My legs! Leggings-clad!
SURPRISE: I really hate pants. I swore off pants altogether close to nine years ago, and it was one of the better life decisions I’ve made. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I kept trying to make pants work for so long, but once I accepted that pants for were bad for me, I became a far happier clothes-wearing person.
Of course, when one swears off pants, some compromises have to be made, especially if one lives in a place with seasons, as I do. So I have come to love leggings. If not for leggings, I probably would have died in a snowbank somewhere in Boston many years ago, because I fall down several times a day in the winter and without leggings it’s unlikely I would have been able to survive the constant contact with snow and ice.
These days, plus-size leggings in basic black can be found pretty easily. If you’re looking for a wider variety of solid colors plus good quality and comfort, I have two recommendations for you. The first is Re/Dress’s fabled teggings -- leggings don’t get much more comfortable, and they fit a huge range of sizes.
We Love Colors' Splash Dye Matte Leggings, $29
The second is We Love Colors’ matte leggings. Made from a thick nylon supplex, they’re suprisingly warm, and of course they come in WLC’s ridic selection of 51 different colors, as well as tie-dye versions. The catch is, TECHNICALLY they don’t come in plus sizes. They go up to an XXL, which the size chart recommends for 45-inch hips. The size chart, as is often the case, is lying. My hips are a solid 56 inches and I fit the XXL leggings perfectly, even with a bit of room to spare.
If you’ve got a bit of cash to drop, Nakimuli makes gorgeous plus-size hand screen-printed leggings. They’re definitely spendier than your average legging but to be fair, you’re not going to find leggings like this at your local Target.
Pink Giraffe leggings, $80
Yes, yes, leggings aren’t pants. Except when they’re AWESOME. I mean, if you’re wearing these Pink Giraffe leggings you don’t want to cover them up with a skirt, right? Of course not. That’d be offensive to the leggings. Hell, just wear them with a bra. You’ll never have trouble finding an employee to help you at Home Depot ever again.
Lee leggings, $90
Even better, the Lee leggings are screen-printed aqua on the front with shimmery gold pinstripes on the back. I’d wear these with a voluminous hot-pink mini-length caftan and pretend I was Beth Ditto ALL DAY LONG.
Domino Dollhouse black and white stripe leggings, $34
The always-spectacular Domino Dollhouse is currently offering up these vertically striped leggings. OK, so they’re Beetlejuice pants. I mean they basically are. I can’t be the only person who has always wanted Beetlejuice pants. Can I?
Since we’re on the subject, can we talk about the late 80s/early 90s nostalgia? Back in the day, I remember my mom had four pairs of floral-printed jeans. FOUR PAIRS. All different colors! One of them she even had a matching jean jacket for! One was both floral-print AND acid washed! I mean, it boggles the mind. These jeans were seriously one of my greatest early style influences.
While these days I don’t wear jeans unless I’m escaping from my burning home in the middle of the night or something (I really do keep one pair of jeans just in case of fire; emergency jeans) I have been itching for a pair of floral leggings as a substitute. Lucky for me, they’re pretty easy to find right now, as Simply Be has them in two different prints, one mostly pink and the other more purple-dominated.
Pink floral legging, $21
Purple floral legging, $21
FACT: I went and ordered both floral leggings BEFORE writing this post because I don’t trust y’all not to go buy them out before I have a chance to get my own. This has happened before. Damn greedy fatties.
Jeffrey & Paula "Aztec" leggings, $49
In case you wondered what this sudden explosion of “Aztec” prints is about, here’s an interesting little story for those of you who enjoy a bit of politics with your fashion: last fall, Urban Outfitters marketed a whole line of “Navajo” products, from Navajo underpants to a Navajo flask.
The thing is, you can’t just slap “Navajo” on a thing willy-nilly. Because that annoys the actual Navajo people, who are understandably not super keen on having their culture appropriated so a nationwide chain of stores selling disposable fashion can make a bazillion dollars promoting something as being made by or associated with a culture and tradition that they had no involvement in.
So they sued. And Urban Outfitters pulled the “Navajo” products. But, see, the chains that sell this stuff aren’t going to quit with the cultural appropriation just because it’s offensive to the people being stolen from, and it’s plain old wrong besides. They needed some other tribe to borrow a name from. Ideally, a tribe not from the US, and/or one that was all but eradicated by conquering European whites a few hundred years ago. THAT would be a people very unlikely to sue.
Voila! AZTEC. And here we are.
It’s a shame about the terrible name, because those Jeffrey & Paula “Aztec” leggings are actually pretty cute otherwise.
Crazy Alpine leggings, $29
Hey, were you dying for a pair of pants that make you look like a wacky clown who only performs in ski lodges? Joe Browns “Crazy Alpine” leggings have got your back.
Grey and Black Lace Print leggings, $25
I’ve learned the hard way that actual lace tights can be chilly in the winter, at least unless you layer them over another pair of tights, an idea that it took an embarrassing number of winters for me to figure out. Happily, Torrid has lace-printed leggings for all the delicate-doily effect you want with none of the sad frostbitten ladyparts.
ASOS Animal Print leggings, $32
ASOS leopard leggings, for all the fat Peg Bundys in the house.
Metallic Sweater leggings, $23
For those times when you need a formal legging -- which in my case means I’m going to the really nice Red Lobster -- Forever 21 makes this metallic sweater version.
ASOS Embellished Panel leggings, $32
AND for those times when you need a REALLY formal legging than can also temporarily blind an adversary or impersonate a disco ball or snag everyone else’s clothes on your legs, ASOS makes this fully sequined (only on the front -- the back is sequin-free, I suppose so you don’t completely shred the skin on your ass every time you sit down) option.
I’m not even going to front, guys: these are my favorites of the bunch. I should probably go order these too before y’all get there first.
SO, there you go: plus size leggings for every occasion except for probably a bunch of things I missed. Enjoy the shopping! And as we say in my family: May you always subsist in warmth, and may your legs be really distracting.