The UK is in the grip of an obesity epidemic and a fascination with skin-tight clothing. The worst fashion disasters I’ve seen recently have therefore involved a lack of fabric and an over abundance of arse. But not every bad-taste bonanza hinges on flesh being forced into garments not large enough to contain it. There are some items of clothing that are designed to fit any shape and we wear them simply because we can; without stopping to think whether or not we should.
The latest travesty in this category of awfulness is featured today on The Guardian blog. We barely recover from the trousers-yanked-down-to-the-knees-revealing-pants-and-genital-pouch fiasco for the boys, and Ugg boot fetish for the girls, and now this? It involves the dreaded leggings – the vast majority of which should be burned immediately. Leggings can only be tolerated if the wearer is under ten years old, uses them as thick tights with the bum area securely covered, or is inordinately hot and earns their living gyrating in legging-type things as part of a semi-erotic show like burlesque, or Strictly.
I’m afraid, regardless of how great we think Cameron Diaz looks in hers or how much we’ve convinced ourselves that Hollywood and High Street ‘curvy’ are the same thing, leggings are a very bad idea for a large slab of the British population. And yet we continue to jiggle ourselves into them and wear them for all manner of inappropriate occasions. We’ve had jeggings: jeans/leggings, and treggings: trousers/leggings. Now our womenfolk are supposed to be salivating over meggings: men-in-leggings. The latest high fashion for him and her.
And we thought the Beckhams looked hilarious in their matching leather suits.
A man walks into a bar in leggings … sound like a joke? It should. There’s really no easy way to say this: men look ridiculous in tights. All men. Full stop.
Only ballet dancers get away with it and even they get the piss ripped out of them, despite their cannon-ball bumcheeks. Superheroes even struggle with tights so why on Earth would fashion designers think ordinary mortals could carry this off? And before any man thinks early adoption of this new fashion craziness might lend him some bizarre catwalk credit, I would like to explain how a woman will view a man who walks into a trendy nightspot in leggings.
The first and last thing a woman will see is your willy. There is nothing you can wear underneath what is already essentially underwear to detract from your bulge. Your bits are on the outside and it’s never sexy to tuck them in. Attempting to do so and then going out in leggings might not get you the kind of attention you were after.
Hot blooded male and proud of what you’ve got? In leggings you are doomed to be the punchline of that bad joke whether you’re built for porn, or like a prawn. We will see every side shift, up swing, down dip or other movement, intentional or not. If you wear a jockstrap, which is really the only decent thing to do, we will probably assume you’re showing off – that you think your python should be strapped down for all our safety, or that you’re trying, in your subtle ‘man’ way, to tell us you were once sporty, in the days before your paunch. In either case we will usually label you, ironically, a ‘knob’, thinking it most likely you’re using your sportsman’s undies as a hammock for the sock or sausage you’ve stuffed down there.
Leggings are just not worth the inevitable dent in your reputation boys. At least not if you want to actually pull women (or most gay men, I’ll wager.) But they do have their place in the male wardrobe, in that box you keep for stag dos and New Year’s Eve parties. Because while you will never raise more than one of our artfully threaded eyebrows wearing them seriously, we will love you forever for making us laugh if you wear them as a joke.