Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 25, Tuesday, June 22, 2010




Legging It

DHAKA was a little late to catch on to this trend comeback, but they've finally grown savvy to the slinky coolness of leggings and tights. Easier to manage, and more form-fitting than your tightest skinny jeans, they add a touch of artsy college-girl coolness to your outfit...if worn right. How does one adapt this item into a deshi wardrobe? Read on for some tips.

Picking the right one for you
What we call tights can either be the sheer variety (stockings and hose) or the opaque ones (leggings). Another distinction between tights proper and leggings is that tights may be footless, or may extend to cover feet, or even come in the stirrup variety (a single strap goes under the heel).

Tights can be worn with dresses and skirts, the sheer ones teamed with high-heels for a man-eater effect. Teaming leggings with a dress, however, may run the risk of making one look like Cindy Lauper circa 1980's, and the last time we checked, that look is still passé.

Opaque leggings are best worn with tunics, kurtis, and shirt-dresses, and teamed with sandals, ballet flats, or boots.

If you're on the petite side, make sure your top doesn't go below mid-thigh, or you end up looking like you're wearing a dress. Also, opt for monochromes for an elongating effect. Taller ladies need to make sure their tops are long enough to cover their rear ends.

Start simple: If you're just introducing leggings to your wardrobe, it's better to start with the opaque, footless variety in some basic, neutral colour. Try on different looks, teaming them with a printed kurti or short kameez, or pairing them with a shirt dress and a chunky belt.

Places like Ogaan have great kurti-legging combos, as do many stores on Banani Road #11. Cat's Eye also has a range of leggings in monochrome. Once you're more confident, you can experiment. There are plenty of stores inside the Doza Market, and also in Bashundhara City that carry leggings.

The long and short of it: Leggings are available in many different sizes, from capri-length to ankle-length. Play with different lengths to find one that suits you best. While the capri style might look cute on longer gams, they make short legs look wider.

High and low: Tight tights with killer heels can have a va-va-voom effect if done right, but can also go horribly wrong. It's much safer to opt for pretty flats like flip flops, sneakers, and ballet flats. Boots are also a good option.

The right amount of tight: Since leggings are so clingy, they look best when you wear them with a loose, roomy top. If you want to show off your curves a bit, wear a shirt dress, and cinch the waist with a chunky belt, and pair it with leggings in a solid colour.

Don't wear leggings with sweatshirts: This is a look best restricted to dorm rooms. Instead, opt for flowing kurtis, short kaftans, tunics or shirt dresses.

Tights and short tops don't mix: Now there's a combination that won't fly anywhere outside a workout video. However fit you are, choose a top that comes down to mid-thigh, or you'll just end up looking trashy.

Leggings are not a substitute for pants: In other words, if you want to wear a shirt with them, add a skirt somewhere in the mix, or you'll look half dressed.

Whether you're turning heads at a party, or just heading out with the girls for some shopping, leggings can work in any occasion. Be bold and experiment with lengths, colours, fabric, and accessories to find a look that suits you best.

By Sabrina F Ahmad
References: womens-fashion-lovetoknow.com, collegefashion.com
Photo courtesy Dressy Dale


Star Lifestyle's
Three-step formula for legging it

New to the craze for tights? Here's how you can slowly incorporate this flexible garment into your wardrobe in three fun phases.

Rookies: The first step is to get comfortable with the very basics. Go for the simple, basic leggings in dark, monochrome colours, and team up with a baggy tunic and flat sandals. This look suits almost any shape. If you have a slender, athletic frame, you can add curves by cinching your waist with a belt. Empire waisted tunics hide bellies, while playing up the bosom. Remember, since tights are, well, tight, you should strike balance with a loose top. Clingy tops, no matter how fit you are, should be left to the costume superheroes.

Intermediate: Once you've gained a little confidence, it's time to have some fun! All those cute dresses that you can't wear in Dhaka for decency's sake? Team up with opaque tights in solid colours, and a pretty jacket or scarf for when you're outside, and you're good to go. Or experiment with those cute shirt-dresses so widely available in the Doza Market. One look that's catching up real fast is the option of leggings as a substitute for churidars. While it looks tacky with certain cuts of kameez, if you can pull this look off, it looks very chic.

Veteran: You've tried out different looks and found what suits you, now it's time to up the ante with some fun accessories. Take the training wheels off your look, and trade the monochrome tights for fun patterns and motifs. Experiment with belts, scarves and cropped jackets to jazz up your attire with, and rock those boots for a fresh-off-the-catwalk cool.




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