New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants

November 6, 2011 § 225 Comments

A recent study at Harvard University entirely debunks the popular notion that leggings are pants. Such a firm conclusion was slightly unexpected, according to the study’s authors. “Clearly a hybrid of tights and trousers,” lead researcher Deborah Collins commented, “leggings retained the real possibility of falling on the ‘pants’ side of the dividing line between these two types of clothing.”

Indeed, early in the research process, Collins and her partner in the study, Martin Hilfiger of Boston University (no relation to the fashion mogul), hypothesized that leggings might, in fact, be pants, due to the apparently endless number of women that he encountered daily on the streets of Boston and Cambridge, wearing t-shirts over partially opaque leggings, often with the seeming declaration, “Panty-lines be damned!”

“Of course,” Hilfiger cautions, “the fact that many people believe something has no relation to the likelihood of its actually being true.” He rants briefly about the Young Earth Creationists before returning to the subject of his study.

“As a man, and thus someone who has never considered leaving the house without traditional pants,” Hilfiger notes, “I thought that the women I often saw walking down the street in only leggings might know better than I.”

Upon beginning the rigorous study, however, and abandoning personal suppositions for science, Hilfiger quickly discovered that leggings have far more in common with tights, Spanx, and even underwear, than they do with pants.

“Leggings are pants, but only in the British sense of the term!” Collins laughed. In Britain, the term “pants” refers to what Americans call underwear.

Both Hilfiger and Collins cited as important to their work Catherine Baker’s landmark 1994 study which confirmed that tights are not, and should not be used as, pants.

“Baker’s research,” Collins said, “helped us design a rigorous study, while also laying necessary conceptual groundwork. Of course, her study also allowed me, personally, to have confidence that our current work is important to society.”

Those in the fashion world have reacted to Collins and Hilfiger’s results with the surprise of those reacting to a study declaring the sky to be blue.

When asked if leggings are pants, Anna Wintour simply frowned.

The “Fug Girls,” the two writers behind the popular fashion blog, have long written a series of sardonic responses to celebrity pantlessness called “Look Into Pants.” These blog posts sometimes feature celebrities’ ill-advised substitution of tights or leggings for pants.

Others on the web are contemplating the proper response to such damning new research. The crusaders behind – whose manifesto states that “The wearing of tights as pants is an abomination” – are currently considering developing a sister site,, in response to the scientific verification of leggings’ not-pants status.

Collins reports that her and Hilfiger’s results are entirely conclusive.

“Our margin of error is plus or minus 0.00021%,” she noted. “So no, there’s really no way leggings are actually pants.”

Some within the psychology community, however, question the wisdom of publicizing such a blatant denouncement of wearing leggings as pants. Psychologist Lynn Brockton of the University of Southern California has predicted a higher suicide rate among sorority girls and Lindsay Lohan following the news of Collins and Hilfiger’s study results.

Note on 6 Nov 2013: Apparently literally thousands of people have read this post today. Not sure how that happened, but I’d like to make a few things clear.

Firstly, this entire post is a joke. The studies it cites are not real. The people it quotes are either fake or have never actually said the things they are being quoted as saying. It falls under a category of posts called “The Scallion,” which is a play off the title of the satirical news site The Onion. It’s satire.

Secondly, this post is not meant to be body-shaming.  I think it looks weird to wear leggings as pants if you have athletic legs, curvy legs,  skinny legs, what have you.

Finally, this post is not meant to tell anyone what to do. Lots of people probably think things I wear are weird, and that’s totally fine. For instance, I’m a grown woman who frequently wears a sweater adorned with a fox face made of sequins. You are a beautiful and unique snowflake, and you are free to house your snowflake legs in leggings if you so desire!

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§ 225 Responses to New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants

  • KatherineG says:

    KatherineG reblogged this on katherinegilbert and commented: lol!! follow me

  • “Leggings are pants, but only in the British sense of the term!”, hahaha well said. I am a big leggings lover myself, but those pictures are just too much! The parts where your legs meet should be covered, front and back, ALWAYS!!

    • Katie B. says:

      Agreed! That is the ONLY exception to the rule! BUM AND CROTCH COVERED AT ALL TIMES!

    • Omar Gamal says:

      why covered ?

    • Lindsay says:

      Why? Because seeing the seperation between a woman’s legs is wrong? How is what you said any different than the people who shamed women in the 20s and 30s for wearing pants at all? The whole down-with-leggings-as-pants thing is just the newest way to police what people choose to wear and how they chose to present their bodies.

  • Thanks for the article! It was a really funny read 🙂


  • Russ Nickel says:

    I’m a man, and I often leave the house without traditional pants. Sometimes I’ll just wander around town in my boxers. Plus there’s board shorts and speedos to consider, both perfectly suitable for my beach endeavors.

  • MichaelEdits says:

    Leggings with runs are especially bad. These ladies look like People Of Walmart with those things.

    • Tara Christine says:

      If you don’t like it don’t look

      • Jennifer G says:

        There are some things you just can’t un-see. Spandex rule applies… “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” This rule applies to all body types.

      • elijah says:

        Don’t like it don’t look. It’s kinda hard not to look when you got lady young and old showing the form of there chuchi n Der behind…

  • […] Most popular post – Probably New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants . Everyone loves fake science! Just ask Rick Santorum – he’s a […]

  • Amanda says:

    Why can’t girls just be comfy? I mean, it doesn’t affect me if a girl is wearing leggings. And if she’s comfortable enough with her body to show it off, I say great for her. Why is it okay for everyone to judge women for wearing what they want?

