Lululemon, the groundbreaking company in the skin-tight lycra-pant movement, faces backlash from women claiming the quality of its yoga pants has decreased dramatically, according to USA Today. No one likes her seams ripping when she hits the gym, grocery store, class, or work.
But wait — when did yoga pants become a substitute for tailored slacks? Better yet, when did t‑shirts, sneakers, and jeans transform into “business casual” attire? Why are Americans opposed to dressing up?
According to a 2007 Gallup poll, 28 percent of American workers said they wore street clothes to work. In comparison, nine percent wore formal business attire including suits and skirts. Other workers wore “business casual” or “uniform” attire.
Today, people wear yoga pants and leggings with anything from t‑shirts to flouncy blouses. Why dress up when you can dress down?
Some professional women, such as Jocelyn Herz, senior vice president of Colin Cowie Lifestyle, wear their yoga pants all the time according to theNew York Times.
“If your entire outfit looks very chic, there’s no reason not to,” she said.
But, Clinton Kelly, famous TLC “What not to Wear” host, said on his bio page that his biggest pet peeve was the “‘casualization’ of America.”
“Don’t get me wrong — casual wear is important, and can be fun and stylish,” Kelly said. “However, on the whole, we’ve stopped caring about what clothing is appropriate for a given situation. Just a few examples: flip-flops are never appropriate for work (unless you work in a spa); pajamas are not appropriate for the supermarket (unless you’ve got the flu and nobody else on the planet is willing to shop for you).”
Hillsdale is a fairly classy school. Ladies don heels and men sport button downs often. But not even Hillsdale is immune to the over-casualization of the age.
There are pictures around campus of ladies cheering on the football team wearing dresses, gloves and hats worthy of Kate Middleton. The men look dapper in sports coats and ties. Today, half the men show up shirtless while girls wear yoga pants and Charger-blue t‑shirts.
There’s nothing wrong with gym-appropriate attire. No one needs to get their panties in a ruffle over leggings under reasonable-length skirts. These articles of clothing have their place.
Today, if you work for the Grounds crew or Saga, you should wear jeans and a t‑shirt during your shift. However, just like we study Great Books for the sake of our future careers, we should dress for class in a way that prepares us for our futures.
Perhaps the problem of yoga pants ripping at the seams reflects how the adulthood of the Millennial generation is falling apart. The problem isn’t within the tight weave of lycra, but in the attitude of America’s twenty-somethings.
“If it’s a casual day and you’re just working in your office and you’re pregnant and you can’t find anything else to fit, maybe yoga pants are acceptable,” Kat Griffin editor of Corporette, a fashion blog, said to the New York Times. “But for everyone else, really, get a pair of pants.”
Hillsdale prides itself in tradition — we rally together crying, “strength rejoices in the challenge!” Here’s your challenge, Hillsdalians: strip the sweats! And maybe after all this liberal arts education, we might actually get jobs.