The Real Reason Why Girls Wear Leggings [What Do Leggings Symbolize?]

Some time around the mid-2000s, there was a trend that made people turn their heads. That trend was yoga pants, also known as the skin-tight clingy leggings that made your butt look amazing. Ever since then, leggings just never really went away. Women and girls wear them as pants on a daily basis. 

If you’re curious about what the trend means, or if it means anything at all, the answer is a little more obvious than you might expect it to be…

Why Girls Wear Leggings

There are a bunch of reasons why girls find leggings to be a good outfit accessory. Of course, each lady has her own reasons for wanting to wear them. The most common reasons for wearing leggings include:

  • Versatility. They can be dressed up or down. They also work with virtually any type of style you might imagine. One outfit might be work appropriate, while the next will look totally at home at the club. 
  • Effortless Style. Leggings are trendy and modern, and when worn correctly, give you that epic vibe of looking effortlessly put-together. If you’re a working mom, or if you just are short on prep time, leggings can legit be a lifesaver.
  • Comfort. Leggings might be clingy, but they offer a lot of warmth and don’t feel as light as many other pant types do. 
  • Sizes. You will always be able to find leggings in your size, no matter what size you are. They also cling to your skin and can stretch to suit your shape. This makes them incredibly friendly for people who are in the middle of a weight loss journey. 

Why Are Leggings So Popular?

Leggings are popular because they are comfortable, come in a wide range of different styles, and also can be worn a million different ways. They’re one of the few articles of clothing that can truly be considered a staple no matter what kind of style you have.

Because they tend to cling to a person’s body while hiding flaws, leggings are also known for being form-flattering. If a woman wants to have a casual look that still gives her a slender, put-together figure, then it makes a lot of sense for her to grab a pair of leggings.

Are Yoga Pants And Leggings The Same Thing?

Technically, they are. They are both stretchy pants made of clingy material. However, there is one key difference between standard leggings and yoga pants. Yoga pants tend to be made for athletic purposes and are slightly stretchier than typical legging fabrics tend to be. 

Moreover, upscale yoga pants also tend to have reinforced crotches. This makes doing splits a little less risky, if you know what I mean. Most yoga pants also have a more athletic-looking design, but that’s not always the case.

Can You Wear Leggings As Pants?

In the 1990s, wearing leggings as pants was a major no-no. It used to be that you would have to wear a skirt with them, otherwise, people would talk. This is no longer the case. Wearing leggings as pants is fairly commonplace among women of all walks of life. 

Do You Need To Wear Underwear With Leggings?

It used to be that wearing underwear with leggings was a must, but this isn’t the case anymore. Most women “go commando” when they are wearing leggings. If you want to wear undies with your leggings, then it’s best to pick underwear that offer up a seamless look.

What Do Leggings Symbolize? What Do Leggings Say About A Woman?

It doesn’t really say anything. Or rather, leggings are not supposed to be some kind of message to others, nor are they supposed to be some kind of crazy secret code. When a woman wears leggings, it means she like leggings. 

With that said, there are some people who tend to think that wearing leggings as pants is inappropriate. Since leggings tend to reveal a woman’s figure pretty heavily, some might find it revealing. Wearing leggings doesn’t mean a girl is looking for a hot date, though. It just means she got with the times and now enjoys modern comforts.

When Is It Inappropriate To Wear Leggings As Pants?

For the most part, it’s possible to dress up leggings for almost any occasion without too many remarks. However, like with all things related to fashion, it’s always a matter of knowing how to read the room. There are still situations where wearing leggings is not wise. These tips below can help you figure out if you should skip the leggings.

  • If your community is extremely conservative, wearing leggings as pants might not be smart. Let’s face it. There are a lot of different cultures out there, and some of them are more puritanical than others. If you live in a region where people will give you the side-eye for it (such as select parts of Utah), don’t risk it. 
  • Extremely formal workplaces may also have a policy against using leggings as pants. It is often considered to be a distraction for male coworkers, or is considered to be too casual for work. 
  • It’s best to avoid wearing leggings as pants in church. Church is a place where your clothing should always try to lean on the conservative side of things. Though some churches are cool with leggings or yoga pants, many find them to be a major distraction. 
  • Leggings as pants might not be up to school code, either. Most school dress codes banned this look in the early 2000s. Check with your school to see if it’s allowed.
  • Some people will also give you a dirty look if you try to use leggings as pants in extremely formal event settings. For example, you might want to go for something more formal if you are going to a five star restaurant, a wedding, a baptism, or a gala. Moreover, if you have a specific dress code in the venue you’re going to, you should switch things up for real pants.