    • Cheryl says:

      Amanda, I see your point. Comfy is comfy. However, women need to remember that the way they dress does affect men differently than women. It’s not a matter of judging another woman, its about protecting your brothers [do you want your future husband tempted to look at a million different women’s rear? Wouldn’t you rather protect your husband and other women’s husbands too?] It would not be fair to say, well that’s the man’s fault for being tempted. Each side has a role to play. Women should dress beautifully, encouraging men to treat them as ladies 🙂

      • thixotropic says:

        “Protect my husband”? Last I looked, he was fully self-protecting.

        The whole comment is an antediluvian perspective.

      • Sammi says:

        So much wrong I don’t know where to start. The way we dress affects men differently? No honey the way I dress affects only me. Protecting your brothers/future husbands? Are you planning to marry your brother? Husband looking at million women’s rear? I couldn’t care less how many rears male or female my husband looks at – he knows whose bottom he is taking home. The real problem with your comment? It comes perilously close to rape blaming – “women should dress beautifully encouraging men to treat them as ladies”? Are you seriously saying women who don’t dress how you approve of deserve to be treated disrespectfully? It’s a very short step from there to women in short skirts or leggings in this case deserve to be harassed, molested, touched, raped. I have a better idea, how about men treat all women with respect and don’t justify leering and groping with some stupid Madonna/Whore idea? And for the record – I think leggings are not pants but if you want to wear them as such – go for it!

      • Cate says:

        I have no problem with my husband looking or thinking about other women. What’s the big deal? Everyone does it, including myself, it’s perfectly normal. Plus, I trust him and know he’s not going anywhere.But I’m confident in my relationship and I guess that’s the difference.

      • Laura Salmons says:

        It’s satire, y’all. Look into it.

      • Parker says:

        I don’t want to be that guy…. but. The same ideology you just spoke about started the socialist class in America andddd the first action of this group (using your same reasoning) created the prohibition. We all know where this goes from there.

        Girls, yoga pants on!

        (And have a little more confidence in your man. If you chose well, I swear we’re not as big of bastards as the media makes us out to be)

      • austinisforlovers says:

        Whoa whoa whoa. It is not my prerogative nor my duty to enforce the morals of men!

      • cara says:

        Cheryl, you are making it sound as though women are responsible for men’s behavior because of what they wear. Men should take responsibility for their actions. I am not responsible for what a man does. If a man has a fetish for a woman wearing a huge sweatshirt, and I am wearing one, am I guilty for “not protecting him”? What type of crap is this? I hope you aren’t responsible for anything important.

      • Zoe Castillo says:

        Here is a scenario:
        You are a heterosexual man. There is a hot girl in front of you. Not only that, but you can see every detail of her legs and butt.

        If you didn’t notice her butt at all, chances are you’re gay.

        As for whether or not you can treat them as pants, here’s a test. Bend over, and touch the floor. Can we see your crack?

        Honestly, it goes down to, are you OK with it? Everyone notices the opposite sex. If you’re uncomfortable with leggings, I respect you. If you’re an adamant leggings wearer, I respect you.

    • Maggie Ong says:

      Wearing leggings as pants is only one step from wearing just under in public. When wearing leggings one should wear a shirt/short dress that covers at least 3/4 of their ass. Also no one said the shirt can’t be comfy too. Also just wear Jeggings they feel just as comfy and no one will judge or fight you on it.

      • k says:

        don’t tell me what i “should do.” people will live their life as they please.

      • savannah says:

        Perhaps you have religious views that make you feel otherwise but truly women should not feel wrong about showing their bodies AT ALL. If you and any other “naysayer” feels like proposing to the fashion industry affordable, comfortable, fashionably acceptable, “appropriate” pants PLEASE do, until these AMAZING pants are invented please do not hate on those of us who feel most comfortable in leggings. Unless of course it’s a religious choice then I can’t imagine I could change your mind. I do apologize if any of this came off as rash and/or rude it just pains me to see fellow women talk down other fellow women when we should be embracing feminism and body positivity. And no i don’t mean the BURN YER BRAS AND HATE THE MEN feminism.

      • Laura Salmons says:

        HUMOR. Clearly marked in the title of the blog.

    • symone says says:

      i think it’s about what that one person said: “the part where your legs meet, that should be covered [when you’re wearing leggings]”. it’s not really about the legs, it’s about the crotch, ‘in short’. 🙂

    • Nat says:

      What bothers me about the leggings is that it looks so sloppy (and it’s usually accompanied by the equally sloppy UGGS). It’s a small step above wearing PJ’s, in my opinion. Put a little more effort into your clothes, people! (This applies to men as well)

    • tb03 says:

      Couldn’t agree more!!! I definently think there is a fashionable way to wear leggings, and I think they need to be thick enough to hold things together and to not be see through, also worn with a longer shirt that covers your bum! hate to break it to all the debbie downers out therr but they are pretty much in style right now so just get with it 🙂

  • Braindead says:

    in Britain and other countries they refer to pants as trousers.

    This was really a study conducted by Harvard University?

    i love when you see a girl with a great juicy ass in leggings. i don’t give a shit if they are pants are not. they accentuate excellent curves.

  • Michelle Burnett says:

    I don’t care if leggings aren’t pants because pants are the worst.

  • Ha! This is too funny to me because I just saw a pair of sweater printed leggings in a Target flyer I think are cute. I’ve never worn leggings as pants and this is the first time I’ve even considered it.

  • Paige says:

    Can I just say the body shaming in that article is absolutely disgusting? As if every woman who has a “BMI of 16” or higher should be made to hide her “every curve and dimple” ? Why would the weight of the person wearing the leggings change the definition of whether or not they are pants ?

    • MeowMeow says:

      you do realize that there is absolutely no mention of what sort of body type should or should not wear leggings as pants. The article states that leggings are not pants, nothing more. The only one mentioning body shaming is you. Also it is a joke. You understand this yes?

      • thesnarkist says:

        To be fair, I made two alterations to the piece yesterday, as there were two instances that, while I did not intend them to be, could be understood as body shaming, and I did not wish to include any such negative sensibility in what I simply meant to be a joking riff on how wearing leggings as pants is a weird fashion trend, in my opinion.

