Everything You Didn't Know About The History Of Leggings, The Greatest Clothing Item Of All Time

“There was a brief fashion for shiny lycra ‘jeans’ in the late ’70s, but they were for wearing to the disco, not the grocery store,” Walford explains. But like with body shaming today, there was a catch for wearing the spandex in the ’70s. “Fiorucci was the designer of them and he only made them available in small sizes so only slim women could wear them. He wanted to protect his image by making sure only young, slim women wore his clothes.”


As for public pushback on whether wearing the trend was “appropriate” or not, Walford states that not many people tried to wear them outside of their intended purposes.


“They were really for discos only — the world still had a lot of rules then — especially in the office,” Walford explains. “Many companies wouldn’t allow women in pants until the early ’80s, jeans for either sex until the late ’80s, and men were expected to wear ties and jackets into the ’90s.”


Earmarked For Twenty-Somethings In The ’80s

Allison Gore/Bustle

In the ’80s, leggings took on a different vibe, leaving Saturday Night Fever territory and paired underneath tulle dresses and mini skirts, a la Madonna’s Like a Virgin.


“Most women wore the leggings with long, oversized shirts and sweaters, so the crotch and buttocks were covered. They were most often black, but sometimes in colors and were great fun,” Walford explains. Continue…

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