I didn’t know leggings were bad until after I graduated, so I never had to choose between freezing legs and the excoriation of the teaching staff. If there are two things Bais Yaakov maidels endure that is going to ensure them a spot in heaven, it’s cold legs in the winter and the discomfort of tights. I wore tights the first year I worked, and after that I switched to leggings and boots and I have never looked back. I still own a couple of pairs of nylon hell, but it’s just for old times sake.
This is another story from lyl about the reason she was given for the frown on leggings.
Whenever a teacher was out and there was no sub, the principal would hold a Q&A class, where we could pass up questions about halacha or hashkafa or school policy and she would answer.
One day, the question was, “What’s wrong with leggings?” They are more opaque than tights, and far more comfortable, not to mention more warm, but there was definitely an institutional frown directed at them.
Turns out our principal was very passionate about this subject. She informed us, in a fiery, brimstone-laden speech, that tights are evil for the following reasons:
- When you wear leggings, you feel more covered up, so you start buying shorter skirts because you feel like the leggings compensate.
- They just aren’t tznius.
- Tznius people don’t wear them.
“If I collected the top ten most tznius girls in this school, and marched them all up on stage, I could ask them ‘Do you own a pair of leggings?’ and I guarantee you every single one will say ‘No.’ Because real tznius girls don’t own leggings.”
In case you think this is crazy, the circular logic of tznius is a very common argument, since ‘not standing out’ is apparently one of the imperatives of tznius.