      • Galdekot says:

        Fashion trend? Try a fashion fopaux!

      • Ali PS says:

        An even worse faux pas is spelling it like that.

    • Toby333 says:

      You do understand that this is satire right? Before freaking out about things maybe look at sources.

  • Kathy says:

    Oh Good Grief! Who died and made Harvard University today’s fashion police. Leggings are whatever one wants them to be. Period, end of sentence.

  • […] to the point of this post. Whilst reading The Snarkist’s post, “New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants,” I felt myself losing brain cells. Not because of the writing, by any means, but because of the […]

  • poetic justice says:

    Seriously people what makes something a pant… for the stupid…

    pant 2  (pnt)
    1. Trousers. Often used in the plural.
    2. Underpants. Often used in the plural.

    Okay so what’s a trouser?

    trou·ser  (trouzr)
    An outer garment for covering the body from the waist to the ankles, divided into sections to fit each leg separately. Often used in the plural.

    So based on definition leggings are a version of pants… like it or not it is a fact. Whole they might not look fashionably appropriate that does not change the fact that they are still a form of pants.

    I personally think skinny jeans are ugly to but even if i hired Princeton to do a study saying they are not pants reality would still be… a pant is a pant.

    At the end of the day this is a fashion issue.

    • Galdekot says:

      Underpants are pants also, are they not? At least by the definition given.

    • shakin steak says:

      Yes, leggings are a version of pants. The “under” version. Meaning they should be worn under other garments.

      • Tiffany says:

        This topic is no different than the one about men needing to pull their damn pants up! So we women have found the equal offenssive attire to your jeans hanging around your knees with your boxers hanging out! Or your plumbers cracks popping out all round town bc your legs are sweating and your belt isn’t tight enough to bear the load of sweaty ball sack and ass crack! Or men walking round grabbin their junk all round town or simply just keeping a hold of their manhood like their scared someone may shoot it off in a drive by! We don’t enjoy man guts hangin out over your pants out of your shirts either but soooo many choose to walk round with all that hanging out! Maybe we should all just stop pointing out the obvious before someone really gets their feelings hurt since we are pointing out character flaws! Cleavage, camel toe, see threw garments, and side boob all together are all more desireable than a man crack on display any day! Or a kegger, or tool shed as you so giggly call them! We all get fat, old, some bald, some don’t, parts sag, some just all together disappear….its just respectful to either (a) have enough sense not to walk round with your junk male or female all on display. Know if you don’t have enough sense…someone gonna talk about you (b) just don’t be so offended so easily by someone elses body showing just bc your not comfortable with it! Maybe they don’t have more suitable clothing, maybe just maybe they don’t have a full length mirror or good lighting in their home, maybe some just weren’t raised to know any better bc believe me modesty would be a lot more popular if all parents knew how to handle these kinds of topics! How many 80 yr old men and women do you see with all these attire issues?! Not so many!

    • toomanyboys says:

      Ok, first, you do realize this is satire, no? Harvard NEVER DID A STUDY.

      Second, by definition, pants COVER from waist to ankle. Most leggings are stretched to within an inch of their lives, making them opaque, or see through, meaning they are covering NOTHING.

      Last, and most important, I truly don’t understand why this has caused such an issue. Someone wrote a satire piece based on their opinion. If you are truly that “comfy” and/or confident, is one satirical article going to change you? Lighten up, people!

  • Devmicha says:

    I wear leggings as pants but only with shirts or skits long enough to cover my butt.
    I do wonder where Jeggings fit in to the mix…

  • Ryan Sims says:

    bahaaa!! About 2 years ago, while driving past a girl wearing leggings as pants, I declared to my fiance (now husband) that leggings are NOT a substitute for pants and should only be worn if the bum is going to be covered, followed by several snarky comments and a pretty in-depth conversation supporting my declaration.
    Then…I bought some leggings. They are SO comfortable! Now I frequently wear them around the house and have totally been caught pleading with my man to just wear them on short outings so I won’t have to change clothes (“Pleeeaaase, just to get gas/run to pick up dinner etc…”). He quotes our previous conversation back to me. I hang my head and puts on some pants.

    • Jennifer G says:

      … Or cover your bum. No one is saying not wear them. Just saying that fashion-wise, they are more appropriately treated as tights, and therefore, should be worn under a longer shirt. Be comfortable and enjoy!

      I also was afraid this was a serious article. It was the last paragraph that did me in, and then I saw… “The Snarkist.” Then the satire was obvious. So glad there was no money spent on this on. Haha… Was looking for the research explanation.

      In all, well done!

  • Mary Jane says:

    Awesome. But don’t apologize for satire. If people are too stupid to realize it’s a joke, then they deserve all the yeast infections they’re going to get from their too-tight leggings they wear as pants.

  • jenxbyron says:

    If we were talking seriously about the subject, I think leggings that are perfectly opaque ARE pants, albiet ones most of us shouldn’t wear without a tunic top. Any that are stretched so thin that your panties show through, are not.

  • fit4review says:

    I definitely think you have a great writing style. As much as I disagree with the content of this post, I very much enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    I would just like to say one thing, because I am an avid leggings-wearer… A really should be made between cheap, opaque, flimsy Target tights and the $60-100 workout leggings from places like R.E.I or City Sports. The two are not at all the same, and the latter can really be quite flattering. (Not to mention comfortable and warm as hell!)

  • IQTech61 says:

    Old study confirms: opinions are not facts. People are going to wear what they like to wear whether fashionistas like it or not.

    Crocs are proof that there are people who care more about comfort than fashion.

    C’est la guerre. 😛

  • Nice reply to people who had a problem with the post, but I see it as what it was intended for . . . hilarious comedy 🙂 Thank you!

