Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Lincoln-Jeggings Debates

A couple weeks ago I was in the hosiery section of Nordstrom. And they had a big shelf of jeggings there, right next to the socks and tights and pantyhose. And I felt really conflicted about it.

I mean, jeggings can be interpreted as jeans made of leggings-like fabric, or leggings made to look like jeans (or predatory seabirds, I guess). Jeggings retailers have to pick a side. Nordstrom sent a strong statement with their jeggings placement: this item is more hosiery than pants. Urban Outfitters, on the other hand, stocks their jeggings next to their normal jeans. The ramifications of this decision could be terrifying.


I think, ideally, jeggings would be stocked in some kind of a hybrids-only section along with Toyota Priuses, plucots, and the Pig Man from Seinfeld. But alas, that's just not a realistic option right now, what with the Toyota recall and all.

So, to help us this out, I've decided to present both sides of the issue in the style of a 19th century political debate. For the sake of argument, I will take the "jeggings as jeans" side, while Abraham Lincoln (obviously) will argue that jeggings are, in fact, more like leggings, and therefore well suited to the hosiery section.

Ahem:

Me: Jeggings. Such a confusing little word. Such a confusing little garment. Are they leggings or are they jeans? They are both, but also, somehow, neither. When it comes to jeggings, there is only one thing I know for sure: seeing them in the hosiery section makes me go, "Huh?" And that is unacceptable.

Abraham Lincoln: Friends and patriots, I speak to you today as a conflicted man. My personal struggle with this issue has deeply affected me and my family, but I have finally come to a conclusion… jeggings are more leggings than jeans, and should be treated accordingly.

Me: Abe, with all due respect, that is wack. If jeggings were merely leggings, then why would seeing them in the hosiery section reduce me to tearful spasms of confusion and panic?

Abraham Lincoln: I'm really not sure why that would ever happen.

Me: When I see jeggings stocked with other jeans, I just get slightly uncomfortable, but I can deal with it. Therefore, jeggings are more like jeans.

Abraham Lincoln: Deeming these modest underthings "jeans" is an outright fabrication! The only quality jeggings share with jeans is the first initial "J."

Me: As my dear friend Benjamin Franklin once said, "If it walks like a jean, and talks like a jean, it's a pair of jeans."

Abraham Lincoln: Your whole argument hinges on a fake Benjamin Franklin quote?

Me: Mostly, yes.

Abraham Lincoln: Unlike my opponent, I don't think this is a topic that should be taken lightly. Stocking jeggings alongside jeans is a bold act of rebellion. It says to the world, "Don't worry about wearing these as a bottom layer. Please, feel welcome to wear them as pants." And that, my friends, is a dangerous precedent.

Me: Dude, Abe, the latest trend is not wearing pants at all--let the people throw on a pair of jeggings!

Abraham Lincoln: I suppose in this case you could call me a separatist. Can't we just give jeggings their own section?

Me: I totally agree. We need to find the Pig Man.


So, which side are you on?

p.s. A big thanks to my amazing brother Tona for helping me generate Abraham Lincoln jeggings quotes.

41 comments:

violetville said...

do jeggings have a zipper? that would definitely force them into the pants/jeans category.

other than that, i'd *still* put them in that category, just because the idea of leggings with painted-on stitching is gross - not "you're not wearing pants" gross, gross in a "that's totally not fashionable. at all. ever" way.

princesshoudini said...

I hate to say this but I'm with Lincoln on this one...

"Don't worry about wearing these as a bottom layer. Please, feel welcome to wear them as pants."

But you still crack me up! :)

CompassRose said...

The unfortunate truth is that there is such a RANGE of jeggings, that it's easy to make a mistake. Like wearing some of them as anything near pants.

The ones in the hosiery section at my local Bay are by Hue, and they are in a thick knit that is differentiated from winter tights only by the seams at crotch and sides. (And their Fake Fade dye jobs.)

The ones I saw in Aritzia range from heavy knit like the polyester pants I remember wearing as a kid, to bizarre, ill-fitting super skinny jeans made of relatively heavy jean fabric with - misguided elastic waistbands.

Even Abraham Lincoln would have trouble drawing a line, here.

Lovers, Saints and Sailors said...

You're so lucky to have Abraham Lincoln for a brother.

Littlekobaby said...

I think jegging, leggings and skinny jeans should all be worn in similar ways actually. With long (past the booty) tops, short dresses, tiny skirts and tees, or slouchy sweaters over top. This prevents any change of the whole, unspeakable creases showing, problem.

bestie said...

