I was driving my daughter home from dance the other night, listening to the radio, and absently pulling on the material of my pant legs. We had been having a conversation about dance, play practice, school, and what was for dinner. A song came on the radio, and I started to sing.
Suddenly, my daughter looked down at my leg. “Are you wearing leggings?” she asked in that incredulous tone that teenagers use to indicate that their parents are doing something unbelievably ignorant.
I rubbed my leg, trying to remember which pants I was wearing, while continuing to keep my eye on the road. “No, they’re not leggings. They’re knit jeans.”
“Good! There are a lot of people who wear leggings who shouldn’t,” she continued, clearly not thinking through the implications of what she was saying. But her dialogue was effective. Immediately, visions of people who shouldn’t wear leggings entered my mind. Then I thought about her comment.
“I’m sorry…. Are you saying I shouldn’t wear leggings?” I asked.
“I didn’t mean you!” she responded, too quickly. She backed up. “I’m just saying that a lot of people wear leggings, and they shouldn’t wear them.”
“I have some leggings,” I admitted. “Is it bad for me to wear them? Is there something that says I shouldn’t wear leggings? Maybe I’m too … old?” I wasn’t trying to push her. I was just trying to figure out the teenage rules for what mothers should wear. I wouldn’t want to cross any invisible lines.
“Really, Mom?” That was it. No explanation. No further comment. Just, really?
“How about if I wear them tomorrow?” I pressed. “I have something that I could wear with them that would be completely appropriate.” I waited for her reply.
“So I can’t wear leggings?” I made sure my tone was now bordering on a teenage whine. “But they’re comfortable!”
She sighed a loud, disgusted sigh. “Not to work, Mom.”
Yes, the fashion police now live in my house. The fashion police take notice of all adult wardrobe faux pas, and “they” are not afraid to intervene….