  • Ryan says:

    lol @ ppl taking this serious

  • onethinker says:

    It’s not clear to me why anyone would think that this is anything other than a joke. There’s no real need for the disclaimer or the apology. Would Swift have offered either?

  • Matt says:

    Your additional comment is wonderful. But, I LOVE that there are people who thought this was real !! An interesting experiment in how the internet is a tool for mass confusion. The post, original and edited, is HILARIOUS.

    • poetic justice says:

      Love the additional post to… I put no value in this artical as facts. But i do have to point out the additional post was added after many people read the article.

  • Arianna says:

    I think they can be worn if the shirt covers the butt and with dresses. I’m glad this post didn’t include yoga pants, which people often confuse leggings with. Nothing wrong with wearing yoga pants in public.

  • thegliphic says:

    How does one scientifically test a subjective definition of something as irrelevant as weather or not tights are pants? How does that work when the very premise is based on the bias of what somebody already may or may not find offensive ? I love women in tights with as much showing as possible. If you Romans don t like it , look away and stop trying to needlessly redefine things via your anal world view.
    Sorry this rant is aimed at the dingdongs who actually have time to set up websites called
    I find cauliflower disgusting but I don’t run around campaigning against it with bullshit like

  • Bobby says:

    “Those in the fashion world have reacted to Collins and Hilfiger’s results with the surprise of those reacting to a study declaring the sky to be blue.”

    Awesome read! Very well executed! Bravo!

    But I’m still gonna wear my leggings.

  • Muffella says:

    Ha! Study or not, this proves what I’ve been saying all along! Witty and sharp, no apologies or explanations necessary.

  • Nima Faanunu says:

    lol… im sure they will come out with a real study nothing can be worse than what people wear at walmart….

  • Austin says:

    The 4th and 6th paragraphs’ comments were great, lol. I agree wholeheartedly! Didn’t understand the need for the quip at Young Earth Creationists though.

    • shakin steak says:

      Immediately preceding that, “the fact that many people believe something has no relation to the likelihood of its actually being true.”
      Young Earth Creationists believe that God created the earth about 6000 years ago.

  • Aaargh! Killed it with a disclaimer!

  • cdanie11e says:

    Reblogged this on VEGERITA! and commented:
    Reblog From The Snarkist…

  • Dolly says:

    The post is hilarious and I like Matt am a little surprised that people read this and took offence. Its a pity that it takes so little to upset people’s dressing style and their general self-worth.

  • LKA says:

    I don’t think any apologizing is needed 🙂

  • BFD says:

    That people need to be told this is hysterical. That you’ve been kind enough NOT to post the worst examples of this phenomenon makes you saints.

  • Ray says:

    I was relieved to read that this was a joke. I am often seriously distressed by the REAL ressources that are allocated to frivolous studies and pseudo-science.

  • I much prefer leggings over pants, here in the Netherlands I more often see women wearing skirts and dresses all year round, often with leggings, tights or capris length leggings under for comfort (leg sweat) and to save us from being exposed down under when we cycle (most Dutchies take a bike). However I do catch myself wearing leggings with shirts that just aren’t long enough to cover my rump or who -ha, and I know it’s a faux pas. Perhaps I should switch to Jeggings? Those must be pants!!

  • Funny stuff! Well done.

  • Nancy says:

    I think there needs to be a study on yoga pants. They have pants in the title… but…

  • Mylene says:

    When we look back at pictures from the 80’s and 90’s we all laught at people who wore leggins as pants (without a long shirt or skirt, or dress…). Why do people now think it looks good wear them like that in 2013? Ugly back then still ugly today.

  • Charles Blaquière says:

    Your article brings to mind my all-time favourite AbFab moment:

  • portia says:

    this article is totally pants!!!!this coming from a brit.

  • thomas says:

    Hooray I’m a snowflake

  • Matt says:

    im not convinced I need to see more pictures 🙂

  • I think as long as the leggings are opaque, they qualify as pants. If you can see your underwear or skin through them, they belong under a dress. This seems to be common sense.

    • Live and let live says:

      Common sense? How can an arbitrary opinion on fashion come under the category of common sense? If you’re uncomfortable with people seeing your underwear or skin, then by all means cover up, but don’t attempt to impose your bodily insecurities on others. If someone is comfortable walking around naked, they should be able to do so without being shamed or harassed by others. It’s not like people aren’t already perfectly aware you have a body under all those clothes anyway. That’s just common sense.

      • Mark says:

        Peach colored legging on a white girl leaves nothing to the imagination. Seen it. These are for trashy girls. Any garment a guy likes but wouldn’t want there gf wearing in public is wrong.

  • I’m not into body shaming at all and I found your article very funny! Hey everybody, lighten up and keep the serious concerns for the bad guys 🙂

  • Chelsea says:

    new study confirms that shame is subjective and nudist colonies really exist (they are not an urban legend!)

  • khud says:

    LOVE IT! Especially the last paragraph. Here’s a little song I wrote about it a few years ago. Enjoy

  • My issues with leggings as pants is most are not opaque and you can see your undergarments (or lack thereof) unless you wear a short long enough to cover your goods!

  • Haley says:

    Hell no! Leggings can be pants and I wish others would stop giving people shit for what they wear! They’re probably cuter then whatever boring pants they’re wearing anyways

  • Claudia Furlow says:

    I continue to feel really sorry for these girls who have forgotten to wear their skirts. How does one forget to put their skirt on in the morning. And…even more–how does one not notice that one is not wearing a skirt throughout the day.

  • leelee says:

    I have real issue w leggings! People wear them everywhere! Dress code for a professional job involves black pants most of the time….not leggings! They look terrible and trashy

    • kelsey says:

      I have an idea. How about you stop judging other people for their clothing and pick out your own clothes in the morning. Obviously they are a trend and if you’ve been on a college campus in the last 3 years, you would see most people disagree with you on your point of view. I’m sure there are plenty of people who think you look trashy and maybe a little homely, but they a keep their unwanted comments to themselves.

