When I first started working out, everything was simple. I started running, outside, because it was free. I listened to mix tapes on a Sony Walkman, despite the fact that MP3 players had been around for years, because I was loathe to spend any money on my newfound fitness habit. I wore the same beat-up Goodwill sneakers to run in that I wore to my various food-service jobs.
When I got a corporate discount to a local gym, I showed up to step class in my pajamas. I mocked the shit out of the rich bitches that wore super fancy yoga gear: technical fabrics, racer-back-built-in everything, SKORTS. Not to mention those annoying overgrown adolescents that spent all morning sipping lattes in fancy leggings, wearing giant sunglasses and not breaking a sweat.
Then I bought a pair of super-fancy yoga pants. Actually, they’re leggings. As a former, “Leggings are NOT pants, ladies!” adherent, I marinate in my own shame daily. Now I own seven pairs of super-fancy leggings, and wear them everywhere. Like, on planes. To lunch dates. To the liquor store. Whatever, I don’t even care. I have them in almost every possible color, including hot pink. They’re amazing and life changing. OK, maybe not life changing, but definitely butt changing.
My legging poison of choice? Lululemon Wunder Unders. They’ll set you back about $70-$80, which seems freaking insane for a pair of leggings. OK, it is freaking insane. But not only are they great for workouts, they do amazing things to your butt and legs (yes, yours too!), you can tuck them into boots and you can wear them when you’re hungover but still want to look classy. Also? They have magical hidden waistband pockets. That’s right, pockets for your crap in your leggings. And they’re thick enough so you don’t have to wear underwear with them. If you’re going to be wearing underwear in public, you shouldn’t have to wear underwear under it, AMIRITE, ladies?!
Even though I’m a little ashamed that I own them, and some of my unconverted friends make fun of me for wearing them in public, I still love them. Because listen. These babies negate every single valid argument against leggings:
- “Leggings are only good for the run-of-the-mill prepubescent girlchild with no hips.” Not so, my sisters! I have some serious thighs going on, and these babies make me look thunderously well muscled, not jiggly. It’s fucking miraculous.
- “Leggings do bad things to my butt.” Yeah, regular leggings. Believe me, I have tried every pair of legging, jegging, and skinny jean under the sun, and every single time my butt has come out of the endeavor looking like a weird flat squishy uni-butt. Except with these leggings. These leggings are like an altar: They lift butts to new and glorious heights so they can be properly worshiped from afar.
- “Leggings are not pants.” People should only be wearing leggings under their clothes, and not as clothes, right? Only if we’re talking about your run-of-the-mill drugstore legging. (You know, the kind that comes in a cardboard package next to the knee socks). A lot of leggings are kinda flimsy and translucent, and those ones should absolutely not be worn as pants. But these babies are thick enough to wear to your grandma’s house or your local dive-bar-with-a-blacklight. Even the white ones are opaque.
I originally bought the leggings as workout wear, and for that they function flawlessly. More than flawlessly, really. There’s a pocket for your iPhone so you can listen to music while you lift weights (grrr!), they don’t cause wedgies or cameltoe or bag out at the knees or any of those other annoying things workout clothes (or misused pajamas) are wont to do.
But where they really shine is as post-workout gear: I can go right from the gym to dinner and drinks and only look moderately out of place. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to shower, change, and re-do my face after every single workout. If I’m going to get fussy with it every time I go to a bar, I’d never have time to work out. If that means I wear my workout clothes at dinner or Sunday brunch, so be it. It may as well be nice workout gear.
Hell, if I put on a pair of giant sunglasses, at worst I’ll just look like another one of those snobby yuppies that spends all day lounging in leggings. There are worse things in life than some stranger judging me for my clothes. At least I’ll be comfortable.