We all know leggings aren’t pants.

This conversation, as I left for ballet class:
(hand to doorknob, ’bout to walk out of house wearing a big old baggy striped cardigan and thigh high legwarmers over leggings plus socks and sneakers, carrying a big canvas bag)
me: Er, does this look inappropriate? Like to walk from the car to the studio? Like I’m not wearing pants? Should I put a skirt on?
him: Well you do look kind of homeless.
me: What?! That’s not what I-
him Somebody might offer you money, but not in the way you’re thinking.
me: Whatever! Imma go put a skirt on!


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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33 Responses to We all know leggings aren’t pants.

  1. Skip the skirt and TAKE THE MONEY! You can use it for ballet classes!

  2. Bridgett says:

    When I catch public transport to class, I always casually rifle through my bag and pull out my ballet flats while I look for my wallet so that people sitting near me know that I’m a dancer who just happens to look homeless. I’ve started to rock the leggings and legwarmers look even when I don’t have class though. because I’m a little special when it comes to dressing myself :)

  3. Rori roars says:

    Ha! I was just reading http://thesnarkist.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/new-study-confirms-leggings-are-not-pants/ this weekend.

    I have a friend who can totally rock trash bag shorts and a blazer and make it look chic. I’m jealous… because I know if I tried the same I’d just look, well, homeless. I guess I’ll have to stick to my super-hero dancer get-up (i.e., real clothes over my dance stuff which I rip off at the studio to reveal my alter ego… there are no telephone booths involved, but seeing as pay phones have gone the way of the dodo bird, it’s just as well!)

  4. rosario says:

    I didn’t know leggings are not pants. Then why is everyone wearing them as pants.. including myself. I live in leggings where them everywhere even to work. Wearing a skirt over leggings would be something I might have done in grade school, but as a grown up no way.

    • It’s all about the coverage.
      A couple years ago while visiting NYC I saw lots of girls in horse-back-riding style leggings, the ones with a leather panel along the inseam. Kinda wanted some of those. Guessing they were constructed more like pants though, out of a thick semi-stretch fabric that required a zip closure, not pull on stretchy stretch-tastic. Nothing that would risk stretching sheer over the derrière a lá the recent too-sheer-yoga-pants problem at Lululemon.
      I think I will live in fear forevermore of looking like the ladies in the article Rori linked to above. No leggings as pants for me, I’m gonna need a skirt or long coat to obscure the rear view.
      Also leotard under leggings equals hella vpl. For me at least. Fine for my ballet class which I think of as a very accepting, come-as-you-are environment, but not for public viewing.

  5. RO says:

    Well your combo sounds innocent enough. Also, you were just wearing it from the car to the studio. I know people who actually wear ONLY leggings and then put a wee little t-shirt on top of it. Now that’s awful, and that’s also a good way to earn money in a different way than your husband pointed out.. ;-)

  6. guyenne says:

    You reminded me how annoying it is that the vast majority of little girls’ skirt require leggings to be worn underneath for decency purposes. Also, why are knee-length girls’ shorts now in the capri section?

    I am a non-leggings wearer, because there are no pockets.

  7. RainStorm says:

    I absolutely never wear leggings as pants (trousers – “pants” is confusing for me!). Except I did one evening for a ballet class about a year again. Then my partner went to hospital and I found myself rushing to a different city with no proper trousers! I ended up hanging out in A&E for six hours in my leggings and spent the next day wearing a pair of his jeans until I could get home to get some. I won’t be doing that again!

  8. nicola lynde says:

    I live in Copenhagen, where the main mode of transport is bike. I have this odd idea that what I wear on my bike ‘doesn’t count’, as if people can’t see me. Lately I’ve been leaving ballet class in the dark, in pink tights and a leotard and a long coat. It was only after I ran into a friend on my way home, and she pointed it out, that I realized I’ve been looking like a flasher in just underwear with bare legs and leg warmers (to really cement the street walker look).

  9. rosario says:

    I always wear leggings over my dance tights even just to leave my car and go to straight into the studio. But can you imagine how embarrassed my partner and I were when we had to leave the dance studio because of a fire alarm. Here we were standing in the middle of the street me in my light pink seamed fishnet tights and black leotard. What was even more embarrassing is I am with James with the crowds starting to grow and he’s in white footed tights with a blouse that too short to cover his assets. At that point I would have gave a million $$ to have had the opportuniity to have grabbed my leggings on the way out of that studio. The studio was saved but my leggings and pride were ruined.

    • Oh no!
      There was a fire in my dorm one year during college, around midnight. Some of us were still wearing day clothes; some were dressed for bed. Co-Ed dorm. Saw a lot of interesting outfits that night.

      • rosariok says:

        If I was in your dorm that night I would have been fine because I wear leggings to bed. But I can just imagine what you seen that night… eeeks.

  10. BK says:

    Ah, that’s not a big deal. As long as you don’t wear your ballet slippers outside of the studio, you’re golden. That reminds me of the girl who I once saw come out of class before mine in full dress — leotard, tights, legwarmers, slippers — pick up her keys (no bag) and head right out the door to the parking lot and, presumably, her car. No bag probably meant she arrived at the studio that way, too. Can’t imagine the teacher would have been too happy to have known that girl’s slippers were out pounding the pavement.

  11. gwenyth says:

    I love the dancer look! No skirt required, as long as your tights/leggings aren’t so sheer that your hot pink Snoopy underwear shows through…And even if they are, super-long baggy sweater? Adult Beginner (and the rest of you) = fashion mavens? I think so.

    The fashion legends of Fame (1980’s version, of course)

    I would not mind wearing any of Hillary Van Doren’s outfits out and about (Though I am probably more of a Lisa Monroe dancer in terms of natural talent!). In fact, I think all of the outfits look cool, except for the ones that have no boob support or coverage. :(

    “Look Leroy, I told you. If you don’t have tights, you don’t dance!”

    • Ah but that’s the problem. The sweater was baggy but not long. Combined with the thigh high legwarmers, it really sort of drew attention to the leggings. Like a frame.
      More importantly, how is it possible that I have never seen Fame? There are some appalling gaps in my cultural education.
      Also what is that crazy barre? Is that Horton technique?
      Immediately netflixing.

  12. I have a friend who can totally rock the leggings-only look with long-ish t-shirts and sweaters. I always get self-conscious. I stole a Cirque du Soleil t-shirt from my boyfriend that is inexplicably long, though, and wore that with leggings and a hoodie last time I went over to hang out with her. It was pretty comfy.

  13. Kathleen says:

    leggings aren’t pants??!!!!

  14. A) I love leggings because they FIT and don’t fall off. But I’ve been known to jump out of my dancing clothes in class.
    B) My husband always says that dancers are the only people he knows who dress like homeless people to go to work.
    C) I once ran from class to pick up my kid at preschool and (I swear to heaven) FORGOT TO PUT ON PANTS. I was standing at the computer, clocking her out, when I realized that I was wearing nothing but a T-shirt, pink tights and a flimsy ballet skirt. (Okay, a leotard underneath, but still.) I reminded myself that my mom always said, “As long as you have good posture, people will think whatever you’re doing was on purpose.” I really hoped she was right, but I kind of doubt it.

  15. Amber says:

    I am staunchly in the “Leggings are not pants” camp. But a friend called right after ballet class and asked for something from Target. Not thinking, I just said yes and went. I did not think about it until check out that I wasn’t wearing pants, only my leggings from class. But I was still on a dance high so I was doing little tendus while I was waiting in line so maybe people will think I’m just a crazy dancer. Or just crazy.

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