Thursday, March 30, 2017

Fashion Sense and Nonsense: Leggings and Jeans

I have never been a fashion maven or interested in the latest fashion trends, but recent news articles about leggings and jeans captured my attention. In the leggings story, two teenage girls were barred from boarding a United Airlines flight because of their attire. Leggings are not banned for everyone, the airlines assured distressed customers, only individuals representing the company. Apparently the girls were dependents of United employees.

The second article impacts me personally, stating men and women over the age of 53 should not wear jeans. It is not a hard and fast rule, a guideline, but reinforces the fact that people over a certain age should not wear particular items of clothing.

Back in the good ole days my grandmother wore a housecoat or dress, clunky black shoes and stockings. I cannot recall her ever wearing pants, although that does not mean she never did. But I think her clothes screamed, “old! I am old!”

I do not want my clothes advertising that message, but on the other hand I do not want folks whispering about my appearance, “silly old lady trying to look young. Ugh!”

The leggings issue brings to mind numerous times I observed rather overweight individuals ensconced in leggings and a top not covering, or barely covering, their backside. Often the top is a tight-fitting halter. It is not a pretty sight, and I wonder if the person looks in the mirror, scanning their figure front and back before leaving the house. Does the person care how she looks? My guess is either the individual would rather be fashionable than frumpy, or skewed vision alters brain cells and the woman believes her appearance fine. Maybe even fetching.

The girls refused entry on the plane may have looked adorable, as slim young things often do in leggings, but whether or not they looked hot or not, the airline viewed their apparel as unsuitable.

Confession time: I own a pair of leggings, but wear them with a long, loose-fitting top reaching at least mid-thigh, attire comfortable and hopefully not distasteful-looking. I cannot, however, see myself wearing leggings every day.

United Airlines assured everyone in numerous communications that regular passengers can wear leggings onboard. A popular current style, whatever fashion statement the wearer believes they are making, leggings are comfy, especially for sitting in tight spaces for any length of time. The tights are definitely more comfortable than figure-hugging, clingy, fitted jeans, the other fashion choice of the young and slim. I, on the other hand, an untrendy fuddy duddy, have no problem donning jeans that fit easily around my core.
  
The fashionistas spoke, and I should not wear jeans. But I do not have to listen. I cannot – yet – retire mine. The article mentions the fact that on average it takes five days of shopping to find a good fitting pair of jeans, and the frustration sometimes results in tears.

I can relate.

On the other hand, the harried shopper probably will not need to buy another pair of jeans for three to five years.

What a relief.

I can postpone the jeans to-wear-or-not-to-wear question until I need a new pair, a couple of years away. Meanwhile I will wear my jeans proudly, my head held high, knowing I am making a fashion statement the designer Yves Saint Laurent gave the stamp of approval:

I wish I had invented blue jeans.
They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity –
 all I hope for in my clothes.
-       YSL

The next compelling fashion question of the times: can women of a certain age wear leggings?

I researched this significant issue and the answer is YES – as long as the accompanying top drapes somewhere well south of one’s butt.

Another sigh of relief. I do not have to toss my leggings out – yet. And, just like jeans, leggings are not for women only, as the following quote attests -

Final words on the subject, expressing my feelings perfectly, from one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Franz Kafka -

15 comments:

  1. I'm 63 and I wear both leggings and jeggings, with a long tunic. I dress for comfort. I also wear shorts in the summer. Can women of a certain age wear shorts? Summers here in the central valley of California are 105 - like I said, I dress for comfort FIRST. I don't get out the leggings until Nov so I only offend fashionistas 6 mos of the year. the other 6, I'm wearing shorts!

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    1. The key for women of a certain age, as you say, is comfort. I think shorts are OK as long as not too tight and not too short!

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  2. I am of a certain age and I love my jeans, they're Gloria Vanderbilts and made to fit my short round self. I don't wear leggings, yet that is, but it may be time.

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    1. Jeans that fit well and are comfortable are the best outfit ever. I don't know if our generation will ever give them up!

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  3. I favored jeans as a young girl in the 1940's my mother probably only agreed to let me wear because they were inexpensive durable play wear when frugality was necessary. There were limits as to when and where they could be worn -- not away from home -- definitely not on Sunday. There are no age limits on wearing jeans for me -- I still enjoy them as casual wear -- not the skin tight fitted ones, but they're not loose and baggy either. I'm a little loose and baggy or bulgy in a few places though. I have no desire to wear leggings or any skin tights of any sort other than for an exercise class -- if I was in one. I must confess to thinking people might give a little more thought to wearing what looks better on them, but, who knows -- some people seeing me in jeans may not be appreciative of that view either since I no longer sport the svelte figure of my youth (though, typical female self-perceptions, I didn't realize it was then). I'm a strong believer in comfort wear in clothes and shoes.

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    1. Comfort is the key. Sometimes I wonder, looking in the mirror, if my outfit looks as good on me - or not - as I think it does.

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  4. What else can you wear to YOGA? Be comfortable! That's what aging is all about...

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    1. I second that thought! Comfort, fashion be damned!

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  5. I wear leggings to yoga class and fit right in with the others there. I don't wear them on the street, though, even with long tunic tops. And jeans? I did stop wearing them as soon as I discovered cargo pants. :-)

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    1. Interesting that cargo pants replaced your jeans. I will have to research that more, maybe try some cargos on as an alternative sometimes.

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  6. The gift of retirement is that I can wear whatever I want. No more professional uniform! Jeans are my current daily wardrobe as I'm volunteering for a month at a state park. The weather is chilly and jeans are perfect for any campsite activity no matter what my age is! I can't wear leggings because they gave me a big ring of keys that I need to clip on to my belt loop. If anyone took a picture of my "work" outfit it would be posted in the "What was she thinking" section of Facebook!

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    1. A definite advantage of jeans, they work almost anywhere for a variety of tasks. Have fun in the park!

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  7. Personally, I am not a leggings fan-unless you are exercising. Although they do look cute on some, no matter the age, I always want to say-pssst-you forgot your pants! But that's just me. As far as jeans go-you can pry them off my cold dead backside!! While it is hard to find jeans that fit well, I can't think of anything more comfy except PJs. I am behind YSL- comfy, modest,sexy. Nothing better. No matter your age!!

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    1. You are right, so many of us of a certain age may never give up our jeans. And it is worth the time and effort to find a comfy, good fitting pair.

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  8. I just don't think leggings are very flattering on anyone. Just my opinion.Jeans..well they're universal aren't they? It takes time to find a good fitting pair.. you have to accept you may need a little stretch fabric, or elastic, or just a larger size! A good fit is the key! I think we should wear what makes us feel good.Evidently a lot of people seem to feel good in leggings whether I think they look good or not! But I won't wear them!

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