Why Do Some People Think It’s Inappropriate To Wear Leggings As Pants?

This is a good question, because you are really covering up everything. However, it’s the skin-tight aspect of the leggings that is often seen as inappropriate. Because leggings tend to flaunt the human figure, it leaves little to the imagination. 

A lot of people tend to assume that leggings are going to distract people who are attracted to women, especially when it comes to the way that leggings look on the right behind. While this shouldn’t actually be a part of your decision to wear them or how you feel in them, that’s how they feel. 

Is this belief misogynistic? Yep. But that’s just the way some people are. 

Do Guys Like Leggings Or Yoga Pants?

Guys are pretty easy when it comes to the clothing women wear. This is especially true when it comes to figure-flattering, form-fitting clothing like leggings and yoga pants. To most men, these two items are one and the same. They won’t be able to tell the difference in most cases. 

As far as to whether they like them? Well, we’ll say this much: many men have a special spot in their hearts when it comes to this clothing. Due to the way they display your legs and hide imperfections, it’s easy to see why a lot of guys have a thing for leggings.

As long as you wear a sexy outfit with them and look put-together, you’ll never have to worry about guys complaining about you wearing them. That much, we can assure you of. 

Does Wearing Leggings Make Your Bum Look Bigger?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it does it by emphasizing the curvature of your behind. Since legging fabric is clingy and stretchy, certain people might notice that their behinds get emphasized through the stretching out of certain patterns. 

Want to max out the size of your behind? Well, knowing how to shop for leggings can help. Some leggings are actually designed to emphasize rear ends. Leggings that are “booty enhancing” are made with special stitching that helps give your behind a lift.

Is Wearing Leggings Bad For You?

In recent years, there have been debates circulating the net about the safety issue of leggings. Is it really actually that bad? Well, kind of. Like with many other things in life, moderation is key. There is actually a good amount of research suggesting that leggings aren’t good for your health. 

It can be a little weird to think of wearing specific types of clothing as a health hazard. This is doubly true with leggings. Don’t believe it? This is what the pros had to say:

  • Tight leggings can make it hard for your skin to breathe. If you are prone to sweating in leggings, this could mean getting a rash or even getting breakouts due to clogged pores. 
  • In some cases, it can also restrict blood flow. If you have a pair of leggings that are a little bit too tight, it could be too much for your circulation. While this doesn’t really have that much of an immediate effect, over time it can contribute to varicose veins. 
  • People who are prone to UTIs and yeast infections should think twice about leggings. Both urinary tract infections and yeast infections tend to occur in hot, moist conditions that don’t allow genitalia to breathe. Unfortunately, wearing leggings and yoga pants can exacerbate this.
  • Chafing is a thing. Yes, rubbing your thighs together in leggings will still cause chafing. How bad the chafing is can depend on a variety of issues, but it’s never a pleasant experience regardless of the extent of the damage.
  • Some people might also notice a couple more red bumps around their thighs and groin. No, this isn’t a remainder from last night’s fling. The red bumps are actually a sign of clogged or infected hair follicles, a common issue for people who wear leggings on a regular basis. In some cases, it can turn into folliculitis. 

How To Prevent Damage From Wearing Leggings

Though leggings can be a pretty bad thing for your health (especially your skin) there are ways to reduce the damage. These tips below can help:

  • Get breathable leggings. Yes they do exist, and yes they are a must. Choosing cotton or breathable polyester is better for your vaginal health as well as the health of your skin. 
  • Don’t wear dirty leggings or dirty yoga pants. Dirty leggings speed up the buildup of grime that clogs pores and gets your skin (or nether regions) infected. Try to wash your leggings after each use, if possible. 
  • Do space out your leggings sessions. While it may be a nice, effortless look in most cases, you still need to space things out. Wear them once to twice a week, max, if you want to stay super-safe. 
  • Call a doctor if you notice bumps down there. Though this can be a simple issue of clogged pores, if you feel pain, it could be a case of folliculitis. 
  • Use high quality yoga pants when you’re at the gym. Low quality pants are more likely to trap sweat or even tighten up as a result of the heat that comes with working up a sweat. 


Love them or hate them, women are all about the effortless coolness that leggings offer. They are trendy and versatile, comfortable yet flattering. In a world as demanding as ours, it’s not surprising this clothing item became a smash hit across all age groups. No matter how you look at it, it’s clear that leggings are here to stay.

Of course, like with any other trend, there are pitfalls that you need to be aware of. Along with it being an inappropriate choice in some settings, overuse of leggings can cause skin problems in people. So, much like with other parts of your wardrobe, it’s best to enjoy this neat staple in moderation.