I HAVE a wish for 2012.
Let it be the year we burn our leggings.
When women chucked their bras on bonfires back in the Sixties, they surely could not have foreseen a day when we would become so emancipated, we’d all be striding about without skirts or trousers on, looking like Max Wall.
Bras once symbolised restriction of sexuality and society’s enforcement of convention over comfort (for any woman under a D cup who neither jogged or set foot on a trampoline, at any rate). The burning of them was an important political statement, a sign that women would not be strapped in nor double hook-and-eyed by men, life or lingerie.
Leggings are physically the antithesis of the bra (which, bizarrely, more young women need these days, on account of them having turned themselves into walking sex objects by having bags of what hopefully isn’t inferior-grade silicon stuffed inside their breasts - another trend I hope we spurn in 2012).
Basically a thick pair of tights with the feet cut off, leggings are arguably the least restrictive garment of all time. They are also one of the most versatile.
Older leggings-lovers say they wear them because they are easy and comfortable, warm and snug. Stick them on and they effortlessly bridge that gap between jumper and boot. Nor do you ever have to iron them, they beam (women’s libbers to the last).
I am in the above category and I can vouch, they truly are the laziest of supposed fashion trends. When you can’t be bothered to think about what to wear, you can always stick on your leggings.
Though comfort? Phooey. All I can assume is that other women have a secret source of perfectly fitting pairs. Either that or my body is a weirder shape than theirs. My leggings descend from the waist every step I take. I’ll be in the middle of Morrisons, feel them start to slide and have no choice but to hoik them up just like the six-year-old, far less self-conscious me did in school assembly.
Younger women cite the same practical reasons for their love of a legging. Though it’s only the chubby ones who speak the truth.
Lithe-limbed lovelies know damned well that Lycra stretches two ways; while it forgives nothing, it enhances every perfect, pert little curve.
Their leggings caress the appled cheeks of their bottoms and stroke from their lean, firm thighs right down past bagless knees to their slender ankles. Just like any observing male wishes he could. Obviously, my vanity is one reason why I want what technically should be the most liberating female garment of the 21st century tossed on the bonfire.
I reckon it would be easy to de-bag the legging trend. All you’d have to do is to set up a Down With Leggings Facebook page and get folk to go around taking candid rear view pictures of women wearing them. Once they saw how bad they look, from back and side, they’d flock for smartly-tailored trews before you could say Marks and Spencer.
But my main reason for dissing leggings is because I think they’re making us fatter.
Throughout 2011, leggings were my stretchy and accommodating partners in crime. No matter how many biscuits I took from the office tin every time I needed a concentration boost and how many weekend dog-walks I dipped out of, they never dug in around the middle or cut off my circulation if I knelt down.
This week, I am going to force myself to fish out surely the greatest reality check fashion ever invented from the bottom of the ironing pile; my jeans.
I will greet them not like the old friends they should be, but old adversaries... Brutal realists who won’t let me get away with a thing in 2012.