Haha good one Winona! Ironically I just did an outfit post featuring jeggings. They really are a mind-boggler. I must agree with Abe though -- categorizing them alongside jeans is sheer madness!

Alpha Monkey said...

You played a decent Stephen Douglas. Brava!

Katy Mary said...

This is hilarious but also most of the points are accurate. I a firm believer of "leggins are not pants" so I don't think I would wear jeggings as pants either.

Sal said...

I'm with Abe on this one. Sorry, W.

Mabel and Zora said...

I like where Nordstrom has their jeggings displayed, with the hosiery.

Becky said...

Your genius astounds me on a fairly regular basis. Abraham Lincoln WOULD argue that jeggings are undergarments. I have to say, in my opinion, even though I don't own any, I'd put jeggings somewhere between leggings and jeans..(DUH, right?). Here's what I mean: my policy with leggings is that I only wear them as more modest tights...like if I'm wearing a short dress (mind, not a chochariffic dress; something more like this: http://prissypoodle.blogspot.com/2009/11/daily-duds-11609-leavin-on-jet-plane.html )
If I owned jeggings, I'd be a bit more daring with what I pair them with, but my rule would be "Whatever goes on top MUST cover my butt" Like a tunic! No bare jeggings butt!!

WendyB said...

I've decided to believe they're pants.

Anonymous said...

the jeggings picture is cracking me up!

reminds me of the Dr Seuss pants with nobody inside them

Ariel said...

ABE!! i bet where ever he is now, hes laughing and glad he doesnt have to decide what to do about jeggings.

Valerie said...

Jeggings are jeans. Mine are Levi and they are right next to the boot cut Levi's at Macys. They have REAL back pockets and REAL front pockets, a REAL zipper and a REAL button. I LOVE THEM!

the hollister abolisher said...

Your hilarious, so is your brother. I went to target yesterday and saw some jeggings next to leggings.
They scare me.

Betsy said...

Dude, I totally have jeggings, and I totally wear them as pants. I'm gonna have to disagree with Abe on this one.

Anonymous said...

"If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg(ing)"

Abraham Lincoln


IHGP

A-C said...

I'm w/Abe on this one--these should not be worn as pants. But mostly I'm w/you and your brother for making me laugh. :)

E said...

"this item is more hosiery than pants"???? That makes me think I can only wear them under a dress, which severely limits my options for wearing them. Not the smartest marketing choice on Nordstroms's part..

Meghan said...

I know this might seem a bit odd but...
I work in a clothing store which sells jeggings (they are separate from the jeans btw). And as the store's restocker I have had close, personal encounters with said jeggings. And...

They smell weird. All of them. Doesn't matter the brand, style, color, etc, they all have a very distinctive and strange odor.

kathryn-louisa said...

Hahahahahaaaa this made me laugh out loud to myself for a little longer than I'm prepared to admit... As far as the debate goes, I think it should be taken on a case by case basis - I have one pair of jeggings that are simply denim-coloured leggings and another that are slightly more flexible jeans. While I find it quite acceptable to wear the latter with (longish) tops, I certainly like to make sure a lot less of my self is on show when wearing the first pair!

x

http://sparklesmiledance.blogspot.com

lisa said...

I think jeggings can be pants but only with a top that covers the butt and crotch area.

Renée T. Bouchard said...

Great debate- hilarious! Also, I posted an award for you on my blog today. Check it out when you can:

http://reneetbouchard.blogspot.com/2010/03/blog-awards-are-fun.html

la petite fashionista said...

I just did a post on jeggings too! great minds think alike. i personally am a big fan! I like a pair thats sturdy enough to give the illusion of denim but with the comfort & stretchiness of leggings

they work wonders for tucking into boots!

closet365 said...

I think jeggings is fun to say, but other than that, I got nuthin'

Harriet said...

I'm on the 'jeggings should die and never be thought of again' side of this debate. Is that a side I'm allowed to be on?

Anyway, I except that, as I am not dictator of the world, I can't actually force people not to wear jeggings, so I'm going down the jeans route, although I want to point out that Abe does have a point when he says it might encourage people to wear them as trousers (not good!)

Anonymous said...

I was very weary of jeggings at first, but then I bought some just to see what they were like, and let me tell you they are great! none of that awful bulging that regular skinny jeans can cause, they stretch when you sit/bend/leap/dance. I do try to follow the legging rule of thumb whilst wearing jeggings: booty and crotchal-area must be covered by my shirt!

now that we have the mystery of the jegging somewhat taken care of, maybe you could address the romper? this is another style craze that baffles me, and i'm not sure that i'm ready to jump into one and try it out (i'm kind of short and curvy) any suggestions anyone?

