Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On thinking I have any place at all to discuss fashion.

While I'm not the most fashionable person in the world, I can claim at least a moderately developed ability to dress myself properly on a daily basis.

I'm also a hypocrite. When I was a teenager, I swore I would never wear bell bottoms. Well, they rose back to power in the late 1990s and I was forced to give in to trends and wear them. I still wear flares to this day. (They look the best with my legs and hips - sue me.) Then, about four years ago, I swore I would never wear those ugly-ass jersey gauchos. Guess what? Owned about six pairs of them at one point. I wore them recently and realized they looked ridiculous on me. And must have definitely looked just as bad then. No, they did look stupid.

Things that looked stupid the first time and are reincarnated as the same thing - because gauchos will always be fucking gauchos - look stupid the next time, too. "These aren't your mother's bell bottoms!" Yes. Yes, they are. It's why you brought them back. I've seen completely contradictory copy: "The new and improved design is a better take on the free-wheeling look of decades past." Two spreads later: "Like pictures in an old photo album, this retro-reliable look never got old." Fuck you. I'm not an idiot.

Now leggings are back. I really, really swore I'd never wear them. The last time I'd worn them was in seventh grade (1992-1993), when they were going out of style and the only appropriate thing to wear them with were babydoll dresses and/or denim shorts. I wasn't bold enough to wear either; I was more concerned with not being noticed by people so they wouldn't bark at me or call me horrible names. (I ended up wearing both a couple of years later when, naturally, they went out of style.)

When I started seeing girls wearing them at Hofstra two years ago, I had to remind myself that those girls were maybe five when they were in style the first time. They never had to contend with the baggy knees, the perfect slouch socks and requisite Keds sneakers (sometimes imitators with blue tabs drawn on the back with a Bic pen), and making sure your sweater/sweatshirt/flannel was long enough to cover your butt. And by the way - don't have chicken legs. Like I did.

But this time around, leggings were different. That's what the claim was. Banish the thought of baggy socks - leggings were meant to cover legs while showing them off, so wear them with sandals, heels and flats. And as opposed to the mushroom look we were going for in the '80s and '90s, it was "tunics" and fitted dresses going over these supposedly "different" leggings. True, it was an entirely different look. But still - leggings?

Apparently, the baggy knee thing has been resolved with different designs and materials. No, really.

Well, first I said "NEVER." Then I said "Only as tights during the winter, with boots." You can see where this is going...

I'm a whore for trends. I will resist for a while, but don't you worry. By the time they go out of style, I will catch on.

My name is Jamie, and I own two pairs of leggings.

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