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

While it was a playful style, there were some restrictions involved. “In the ’80s, leggings with oversized T-shirts, sweaters, or blouses, were a young style — typically worn by teens and women in their early twenties. I am sure some were worn into offices, but for the most part, it was a casual style intended for leisure activities, shopping at the mall, hanging with friends, and going to a club,” he shares.


If you weren’t into clipping massive, Madonna-inspired bows into your hair, then you might have wielded your leggings in a different way. In a more Jazzercise kind of direction. Thanks to subscription gyms popping up and the popularity of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons in a leotard and short shorts, leggings entered a whole new fashion realm: Athleisure. As Walford mentioned, women liked to match their baggy workout tees and leg warmers with leggings, and hit the mall for some quality clique time. They were finally being worn as off-duty clothes.


A Full-Blown Fashion Staple In The Noughties

Allison Gore/Bustle

After three decades of relative popularity, leggings fell off the map in the ’90s as grunge swept in. The tights were put away for a full decade, but in the noughties the look crept back into twenty-somethings’ wardrobes almost over night. One minute we were all wearing boot cut jeans and terrycloth sweatpants, and the next capri leggings were accenting our empire-waist midi dresses and tunic tops. Poster girls like Lindsey Lohan, the Olsen Twins, and Kim Kardashian were all on board.


As leggings found their way underneath more skirts and dresses, their next natural progression was to grow in options. American Apparel came out with shiny disco leggings that were to be worn exclusively as pants, and then pushed the style out to thicker riding pants. Skinny jeans took on a leggings-like fit, often times giving a “painted on” look when worn out. Continue…

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