Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bring Back: Legwarmers

As winter sets in and the cold encourages us out of our ballet pumps and into our knee boots, I reluctantly wonder: whatever happened to legwarmers? In my case, they remain alive and well, lurking at the back of my drawers.

You may remember (if you have not already chosen to forget) the resurgence of legwarmers a mere 4 years ago. Worn by many with tights and short hemlines, they covered the curve of your foot exposed by a ballet shoe (or stiletto, if Jordan was your fashion icon).

As a student, they made me feel at once comforted, ridiculous, rebellious and cool. That's a tall order of emotions for two tubes of fabric. Sometimes that fabric was plain and black, in luxurious wool. Other times it appeared on my legs sparkly and pale pink; the FAME extras had nothing on me. They were my shelter in a city of wind and rain and if I'm entirely honest, I miss them a lot around this time of year.

The truth is, they retired about the same time as my flares, Laura Ashley print shirts and 80s batwing jumper dresses disappeared. However, unlike my motley crew collection of 70s and 80s second-hand finds, the legwarmers never did make it back to the charity shop. They remained with me, keeping my feet cosy in bed and occasionally making an outing on a winter run (the run itself happens maybe twice, possibly only once a year, hence the occasional).

Recently, I have seen my faithful furry friend (the legwarmer, not a dog) making the odd appearance on a commuter's leg on the tube, and constantly at my place of work where I often find myself sharing a lift with a legwarmer-clad ballerina.

So why the stigma? What, really, was so bad about 80s fashion? Yes, it was the era responsible for the shoulder pad and blue mascara but it also bore Herve Leger bandage dresses, championed the riding boot, and re-introduced the world to colour. See where I'm going with this? Legwarmers are not just for Flashdance fans, they are practical and flattering, if worn correctly. If worn with a short skirt (I wouldn't recommend shorts, unless Katie Price, as she is now known, is still your fashion icon) and rolled up to just below the knee, they can give the same advantages as your trusty knee boot whilst offering extra warmth! So why not join me people, as I take it upon my own shoulders (or should that be legs?) to single-handedly bring back legwarmers! Rejoice.

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