What a Feeling

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English faculty

Early in November, I experienced a minor fashion crisis while my friend Ingrid was visiting. I was searching my apartment for my legwarmers as she and I were getting dressed to go out for a night of fun.

“Maybe you left them at your dance recital,” was her comic comeback.

“Ha-ha-ha,” I replied.

I discovered my rascally legwarmers hiding in my boots: disaster averted.

Legwarmers’ popularity peaked in the 1980’s, largely due to the movie Flashdance and the onslaught of aerobics videos, and the attendant popular culture phenomena, my favorite being Olivia Newton John’s invitation, “Let’s Get Physical”. While I certainly enjoy a wide array of legwarmer color combinations, my go-to pair is basic black—always slimming, easily coordinated with everything.

I never wore legwarmers during their 1980’s heyday, a decade with fashion fads that are remembered entirely too fondly in my opinion. I was quite young through those years, and certainly I don’t look back at shoulder pads and acid wash jeans with longing.


Work that look, ladies!


While they may have largely faded from widespread popularity, legwarmers remain ridiculously useful, particularly as a functional, alterable layer. I can add them easily, or remove them, or scrunch them down to a little fabric bunch at my ankle. They are a portable and lightweight warming option, easily fitting into pockets or purses, unlike an extra coat.

Legwarmers are a vital part of my penchant for layering throughout the year, and bundling when necessary. Over the course of the 2014 calendar year, I wore my legwarmers eleven out of twelve months. When I went to the Pacific Northwest in July, I brought my trusty legwarmers primarily because the weather report included daytime highs in the 40’s and 80’s, which is a considerable range requiring effective packing. I wore my legwarmers on my arms as extra sleeves when on chilly sunrise boat trip to The San Juan Islands, and was able to pare down to just a tank top when the afternoon emerged as a sunny 75 degree day.

Cleary, legwarmers are a staple of my wardrobe. How did this happen? None of my friends regularly wear legwarmers, but I never was much of a follower when it comes to fashion. I am a fan of unique, utilitarian fashion accessories (see my abundant scarf collection). I follow the basic maxim to wear what feels and looks good, which is why I gave up high heels years ago (a cruel practice started by diminutive male aristocrats with size issues—no, thanks). I have always preferred to find my own style; legwarmers are just one pretty, peculiar part.

  1. Jenesis Williams says:

    Actually I still wear leg warmers depending on if its really freezing! I think they have came back into style and everyone is wearing them especially during the winter. I mean who hates leg warmers!

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