America Hates Denim, Loves Leggings


Remember when Fran Lebowitz told ELLE that she thinks only naturally beautiful people should wear leggings? It was very Fran. Very provocative.

“All these clothes that you see people wearing, the yoga clothes — even men wear them! — it’s just another way of being in pajamas,” she said. “[I]f you’re naturally beautiful, wear what you want, but that’s .01% of people. Most people just aren’t good looking enough to wear what they have on. They should change. They should get some slacks and a nice overcoat.”

Well, Fran, I have some bad news for you and a pretty unsurprising update for the rest of us. This morning, Women’s Wear Daily reported that leggings sales have officially outpaced denim sales online in the US. “[L]egging orders have increased by 41 percent in the last year – by comparison, denim orders rose three percent in the same time frame.”

That’s…kind of wild, right? Remember in 2010 when a lot of people were livid about the idea about women wearing leggings as pants? I hope those people read WWD and did a coffee spit take this morning.

As an avid pajama-as-clothes wearer, I find this trend comforting. Literally. (HAHA!) There is something refreshing and illuminating about women prioritizing their corporal coziness, isn’t there? Question: Have you worn jeans? They’re no walk in the park. No disrespect to denim, in fact I’m writing this from inside a pair or jeans, but they are definitely digging into places I scarcely knew existed. And the only circumstances under which I would sleep in them is by accident after a lot of drinks. (Unless they were pajama jeans, which is a category of pants that I’m sure confounded the researchers who procured the above statistic.)

All this is to say: I think the introduction of athleisure into the fashion sphere is a win for women. And it’s not slowing down. Are you into leggings? Does this statistic ring true for you?

Photo by Krista Anna Lewis.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive