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 GoFugYourself.com, 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 tightsarenotpants.com – whose manifesto states that “The wearing of tights as pants is an abomination” – are currently considering developing a sister site, leggingsarenotpants.com, 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!