Leggings — or footless, stretch pants worn under dresses, skirts or sweaters — come back in style periodically. Fall 2010 will see leggings, but they are taking a walk on the wild side with animal prints, lace and liquid leggings. For those of us who hark back to the 1980s, it may bring to mind Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper and the girls from the ZZ Top ‘Sharp-Dressed Man’ and Robert Palmer ‘Simply Irresistible’ MTV music videos.
When leggings became popular around 1982, they did so unobtrusively with timid gray, white and black leggings worn discreetly under skirts, dresses and even voluminous thigh-length sweaters. Then someone cranked the heat up and we saw animal prints, paisley, lace, zebra, leopard and snakeskin patterns. When the leggings party was in full swing, they stopped at nothing: liquid leggings that resemble molten metals; fluorescent, painted-on pants and unitard bodysuit leggings. Life was spandex and lycra, and life was good.
In the prime of their comeback, leggings for fall 2010 are making the same evolution. Leggings started out timid but are copping an attitude this year. No more prim, gray, thermal leggings. Black will be the most timid color you’ll see on fashionable legs in fall 2010. The cutesy, baby doll celebs Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and even Miley Cyrus, have been sporting leggings for awhile, now. A few months ago, Lady Gaga gave us old fogies a flashback to the 80s with her rubber body suit.
But leggings are moving out of the pop star arena and into the fashion world. Look for liquid leggings in black onyx, silver, burnished gold, scorcher pink, shocking green and metallic — colors mother nature never invented. Also watch for leather leggings, pleather (plastic or fake leather), lace mesh, ribbed leggings, tye-dye leggings, floral, jungle-themed, paisley and animal print leggings, including spotted leopard, zebra stripe, reptilian snake and faux alligator skin. The most shocking to me are the ripped leggings; who knew that laddered stocking would become a fashion statement? I’m waiting for some forward-thinking designer to give us tattoo leggings.
Parents, do not be surprised if your middle schoolers don leggings, too. Whatever storm hits NYC and Hollywood always seems to trickle down on the 12-14 crowd a little bit louder. Middle school girls are more than likely going to be shopping for neon-pink, liquid leggings this season. Young adults, mothers and older women may not want to take it that far, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sport some fashionable leggings with attitude this fall 2010 season.