This is a subject I feel pretty strongly about. And it seems I'm not alone. There is a whole digital movement out there dedicated to it- Facebook groups, blogs and even whole websites. And this is it ladies- leggings aren't pants. (I'm not American but pants sounds better than trousers. Nobody wears trousers).
Now before I continue, I have to say that I'm not a legging-hater. When leggings are worn in the right circumstances, they can be acceptable. Lounging around the house- acceptable. Worn under a bottom-covering top- acceptable. Worn as an alternative to actual clothes intended for wear on the bottom half- not acceptable.
I'm sure you are all familiar with the rather unattractive (and unfortunate) situation called the camel toe, as kindly demonstrated here by La Toya Jackson. This is the number one rule as to why leggings ought to be worn under certain restrictions only. Nobody wants to see this. You don't want people to see this.
Its simply a fact of life that leggings do not flatter everyone. They have no structure or support to offer your legs. So those wobbly bits you have that you feel self-concious about? The sneaky cellulite that most of us collect round about our thighs? Leggings don't disguise them. They accentuate them. Therefore, they should only be worn under long tops or dresses- and even then, its a tricky area to get right.
Fortunately for us, some nice celebrities have demonstrated this exact fact for us. Step forward Helen Flanagan (Rosie from Coronation Street) and Amber Rose. Both are wearing some rather fetching pairs of leggings- only, neither are very flattering. (Mostly because it looks they forgot the rest of their outfit.)
The issue of underwear is one which must be taken into serious consideration before attempting the tricky task of wearing leggings in public. Underwear should not;
-be visible through your leggings
-be visible peeking from the top of your leggings
-give you a VPL (visible pant line) through your leggings.
The third and final disastrous legging fiasco is the one-time wildly popular 'wet-look legging' trend, particularly popular with chavs and sex maniacs. This is the rather fascinating look of wearing a couple of bin bags on your legs and calling it a style statement. Again, not a flattering look if you have any shape to your legs whatsoever. Even Katy Perry can't get away with it.
To conclude- leggings are difficult. If you have big legs, they won't look nice. If you have tiny legs, they won't look nice. If you are wearing underwear, they won't look nice. If you aren't wearing underwear, they won't look nice. And so on.
But basically, as all of these celebs have shown, is that they are never, ever, a substitute for proper bottom half clothing. They are not tights and they never will be. The only way to avoid such mortification as demonstrated on this page is to wear leggings with extreme care! And not with short tops!