This High School Principal Reminds Girls That Leggings Are Not Pants

leggings are not pants

Who knew something so comfy could cause so many problems? | Source: ShutterStock

So, this is happening: someone is taking a stance on the unofficial fashion rule that leggings are not pants. Principal Dave Adney from Minnetonka High School in Minnesota is getting a little tired of the girls in his school wearing leggings just like they would wear a pair of jeans – with short shirts rather than shirts that are long enough to cover up their butts. But, um, is this a good or bad thing? I can’t decide.

Principal Dave Adney sent around an email to parents of students urging them to talk to their kids about the right way to wear leggings, saying they need to “keep things covered up.” To be clear, he doesn’t want to ban leggings altogether – he just wants girls to start wearing longer shirts with them. Apparently, tight leggings are just a little bit too revealing for this high school.

Hm. While I can totally stand behind the statement that leggings are not pants, this is sitting a little weird with me.

I agree – leggings should not be worn as a complete substitute for jeans. Listen ladies, I know leggings are super, ridiculously comfortable, but they can make things just a teensy bit… awkward. I’m talking camel-toe and lots of butt cleavage here. And, okay, if you’re into that sort of thing, that’s cool. Personally, I don’t think pairing tight leggings with a short shirt is a cute look.

But the thing is, that’s my opinion about leggings – and I think that’s more about personal style then it is about a standard dress code. Even though I wouldn’t wear that style myself, I think it’s a little ridiculous to tell girls flat-out that they can’t. A few years ago, I worked at Victoria’s Secret for about five minutes (folding underwear? Not my favorite thing ever), and my manager had a wardrobe rule: we couldn’t wear leggings with shirts that didn’t go halfway down our thighs. She would even send people home to change if they were wearing shirts that were too short. It was one thing for her to tell us that we had to wear all black – that’s the VS dress code. But it was another thing for her to tell us exactly how to wear our clothes. It felt too intrusive and controlling, even if I wasn’t planning on doing it to begin with.

I mean, I can kind of see what this principal is saying – leggings are super tight, they show off a girl’s butt and usually, let’s face it, cameltoe. In other words, they’re distracting to high school boys who are chock full of hormones and just want to stare at a girl’s butt in a pair of leggings instead of staring at his math teacher writing on the board.

But, um, is it really the girl’s fault that that’s happening? No. I agree that girls in high school shouldn’t be showing up to class wearing super provocative outfits. And I totally support the rule that my editor Julie just filled me in on: “Cover the hiney, no matter how tiny.” But like I said before, the way you want to wear your leggings is about your own personal style – and I don’t think anyone, even a school principal, should be telling girls exactly how to dress.

Basically? I think girls should be allowed to wear what they want how they want. Maybe I don’t think it’s a good look, but I’m not the one wearing it. And anyway, it doesn’t matter what I think – if you’re comfortable in what your outfit and you’re happy about how you look, that should really be all that matters. And this principal telling them to invest in some longer shirts? Not too cool, if you ask me.


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  • Vicente San Martin

    Well first off Lets start with schools it has nothing to do with the boys in the class room at all with the young Lady’s who wear Leggings to school it is your Teacher’s who have the Lust in their minds and hearts so that is from what i see the other part is Leggings are Pants but be sure that they are not see though and you might ask to Guys wear Leggings well i will be the first to tell you yes I wear Leggings or Spandex i have to say i enjoy wearing them and back when i went to school i did wear Spandex to class never got kick out and i did wear Spandex to P E class as well and i have to say some Girls enjoyed the view back then and that was back in the late 80s and part of the 90s

  • Shlee

    Leggings are not pants, girls need to respect themselves by covering up the camel toe and butt cleavage. I know that freedom of style is important, and I am 100% for it and have been fighting the school system myself for years. But ew, I do not want to see that. Come on, please cover it up. Respect everyone around you and yourself. The principal is right, dressing in tight and practically revealing clothes is not a good thing.

  • FamilyGirl

    my school was the other way round we couldn’t wear skirts that came down to mid thigh, they had to be shorter, we had to by the uniform from the school the shirts you could see the bra lines & sometime the colour through them, hold ups or tights had to be worn & nothing less than a 2 inch heel or there was a dress that had a v-neck front opening down to the middle of most girls breast & v-neck back no sleeves & again it was down about 1/4 of the thighs with the same hold ups or tights & heels.
    pe uniform was gym skirt & tank top.