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Leggings Are Pants, End of Story

Does it cover her butt? Then it's clothing.

[TMI Warning]

Since most of the people who read this probably know me in person, I can probably assume that you, my reader, know how I look. Specifically, you may have noticed that I’m curvy.

And when I say curvy, I’m not using that as a euphemism for “fat,” because that’s not what I am. I’m curvy. Specifically, I have fairly large boobs and a rather large giant ass.

Despite our society’s idolization of hourglass-shaped women such as Marilyn Monroe and Kim Kardashian (neither of whom I am attempting to compare myself to except where waist-to-hip ratio is concerned), this is not a body type that the American fashion industry tends to keep in mind. According to the clothes you find in virtually any store, be it a Walmart or a Prada, American women come in one shape only–a stick. Sometimes it’s a very thin stick and sometimes it’s a very fat stick, but it’s still a stick.

Jeans, the staple of casual style, are unfortunately no exception. Here’s what happens when you have a big ass and you try to wear jeans. First of all, any size that actually fits around your ass and zips all the way up will generally be way too long for you and much too loose around your actual waist. When you sit down, the back of the jeans rides down and everyone from London to France can see your underpants. Your thighs, if they’re nice and juicy like mine, will be constricted by the jeans and it’ll sometimes hurt to sit. Putting the jeans on and taking them off will be a Herculean effort. Usually, the jeans will be way too tight in general your body will literally spill out of them at the top.

Needless to say, I don’t like jeans very much, and most girls with my proportions don’t either. So if we want to wear jeans like everyone else does, we have two options:

  • Be really uncomfortable.
  • Starve ourselves, because that’s the only way to rid a curvy body of its curves.

Needless to say, neither of those options sound particularly appealing. So during the warmer months, we wear lots of skirts and dresses. But fall, winter, and spring pose a problem. Many girls, myself included, prefer to wear leggings because they’re comfortable and stretchy and fit our proportions. Unfortunately, however, many people seem to believe that leggings are “not pants.” Why? Because they’re form-fitting. This has apparently even inspired a Huffington Post article (which, then again, may not be saying much).

What this means is that if you want to wear leggings, you must always choose a top that’s long enough to cover your butt, because God forbid anyone be able to discern the outline of your behind–not that jeans hide it either. However, when you have a large ass, it’s pretty hard to find tops long enough to cover it up completely, meaning that this style is best suited for stick-women, too.

Well, what can I say. I apologize deeply for the fact that my body isn’t of the shape that this particular culture values, and I offer my condolences to anyone who has ever been offended by the sight of the outline of my ass when I wear leggings.

Actually, just kidding. I’m not fucking sorry! This sartorial snobbery is ridiculous. Here’s a quick guide to identifying whether or not something qualifies as clothing. Does it cover up all the body parts that need to be covered up? If yes, then–ding-ding-ding!–it’s clothing.

And if you’re one of these rabid “but but but leggings aren’t pants!” people, then I’d suggest that you issue yourself a stern reminder of the fact that not everyone’s willing to starve to gain the ability to dress themselves in the way you’d like them to.

Still not convinced? Well, find me a pair of jeans that will fit these T&A, and then we’ll talk. ;)

Comments

  1. Thin and Curvy but not affiliated with the blog of same name says

    An “outline of [one's] ass” isn’t the issue people have with leggings as pants. It’s because most of the time, we can see your ass itself, or at the very least, whatever underwear you decided to cover your ass with that day. Opacity is a big issue in the “leggings as pants” debate, which you fail to mention. Some girls will wear long shirts so that the public doesn’t know she’s wearing anything from granny panties to a thong.

    Have you given up on jeans entirely? We have similar body shapes and I wear jeans all the time that fit me like a glove. If you just haven’t found the right type of jean, I can suggest some for you. I love the sweetheart cut skinny jean from Old Navy. The fabric is stretchy and a short leg length is available. When I found them I bought two pairs and mostly switch between them.
    Levis also has a line of jeans made specifically for curvy women. Called simply enough Curve ID. It’s available it several styles, and while I haven’t tried them for myself, it is a potential source for well-fitting jeans.

    If you’ve sworn off jeans, that’s fine. Just don’t speak for all curvy girls when some of us found solutions that work.

