Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Leggings: Accessory or Necessity

Leggings stepped onto the fall/winter 2009 scene in a big way during this season’s fashion week in NYC signaling by their presence on the runway that leggings are a trend that’s here to stay and one that’s gained the very discriminating approval of designers to be worn under their haute couture. But buyer beware: follow runway leads, and remember that leggings are not pants. Keep your bottom covered, and balance your spandexy lower half with complementary flowing tops and bubble skirts.

In previous years, leggings were a commercial trend, to be purchased at Gap, and Express in a variety of shades and styles from ankle length to stirrup foot. They were a vestige of the 80’s trend and a convenient way to stretch summer dresses into fall without freezing legs. Leggings were mass-produced in solid colors, with a rare pattern popping up that was most often condemned as too busy for everyday wear. Leggings were hidden under boots and dresses, like tights, serving as a color pop or a functional garment to keep your knees warm.

This year, however, leggings became an accessory, an “it” item all their own. They are no longer a mere piece to complete an outfit, but the fashion statement that makes an outfit. Diane von Furstenberg lends her signature patterns to stretchy pants that stun. Members Only edges up an outfit with studded leather. Louis Vuitton creates marvelous swirling paisley that give the illusion of flower stems popping out of the bubbled matching patterned tops. I must say that while some magazines labeled Leighton Meister's look a don't, I am ABSOLUTELY in love with these matching Louis Vuitton sets!! On runways throughout Brant Park, leggings did not merely cover legs, but defined a look. The question was not merely what color, but what am I trying to say with these leggings? With so many designer messages to choose from, a girl could go on for days.

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