Saturday, January 19, 2008

leggings* are not for ladies

* = At least not leggings as pants.

Internet, honey, if you're out there, I don't want to be yet another ranter about how leggings ought to go away and hide under for a rock for another fifty thousand years, if not forever. No, that's almost obvious. They're not pants. They're glorified tights. They can be worn to the gym. They can be worn under a cute frock with suitable shoes (read, covering up the leggings), but otherwise, they somehow remind me of mimes. And mimes basically prove that "chic" and "lovely" are not synonymous with "French".

Feeling particularly frumpy (and for once, ignoring my own style mantra, "feel your worst, look your best"), I headed to the mall to pick up the new eyeglasses I ordered last week (ivory and tortoise shell rectangular plastic frames...very mid-century, very striking). And I wore this: black leggings, black satin flats (eek! bare ankles, not very chic, not very warm), a grey tee shirt and a black men's Polo sweater I swiped from my father over the holidays. I didn't exactly feel cute, but at least it wasn't sweatpants. Okay, who am I kidding? The only sweatpants I own are royal blue and tie with a ribbon. Not exactly out-and-about material. But then again, this outfit probably wasn't either.

I would have been fine if I had kept to my goal, just to pop into Lenscrafters and leave, but the residual clearance sales beckoned and soon my mother and I were trolling the mall like suburban housewives, snapping up three dollar tank tops and inexpensive accessories while sipping coffees. And then, I caught myself in a dressing room mirror.

It's not as thought I looked truly wretched. I mean, I think most people are right when they say twenty-somethings can leave the house in rags and still look radiant. The first flush of youth or something else equally silly. No, I didn't disgust myself. But I didn't feel happy either. It might take work to match the perfect patent leather heels with a lovely pair of trousers and cute top, but it sure beats that moment when you realize you're wearing leggings out.

It's not like I don't take time with my appearance regularly. In fact, 99% of the time I do, even waking up early to do so. My ex-roommate used to treat me like a museum piece, pointing out to visitors that before showering I would lay out an entire outfit, from underwear and shoes to jewelry and lip color, on my bed. Okay, it's obsessive. And once in a blue moon (like yesterday) I rebel against my own exacting fashion routine, donning a truly frumpy outfit.

I just usually don't have to see myself in a three way mirror after doing so.

Let's just say I won't be having any more frumpy days, unless I require medication or my grades are at extreme risk. And then I still won't wear leggings as pants.

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