If you think back to a time in women's fashion when leggings did not exist as the broad category it does now, what did women wear to the gym? On casual days or evenings out? Can you even imagine a world where leggings do not even exist? It seems as if leggings have always been an integral part of a woman's fashion wardrobe but reality is that 20 or 30 years ago, you would have a hard time finding any.
Back in the 1980's, we flash back to a decade where most of our memories regarding leggings were seeing girls wearing leopard print leggings at a Motley Crew or Def Leopard concert. Even the music queen of the 1980's, Madonna, wore more of a mix of lace stockings and varying skirts combos compared to the enormous choice of leggings we have today. So when did leggings gain mainstream acceptance?
The acceptance of leggings as a major staple in women's fashion actually happened over time. Do you remember Flashdance, Circa 1983? Or what about Jane Fonda exercise videos of the early 80's? Yes, you can trace the roots of leggings right back to the world of exercise and dance. Leggings, or tights as some may refer to them as in the 1980's, were predominantly used for working out and as women began wearing them to the gym, yoga class and going out for a run, they slowly began to be accepted as a workout fashion piece. From there, it wasn't too long before the fashion world demanded the versatility, comfort and style of what has now become the modern day legging.
Today, women's leggings are constantly evolving to include, bell bottom leggings, basic cotton leggings for layering and stand alone pieces as well as sassy and sexy graphic prints and amazing laser printed styles. The evolution of the legging has given women the capri legging or the cropped legging, ideal for the spring and summer and working out on any day of the year. The collective creativity of the women's fashion idiom has caused the legging category to be one of the very most exciting categories in fashion. There are even men's leggings that are often referred to as meggings, yes meggings.
Reality is, there isn't one particular reason the women's leggings have become one of the major categories in fashion but rather a confluence of events, designers, pop art and music, exercise and real world considerations that made leggings what they are today. One thing is for sure, the fitness world has a lot to do with their initial proliferation as well as the hair band days of the 1980's. Now the category of women's leggings continues to grow and push the realm of women's fashion and all of its possibilities.