They are omnipresent. Or at least thats how it seems. In the past 10 years they have sneaked into the wardrobes of most Indian women. LEGGINGS !! For the middle class women this is a lifesaver for a lot more reasons than one can imagine. It definitely IS the comfy, versatile, affordable, casual jeans of Indian WOMEN.
1.Comfort : Leggings are comfortable to wear because the most popular regular ones are made from a weft-knit fabric which stretches in both lengthwise and crosswise direction, thus giving ease of movement to work around the house while accomplishing daily chores.
2.Easy Care : The fibre used for these stretch knits is commonly a blend of cotton or nylon, polyester and elastane. Cotton fibres make the fabric very absorbent, verstile, strong and most importantly easy to wash, bleach and dye. A fabric with higher percentage of cotton is best suited for the hot and humid climate of Indian sub continent.
3.Casual-look : On examining the design elements of “leggings” as a garment, it is not difficult to conclude that the clothing silhouette is extremely subordinate and conforms more closely to the curves of the body. So the messages communicated by the outfit are more of relaxed, informal, friendly, soft nature.
4.Variety : Leggings come in all sizes, colours and patterns. Lately the designer range has replaced the plain basic ones by a wide assortment of variously designed accent pieces in digital, geometric, floral patterns. Most appealing of them all is the embroidered matching set of a piece of legging and a dupatta, similar on the lines of matching salwar-dupatta sets that were so popular untill recently. Some designs include addition of embellishments, zippers, laces and pipings in contrasting colors.
5.Versatility : Historically, leggings have been used as a protective garment since ages in the West. Interestingly, sometimes it was just a kind of undergarment to serve as a protection against cold or was worn under skirts to cover the exposed part of skin. In 2005, it made its way into Indian market in a big way and since then its adapted versions have been all over the place. In fact the structure of this clothing combines the two qualities that Indian women had not found in a single garment so far -the comfort of a Salwar and the sophisticated look of a Churidaar. Although from time to time Churidaars have been in and out of fashion over the last 60-70 years, Salwars have constantly been en vogue, with few variations here and there to break thehere’s a garment that is both comfortable as well as sleek in structure, hence can be worn at home, to work, while exercising, or shopping or even to parties when teamed up with the right pieces of other garments and accessories.
6.Affordability and Availability : With so many varieties there is also a broad range of price tags to the leggings based on the kind of fabric used and the quality of construction, amount of detailing, techniques used in creating a pattern etc. Also one can get a legging from any kind of market that is accessible to her – local market, Departmental stores, Online portals …anywhere.
With these characteristics playing in favour of its popularity, the future of leggings seems as bright as that of any other basic piece of garment. However, it will always remain a casual outfit option and can never be recommended for formal, authoritative and official situations and surroundings. Fashion and Style experts suggest that leggings although appear to be so lucrative as an option for everyday wear, it is imperative to trudge carefully in this zone. There are several important points to remember when pairing it up with different kinds of tunics and tops to create an outfit.
- Depending upon the body shape, choose to wear longer tops or tunics with leggings .
- Tight tunics should be avoided completely.
- The side slits in tunics should ideally start at the middle of the upper leg or even lower.
- The patterned leggings will draw a lot of attention therefore create a balance with some detailing or point of emphasis directed upwards.
- The shape of the tunic is important because leggings will conform to the body curves, hence making the body silhouette dominant, therefore choose carefully.
- If at all wearing at workplace, take it a little higher up on the style scale by teaming up with straight, long, slightly loose tunic (with smaller slits) and a jacket with collars.
- In conformity with the color scheme chosen for the entire outfit, select a matching scarf, preferably rectangular and complete the tubular silhouette.
- Closed shoes look good and appropriate with leggings.
The most important suggestion regarding this specific garment is , to not just wear it but style it in a way that flaunts your physical traits without creating a distraction. Being comfortable is important but not at the cost of elegance and gracefulness.