UIUCnopants
April 26, 2010 2:14 PM   Subscribe

UIUCnopants
Tights are not pants (neither are leggings). Documenting this fashion fad (or disaster, take your pick) at the University of Illinois. Contributions welcome!

The whole "tights-are-not-pants" phenomenon needed a local spin. Not celebrities, not just stories about the-girl-in-front-of-me-on-the-bus-who-needs-to-put-some-pants-on, but real live pictures of people wearing 'nopants' in broad daylight (our quad and entire campus is crawling with them). The point is to poke fun at this silly trend, but the whole thing has become staggeringly polarizing (just read the "About" page for heated debate). If you're in the Chambana area and are so inclined, feel free to join in and submit a picture :)
posted by mokudekiru (33 comments total)

As a former UofI student, I fully support your efforts. Tights. are. not. pants.

OK, I can understanding wearing tights under a short dress. But your t-shirt is not a short dress. Put some pants on.
posted by mmmbacon at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2010


Huh. I always thought they were thin sweatpants.
posted by xorry at 7:06 PM on April 26, 2010


This seems mean-spirited. It would be great if people stopped giving a fuck what other people wore.
posted by odinsdream at 7:57 AM on April 27, 2010 [12 favorites]


A few months ago, I would have been on board with this. I have been known to get very GRARy on the subject of Leggings Are Not Pants, though that is starting to fade into oh-well-what-can-you-do acceptance.

However, with the exception of the Uggs, very few of these photos draw my ire. Most of these women are pulling it off, inasmuch as anyone can "pull off" leggings. It's the leggings that are far too clingy and thin, or through which people can see the color of one's underwear, that make me want to hand out "you seem to have forgotten your pants" courtesy cards. (And as egregious as that is, I'd be really uncomfortable with a blog that was just covert pictures of see-through leggings.)

Some of my acceptance of leggings has been a conscious effort. In part because some of the clothes I enjoy wearing might strike people as silly-looking, and other people have as much right as I do to look goofy but feel attractive; in part because it feels really unfair to have gendered pet peeves. There's much more variety in women's fashion than in men's fashion, and much more pressure to follow trends, and we judge women more often on appearance, so making fun of poor sartorial judgment seems to disproportionately target women. I'm still guilty of the catty "omg ew look at her" reflex - it's ingrained in a lot of us - but I'm really, really trying to break that habit.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:42 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metroid Baby: you raise some good points. I've had several complaints that the girls on the site are too attractive in their clothes and that it makes no sense to make fun of what they're wearing. I find it quite interesting that people are willing to accept leggings-as-pants (even if they are theoretically opposed to it) if the girl is hot. That seems to be more discriminatory than a blanket rule that applies to everyone. I would rather a girl not wonder "Am I too fat to wear this style that other girls wear all the time" and instead "Do I really need to show every inch and crevice of my ass to the world" (no matter how big or small that behind may be).

In short, I try to specifically avoid comments about the body of people pictured on the site. It's about their outfits.

I agree that it's unfair that this ends up being a fashion blog about women only (except for the one picture of a guy on the site). I could see a "guys in skinny jeans" or "boys in ill-fitted t-shirts and take tops" or "murses galore" or a slightly more gender-neutral "boat shoes are for no one" blog existing. But none of these bother me as much (power to the murse!) and I prefer to blog about things I am passionate about.
posted by mokudekiru at 1:21 PM on April 27, 2010


I agree with odinsdream.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:04 PM on April 27, 2010


But none of these bother me as much (power to the murse!) and I prefer to blog about things I am passionate about.

I would never tell you what you can and can not be passionate about, but I have to admit it’s kind of a strange thing to get worked up about – as far as managing a blog about said thing is getting “worked up”.

I will say that the internet creates a great many possibilities, one of which is to bring the high school cafeteria behind-the-back fashion snark that we all loved so much to a much wider audience. Suddenly that table of snarky alt kids has gotten a whole lot bigger.

On a related note: I believe that my zip-up fleece is, in fact, typologically the same as a sweater or sweatshirt. As such I will wear it indoors and, if it’s cold, even put a jacket over it. My girlfriend and most other people I know insist that my fleece is actually a jacket, and should be worn as an outer layer only. They are of course incorrect, but if I were still in college and if there were a legion of blog readers – who are also my classmates, potential dates, TA’s, or future friends - snapping photos of me and my fashion without my consent and then proceeding to make fun of it, I would be made quite uncomfortable.
posted by Think_Long at 10:19 AM on April 28, 2010


A good friend of mine recently brought up this whole "GAHH WEAR SOME ACTUAL PANTS" thing, grousing about ladies who wear tights with nothing over them. I grarred back that in my ideal world, we'd all of us have the freedom to go around wearing as little pants as each of us damn well please.