Kathryn said...

I have to go with violetville and CompassRose on this: depends what kind of jeggings your'e talking about. Mine have a zipper and a button, real pockets and real stitching. Just like jeans but made of a super light and stretchy material. I love them and wear them all the time as pants.

One thing though, they were probably more $$ than the kind that are basically tights with seems painted on.

TSquared said...

How prescient! Today I'm trying out my first pair of jeggings (definitely more the legging-like variety) and decided that my pair certainly needs coverage. So I'm wearing them with a shirtdress I deem too short for bare legs and even most tights when I'm at work. But today, I feel liberated to wear the short dress with my jeggings underneath. It feels a little bit funkier and safer than just wearing leggings or really thick tights. It also reminds me of wearing shorts under my dress on Friday-Flip-Up-Day in kindergarten- kind of a safety layer that will be totally fine for the world to see, if it comes to that, but isn't intended as a big display.

Ms. Wife of the Year said...

Jeggings, like leggings are pants. Tights are not ever pants. Long live jeggings!

Lady Cardigan said...

When I first heard about jeggings, I loved the idea of them, but now that I've seen them, I think they are hosiery. Also scary.

daisybabie said...

I agree with Anon a few comments above. I own a couple of jeggings and they are brill! I'm of a curvascious nature, and skinny jeans really never fit right. Jeggings on the other hand fit perfectly and move well along with me.

No offense against Honest Abe or yourself, Ms. Winona, but wasn't this argument made back when 'treggings' were hitting the street? Are they trousers/pants or leggings? I think they were left in the leggings category.

On to rompers, I say. Trying to figure out how to use the restroom to pee wearing a one piece. Any and all advice is greatly welcome!
Thanks!

Work With What You've Got said...

Depends on the jegging. I have a couple pairs I treat more like a legging, and a couple I treat as pants.

courtney jo said...

i was reading this post while my roommate was napping and i could not suppress my giggles. obviously, after being awoken from my snorts and gaffaws, my roommate could not understand what was so hysterical about jeggings and abe lincoln, but i sure could.

moral of the story: you're great.

Sarah said...

If there's even the slightest hint of camel toe, it can't be a pair of pants (I hope).

www.thelicentiate.blogspot.com

shewearsclothes said...

I do not and will not call them JEGGINGS because this word makes me want to vomit. So what you have referred to as JEGGINGS will hereafter be referred to as LEGGINGS THAT LOOK LIKE JEANS, or LTLLJ.

I have a pair of LTLLJ myself, and I think it is safe to say that they are much closer to pants than hosiery. The fabric from which LTLLJ is constructed, while very stretchy, is much more substantial than the fabric of most leggings. In fact, I can wear my LTLLJ with normal-person underwear and not even get panty lines at all. The only difference seems to be that they do not have pockets or a zipper.

Case CLOSED.

(of course, this may not be true for all LTLLJ- mine are from Madewell and therefore, boss.)

Academichic said...

Aaaahahahahaha, this is awesome! So funny!

I'm still conflicted because I WOULD wear jeggings with a long top but not as pants on their own (with a normal length top), but I would never wear hosiery with just a long top.

So they do not necessitate a bottom (meaning they're like bottoms themselves, unlike hosiery) but they're not fully independent ones that don't require assistance from a longer top either.

I think if Jeggings could talk, they'd be singing Britney Spears' "I'm not a Girl, not Yet a Woman".

S.

April said...

lololol this is hilarious!! personally, i think jeggings are jeans, just with an elastic waist. only if they're made of actual, like, stretch teeshirt/legging material are they leggings.

Kathryn Blair said...

I would say we need a more hybrid type of jegging for them to be really stockable with jeans -- which is really that they be build of sturdier fabric. Not full-weight denim, but sort of like really thing demin that is mostly stretch cotton but still of a heavier weight than your general legging. This has nothing to do with modestly, as in general I have become mildly anti-pants since legginings became widely available and I reaslised what I was doing wrong at age 10. Just with jeans beign jeans. I would say leggings are not hosiery either though -- they are for all intents and purposes pants IMO -- just very reveling ones that you should not wear without consideration of that fact. And then there are the days you see the kiddies (or university students) wearing NYLONS and a not-very-long-t-shirt and you go "really now. I would have more respect for honest nekkidness!"

Crystal said...

wow. as someone who used to work in the hosiery dept at Nordys and is also a huge fan of Baberaham Lincoln, I really really enjoyed that!

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