I saw the legwarmer craze of the 80s – Fame, Flashdance, Jane Fonda workout videos – and as far as I can remember, totally skipped it. What’s wrong with thick socks? Maybe if you’re cold you can wear long johns? What the heck is up with legwarmers? Then the fashion disappeared entirely and I didn’t have to think about it any more… until recently, because it seems like legwarmers are back.

Maybe it’s the resurgence of knitting? Legwarmers do seem like they’d be a fun thing to knit. They could be big and bulky or slimmer, they could be solid or ribbed or fair-isle. Maybe it’s that the 80s are now such ancient history that we can revisit the fashion and call it retro? That makes me feel old. Maybe it’s something I’m totally not thinking of – do you have any ideas?

I saw a woman on the Metro wearing legwarmers, and instead of thinking that they were silly, I caught myself thinking that they were actually kind of cute. She was wearing wellies and legwarmers and tights and a skirt, and she didn’t look cold even thought it was February. Hrm. Interesting.

And another thing, I’ve gone back to the idea of training to run a 5k. I’m starting out more slowly this year, with a month of brisk four mile walks before I even try to start jogging, but it’s *cold* out there sometimes. Maybe legwarmers might not be so bad after all. Once they become utilitarian instead of worn purely for fashion, I find them much more appealing. And what’s more utilitarian for keeping warm than wool? Of course, there’s no rule against utilitarian clothing being fashionable as well…

(Please, no mention of the fact that I wouldn’t be able to knit myself a pair of legwarmers before it will be too hot outside to wear them. I know I have other things to knit first. I’m just daydreaming here.)

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4 Responses to “In Which the Pirate Is Baffled.”
  1. Iknit2purl2 says:

    II knit a air of egwarmers for my daughter. So cute and easy! She dances and teachers really recommend them for keeping legs warm. Have fun! So many cute patterns on Ravelry!

  2. Calophi says:

    My theory is that legwarmers have become re-popular because of the current fads of leggings and skinny jeans.

    • Pirate says:

      I think skinny jeans would be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea for me! Leggings are all right if there’s a skirt over them, I guess. Sort of. Not really.

  3. Artifax says:

    It does seem like many things come back into vogue again after about 25-30 years or so. I’m not terrible keen on legwarmers, but I have seen quite a few knitting patterns for them (and things like spats too) so maybe the knitting revival is driving the trend?

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