  • The Snarkist, I don’t know who you are, but you are awesome! Thanks for this post. Well done! People need to lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously. To those who say they wear leggings because they’re ‘comfy’, would you be wearing them if nobody else did? Be honest and admit you’ve fallen victim to a ridiculous trend. Back in university there was a ‘comfy’ look too – pyjama bottoms and hoodies…bad then, bad now. And ladies, would you want to see a guy walk down the street wearing long johns? Well…guess what, it’s sort of the same thing. Discuss…

  • Lauren says:

    I too am a grown women who wears a that fox face sequins sweatshirt – I love it!!!

  • Gah!!! I totally wear leggings as pants. Flame away if you will but I love them. As a tall girl finding a long shirt can be tricky so I rock my legging pants with pride. Just make sure those puppies aren’t see through yuck.

  • Glen says:

    So this is what they are studying at Harvard now huh? Pretty soon they will what to do research and development for a internship on how to be redneck!!! our country is so disconnected with the rest of society.

  • SEW says:

    Hilarious! Never apologize for satire, though your addendum made me laugh as well.

  • Jen Z says:

    you can disclaimer all you want; Leggings Are Not Pants.

  • symone says says:

    there’s a very fine line between ‘leggings’ and what we’ve all been wearing as pants – capris, tights, whatyoucallems – and i can see why this confuses people, especially younger ones. the biggest difference is that leggings generally are of a much thinner material, which most often is at least translucent. i think that a LOT of people don’t bother to have full-length mirrors or proper lighting, and just are not aware that their panties and/or cameltoe are showing, because they couldn’t see it in the mirror.

    i prefer to cover my underwear when i leave the house, and leggings only do that technically-speaking, kind of like how a kleenex covers your nose :-p. leggings need a knee-length shirt, a flirty skirt, a jumper or a long split tunic … heck, even a giganto-sports jersey that comes down to your mid-calf/knees.

    basically leggings are the 21st century’s pantyhose, which for the record of those too young to know, were always worn “under” something.

  • jennjosf says:

    As someone who appreciates Onion-esque humor, I found your reporting to be responsible journalism at its finest, and applaud your efforts to keep the general public informed of scientifically relevant news.

    Please do not be discouraged by those quick to find fault or offense. Humor crafted with the desire to offend none usually ends up amusing no one.

  • Kelly says:

    You say this post is a joke, but I see it as a public service announcement. I live near a university campus, and almost all the girls are wearing leggings as pants this fall. They are pairing the leggings with knee-high boots. They travel in packs, all dressed alike. It’s like they were issued a uniform. Either way, they are not wearing anything to cover their butts. Fat or skinny, I don’t care to see every curve or crack of some chick’s ass while I’m waiting in line to order dinner.

    • kelsey says:

      Then don’t look. Mind your own business and dress yourself. If you haven’t noticed by these comments, guys seem to really like them.

  • Smita says:

    I think people need to dress responsibly. And I think leggings do not enter that realm. Neither do those pants some men sport that fall right off their behinds.
    The writer of this article does a much better job of expressing it than I do, sarcasm and all. I love it!
    As for those who insist that it’s a person’s right to wear what they want and not be judged, I’ll say it’s also a person’s right to write what they think and not be judged.

    • Sammi says:

      True you can write what you want and, up to a point, not be judged. But you can be disagreed with. But saying that people should dress responsibly is pretty judgy in itself. How can one dress irresponsibly? What harm can I cause to others by dressing irresponsibly? I don’t like the falling down pants either but it does me no harm to see it.

      And I did like the article. It was clever and funny. And I don’t wear leggings as pants myself,.

  • Chantal says:

    They’re only pants if they’re the kind that are like yoga pants but with a skinny jean cut. So yes, they can be tight all the way down to your ankle, as long as they are opaque! That is where some people seem to misunderstand.

  • Monica Winkler says:

    I do not consider this blog to be body shaming. I think it has been read so often because there is a wide consensus out there that leggings are not pants!!

  • Cameron Ross says:

    Can’t we just be done with discrimination?! *completely unbiased*

  • Jacquelyn Little-Pursell says:

    Dude just because you don’t choose to employ leggings as “pants” doesn’t mean the rest of us females shouldn’t. There is a tasteful way to wear leggings and that includes said leggings being opaque enough that skin tone cannot be descerned and that the wearer’s ass is covered by a long tee shirt or sweater. Furthermore if you’re going to condemn leggings then you must also condemn the super short skirt. Which, honestly, will never go away. Just because its not your fashion statement shouldn’t mean no other girl can do it. Wear and let wear my friend.

  • Ben says:

    Good post. You should stand by it. You have nothing to apologise for; the tone and content are clear and speak for themselves.

  • I can’t believe some people can be so thick. Obviously this is a joke, and a really funny one. Write on!

  • Gula says:

    leggings don’t look like pants even on skinny girls

  • Annette Fuqua says:

    I would rather see someone wear leggings as pants in public than pajamas….When did it become acceptable to go shopping in pajamas? Is it really that hard to throw a pair of pants (or leggings) on???

  • Monika says:

    I loved your post! However, you should have interviewed my 71 year old mother for the story. Last year she lost a lot of weight and decided to rock “leggings” – but unfortunately, they were really just not-so-opaque tights. To CHRISTMAS DINNER! We deemed 2012 “no-pants Christmas” and tried covertly to take pictures of the atrocity. Then, after a couple glasses of wine, we staged an intervention. Feelings were hurt, tears possibly shed, and still – to this day – she’s still rocking the see-through nylons as pants. In her defense, she says this is OK because she does wear really big black underwear underneath. Umm…No. i don’t think so, mom.

