I woke this morning with a feverish compulsion to write about leggings, maternity leggings to be specific. Though the slant was veering towards the poor choices available in budget shopping for pregnant ladies. Please excuse me, I am no fashion writer, I’m a spiritual writer who ‘suffers’ shopping and all things consumer driven, so for me to turn my words to this, something must be terribly wrong in the world. Either that or the pregnancy hormones have finally gotten to me. Humour me, let me attend to this rant and I am convinced that the pregnant amongst us may rally to my cries.
Prior to my now seven months of pregnancy I had a moment of passion where I decided I must throw away all of my leggings, even the wet look ones which upon first wearing had seemed so very radical. I packed them off to the charity shop knowing that dozens of girls younger than myself would be astounded by this true find in amongst the old lady sweaters. I proudly declared myself a legging free zone.
Leggings it seems to me are the last bastion of the lazy dresser. They cover our legs in regulation style, can be dressed down and up (allegedly) and serve the very basic necessity of ‘clothing’ quite adequately. Yet in spite of this adequacy I simply had to break free. My heart lay elsewhere, I’m no fashion expert, but I figured that dresses, fitted trousers, lovely jeans were preferable to skin tight black coverings whereby if you stare to close you may just see some flesh, or, god forbid, a hair missed in waxing.
Yet something terrible has happened. Not only have I reverted to type, I now own two pairs of the devilishly comfortable monstrosity that are maternity leggings. And the reason why? Well maternity clothing on a budget is truly dire. I expected to be bowled over by choice, for it is 2012, and the newspapers are choc full of pregnant debutantes looking classy, sassy and fine. Though, if I’m honest, I see more leggings on these ladies than I do on the pins of other non-pregnant famous faces. I may be wrong, but didn’t Beyonce grace a pair or two whilst carrying Blue Ivy? If Miss B had to endure the ravages of soft and cosy lycra, then what hope is there for the rest of the world?
I have three months of pregnancy left, and I am not prepared to spend on items that rot so quickly or that will look ridiculous come the end of May. The shopping time and hours spent in changing rooms is likely to damage my already hormonal mental health, perhaps beyond repair. Having perused the websites of so many high street fashion stores I can only find maternity clothes determined to make me look bland, dull and inexcusably mumsy. So why even bother taking my trek and my rattly pregnant pelvis to the streets?
It’s become so desperate that recently I almost online-purchased a pair of maternity leopard print leggings. I know, I know, it’s against everything I’m fighting for, but they were the only thing that had any semblance of personality about them, any semblance of being just a little bit rock ‘n’ roll. Then I imagined the inevitable thinned out look of stretched and over-worn leopard print and decided to take the soulful approach. I slipped back into my pyjamas and didn’t leave the house. Perhaps this is the only answer?
I am so outside of my league in this debate, that I’m not even sure if there is a debate? I do know however that Vivienne Westwood has struck out at modern throwaway fashion, saying we all look the same and that seventy year old ladies could teach us a trick or two. Well my Grandma is ninety and her staple outfit for the last twenty years has been navy, a navy blouse and navy trousers, the occasional blush of pink lips on a fancy occasion. She looks good, she has found her niche. My Gran knows horses more than she does fashion but I’m sure she would tell you that leggings are simply jodhpurs for walking. Jodhpurs that would not hold up to more than a few meters at the Grand National before they split, laddered and became suitable only for your Halloween wenches costume.
As for me, I think I have given up. Other than my brother’s wedding in March when I may well have to make some sincere efforts, I am going to become wholly reliant on what I already own, sandwiched with occasional legging abuse. The classic ‘dress with leggings’ look is something I intend to own. I feel I have no choice. I will continue to lament the preposterous lack of choice in fair priced maternity clothing as I lounge in my horridly comfortable black over the bumps. Indeed I will of course do all I can to remind myself of everything spiritual, that fashion is a load of bunkum and the most important thing is the baby growing in my belly. Which is all madly, deeply true. I will consent to embracing the leggings for now and I shall allow them to serve a purpose. In three months time they will be honorably discharged, screwed up, tied in knots and gifted to George my rabbit who has a psychopathic streak for scraps of material and will be sure to treat them with the vicious disdain they deserve.