Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? Leggings for Moms

black leggings

photo via

I’ve been thinking about age a lot recently, and I blame Nora Ephron. While we were visiting the grandparents over the holidays, I made the mistake of picking up I Feel Bad About My Neck, her book of essays on aging. In the title piece, she shares what a plastic surgeon once told her: It’s a medical certainty that a woman’s neck begins to go at age 43. That’s when the sagging starts. Unavoidable.

Want to guess how old I am? Jasper keeps forgetting, but Magnolia has it down pat and will tell you and anyone else who will listen — “Mommy is 43!” (At least this mommy is; I’ve got a couple years on Chrissy.)

Anyway, I’m over 40, and now my neck is going….

Other things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to age and what’s “appropriate”: Hair length, hem length, and LEGGINGS. I do not look like any of the women above when I wear them, but I have some and I LOVE them. And if I looked like Katie Holmes in them, I would wear them with a cute pair of ballet flats ALL THE TIME. (Yes, Katie is a freak for being married to Tom, but I generally like her tailored look.)

katie holmes in leggings

photo via INFdaily

So, here are my thoughts on hair and hems:

hair — I’m growing it out! After thoughtful discussion with my hairdresser, we decided I’m not too ancient for long hair. Yippeeee! I’m practicing with my new curling iron (there are tricks to getting it right, people!) and trying to channel Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.

hemlines — No shorter than just above the knee, thank you, for ME. If you’re over 40 and can rock the mid-thigh look, good for you. But, personally, I kind of think you have to look like Sienna Miller to pull that one off.

The jury’s out on leggings, though…. I wear them, but with a cloudy conscience. I love the comfort and clean look, but I don’t weigh 110 pounds. I have THIGHS. And that is apparent.

What do you think? Are leggings OK for over-40 moms or should most of us regular-looking gals “just say no?”

Leggings — love ’em or leave ’em?


7 Responses to “Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em? Leggings for Moms”

  1. 1 Alba February 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I think it depends on people’s energy – some women can get away with leggings even after 50, but some couldn’t pull it off at 32. It really is about attitude – and your attitude about yourself. (I can honestly say that was much older six years ago than I am now!)

  2. 2 Katie February 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    You know back when I worked at Anthro in, oh, 2006, they were promoting this legging thing, and at the time my 34 year old self took a stand and said, “I wore this look in high school and there is no way I am wearing it now.” This nearly got me fired, cause I seriously refused the leggings.

    I have, however, come around to it, and they are my favorite things to wear on airplanes. I think body shape and what you pair with the leggings has more to do with how to wear them than age or even size. I can’t do leggings and a shirt. But leggings and a dress… super cute and comfy!

    • 3 Cay March 1, 2011 at 7:29 am

      But if you wear leggings with a dress, aren’t they just cut off tights?? ;0)
      I”m conflicted too, being this close to 43 myself. Love the comfort and the way they look on others, just don’t feel I”m “rocking the look” in quite the same way myself.

  3. 4 Melisa February 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I hear you, Alba — energy and attitude has a lot to do with it! I don’t know if I’ll be wearing them past 50, but maybe I’ve got a few more years left!

    And, Katie, what you pair them with is crucial — I can’t do them with a short top, either. But tunics and dresses, I am down with.

  4. 5 Paula/adhocmom March 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    I wear them in the summer. . the cropped ones. I want to wear them, but I also want a totally different body when I wear them. So yeah, I’m totally getting your legging confusion. I’m sure you can pull them off great though.

  5. 6 karen March 5, 2011 at 2:19 am

    I wear them all the time and definitely shouldn’t but they are too comfortable not to. Plus I’ve left all shame behind at this point!

  6. 7 Melisa March 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

    oh, karen, i bet you look adorable in them! esp with that cute tunic you were wearing last time i saw you — think you said you bought it from a street vendor in front of Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn. i’ve remembered that and thought i should go in search of him since…. loved it!

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