  • why on earth did you need to justify let alone explain the story was satire???????

  • Spandex says:

    Sad… Leggings a such a turn on that I would go out anytime with a girl who wear that everyday. I suspect feminists behind this study to tell girls what to wear or not. Girls, do what you want and don’t let anyone tell you not showing your ass if you’re proud of it.

  • Brenda says:

    Ah, you’ve tapped into my inner-conflict with spot on humour and social commentary. It’s true, leggings are not pants. It’s also true that I sometimes wear not-pants in public! I’m a complex and contradictory person that way.

  • First, this was hilarious. Second, I am scared by how many people did not know it was a joke. Third, do people know what “snark” means???? Fourth, in addition to being funny and a good writer, you must be a very nice person to have revised your writing on reflection.

  • youssef says:

    “Leggings are pants, but only in the British sense of the term!” Collins laughed. In Britain, the term “pants” refers to what Americans call underwear”

    hahahah that’s so funny.

  • Karen says:

    Still, leggings are NOT pants.

  • I enjoyed this tremendously until I got to the part where you apologized for body shaming and explained what satire is. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate the hilarity of your post doesn’t deserve an explanation. Write on, sister!

  • Professor Winston Smith says:

    As one of the interns who worked with Dr. Collins on the original study let me assure all of you first, that the study left no room for debate on the issue and second, that further studies at Princeton and USC have only confirmed the original work. Leggings are not pants no matter how you may “feel” about them. Science is science.

  • Emily says:

    Real or not…I loved reading this. It put a much needed smile on my face, and I totally agree. They are not pants.

  • Sammi says:

    Love the article! I I am definitely on the leggings are not pants side of this “debate” in terms of what I wear myself. I love leggings under a short dress or a long shirt but not as pants. For the rest of the world – wear whatever you like! Wear leggings as hats if you want, wear them as top if you can work out how. Wear Uggs, wear flannel, wear a burka. Pay no attention to people who want to tell you how to dress. Who cares? Just be comfortable in your own skin.

  • Paul says:

    People are so sensitive…it is a JOKE, get over yourselves.

  • Laura Salmons says:

    New study confirms that most people who comment on the internet don’t understand what satire is. News at 11.

  • Jessica Kennedy says:

    I got and loved the post in the first place. I don’t get were the shaming aspect was. I’m sorry you were shamed into apologizing for the work you created. Also it kinda should be a Harvard study….

  • Jacq says:

    Leggings are NOT pants… , ! Thin or fat I don’t care I don’t desire seeing your vajay sashay towards me or you butt wobble away….

  • R says:

    If you want to be known by the public as a slutty figure (no offense but thats where leggings/tights etc have been labelled ) go for it but don’t bitch about it when you get called out as a slutty image. Its our rights, ill wear what i want, etc is all i’ve read in this comment section from the article and every point I’ve read is true but these points are only trying to justify wearing these pants in public. You have your rights but every choice has a virtue/vice.

  • Kathy says:

    So, since you have written an article about “leggings are not pants”, why not write an article when leggings are appropriate to wear. Are they just for workout? Then why are they sold on every shelf, in every store in the ladies dept?! Come on….gives us the proper way to wear them!!!!!!

  • historicbuzz says:

    First off, let me say I know this is satire, and it’s good satire. However, there’s nothing wrong with expressing opinions on the issue, even so. As a guy, it’s not really my issue, but as a guy, I DO have an opinion that may be worth considering! I don’t see any problem with wearing leggings as part of a workout /running outfit; I always was under the impression that was their original purpose, anyway, and I think the rules for workout clothes are different from street or formal clothes. There are, however, two considerations: Infections and, well, if you’ll pardon the phrase, cameltoe. Research has shown that leggings worn without underwear can transfer fecal matter from the anal area to the genital area, which can cause infections. leggings worn “Commando” need to be washed EVERY time they’re worn. That’s a medical issue, and shouldn’t be ignored. The other consideration is a more personal one. Leggings frequently “intrude” between the labia, giving the general public a pretty good look at the “vajayjay”. Now don’t get me wrong; I AM a guy, and I personally don’t mind the display tight leggings give on a nice body, (not necessarily a SKINNY body, but a NICE one; not intending to body-shame, just saying some people are more pleasant to look at than others, and I probably qualify as one of the “others”) but I wonder how many women who are showing off the goodies REALIZE they’re showing off the goodies! Keep in mind, though, that if you’re going to show it off, (or any body part) you can’t get mad at anybody who notices! (okay, if they STARE, yeah, but not if they NOTICE.)

  • Grant Ellis says:

    Well written! But after reading through the comments I was suddenly tempted to go and buy some leggings so my man parts could be displayed in a Shakespearean way. Would this be acceptable?

  • Doug Coutts says:

    It saddens me that people can’t see the wood for the trees. It saddens me more that some people will say “What trees? This is about leggings.”

  • Allan Grant says:

    Do what you want ladies! If you go out in public, expect to be seen and don’t complain about the reaction.

  • Lexy says:

    I think if the leggings are thick enough to be opaque, then what’s the big deal? I wear them as bottoms all the time, greatest things ever invented. I cover my bum if I wear them to work, though. Difference between buying groceries and office appropriate attire, for sure.

  • rosario says:

    I am totally quilty of wearing leggings as pants but I always wear a top that covers most of my butt. Leggings are so comfortable I want to wear them everyday. But what I can’t stand is girls that wear opaque footed tights as pants. Leggings are pants, tights are not pants.

  • Okay so can we now do a study on why boys wear their pants at their knees? Because I’m tired of seeing their underwear and boxers hanging out, its disgusting.

  • […] New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants. […]

  • Rikki says:

    These pics look very sexy to me. Please don’t discourage them!