This is to say that I stand in firm opposition to your website and everything it represents, and I will further register my displeasure by exposing my scrotum.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:46 AM on April 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Noburka.com, a dress is not a burka.
posted by domnit at 8:46 PM on April 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've had several complaints that the girls on the site are too attractive in their clothes and that it makes no sense to make fun of what they're wearing. I find it quite interesting that people are willing to accept leggings-as-pants (even if they are theoretically opposed to it) if the girl is hot.

That is a good point. People give thin, conventionally attractive women a lot more leeway, and too much LOLFASHION can be categorized as "she's too fat," "she's too slutty," or both. I do like that you're making an effort to avoid that, and that you're not sending the "but it's okay if you're hott" message. This could be useful/interesting to post/discuss in your blog, if you're so inclined.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:25 AM on April 29, 2010


Oh, you're the one responsible for this. I saw this on reddit and I thought it was mean-spirited, judgmental, busy-bodied, none of your business and, well, stupid. It's hateful and mean. It's not a service. It's not making the world a better place - it's making it a worse and more ugly place. It's spiteful and shallow. It's misguided and wrong. It's facile and juvenile.

It's not like these women don't know what they're wearing. They're not stupid. You may not agree with it but you don't have to look.

And most importantly - it's blatantly sexist and objectifying.

I don't see you posting pics of dudes in bike shorts. Or Utilikilts. Or just shorts, which also aren't pants.

Seriously? This is dumb. It doesn't even have the partially redeeming quality of being funny or amusing. It's been done before and it sucked then, too.

I would also expose my flabby, hairy scrotum as a sign of my displeasure but the last time I unfurled that huge, hairy thing half of LA perished by suffocation and I was picking crumpled cars out of it for a month. Boo.
posted by loquacious at 4:20 AM on April 30, 2010


Metroid Baby: Good point, I think I will mention that on the blog. I give readers a lot of credit assuming they will pick up on the message that it's not about your body type at all, but it might not be obvious to everyone (though a lot of people only look at the pictures, which is okay too).

loquacious: I also see your point, but no one *has* to look at my website either (yes yes I posted it here in the HOPES that some MeFites would look at it, but I'm not spamming people with it, etc.) There is one picture of a guy on the website (albeit a low quality image since that's the only submission I got), and there would be more if we found more people doing so.

Of course it's dumb. Hopefully, it is just as dumb as I think the fashion is. Some people might not find it amusing (yourself included) but I have received a lot of remarks (particularly from locals) that the site is providing daily entertainment for ______ group of people (certain social groups, academic departments, etc.)

When you say it has been done before, I am assuming you mean blogs that are in a similar style (fashion faux pas blogs?) or blogs specifically about tights not being pants? If so, please share them, but most of the ones I found were about celebrities, not normal people. There's certainly no local fashion blog for Chambana, or one that is updated with any sort of regularity.

Again, thanks everyone for the comments -- it's very helpful to see what people think about it around the internet (not just on reddit, who had its own fairly unified set of criticisms, mostly about the presumed body type of the creator).
posted by mokudekiru at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2010


So, it's mostly just pictures of girls butts?
posted by chunking express at 2:05 PM on April 30, 2010


tightsarenotpants.com

(Also mean-spirited.)
posted by loquacious at 3:50 PM on April 30, 2010


Also, have you ever lived in a really big city?

If not - you should see some of the crazy things people like to wear. I've seen people going about their daily business in superhero tights and a cape with gold-painted winged helmets and stuff. I think it's great.

If so - why the shock and awe?
posted by loquacious at 3:53 PM on April 30, 2010


Nthing odinsdream. We make fun of celebrities because they can afford to be taken down a peg. I have no problem mocking a woman at the oscars in a $10,000 gown. Making fun of random women who are just trying to get on with life is mean.

Now that I said that out loud, I'm not sure why we make fun of orange tinted guidos. Maybe we should get them help instead?
posted by chairface at 4:55 PM on April 30, 2010


You might want to do some introspection and really unpack what's going on in your head when you do this. Like Metroid Baby said earlier, being superficially critical of other people is a very hard habit to break, but breaking it will do nothing but good for you and those around you. Continuing to obsess about others to this degree is unhealthy and disrespectful. It's small minded and not funny in the slightest.

