The trend of yoga pants and/or leggings as pants grew in popularity a couple years ago and continues to accelerate. The fashion trend trickled onto MidAmerica Nazarene University’s campus and hasn’t let up. One question about this trend; is it even appropriate in public?
Some high schools and other Christian colleges throughout the states don’t think so. There seems to be opposing beliefs due to this growing trend.
Yahoo News has an article about Minnetonka High School in Minnesota where the principal sent an email out to the parents requesting the girls to dress more modestly after the tight leggings and yoga pants were leaving “little to the imagination”. The principal received about 100 responses within 24 hours and only two of them were negative.
Other high schools that banned yoga pants and leggings are found all over the map like in California, Utah, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri. The Salt Lake Tribune recognized that leggings are the newest incarnation of trends that test school dress codes.
The trend is addressed in Olivet Nazarene University’s student handbook by not allowing women to wear “form fitting apparel such as tights, legging, yoga pants, spandex, etc”. Similar words are written in Oklahoma Christian College’s handbook, “If wearing leggings, your shirt should be one inch below your fingertips when your arms and hands are fully extended to your sides… yoga pants are only appropriate on campus when covered with shorts.”
The main theme from these dress codes; no yoga pants or leggings without being covered.
Through a random survey on campus, many girls at MNU have agreed with covering up the tight fitted fabric. From a range of 60 MNU freshman to senior girls, 41% admitted to wearing yoga pants or leggings out in public. Of those who wear them in public, 20% commented on wearing something over the leggings. Most specified that leggings should be covered up but not particularly yoga pants.
Senior volleyball athlete, Kimmie Kreeger, is a strong advocate for yoga pants, “They are a feminine, girl-version of sweat pants,” she said, “They allow females to dress comfy and practical while not looking sloppy. As long as they are a right fit and worn tastefully, they are perfectly appropriate.”
The other 19% of surveyed females responded that they didn’t wear yoga pants or leggings out in public. Only three girls from that amount said they didn’t own any pairs. Even with the girls response, 69% of the “don’t wear in public” still own at least two pairs of either yoga pants or leggings. A couple of these girl’s who don’t wear them out addressed that it’s not ok for others to wear out unless their backsides are covered. All the while, these females recognized the trend whether or not they joined in.
One of the surveyed females identified the fact that MNU is a Christian university and because of that, a dress code against the tight-fitting pants would be understandable.
“I think we are suppose to support our Christian brothers with wholesome acts and if you’re intentionally leading them astray, it’s not good,” she said, “But I also want to be comfortable.”
From a guy’s point of view, freshman ministry major, Austin Redlich, shared his opinion of the trend, “I don’t have a problem with them if you have a long shirt to cover up, but other than that, they are a distraction and not appropriate for a Christian college.”
The Christian Science Monitor also has an opinion on the fashion style and said the trend has “found their way onto the prohibited list at more than half of the schools surveyed. As far as those administrators are concerned, leggings should be treated just like legs. That means that shirts, dresses, shorts or skirts still have to cover the same amount of legging-covered thigh as bare thigh.”
Even with all the controversy over the trend, whether it’s a appropriate or not, an MNU female sums up how majority of the surveyed felt: “We should be allowed to wear what we want. We are adults; Christians or not.”