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Leg Fashions Stride Ahead

Leggings and Boots Among Popular Items


Star-patterned leggings. (C)tabio

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Leg fashions are gaining in popularity in Japan. Leggings, colored tights, and leg warmers, as well as engineer boots, thigh-high boots, and other types of boots are becoming items of choice for complementing dresses and miniskirts. Dressy legs not only serve as a statement in themselves but provide a way to create a new look, and interest in them is high for these reasons.


An example of an outfit featuring knitted tights. (C)Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College

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Low-heeled boots are in fashion. (C)Color & Design Research Room of Kyoritsu Women's Junior College

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A 1980s RevivalFootless and stirrup leggings are among the hottest items this season. Footless leggings cover the calf and sometimes come down to the ankle, while stirrup leggings have a strap under the foot to keep them in place. Leggings make legs look longer and slimmer, and they are particularly popular among women in their twenties and thirties. This season's lineup includes basic black, star and border stripe patterns, and lace, denim-like, and satiny fabrics.

The popularity of legwear is actually part of a wider 1980s revival - an outgrowth of the wave of interest in tight-fitting clothing, punk fashions, all black outfits, and other 1980s styles.

Leg warmers are another popular item. Though originally used as a way to stay warm at home and in the office, today they serve a dual role thanks to their functionality and style. The array of colors and designs offered has grown, making them a focus of attention for fashion-conscious women and inspiring new looks featuring leg warmers paired with tight-fitting denim or layered with tights and leggings.

Boots Enjoy Wide Following Boots are a must-have this winter. Engineer, Western, mutton, fringed cowboy, trekking, and other boot styles popular last year continue to have a strong presence. One of the newest boot styles today is the low-heeled, wide-shaft boots with a sturdy yet wild appearance. Adjustable boots whose silhouette and height can be altered are also gaining a following for their flexibility and convenience. Boots that can be folded down and boots that come with removable ribbons and belt accessories are two examples. Leg accessories, such as fur bands and pearl chains for the ankle, have made an appearance and are earning popularity as a way to give old shoes a new look.

Many people say that fashion starts with the feet, and there is no doubt that attractive legwear and footwear give outfits a balanced appearance. Leg fashions are not a new concept; fashion-conscious individuals have always taken care with below-the-knee styles. Despite the emphasis today on mixing and matching articles of clothing, the key to dressing well remains the creation of a complete look from head to toe. (November 2009)

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