Leggings: In Or Out?

*Article by Erin Lawler

To decide whether the legging is in or out we first must establish whether the legging was ever “in” to begin with. If we look at the history of leggings and what, from personal experience, I recall them being worn with there’s lots of UGG boots, tight hoodies and the jersey fabric thinly spread over bottoms. I wouldn’t call this look particularly fashionable but this was in the 00s so I guess I can’t be too harsh.

But there seems to be a new dawn for the humble legging. When legging is typed into Topshop’s website search bar an astounding number of results (103 in fact) appear. You would then assume that the legging is fashionable, but what if the leggings popularity only boils down to its comfort and not in fact its style? I mean it is basically an embrace of the leg with warm and comfortable material. There’s another point to be made about the leggings affordability; a simple pair of black jersey leggings say from H&M is £6.99. Bargain, right?

I would argue though that this new dawn for the legging is not for the humble jersey legging but for its new pimped out version. I’m talking about the velvet legging (I even own a pair with an alternating sheer and velvet pattern, crazy huh?), the casual sports legging (just go to Urban Outfitters and you’ll see a section exclusively for the Adidas brand) and even the snazzy patterned exercise leggings (even worn when not going to the gym, not a pet peeve of mine or anything).


I would attribute the rise of the legging and it’s “inness” to the popularity in recent years of the sports luxe look and the acceptance of casual sportswear. Basically, anything Adidas goes (people are even wearing vintage shell suits). How can it be argued if even Bella Hadid turned up to the French Open Women’s Final in a full-on Nike tennis outfit? You Bristol students will know what I mean as you can’t walk two minutes on campus without seeing an Adidas, Fila or Reebok logo on someone’s clothing.

Undoubtedly these leggings are still as comfortable as ever, the velvet ones being even warmer than jersey and a staple in my Winter wardrobe this year for sure. It is sometimes argued that something fashionable cannot be comfortable. Well to those naysayers I say bring on my velvety leg hug any day. It’s the dawn of comfort for women’s fashion.