 1980s, leggings were made of cotton, spandex and nylon, which were prone to stretch out, especially in the knees.

Today, manufacturers have created fabrics such as micro-fiber, cashmere and rayon, which help leggings keep their sleek form.

For a decade that we criticize for having no taste when it came to fashion, we are sure taking a lot of tips from it.

If you are still hesitant about this trend, be aware that skinny, tapered jeans are making a comeback as well.

All over the runways – from Paris to L.A. – designers, such as Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs, created both long and cropped tight-fitting pants, along with their leggings.

Ultimately, designers are aiming for a “mushroom look,” which consists of fuller tops and slimmer bottoms.

To achieve this look, designers are creating balloon-like blouses and longer coats to be paired with slimmer bottoms, such as leggings.

Surprisingly, these silhouettes are beneficial for women because it camouflages their lower half.

However, spandex is known to be extremely formfitting, and if worn improperly, it can look wrong on some body frames.

“I don’t like them,” said junior business marketing major Erin Lariviere. “They show off a lot of body fat and cellulite on a lot of people that shouldn’t be wearing them.

“They are not flattering for the figure,” she added.

Retailers are hoping this trend will catch on with women of all age groups, including the baby-boomer generation. Women are suggested to pair opaque black leggings with longer coats and knee-length skirts and still feel fashionable, yet covered up.

Hosiery departments in stores are now skyrocketing in sales. However fashionistas are going to have to be careful not to purchase overpriced leggings just to follow this trend.

“Nordstrom is crazy; they are trying to sell a pair of solid black spandex leggings for $90,” Moreno said. “At Urban Outfitters, you can buy them for like $10.”

Leggings have proven to not be so popular with men, especially at ULV.
“I don’t like them,” said senior criminology major Jason House. “I don’t think it’s a good look with skirts either. Skirts are made to show off legs not to hide them.”

Coopman also agreed.

“My boyfriend doesn’t like them,” she said.

“He always asks me why I am wearing them, and what’s the point,” she added.

The legging trend is definitely a look you will see for spring, but will probably be skipped by many.

However, there are plenty of trends to flirt with besides leggings, so have some fun.

It’s all about creating a style that works best for you – whether that means incorporating leggings into your wardrobe or not.

Sophomore liberal studies and child development major Rachel Ryan agreed.

“If you can pull it off, then good for you.”

Kristen Chocek can be reached at kristenchocek@ aol.com.

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