For hundreds of years women have been wearing impractical and uncomfortable clothes.
All those long dresses that you had to hold up in one hand when you went up the stairs, maybe holding a candle or gas lamp in the other to light your way. And you know how narrow those old staircases can be. How dangerous is that.
Then there’s the layers of petticoats and underwear, how is a woman supposed to ride a horse with all those skirts.
And the corsets. You see those Victorian etchings of women hiking in the Adirondacks. How is it even possible to walk when your insides are being squished into an hourglass. Not to mention dragging around pounds of fabric.
It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that it began to be acceptable for women to wear pants. Even in 1969, when I started kindergarten, my mother wouldn’t let me wear pants to school.
But being able to wear pants changed so much for girls and women. There’s a freedom in pants that you don’t get wearing a dress. If the dress is too long, it’s cumbersome, if it’s too short, it’s hard to sit down without feeling exposed.
Until leggins came along. And suddenly, dresses have more freedom in a whole new way.
I lived most of my life in jeans. Now I have one pair in my drawer that I can’t bear to wear and keep because I think someday I may need them.
Wearing leggins and a short loose dress is the most clothes I can stand anymore. And Layering in the winter keeps me warm without being constricting. I can do yoga or ride a horse without changing my clothes. I can move and sit and bend anyway my body chooses to. I can dance like I’m naked. Someone can look up my skirt and all they’ll see is more leggins. And leggins are comfortable. There’s different weights for different seasons and unlike tights the crotch isn’t constantly sliding down to my knees.
It’s as close to the feeling of walking around naked and not feeling exposed as possible. Although I do have one pair of linen pants with a draw string waist that I wear in the summer sometimes, I can’t imagine wear pants all the time. The freedom of leggins just feels too good. And they look good too. Getting dressed in the morning is so much more fun that it used to be.
I don’t know who invented leggins, but I bet it was a woman.