The White-Leggings Conundrum

Spring has finally sprung in the Netherlands; the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the skies are an unfamiliar blue colour. People on the streets are actually smiling at each other in passing and less elbows are being thrown on the metro and at the Albert Hein. All in all, the people of the lowlands are in a good place, a happy place, a place where they feel comfortable enough to wake up in the morning, look into their closets and zestfully throw on their favourite spring outfits.

The sisterhood of white pants

The sisterhood of white pants

But with the arrival of spring smiles and sunshine, one particularly nasty national fashion faux-pas has again reared its ugly head (or should I say “legs”). We’ve spoken at length about the Dutch male’s fascination with the orange and red pants and their love of the goop but Dutch women are not so innocent themselves. It’s high time to meet the red pant’s ugly stepsister: the white legging!

The white legging is miraculously fashionable in the lowlands. Its presence is disturbingly ubiquitous. I tried my best to overlook it while strolling the sunny streets yesterday, but it just wouldn’t leave me alone. There it was, all over the place, mockingly parading itself with pride; most often coupled with an ill-fitting short denim skirt and giving me the stink eye at every turn. The worst offenders managed to top off the look with brown boots, some sort of Desigual mess and that signature red-from-the-box short choppy mullet-like haircut (yes, you know the one)!


I couldn’t decide if it was the white legging that was so offensive in itself or the sheer volume of the pale-legged clones roaming the streets. So many questions, so little time: Why was the white legging so popular amongst the Dutch? Was it based on its convenience for biking? Why then the poor colour choice? (Black would do the trick). Didn’t Dutch women know that skin-tight white is never flattering? As a rule, white pants and leggings should be reserved for those working in the health and/or dental sector. They have no place trotting on the streets.

Of course, things could be worse. While in Canada I noticed the disturbing trend of leggings-worn-without-a-dress-or-skirt-which-makes-me-think-I-am-looking-at-your-bare-bum. I gasped as I saw hoards of girls and grown women (!) who apparently forgot to finish dressing before they left the house. Let us collectively pray that this trend doesn’t cross the ocean blue…as we know the white legging will take this trend to an even scarier place!