Leggings – they can be as controversial as they are comfy and be seen to be as slovenly as they are stylish, depending on your personal point of view.
I first wore leggings in my late teens/early twenties. It was lovely to come home from a hard day on the ward, and swap my nurse’s uniform complete with its ‘American Tan’ tights, for a loose top and a comfy pair of leggings.
At that time, leggings tended to be made from a substantial, jersey material that gave good coverage, even if they did cling to any odd lumps and bumps. Even so some fashionistas berated them, casting them into the realms of ‘crime against fashion’.
Alongside these leggings, you could buy footless tights – thick tights that, well, had no feet!
Fast forward to more recent times. A few years back my daughters started buying leggings – but not as I knew them. Eyeing the thin, Lycra material I exclaimed, “They’re footless tights!”
“No”, they replied, “leggings!”
Well, I beg to differ. So many pairs of ‘leggings’ that they have subsequently purchased have been much more reminiscent of footless tights.
Meanwhile, with all the stylish tunic tops that are available, and lovely dress that beg to be worn but without exposing my knees to the public, I have once again returned to buying leggings myself.
And what a shopping experience that has been! I have trawled the shops rejecting many a pair on the grounds of being too thin (back to the footless tights), too patterned (I want to take the attention away from my legs not highlight them), too shiny or too wrinkly.
Then came the ‘Eureka’ moment, when I found my ideal pair. I can now happily recommend StayNew Leggings from the M&S Collection (good old Marks and Spencer). Available in three different leg lengths and a choice of colours (I’ve bought black and navy), they’re not too thin and fit really well thanks to the wider waistband, which doesn’t seem to slip down like thin elastic. At £9.50 a pair, they’re worth every penny.