  • Alexandra Ekkis says:

    Oh Jesus, what an unnecessary article. The ladies out there don’t need your cynicism. If you personally don’t like to wear leggings as a substitute for pants just like that, that’s fine. However, the way you try in your cynical, subtle, pseudo-humorous way to convince those women who do, that it be wrong to wear just leggings in public – because that’s what you’re actually doing in your article, no matter how you look at it – is just wrong. Leggings present the bottom half of pretty much every woman I’ve ever seen, including myself, to their advantage. No matter whether you are a chubbier or way too slim, leggings always flatter your figure, at least in the sense that the same body in jeans would likely look less attractive. And I can tell you, in case you haven’t noticed, that every man on this planet finds leggings hot. And is the little photo collage up there supposed to support your statement? Because I find those leggings-wrapped butts very attractive. Don’t wear leggings if you don’t want to, but don’t give others shit for doing it, because the majority of women have discovered, as opposed to you, that it looks very good. And don’t tell me now you’re not giving anybody shit with what you’re doing here, because that is wrong. You’re just doing it in a subtle way instead of explicitly saying what you think.

    • Amy says:

      Obviously you didn’t finish the article!

    • meanderingsoftwodingbats says:

      Good grief. This “article” was satire. So get over yourself. And 200 pound women with dimples and cellulite on their butt and legs do NOT look good in leggings in any universe.

      • Leggings rule! says:

        What! I wear them and look gorgeous! I used to be 300lbs now I am 190. They help smooth my loose dimply skin. F u! Fat hater!

    • rene says:

      Lighten up. Seriously. It was a joke. It was a joke. No soap box necessary

    • Hara says:

      If you read the whole article you’ll see where the author clearly states none of this is real – just satire – having fun with all of us!
      I spent 20 years wearing leotards in dance class – and I truly don’t see much difference between the two. First time I saw leggings was about 30 years ago – when an employee showed up at work wearing sweater and leggings. I said “you forgot your pants!!” AWKWARD..


    • Ashley says:

      Just fyi- not every man on the planet thinks leggings are hot… my husband can’t stand them…,

      • phill says:

        He just tells you that… they all might not be super hot or sexy (which its not just about that) but to say he can’t stand them is funny if you believe that

    • T says:

      Me thinks thou dost protest too much.

    • Lucy says:

      I promise you, I have never, ever worn leggings and I never will. Your opinion is that leggings flatter every woman’s figure, but for those of us, like me, who are very overweight, the last thing anyone wants to see is cellulite and fat rolls crammed into a one-millimeter-thick layer of lycra. Leggings are fine under your ***actual*** pants, under a dress, or at the gym. Otherwise, I think they’re just embarrassing to those of us who get an up-close view of a lady’s panties, ass-crack, or vagina outline.

    • julie smith says:

      Did you not read the part where this is a satire and not at all real?

    • Dave Watson says:

      Please come down from your high horse! You seem to be speaking for the vast majority and that’s just not the case. Leggings do not present every woman to their advantage and every man on the planet does not find them hot. I wish she had never said it was a joke and let you haters do your hating. Last time I looked this was still America and we haven’t repealed the 1st Amendment yet (and it was very clever how you worked two “shits” into your comment, classy!).

    • Boo says:

      just as this comment wasn’t needed

    • T says:

      Okay ALEXANDRA…it does become an issue when the leggings are see through as the ones in the left side of the above picture. And, just like when low rise pants were popular, I don’t want to see an ASS CRACK nor do I want to see the whole thing through paper thin leggings. And I might also add that most women who wear leggings with nothing covering, DO NOT have appropriate figures to be doing so. Does anyone have respect for themselves anymore?

  • Atef Sharia says:

    what is the difference between LEGGING and PAINTS?

  • Butt… butt… butt… more research needs to be done! I will even volunteer collecting data!

  • Nishu7890 says:

    I love to wear legging in public I know what public think but I dont care and guys are always in legging

  • First of all I want to say awesome blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear
    your mind prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but
    it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally
    wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?


    • david says:

      What if men begin wearing yoga pants with short shorts. Will all of you women be so quick to defend their right to parade around all day with our bulges beautifully displayed for your viewing pleasure? Would this still be acceptable in your mind if this is what your teenage daughter’s teacher showed up wearing?

  • Jarrett says:

    A well written and humorous article! I enjoyed it until the end when the author felt the need to explain the satire and further play the politically correct “love your body” card. If you have to explain your humor or if you apologize for it, it ceases to be funny. The author did both. Unfortunate.

  • El Rolyat says:

    The comments are (almost) as funny as the original post.

    Great writing, most entertaining. Thank you for brightening up my evening.
    P.S. pants or not, they *are* very comfortable.

  • I enjoyed your satirical look at leggings but loved the fact that you had to explain it to the readers who took you seriously.

  • marc says:

    Putting a disclaimer after the post ruined the joke. It’s dad some people jump to the conclusion that the joke was meant to shame people. It’s sad that people need to be told it’s a joke. It’s sad that people assume everything they read is true. It’s sad we’ve become so stupid that we need to ask “get it?” after we tell a joke. I’m going to drink bleach and die, the retards have taken over.

  • Tragikk fishnet 22 says:

    Actually i dont mind people wearing leggings or tights , as long you wear it more in the taste that not , gonna offended the general public, such as wearing it showing more of you crotch in most cases i do witness that in public , especially when im riding the public transportation where often enough you have children and theyre parents sharing the bus with them. i n the other hand also wear leggings and some time tights as my outing clothes on my day offs
    but i wear it with my kilt or a oversized t shirt to it doesnt reveal too much.

