Opinion: Leggings make you fat



Ryan Sampson

Ryan Sampson

Ryan Sampson is a senior architecture major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Ryan Sampson at [email protected].

It’s finally starting to feel like spring, and the warm weather looks like it will be here for a little while — well, at least a week. For most people, this shift in temperature also means a change in wardrobe, with spring clothing including dresses, shorts or cropped pants, and light outerwear, more fashionable than warm. This also means that the days of leggings, boots and chunky sweaters are almost over.

For a very long time I was resistant to leggings, and only recently have I accepted them as a wardrobe staple. They’re cute, they can be dressed up or down and they go with anything. Recently I wore them shopping, and it was an absolute revelation that may have forever changed the way that I buy clothes.

Unfortunately, shortly following this newfound appreciation for the trend came the following news: Leggings make you fat. “How?” you might ask. Well, there are a couple of reasons, both physical and psychological.

First off, with a pair of jeans you have to maintain a certain weight, or at least physique, to fit into them. If the button doesn’t shut, or the pants don’t zip, there’s a problem. With leggings, you don’t have that accountability, and the stretchy Lycra is very forgiving and won’t punish you for being bloated or adding a few extra pounds. A lot of brands also don’t have a number attached to them and instead are sized by a letter, the range of which is much greater than a certain size.

There is also some debate about the physical implications of wearing leggings, with physiotherapist Sammy Margo saying that they do the work that the muscles are supposed to do for themselves, causing you to lose tone and become less firm than they would be otherwise. In addition to the muscles being allowed to relax before the leggings are holding them in, problem areas are less noticeable in leggings, and with them not disrupting your wardrobe, you’re less likely to try and correct them.

While there are people who dispute this, saying that leggings and compression shorts are worn by athletes worldwide, these active individuals are working to stay fit, not going to class or picking up a latte, so I don’t know how well the two compare. Regardless, if you’ve let yourself fall victim to the allure of leggings and you find yourself nervous for swimsuit season, there are quick exercise routines that, if done on a weekly basis, can help you tone up over the next month.

But first thing’s first: Ditch the leggings and embrace the nice weather that we have coming our way. There’s nothing better than a sundress or a great pair of cropped boyfriend jeans for the spring season, and if you’re concerned about comfort and ease, then strive for that; don’t wear too many layers or something that’s fussy. There are plenty of things that are just as easy to throw on and wear throughout the day.