Making a website devoted to this desire to criticize others is juvenile and honestly a bit worrisome. I want to create a world where this kind of thing doesn't exist due to lack of demand. Please help me create that kind of place.
posted by odinsdream at 4:04 PM on May 2, 2010


Also, have you ever lived in a really big city?

I've spent plenty of time in cities here and in other countries, so I would not be surprised at the superhero-in-tights effect, as you put it. You're definitely right that you see a much bigger range of outfits and fashion choices in cities. Chambana is not a big city. You still see pretty significant variety being a college town. What interests me about this trend, other than the TMI factor, is the current size of its follower base. On any given day, it's a minority such that if you walk for about 10 minutes (e.g. between classes) you see anywhere from 3~10 instances of this, but of course a hundred people who are wearing something else. Over the past few months of making this website, the number hasn't visibly grown or shrank much -- it's not becoming an everyone's-doing-it thing, and it's not disappearing yet. So yes, I'm not really in shock and awe of the fact that people do this, it's the fad-ness of it all. It's like the entire campus switched from going to class in pajamas to nopants. If I had been in college during the pajama era, I might have made a blog about that instead.

I think it's awesome when people experiment with fashion -- I just don't think this is experimentation really.

We make fun of celebrities because they can afford to be taken down a peg. I have no problem mocking a woman at the oscars in a $10,000 gown.

Fair enough, so the point here is that the potential for harm comes from it hitting too close to home. Celebrities are a weird case because they're also brands. You aren't going to upset them by making a nasty comment about their outfit, and even if you do, maybe the whole thing was a marketing ploy. Making fun of a pantsless Lady Gaga is the low-hanging fruit of fashion complaints.
posted by mokudekiru at 5:06 PM on May 2, 2010


I am torn on my opinion of this site. On the one hand I love it because it is basically a log of college girl's butts and I am a monstrous lech. On the other hand however I would never want to dissuade someone from wearing tights instead of pants primarily because, once again, I am a monstrous lech.
posted by JackarypQQ at 1:17 AM on May 3, 2010




A response from someone whose picture was posted on a similar (and meaner, admittedly) site.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:46 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


hee emilyd22222, we posted to the same person! Natalie's awesome :)
posted by divabat at 4:41 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


This site puzzles me. I really can't understand why you care about what other people choose to wear. I'll happily concede that "tights are not tights"; sure, they're tights or, arguably, leggings. But for the life of me, I can't come up with any explanation why this is something that people would "feel very strongly about".

I assume you're not passing any moral judgements (unless you're saying that clingy leggings are indecent and therefore immoral?), but you obviously think that there's some external standard of what's "right" to wear and that these people's choices are sufficiently "wrong" that they deserve mockery. Where is this external standard coming from? Why do you regard it as being more important and/or more right than whatever standard the leggings wearers follow? Is a "fashion complaint" something that goes against the current trend (in which case, by your own admission that it's a popular look, this current trend cannot be a complaint) or simply something that doesn't appeal to you personally (in which case, this disagreement over a totally subjective aesthetic seems pretty pointless)?

I find it quite interesting that people are willing to accept leggings-as-pants (even if they are theoretically opposed to it) if the girl is hot.
...Well, sure. Either a fashion complaint is that "this doesn't look good to me", which will be heavily influenced by the looks of the person wearing it (otherwise no-one would bother picking beautiful models) or "this isn't like what everyone else is wearing", which is just plain stupid.

What am I missing here?

I'm not trying to pick a fight or to belittle your work. I just can't understand the motivation behind it and I'd love to know.
posted by metaBugs at 4:45 PM on May 5, 2010


It's quite clearly a disagreement over a totally subjective aesthetic.

But I'd argue that this is true of 100% of all fashion discussions, because "fashion" is by definition a totally subjective aesthetic, and virtually all discussions about clothing that aren't completely utilitarian and quantitative in nature (e.g. "this parka is good to -40 while this one is good to -20") fall into this category. So I don't think it's any more offensive or mean-spirited than a lot of other bad-fashion takedown blogs, and the underlying subjectivity and arbitrariness isn't any different than what's behind the Sartorialist. Sartorialist is perhaps less mean because it highlights "good" fashion instead of "bad" fashion, but it's just as subjective. Either way, you're telling people "this is good" or "this is bad".

I think the whole tights-as-pants thing is a bit weird but, if it's this popular with college students I assume it must be relatively practical and comfortable. What I find most interesting about it is actually the reaction it seems to get from some people. I'm sure there must have been more controversial pieces of clothing historically (miniskirt? bikini?), and I guess the whole long-sweater-plus-tights look is sort of a retro 80s thing, but it's the first time I've really paid attention to a fad as it goes through the whole fashion lifecycle. I have no dog in the fight myself, although I do think it would be amusing if the one thing from the science fiction B-movies of the 60s that did come true, now that we live in the future, was the aesthetically questionable skintight clothing.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:54 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just realized that I wore leggings with a long shirt (covering my bits!) to the Metafilter meetup in Champaign-Urbana. I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM!

