Guest writer: Syazwina Saw
I have a nose to pick with leggings.
What was once a ubiquitous underwear essential has suddenly become this new phenomenon, with various young Hollywood washouts releasing fashion lines consisting entirely of leggings. I do not deny the power of a good pair of sturdy black leggings – it provides an extra layer of insulation on winter days, it holds certain flesh more firmly, it looks good with a dress. But oh dear me, when did it become acceptable for leggings to be worn in place of pants?
I'm talking about people who wear short tops that end well above the navel, followed by leggings (of varying opacity), followed by.... footwear. Leggings were never designed to flatter any part of the body above the knee. Unless you're pre-pubescent or a Russian ballerina, this look just doesn’t make sense. I mean, it's UNDERWEAR! Only Superman wore underwear that visibly, and he's fiction!
Such atrocities make me want to clip on my Fashion Sherriff badge and haul them offenders to jail. Or at least somewhere you can't see them.
But as I bemoan this apparent loss of common sense, it strikes me that most of fashion is thoughtless. It seems that the Powers That Be came together and pushed certain outfits to the magazines that we peruse, and we feel compelled to submit.
Fashion, which essentially is about self-expression, has morphed into culture sans thought, where different styles are regurgitated for the masses and accepted, no questions asked. As a result, the world now has hordes of people wearing faux-vintage pop-culture t-shirts, jeans ripped in places that aren't even decent, suspenders, neon plastic watches, floppy fedoras, dirty smelly sneakers and leggings/tights-as-pants, no matter the country or its original culture. Instead, each country's original culture has become the new 'exotic', the new extreme with regards to normal. Baju kurungs are relegated to formal events, lush sarees are for the aunties, and silk brocade cheongsams are rare-a-find.
Fashion only ever existed so we could look good. Fashion was meant to tell us apart and give aspects of ourselves a public face. But now we have youths who cram themselves into teeny little skinny jeans, just so they can look like the next dead-faced hipster-wannabe. We have scores of people who dress in things (can you even call them clothes?) because it’s the ‘in’ look, even if the look does not flatter them at all.
I'm not saying that these are evil styles unto themselves. They obviously work on some people. And they are nice in their own way, or they wouldn't catch on. It's time that we determine what fashion means for us, to determine our fashionosophy. It's high time we put comfort and compatibility into what we wear. Put on something that fits, and that fits you well. Don't be afraid to wear your heritage on your body. In fact, toss the fads aside. The only trend that really matters is you.
Look good is all I'm telling you. And please, underwear where no one can see them.