No Legging to Stand On? or Please, I’m Legging You.

Who’s got it right? Reuters or the New York Times?

Yesterday social media was ablaze over the fact that United Airlines staff refused boarding to two females because they were wearing leggings. According to United, that wasn’t proper dress. United gave them the option of changing clothes, or covering up with dresses, but the females missed their flights anyway.

Word trickled out – conversation started : the passengers were just girls ( one eye-witness tweet reported a ten year old girl who was dressed appropriately). SM supported Lycra and Spandex, railed against United and it went on.

United seemed to push back on criticism, and then explained that these passengers were flying for free on passes, in a a special class reserved for current and former airline employees. ( Usually, these are stand-by seats). United seemed to be saying, our dime, our public face, our  decision.

What a story! You’ve got everything here: humor ( after the fact), sexism, fashion, mores, linguistics, failed customer relations and even emoluments of employment.

I’m tempted to discuss leggings specifically and generally; distinctions in them, differences in quality, how and in what situations they’re worn by different population segments; what are jeggings? Are leggings pants? ( NO). There is no question that females everywhere, of all ages and sizes wear skintight leggings in public situations, not just as athletic wear, and they reveal everything including the thighs, possible camel-toe and ass. Basically, some are in footless tights. Oh yes, leggings are on my list of  worthy fashion topics.

I’m not suggesting I don’t own them. I was a big Lululemon fan for a while, although I consider that more as athletic wear, ( athleisure) as some of the pants were  winter weight, shaped at the bottom and some even had fleece linings. Moreover, I make a few great, and age appropriate outfits out of these –  a thrift shop find that retail at well over $ 100.00 – great for a beach weekend or, if you happen to live in Mexico and you can tolerate three layers on top, or even without that, because the shirt is an oversized high quality, tropical weight linen.

Yes (The tops come down a little lower on the body, about 2 inches- just to about where that asymmetrical blue flower is and I wear a tank top underneath..

But for now, lets just assume that these passengers were wearing the most revealing leggings possible, and simple black, so no argument could be made that they were jeggings or something other ” a level up”.

So, is a 15 year old a woman or a girl? And does it make a difference? What about the 10 year old who managed to get on a flight because she put a dress over her leggings?

Where do you stand on leggings?



28 thoughts on “No Legging to Stand On? or Please, I’m Legging You.

    • I mean, most Danish women wear leggings. It’s an important piece of garment here, but if they are see-through like nylons…?


      • I’m not referring to see-through. I think, here, size doesn’t matter. Even for thin adult women, the top has to cover the ass and crotch. That’s my opinion. I like leggings sometimes because I can wear mini dresses that otherwise, I think I’m too old for. They become tunics.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Actually, I haven’t got any 🙂 Danish women wear them a lot, generally speaking. If you’ve got nice legs but are a bit too heavy set around the middle part of your anatomy, it actually looks very nice. Many of my colleagues wear them, also when they teach.


  2. Not sure what happened here; my comment is gone?

    I saw this too; I find it astounding that someone thinks leggings are inappropriate public attire in in 2017. Maybe in 1985. I was in HS when teenagers started wearing pajamas and exercise clothes to school, in the Flashdance era, but getting upset about it is so … Reagan-era. I do just barely remember when one dressed slightly “up” for flying. Back before price deregulation. When I was a Girl Scout flying to national Girl Scout events, which I did three times, we had to wear our Girl Scout uniforms, which at that time were bright neon green with skirts.

    I owned leggings in the 1990s and loved wearing them. I don’t own any now. I got out of the habit of wearing them when I was teaching. And then I lived in the Southwest and the South and for most of the year leggings were too warm; I tended to prefer casual dresses or skirts. Now I prefer jeans for a variety of reasons — they’re warmer; my legs are fatter.

    Your flowery leggings are cute, as is the outfit.

    As far as the airline goes — they certainly can set requirements for their pass passengers, no? (My impression is they can deny you boarding for any reason and don’t have to tell you why, but perhaps I’ve been reading too much news.) That said, they shouldn’t be surprised when someone calls them out over being sexist when they’re like, being sexist. I think I read that the father of one of the girls was wearing shorts. I’ve been on flights with people wearing swimwear (I think they lost that battle when people started wearing flipflops b/c they had to take their shoes off in airport security). I’ve also taught classes to people wearing swimwear, which can be really distracting. Maybe they were trying to protect the pilot (sarcasm).


  3. @Servetus: Sexist, yes. UA must have got their wires crossed.
    @Perry: The reason why I don’t own leggings is because I’m a jeans-girl with a penchant for dresses (sometimes).


