Tights Aren’t Pants

Mariska... Uncut* As a fitness professional, I feel it is my responsibility to add my voice to important causes related to the industry: childhood obesity, adult-onset diabetes, fashion tragedies... There is a serious problem in our society – ladies (and gents) wearing tights as pants. The manifesto of the organization Tights Are Not Pants clearly outlines the issue: An excerpt: "In the context of sports, ballet, hair metal, and Renaissance fairs, tights function as suitable leg coverings, but still - they are not pants. These are not activities that transform tights into pants; these are historically acceptable acts of pantlessness." For reference, my husband snapped this photo from last year's Renaissance Festival. Even if tights as pants "work" there, does that look good to you? Me neither.
The Maryland RennFest Fall 2011 Collection.

Maryland RennFest Fall 2011 Collection.

I've been teaching for nearly ten years, and in that time, I have seen a lot of things. A LOT of things. More than I would care to see. There was a class I taught once with a shirtless guy wearing flesh-toned short shorts whose man parts were visible, for instance... Last year, a friend emailed me this very important flowchart. It was originally posted on Buzzfeed and designed by Amy Sly. I thank them both. Check it out. Print it out. Send it to friends. Facebook even has a page dedicated to the cause of pantlessness. Actually, do a search - there's more than one! The basics as I see it: 1. If your pants are skin tight and don't have pockets, they are possibly tights. Please don't be confused by anything bedazzled. Tights are easily bedazzled. 2. If they are see-through, they are definitely tights. They don't need to have feet attached to them to be tights. Note, that footless tights are sold in many retail outlets. 3. If they are, in fact, tights, you can wear them out, but your shirt or sweater should hit below the butt. (Stay tuned for a future blog post - "T-shirts aren't dresses") 4. Pajamajeans, as seen on TV (and spotted in my local CVS), aren't pants. Nor are they jeans. Or pajamas. 5. We'll still love if you accidentally wear tights as pants. I admit to being an occasional offender. Other teachers have done it as well. After all, fitness facilities are one of the few places where tights are (borderline) acceptable. As long as they aren't see-through, of course. Stay hard core (and appropriately covered), Mariska * Caution: Do not read Mariska...Uncut if you are prone to fainting spells, being offended, or taking yourself too seriously.

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All Comments (5)

  1. A says:

    My thighs aren’t thin enough to wear leggings but I think it looks fine on thin people as long as they wear a tunic with it.

    My issue at the gym is I feel women need to wear full back underwear and here’s why. Women buy polyester black capris (not lululemon because they are thicker) and then what they don’t realize is that after repeatedly putting it in the dryer (should hang dry), only when they bend over their whole butt area is sheer.

    So here’s my own flow chart. lol I see these two types of women all the time.

    1. Wears a thong, bends over in Pilates class and I see through her black pants light as day her white butt cheeks and green thong, I shouldn’t be able to determine your thong color. I alert her to this after class while standing, she turns around and sees nothing. This only happens when you’re bending over like tying your shoe, stretching, or picking up a weight and I see this a lot in my gym classes.

    2. Decides to go pantyless, sweats ton and in her gray capris she has sweat spots in the most unflattering place. I think a second layer of fabric – real cotton underwear – would help prevent this. Not the flimsy seamless ones that are so thin. Think about the sweaty girl who you can outline her sports bra through the back of her shirt, that extra fabric of the sports bra prevented sweat spots in that area.

    I really don’t get why women care about panty lines at the gym. Men don’t care about it. Women are doing it for other women which is pretty odd if you think about it. If they care about that shouldn’t they equally care about their sports bra strap sticking out? Seems silly that one matters and the other doesn’t.

  2. Mariska Breland says:

    A! All excellent points. I’ve seen many issues with sheerness when people are doing exercises. (Note from the teacher’s point of view – we see a lot!) The issue, too, is that people need to bend over and check out the see-through-ness of their clothes in proper lighting. If you do the check in a dark room, it doesn’t work! Also, I agree that thicker pants are better. American Apparel seems to be sending out some tights as workout pants. Perhaps they need a more educated sales force.

  3. Morgan says:

    If this is the worst thing you have seen at Renn Fest, consider yourself lucky!

  4. AB says:

    Awesome post and good points, A!

    However, you need to cut those who are cursed with hyperactive sweat glands some slack.
    Some of us are real-cotton full-back underwear, black workout pant, anti-perspirant using Fuse addicts, who are self-conscious about the issue and wish people would understand that these things just happen in exercise classes sometimes.


  5. Kate Fried says:

    I was once in a yoga class where the man in front of me was wearing some form of athletic tights that were way too shear, and he was most definitely NOT wearing any underwear. I spent the 90 minutes vacillating between fvisually violated and rather sorry for him*. Apparently he didn’t get Mariska’s memo. Also, I once attended a Ren Faire with a then boyfriend who insisted on wearing his cowboy hat the entire time (he had a cowboy complex). Fashion faux pas about at those events.

    *And no, I don’t make a habit of checking guys out in yoga, this was a bit too glaring to ignore.