And more importantly, are leggings pants? This begs the question, what are pants? And since pants are generally defined as a garment that reaches from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately, then yes, definitively, leggings are pants. Leggings, in particular, are skin tight, stretchy, ankle length pants that come in a variety of colors, prints, and fabrics.
The legging has been around for centuries. Depending on where you look in history, the style has resembled leg warmers or stockings, often knit from wool. Native Americans innovated the buckskin legging, which was later worn by fur trappers and cowboys as protective clothing. Because of their practicality as a layering garment, leggings have been adopted by many cultures and groups the world over. But they are so much more than just their function. As a fashion statement, leggings, over the past few decades, have found a permanent home in the wardrobes of most women.
You will not find an item of clothing as contested as women’s leggings. They are both banned, for being too revealing, and celebrated, for being stylish and comfortable. Generally speaking, leggings are casual, especially when they are worn as pants (as opposed to underneath a skirt or dress). But that doesn’t mean that you should only wear leggings to the gym. Provided that your leggings aren’t see-through, you can usually get away with wearing leggings anywhere that you would wear skinny jeans.
The great thing about leggings is that they can do double duty as athletic and leisurewear—sometimes called athleisure fashion. Black leggings, in particular, can be paired with a tank top for yoga class, and then styled with heels or boots, a blouse, and a jacket for cocktails. Note that leggings usually call for a long or oversized top, to prevent wardrobe malfunctions, and lots of layers for style (think blazers and sweaters). Add a great bag, scarf and shades to elevate what would otherwise just be loungewear. While basic black is a good go-to, you can also find leather, faux leather, floral print, cropped, stirrup, and metallic leggings to add to your collection.