  4. I had to check the date when I read this in case it was April Fools Day. Sadly not. I don ‘t wear leggings due to having an enormous @rse but I certainly would like to for flights. They are the perfect attire for travelling and my skinny daughters do it all the time.

    As Servetus points out, the days of dressing up to travel are long gone. In the cheap seats you just want to be comfortable and even at the pointy end, people are in Pajamas ( Quantas even supply them to business class travellers on long haul and then we all have the dilemma about whether we can stay in them to transfer in Dubai)


    • I agree. I’ll wear a skirt and blazer to fly again when they give me enough space in the seat to keep from wrinkling it all. Another advantage to casual clothes — rumpled doesn’t look as bad.


      • When I flew to NY from Mexico in October I was wearing a pea coat, a leather jacket, a blazer, a sweater, flannel shirt and T shirt. Just to save room in my luggage. I usually wear jeans socks and at least three layers on top and carry a pashmina. Later, on board, I use all these items for pillows and blankets.


  5. That said, my uncle flew for Delta for years, and his family still flies as legacy Delta – I believe that they are required to exhibit some sort of basic dress code, but given the usual appearance of my cousins when they disembark, I don’t guess it’s heavily enforced as a rule.

    On the flip side, FFS, it’s 2017 – as long as there is some layer of cloth between one’s butt and the seat, who cares?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also don’t know how anyone on the plane would know who specifically was flying on a standby pass. I never know. I guess now I’ll know it’s the better dressed people.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have friends who fly as retirees from AA and they have a dress code too. My friend had to borrow an iron to touch up her pants before a flight. I had to think twice if ironing was a fair price to pay f or flying for free. Tough choice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think if it’s clear what you have to wear, it’s not so much of a problem (you’re in a position to choose, presumably).

        I’m not sure we HAVE an iron anymore around here, though, lol.


      • Good grief! I’m honestly not sure why airlines think they are qualified to dictate style when it still seems mandatory for flight attendants ( on BA and Qantas at least) to dye themselves orange before each flight.


  6. Pingback: Yes! We Can Still Have Fun! | Armitage Agonistes

  7. Une question m’a toujours intriguée. De quelle nationalité est un bébé né dans un avion? Est-ce que les restrictions aux femmes enceintes, dans certaines compagnies, seraient dues aux risques inhérents à un accouchement (“il y a t-il un docteur dans l’avion?”) ou bien aux conflits éventuels dus à la nationalité du bébé, en fonction des différentes règlementations, en vigueur selon les pays et les compagnies?
    A question always intrigued me. What nationality is a baby born in an airplane? Would the restrictions on pregnant women in certain companies be due to the risks inherent in delivery (“Is there any doctor on the plane?”) , or either to the possible conflicts due to the nationality of the baby , according to the various regulations, current according to countries and companies?


  8. I guess because of circumstances of the flight programme they can impose rules. But it’s ridiculous… as long as essential bits that touch seating are covered i couldn’t care less. Given flight conditions these days, I’d say whatever makes people comfortable. And funny how yet again women’s attire is picked on. Ffs…


  9. I own leggings in all forms and find them comfortable when travelling. However, when I do wear them my arse is covered by a long sweater or shirt. Recently, I went to my son’s HS and my eyebrows raised on a couple of occasions by some of the outfits some girls were wearing. These yoga pants left very little to the imagination. Wasn’t much of a difference if they had been wearing black tights. Not to mention they were paired with crop tops and nothing else. If I was the mother of a teen girl she would not have left the house in a similar outfit.


    • Yeah, so imagine almost the same look ( maybe minus the crop top) on a grown woman? No need to imagine though, because one sees it all the time. I agree with you – leggings are great, can be very comfortable, ( yes – hot) and look great with a longer top. So, cropped tops and belly buttons are now allowed in schools?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw several outfits that I found inappropriate as a woman. Several of these outfits were more appropriate for a yoga class than a high school class. There was a big dust-up a couple years ago at one of the local HS with girls wearing yoga pants with short tops. Of course, the girls made it out to be discriminatory against them. I once had a customer at work who was wearing yoga pants and nothing else underneath them. I had to do a double-take to make sure I saw what I saw. I’m sure she was liking the attention.


  10. The airline is being sexist by singling out garments worn by women. That said, I’m not a fan of leggings, aesthetically speaking, when they reveal every detail of crotch and rear end. But it’s a prevalent look among young women on my university campus–I’d say 80% of them wear leggings with nothing to cover. It’s their choice, and I’m glad that they have the ability to make a choice.


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