    • says

      Um, I never claimed to speak for “all curvy girls.”

      Also, none of the leggings I have reveal my ass or underwear. And, try as I might, I can’t see the ass or underwear of the person in the photo I used. If leggings are transparent, that’s probably because they’re tights.

      • Thin and Curvy says

        “…I don’t like jeans very much, and MOST GIRLS with my proportions don’t either. So if WE want to wear jeans like everyone else does, WE have two options…”

      • says

        Most. Not all. I don’t understand why this is such a touchy issue for you. If this post doesn’t apply to you, that’s fine. But it applies to me and a lot of people I know.

  2. jane says

    Agreed, as long as you don’t have VPL, you’re golden. In terms of jeans, I got some awesome skinny ones from old navy. Gap also works, as do the Martin fit at Banana and the city fit at NY&Co.

    Also, you have a gorgeous body … A giant ads isn’t the way I’d describe it.

  3. says

    One thing that I unfortunately forgot to mention was that I’m a poor college student and buy most of my clothes either used or deeply discounted…so unfortunately that precludes the Levis suggestion. I did hear that those were great. :/

    and @jane thank you! :D

  4. says

    Aha! I figured it out.

    I will have to say that you have what I have always regarded as the absolutely perfect female body shape.

    In my 20′s and 30′s I also had a large butt and small waistline. I finally figured out that it was necessary to get a tailor to alter my pants. I should think that this would be just as feasible for female jeans as for male pants. Of course, it does have a cost; one must either pay a tailor or learn to do the swing oneself

      • says

        Yes, I am male. But I have as large a derriere as my wife does. It runs in my family.. Now, I also have a potbelly, so it is not so hard to find pants to fit, sort of. A 40 inch waist does nicely. But when I was in my twenties I had a twenty eight inch waistline and a butt the same size as I have now, so I had the same problem as you.

  5. says

    Hear, hear, sister! I’m in the same boat as you, even though I’m significantly bigger. There are no jeans on this planet that don’t turn into a torture device for me. Pants are better but still not perfect.

    I’ve always felt inhibited about leggings but after your post I feel like I should let go of the inhibition and try them. My sister has been wearing them for a while and loves them. So maybe I will, too. thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      If you manage to find a top that goes way past your butt, wearing leggings will be less intimidating!

      Pants are indeed a decent compromise, though not really an option for me as a student because I do so much walking and they would trail on the ground probably unless I found a good tailor, but I’m quite short on money most of the time. :)

  6. says

    You look perfectly normal to me, but then we are into healthy shapes, not sticks.

    I wear a 34E bra – and let me tell you I agree with you – no-one that is 34 inches is supposed to have boobs. Shirts rarely botton over the boobs. Therefore – no shirts for me. Jumpers (sweaters) really stretch!

    I’m not sure what shape women are supposed to be – I thought we were women and boys were the straight up and down type. Even skirts are made these days with a waist almost the same measurement as the hips because, so I was told by the saleslady, girls are more straight up and down these days. Not me. Or you. Can we have waists back in skirts, please?

    • says

      So THAT’S why I can’t wear skirts anymore! They always ride up in the back because they weren’t intended for someone with a butt. And I have the same issue with button-down shirts, which makes finding interview-appropriate attire very difficult.

      • says

        There are button-down shirts that allow some space for a big chest but, boy, are they hard to find or what? I hunted for over two months when I went on the job market and finally found one shirt that worked for me.

  7. Cameron says

    Im a 25 year old gay male who has an extrodinarily large backside as well but otherwise im skin and bones. When i was 16 i was already in love abd “moving in” with my bf. He was my mom’s best friends brother. My mom and her friend and i were shopping for some clothes when her friend suggested i try leggings. Back then they werent in style like today. But after some protest i tried a pair and ive been
    wearing leggings ever since. Not to say i cross dress as i dont wear other womens items with them. I wear tjem like 5 or 6 days a week just because i cant find good jeans to fit me.

  8. Cameron says

    Be proud of your shape and i figure all the leggings haters out there need to learn to not be checking out those who do wear them’s butts!

    You are so beautiful and dont let any one tell you differebt!

  9. Marcus Wellin says

    Not sure how appropriate this comment is given your activism and what not… But you’ve got a sweet body girl! How about a view of that ass… Wanna turn around for me?