Anecdote: I wore a similar outfit (long sweater, leggings) to a small gathering this year. With literally the entire group looking on, one girl asked, "Is that a shirt or a dress?" I answered, "A long shirt." She said, voice dripping with disgust, "I am TOTALLY judging you right now." I felt like this reflected some extreme immaturity, but at least she said it to my face. I would be really saddened if someone took a headless picture of me and posted it on the internet to mock my outfit. And I say this as someone would never wear leggings with a shirt that didn't fall past my butt.
posted by emilyd22222 at 9:21 AM on May 6, 2010


She said, voice dripping with disgust, "I am TOTALLY judging you right now."

This is actually pretty fantastic for someone to say that to your face. I wish we all had t-shirts that with that printed on there, it would save a lot of social anxiety.
posted by Think_Long at 10:07 AM on May 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


To the whole "fashion is subjective" point: yes, I agree. I think the reason this one has the potential to become a website is the whole slightly-controversiality of it. Showing off your butt makes it more offensive to people who say, don't want to be confronted with the privates of some-random-girl at 10 am. I doubt people would have been as excited to send in photos of people-in-pajamas in class, because it's not as sensational and you can't be like "omg they're not wearing pants!!"

emilyd22222: I too have been criticized because of some item I'm wearing. I'm not sure that saying it to my face was particularly mature (confrontation does not equal maturity, in my opinion), but in your case I think it was mean to say "I am judging you," emphasis on the "you". I suppose the website makes it look like I am judging these people, but in essence my goal is to criticize a trend through examples, not to criticize one girl for dressing herself poorly.

And finally, to the "why do people even care" point... lots of people care. Just check twitter, search for "tights pants" and you find dozens of posts per day complaining about just this. I started the site not knowing if anyone would agree with me on campus. Apparently, they do. It's similar to all of those "fuck yeah ____" tumblrs and Look at this fucking hipster. I guess a lot of people can't grasp why anyone would put effort into this kind of thing... but they do.
posted by mokudekiru at 10:20 AM on May 6, 2010


I suppose the website makes it look like I am judging these people, but in essence my goal is to criticize a trend through examples, not to criticize one girl for dressing herself poorly.

By making a blog wherein each post is of an individual, with a snarky subtitle and an open comment forum beneath it, your single example becomes the focus of criticism for the period until your next image is posted. Yes, from a step back, your blog presents a criticism of the trend in aggregate. But, you can’t deny that on a fundamental level your blog is anonymously criticizing individual women for what they choose to wear, and posting pictures that no one gave you permission to post.
posted by Think_Long at 10:52 AM on May 6, 2010


Showing off your butt makes it more offensive to people who say, don't want to be confronted with the privates of some-random-girl at 10 am.
But what's the problem with this? Is your concern that it's immoral due to its sleaziness/improprietry, or that it's unpleasant because you find their butts nausiating? Or some other explanation(s) that I can't think of?

And finally, to the "why do people even care" point... lots of people care.
Well, sure, there's definitely an audience for it. I just honestly don't understand why they care, either.
posted by metaBugs at 9:04 AM on May 7, 2010


Go and look at vice magazine or street carnages Dos and Donts. See the difference? Yeah, they're facing the camera, so someone had to walk up the person and say Hi can I take your picture and put it on the internet/publish it? It's for a fashion column. Please don't punch me!

Aside from being mean-spirited and (worse) unfunny, shooting people from behind is the essence of cowardice. Either own your snark or get out of the business--lots of smarter, meaner folks have been down that road before you.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:38 AM on May 9, 2010


Aside from being mean-spirited and (worse) unfunny, shooting people from behind is the essence of cowardice.

Lots of the pictures are from the front too...so what...? It would be different if the pictures were posed - the whole point is that people are going about their business in this manner. I'm not sure how this makes me a coward, and even if I happen to be one, since when is the internet only for the brave? (Or intelligent? I understand criticizing the site but I don't really understand why you are insulting my intelligence.)
posted by mokudekiru at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2010


Ermm. The URL seems to point to some dodgy malware.
posted by seanyboy at 12:00 PM on May 12, 2010


Looks like the malware problem was resolved, let me know if you see it recurring.
posted by cortex at 2:36 PM on May 13, 2010


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