Column: Leggings: A guide
KYLEE MCINTYRE. All the Things
Leggings. Who would have thought that a pair of tights with the feet cut out could cause such uproar? You've probably heard the frustrated cries in the OR or Peace Quad: "Leggings are not pants!" Still, they're comfortable, accessible (no matter what your size), and come in enough colors and patterns to go with almost anything. However, if worn the wrong way, leggings can be a slippery slope that introduce the public to parts of an individual's anatomy that wouldn't pass the professional litmus test by a long shot.
I've heard a myriad of rules - "It's okay if your shirt is long enough," or "It's okay if your leggings come in a dark-enough color." Let's set the record straight with a simple five-step test, because (honestly) a person walking around in the wrong pair of leggings simply looks underdressed.
If you want to wear a pair of leggings like a pair of pants, put your whole outfit on and, with your feet together, check the front of your outfit in front of a full-length mirror in good lighting. If you see yourself approaching the border of Appropriate and Camel Toe, put something on over your leggings, or take them off and put on something else.
Next, walk toward the mirror, taking the kinds of steps you do when you walk. Still no lines or bumps? Congratulations, you can move on to the next few steps.
Next, turn around so your back is facing the mirror. If you can't turn around enough, get a friend to look for you, or use a second mirror to look at your back. Ask: are there any lines or bumps that wouldn't fly in a job interview? If you can see through to the color of your underwear or your skin, change your clothes.
If you still look acceptable, bend over at a 90-degree angle. Is your underwear still safe? Hanging out in bio lab and seeing someone's hot pink thong while checking your graduated cylinder levels isn't a pleasant experience for everyone.
Still passing? Great! Move on to the last step: repeat this test with a friend. They may see something you don't, and chances are, if your leggings are worn, faded or too small, people around you may not clue you in. It's awkward for a twenty year-old to walk up to a stranger and say, "Hey, I can see your underwear."
If you're a person who could care less what people think about the way you dress, great! Keep on truckin'. Just remember that you might have to ask someone on campus for a recommendation someday, and "appropriately dressed" would be a great trait to have on your side.
Kylee McIntyre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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