Say what you want about Lindsay Lohan but her desire to sell a line of leggings is absolutely right on.
Leggings are as liberating as the "divided skirt" was a hundred years ago that allowed women to first ride bicycles.
Women born before 1985 well remember the "dance" you had to do to dress your legs in tights or, God forbid, pantyhose. If you were over 5' 3", they didn't reach your waist, though you pulled them tight enough to splay your toes, and you spent the whole day worrying about imminent exposure.
Even if you weighed 103, your legs feel like stuffed sausages, your waist felt tourniqueted and your feet froze all winter.
On rare occasions when the tights fit -- came up to your waist and stayed there -- they would run in the feet, "reinforced" heels and toes notwithstanding. When L'eggs pantyhose used to come in a plastic egg, comedian Joan Rivers joked that you know it's coming to be a bad day when you crack an egg for an omelet and pantyhose come out. (You also knew it was going to be a bad day when the tights or pantyhose you washed by hand the night before -- put them in the washer? Are you kidding? -- were still damp at 7 AM.)
Nor did tights lend themselves to working out, despite being the Olivia Newton-John Let's Get Physical look in the 1980s, replete with V-shaped briefs to take the eye away from the disaster zone known as one's hips. Not only were your toes splayed and your circulation cut off at the waist, your range of movement was nil and you couldn't sweat through all that Spandex. No wonder dancers always wore "footless tights" which became today's leggings.
The other great invention is yoga pants. Whereas sweat pants, their functional predecessor, could not be disguised under a blazer for work without raising doubts about the respect you had for the position (I tried), yoga pants can. (Maybe it was the drawstring?) Cozy yoga pants can be paired with a cotton blend blazer with 2 percent stretch for a pajama feel all day at work, if you make sure to remove the lint when they are dark colored.