Plus size women have been let down by leggings so often that they won't try a new brand without two personal recommendations and a substantial coupon. Even then, we think twice. Shopping for leggings inspires the kind of trepidation usually reserved for bathing suits.
I think it's because leggings can let us down in a way that a dress or tee can't. If a top is flimsy or poorly made, we can see that when we look in a mirror. We can change out of anything subpar before leaving the house. But leggings require a leap of faith. Leggings can look fine when you're standing or sitting, but the second you bend over they can become see-through at the rear end. Even then, you need a friend to deliver the bad news.
You'd think that the potential disappointment would inspire women to stay away from inexpensive leggings. You get what you pay for, after all. But there have been some high-profile instances of leggings that cost over $100 turning out to be as flimsy as tights. No wonder some women stick to the cheap stuff. Why commit when you expect to be disappointed?
Clothes Shopping is Like Dating
The more vulnerable you let yourself be with someone, the more you risk getting hurt. Serious, committed relationships are scarier than casual ones. You get your heart broken, and you hesitate to date seriously (or at all) for a while after that because you can't bring yourself to take a chance. You trust a pair of leggings to keep your undies unseen, and if they let you down, you lose faith in all leggings. You assume they're all going to let you down, so you don't spend too much money on them. Or you swear off them completely.
In both cases, you're protecting yourself by not letting yourself trust. And in both cases, you could be missing out on something good.
Learning to Spot the Good Ones
In dating, we know what to look for because we've been discussing it amongst ourselves since wooly mammoths were roaming the earth. Being able to identify which humans are safe (physically and emotionally) to be around is an important survival skill.
The ability to judge a pair of leggings (especially online) isn't critical to your continued existence, but it can remove a lot of unnecessary stress. So let's talk about what we should be looking for.
If you're shopping for leggings online, you want to see several photos of the garment on a model. Only one picture, or images of the leggings on a mannequin means that the retailer is hiding something. Look closely at the good photos - enlarge them as much as you can. If the fabric isn't as thick as it should be, you may be able to see the model's skin though the material. You should also check reviews on the retailer's website and on the web in general. Pay attention to negative reviews as well as positive ones.
Look at the retailer's other offerings. If they're selling other garments that don't look well made, the leggings probably won't be any good. If the rest of their clothing seems to be of good quality, their leggings are probably trustworthy. Even if those other clothes aren't quite your style, their leggings may be exactly what you're looking for.
Vikki Vi Leggings (aka Slim Leg Pants) are made with the same fabric as all our other pants. They're such high quality that they've even worked their way into my cold, cynical, wide-leg-pants-loving heart.
Taking Chances Can Pay Off
You can happily live without dating or wearing leggings. But good relationships and comfortable well-made leggings can increase your happiness, so they're worth the effort.