Recently there’s been some controversy (I use that word loosely) on my Facebook wall. I posted a photo of a woman who appears to be naked from the waist down, but upon closer inspection, she was actually wearing a pair of light-coloured leggings with a top that came down to her waistband. I captioned it “Why leggings are not pants” and received a number of varied responses.
Reaction #1: “They’re so comfortable!" I know. They really are. The modal jersey/cotton blend is to die for. And as much as I advocate comfort, there is a time and a place. There will often be times in your life where the situation is not about your comfort. I’m sure most people would prefer to (comfortably) sleep in, but they don’t. They suck it up and go to work.
Reaction #2: *Insert typical guy reaction about how hot leggings make their girlfriend’s butt look*
And there you have it. Wearing leggings often elicits the same reaction you would get if you were to walk down the street in a thong.
Reaction #3: ”Well I’m just going to class/the grocery store/to walk my dog.“ These are all public places where you could potentially run into potential clients/employers who do not need to know exactly what you look like under your office wear.
This isn’t just about leggings. It’s about the attitude we’re taking towards our presentation. People notice when you take a few minutes to make yourself look good. In an industry like PR where it’s all about who you know, what they know about you and what they think of you, it’s especially important to make an excellent first impression. We coach our clients on how to answer questions, how to speak, how to dress for the camera, but it’s equally important to apply these skills to real-life situations. It’s about confidence – check out this UrbanDictionary definition of the now-famous "Underpants Radius” popularized by How I Met Your Mother.
The distance a man is able to comfortably travel (from his bed) without pants; the average radius being just the distance to the shower.
It is theorized that a man’s underpants radius is inversely proportional to his confidence; that is, the farther a man travels from his bed in just his underwear, the less he believes in himself.
At the end of the day, it’s a reflection on your competency – in this industry, you have to be smart, adaptable and tactical. As people who manage crises, tailor first impressions and pitch ideas, confidence is key.
It’s a simple thing – put on pants. Or, find a top that covers your butt cheeks. Win-win.