Everlane Just Launched Leggings and We Have Thoughts

Everlane Just Launched Leggings and We Have Thoughts

In partnership with Everlane.

Allow me to reintroduce a great philosophical debate of the 2010s: Are leggings pants?

I’m sorry I brought it up, but I’ve been thinking: If you define pants as “a garment that covers your legs,” there may in fact be no better exemplar than leggings. They are fabric shrink-wrapped to cover you hip to ankle and nothing more. No pockets, no cuffs, even the name implies their essentialism. What could be more like pants by definition?

Well, according to Google, “trousers,” which happens to be the entire definition of pants, which does complicate things, I admit.

Anyway, I never wanted to wade into this debate! But when the Everlane team told the Man Repeller team they were launching their first legging and challenged us to challenge the notion that leggings aren’t pants, we were easily baited. How could we not be? Leandra wore leggings with gold heels and no shirt last month! So we immediately accepted, and to raise the stakes, attempted to style Everlane’s Perform Leggings—out today and available in four colors for $58 dollars—for three scenarios we’d previously deemed activewear-inappropriate.

See All 4

See how it all went down below.

Leandra Is En Route to a Business Meeting

When do you typically wear leggings?

Mostly on weekends or on Fridays if I don’t have any meetings when I’m coming into the office. Occasionally, I’ll wear them as pants with heels, but mostly they’re my errand runners, exercise companion, or the thing I put on when I don’t want to be dressed.

How did it feel to style them for going to a meeting?

I self-selected this challenge because I’m pretty sure I have sufficiently cracked the code on how to wear leggings formally (with a blouse and heels, under a sheer dress with pumps) and casually (with sneakers for the gym, flat slides or sandals to run errands, with outlier flair pieces when I’m dressing for no occasion/frivolously), but haven’t quite figured out whether I could make them more professional. What was easy is also what was hard, because I wanted to resist resigning to a blazer, but found a good balance in adding the sweater underneath instead of going too corporate with a pressed shirt or something. The doily collar adds something softer, which makes it somewhat unexpected and the turtleneck is like armor for me when the weather’s cold to the extent that even though turtlenecks used to make me feel like a very judgmental drama club president, or before that a grade school student with a nose running perpetually, they make me feel very cool these days.

Settling on heel height and shoe shape was a tricky and nuanced balance too—I didn’t want a heel too low and definitely couldn’t wear one too high. I’m finding that like 3.5 inches is the secret sauce heel height, giving your ankle sufficient arch and comfort to walk semi-long distances (water cooler and back, repeat) confidently. I also didn’t want a de facto pump—that seemed too obvious, like 90s power woman-obvious, but the slingback works, mostly because exposing the heel of my foot does something I can’t exactly articulate to deformalize the leggings without actually deformalizing them. In sum: I think I accomplished my goal!

What’s your #1 tip for making leggings work in a non-leggings scenario?

Lay out the things that make for a non-legging scenario and reverse engineer, finding solutions for each of the variables without actually eliminating the leggings.

And most importantly: Who are you in this look?

Me, but wiser, more organized, and with troves of time efficiently laid out to get stuff done. Alternatively, the kind of woman who writes the foreword for a book about female entrepreneurship and teaches a course on Pollyanna at the local liberal arts college.

Mecca Is En Route to Drinks After Errands

When do you typically wear leggings?

I typically wear leggings in the comfort of my own home; dancing in the mirror while I clean or when I’m working out! Leggings for me are activewear, utilized for comfort purposes as well. So the challenge of taking them out into the city was one that I jumped for, because I always love a fashion challenge!

How did it feel to style them for two occasions, errands then drinks?

I knew I immediately had to turn my leggings into hot pants to make them feel like I wasn’t cleaning or working out, and edge them up! For me that was color-blocking with a bright turtleneck and adding some dimension with the navy blazer. From there, I paired them with a sneaker, then put an ankle toe boot in my bag for later. The last touch was the scarf. Nowadays I add one to any outfit for weather comfort, but this Holzwoiler one matched perfectly. After running errands in the sneakers, it’s so easy to change into boots to meet my girlfriends for a cocktail!

What’s your #1 tip for making leggings work in a non-leggings scenario?

A jacket or oversized knit! While I’m happy to drop down and give a Megan-Thee-Stallion twerk in the comfort of my own home, while walking around NYC I prefer a little more coverage. My biggest tip for making leggings look less like leggings is a polished jacket or knit, or dressing them up with a nice shoe or boot!

And most importantly: Who are you in this look?

Have you ever seen that episode of Fresh Prince where Aunt Viv goes on a crash diet and ends up out-dancing a whole class in that fire color-blocked outfit? Yup, that’s me!

I’m En Route to the MR Office After Yoga

When do you typically wear leggings?

I know I argued that leggings are pants at their most essential (because they are), but I pretty much only wear them in workout scenarios—like going to yoga or on a hike. Which is to say: Not often. If I’m running errands or working from home, I wear jeans, trousers, or track pants (although usually jeans, which I’ve been mocked for).

How did it feel to style them for going to work?

First off, these are good leggings. I think we all expected a simpler cotton legging, but these felt unlike anything I own. The material is super-thin, giving them a more athletic feeling (similar to running tights), but they’re also super-tight and smoothing (similar to yoga pants). I knew right away they’d be easier to style than most modern leggings, because they don’t have any athletic, patchwork detailing, meaning they look more streamlined with non-activewear.

Still, I’m so used to styling pants that hang off my leg rather than cling to them that it took a few false starts to put something together that felt appropriate for work and like something I’d typically wear. My starting points were this grey coat and these sneakers, two things I’ve been wearing non-stop for weeks (and consequently are Everlane). But the middle layers were perplexing. First I tried a sweater, which read a little schlubby; then I tried a blazer, which read a little try-hard; then I tried various turtlenecks and jackets before I landed on this button-down which, when paired with the pants, created a color-blocking effect that made me feel more dressed up than I might otherwise. The white jacket I added last (when I saw the temperature outside). The final move was swapping out my white socks for red ones, which Harling suggested to me via text. Red socks make everything better.

This probably more closely resembles a weekend outfit for most people, but I’d happily wear this to work at Man Repeller (and did). I love that it wouldn’t require a full outfit change after going to a yoga class in the morning, which is one of the biggest deterrents to me actually going.

What’s your #1 tip for making leggings work in a non-leggings scenario?

Pairing them with a stream-lined coat! This is something I explored a bit in a recent story about Larry David’s fashion theory—which is essentially the idea that pairing something nice with something casual creates a memorable kind of tension.

And most importantly: Who are you in this look?

Someone who fits a workout in every day and never forgets a birthday. And maybe my mom in the 80s.

Photos by Shana Trajanoska.

The post Everlane Just Launched Leggings and We Have Thoughts appeared first on Man Repeller.

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