  • Emily says:

    They’re fucking comfortable

  • Amanda says:

    I have some some technical questions about this! And if someone wants to actually join me on this, maybe this light hearted and sometimes heated debate could be put to rest by consulting the CARE AND CONTENT LABEL of these “pants/leggings/tights”. For those that never look at the care and content label it is required (see pages 5 and 6) also see One should perhaps not base their choice to wear “pants/tights/leggings” on the name of the product but by the fiber content of a garment! Specifically the percentage of Spandex to cotton. Sometimes this label is affixed to the garment as a tag, printed on the inside of garment usually near the waste, or on the packaging the garment came in. If there is a magazine that wants to declare and research the transparency of a certain percentage of spandex vs. cotton or any other fiber be wore a certain socially acceptable way that would help women. Maybe some women have no idea that people can see through their garment.
    I think the term “leggings” is confusing in itself. If you look at little girls departments the term leggings is used. But when I think of leggings as an adult I think skinny yoga PANTS. In other words pants that are tight fitting, acceptable to wear while stretching and bending, that don’t flare at the leg. By acceptable I mean you CAN’T SEE MY SKIN through them.
    Any thoughts?!?!

  • sue says:

    And……leggings with pockets on the butt aren’t pants either

  • Susan says:

    I frequently refer to leggings as “not pants”; in fact I call them “not pants” more than I call them leggings. Yes I think the fashion can be cute when done correctly, but trying to use leggings as pants feels ridiculous to me.

  • […] article claiming that New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants {as I get ready to head out for some holiday shopping in my leggings and […]

  • Clea says:

    how can this possibly be considered a study?

  • Julie Wilson says:

    I’m sorry this article is a joke because it is a gripe I would like to scream from the rooftops! It has nothing to do with body type, but everything to do with self respect. Dress like you have some sense. Sure, everyone has the right to dress the way they want, but don’t tell me if 75 % of the women you see out were only wearing leggings and a bra, it wouldn’t start to make you a little sick? And like that one fellow said, what if guys just started wearing boxers. I think people should be unique in their dress and it should reflect who you are(I bet I would love that sequined sweater), but the only fashion statement leggings make is “I don’t have a mirror, and I’m too lazy to find pants that fit.”

  • […] New Study Confirms Leggings Are Not Pants. […]

  • valentina says:

    Pants or not, I wear what I want. That’s all 🙂

  • M. H. Mattke says:

    Leave them alone. I like, very much. Except when a 5’6, 300 lb person wears them to WalMart with a midrif top. Then its post new pics to

  • Tim says:

    Where is this “study?” Can’t seem to find it

  • Lara says:

    but their still great for skinny people that have no butt!!

  • carrie jane says:

    I will keep wearing my yoga pants everywhere I go….not leggings, Yoga pants, If you don’t like my camel toe or butt, stop looking. ..!!!!…

  • Hogenmogen says:

    3 years plus and the trend is still here. You’re losing! Ha! I LOVE tights on women! I wear tights when I run, swim or bike. I’d wear them all the time if pedantic people like you wouldn’t sneer so loudly.

    In case you’re wondering, my body is awesome. I run, swim and bike, after all.

  • Lynn says:

    The one on the right isn’t even leggings, they’re tights. Just as I don’t want to see a woman’s deep cleavage, their midriff, or a man wearing short shorts (thank God the ’80’s are over), I don’t want to see anyone wearing leggings or tights unless they are properly covering up their butt and upper thigh, preferably down to their mid-thigh.

  • Mindy says:

    I found it funny. I won’t join in the hating. 🙂

  • Dana says:

    Maybe we should all start walking around in public naked if people are never going to come to terms with the fact that we don’t all have the same fashion mores.

    Note I said “maybe”, and of course in winter this does not apply.

  • nonyabizz says:

    moar pictures needed…

  • Kimberly says:

    When I can see the contours of someones labia, there’s a serious problem. Disgusting.

  • Melissa says:

    this was funny and I would have reposted it but for the gratuitous and offensive comment about suicide. That was unnecessary.

  • Warrensmom says:

    So, for clarification, am I supposed to wear pants on top of my leggings, or under them? Because either way is pretty darn uncomfortable. (I just verified for the sake of research ‘s all.)

  • Rach says:

    even if this was a joke( which non of you noticed) I agree with it. They are not pants. The difference is jeans cover your ass up. Leggings don’t, they can be see through. Personally I don’t want to see other girls asses. So if you please just cover it up. Leggings are not pants they are meant to be woren under things not alone.

  • cat says:

    Can they do a study on sagging too? Pretty sure that’s not appropriate either but we’re all still forced to see it…

  • Steve says:

    Further research has revealed that none of the legging wearing individuals are young earth creationists who have taken the moralistic view that leggings are, indeed, not pants. Furthermore, the time worshipping evolutionists who actually wear the leggings argue that since no one actually made the leggings, they either always existed or popped into existence from nothing, and will eventually evolve into pants and those those oppose the wearing of leggings as pants are moralistic simpletons who are destroying science and should not be allowed to educate their own children.

  • Gill says:

    lol …Good article 😄

  • Pat Pickett says:

    What great humor! I loved reading your satire until I came to the end and realized you had to defend yourself from attacks because people had missed the joke! Sorry. Please don’t let them discourage you from a promising career in humor. You’re great!

  • John A Guillermo says:

    There just leggings! At least they cover everything up… What I don’t understand is cheerleaders in high school wear short skirts to cheer in and whatever they call those panties underneath? I don’t know? and jump around and that’s okay? This is why don’t want my daughter to be a cheerleader and school uniforms girls have to wear knee-high socks and a short skirt that doesn’t make sense to me either, and yet women don’t want to be seen in their bras and panties but the runaround the beach in A tight revealing swimsuit?!? I don’t get it?
    Let them have their leggings.

  • This article is HILARIOUS!!! It’s a shame people can’t take a joke. Would love to share some of your content on my blog if you’re keen…

  • NatBat says:

    Awesome. Loved this!

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