Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Wardrobe mayhem – number one

Any recommendations for good leggings? I wear them all the time and am looking for a decent pair at a good price – they have to be long (I’m tall) and good quality cotton. Any suggestions? First thing’s first: finding …

Mon, Feb 8, 2010, 08:58

   

Any recommendations for good leggings? I wear them all the time and am looking for a decent pair at a good price – they have to be long (I’m tall) and good quality cotton. Any suggestions?

First thing’s first: finding good leggings is not as easy as it looks. I have several pairs, ranging from long-wearing to blink-and-you’ll-rip-them, and they have varying degrees of what in the hosiery world they’d refer to as denier. Your best bet is to look at your tights as an investment; “a decent pair at a good price”, to me, means leggings that wear well, look well and don’t cost the earth. But if you break it down to cost per wear, it really depends on how often you wear your leggings.

Seasoned leggings-wearer, viewing them as more versatile than grey jersey and more essential than a spare pair of knickers in the glove compartment (surely I’m not the only one whose mother has instilled in her a fear of being scraped out of my car by a judgmental ambulance driver, dressed only in a skirt and my greying M&S reliables?): American Apparel‘s your only man. In Dublin, their leggings are in and around the €50 mark, although a trip Stateside (or a friendly visitor with a spare inch in their suitcase) will cut about a tenner off the price.They’re long, they have a great stretch, really good elasticity and are made of the best quality cotton you’ll find this side of Petit Bateau. They’re not the cheapest tools in the shed, but if you work it out at cost per wear, they’re worth every measly penny.

Might need a pair of leggings every other week, to wear on the cold nights or the chilly mornings? Head to Topshop. Coming in that bit cheaper than AA’s offerings, at around €20-€25 a pair, they’re good quality cotton, have a decent stretch and come in petite, regular and tall lengths, which is always a plus. On the minus side, a few good wearings and the white elastics will start to show through, the thigh area will wear out (unless your thighs don’t meet in the middle, in which case why aren’t you wearing hotpants 24/7 in any case?!) and washing won’t really do these leggings any favours.

I also have a pair from AWear (grand, but lost their shape after washing), another pair from Zara (in a lovely navy colour, very long but a little saggy at the knees, which is never great) and a third from Marks & Spencer (unsurprisingly, the cotton is great, but I’ve been hard pushed to find them again – these were from Limited Collection – and they’re a little on the thin side). Hope that helps!

Having got a few queries via last week’s wardrobe mayhem post, I’m beginning with this – the one I view as being the most straightforward. More to follow (you’re not being ignored!). If you have a sartorial quandry, leave a comment or e-mail me at rmaccabe [at] irishtimes.com and I’ll attempt to answer you as best I can! 

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