We are gathered here today to say farewell to the world’s most unflattering workout bottom: the capri legging. For journalistic integrity, I must disclose that I used to wear capri leggings to work out. I was but a young, impressionable college student on the cusp of discovering fashionable activewear and I would dance my way through Zumba in cotton capris. (That sentence is completely antithetical to who I am now.) Capris seemed to be, as Hannah Montana once said, the best of both worlds—less revealing than shorts, but cooler than full-on pants.
They are not the best of any world, though. And luckily, one good thing we’re doing as a society is phasing these short leggings out of style. In L.A., you’d be hard pressed to find women wearing capri leggings. Step into The Studio (MDR), Y7, or any other boutique facility, and you’ll see women wearing leggings or biker shorts—and I have it on good authority that it’s the same in New York. Flipping through the new arrivals sections of the trendiest brands in workout clothing (think Year of Ours, P.E. Nation, and Alala) in a journalistic process I call “research” and also “shopping for myself,” I spy nary a pair of tights in this egregious limbo length.
Capri leggings, I want to be clear, are not the same as cropped leggings. This is a very important distinction. Capri leggings hit somewhere between your knee and mid-calf. Cropped leggings typically hit a couple inches above the ankle. This is a fine length. Nay, a great length if you are short like I am. Capris are not a good length, from both a stylistic and a functional perspective—they’re just one walking lunge away from rolling up underneath your knees and cutting off circulation to the lower half of your leg. (Side note: To everyone who said I couldn’t make a career out of writing about things that I hate, look at me now.)
I don’t find that my calves are the sweatiest part of my lower body when I work out. No, that distinction belongs to my crotch, and we’re not designing crotchless workout pants to let that particular body part breathe.
With sweat-wicking fabrics and mesh paneling, there is no reason not to get a pant that covers your whole leg. I don’t understand why my calves would need to be free; I don’t find that my calves are the sweatiest part of my lower body when I work out—they get just sweaty enough to make crow pose while wearing capris impossible. No, that distinction belongs to my crotch, and we’re not designing crotchless workout pants to let that particular body part breathe. (Would you believe that I have never used the word crotch in my professional writing because, well, it’s a terrible word? Now I have. Thanks, capri leggings.)
What I am trying to say is either buy shorts, or buy leggings. There is no reason for this very confusing length of pant. If capri leggings were on Bumble, I would swipe left immediately. No questions. But you know they’d have something obnoxious in their About Me, like “5’11” because apparently that matters” or “sapiosexual.”
In fashion, everything old is new again. So I have no doubt that at some point—next year, the following year, or five years from now—someone will try to make capris happen again. Like how currently fashion flip flops are a thing. But we must resist, and keep those capri leggings in the past where they belong.
Your choice in leggings can actually tell you a lot about your personality, so you should definitely find out what it means if you only wear black leggings. Also, these are the most-searched spring fashion trends, according to Google.
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