Legging it

Bullworker_in_1960s

I’ve not really got the physique for leggings. I have long legs but, because my tummy’s sponsored by Picnic, and my body is less a temple, more a row of terraced houses in Bolton!

During my 42-years of commuting up to the City from various SW London stations, I’ve noticed an increasing amount of my fellow travellers wearing leggings. And it seems the earlier the train, the more multi-coloured the leg attire.

This is a relatively new fashion.

Years ago, on the early train, you’d expect to see either people in suits or men in overalls carrying either a spirit level or a tool box – both of which would be paint-splattered (do they come with paint already splattered or is the new owner presented with a small tin of Dulux and left to their own devices?

But back in the 70s, during my early years of commuting, there was not the proliferation of gyms there are now. If you wanted to keep fit or build your body, you’d buy a Bullworker or send off for the Charles Atlas Body-building course, advertised every week in the Sunday Express.  (I never sent off for one as I like the taste of sand being kicked at me at speed)

My question is this: are these legging-clad commuters actually going to a gym or preparing perhaps for the Tour de France?  Last week a man got on at Clapham Junction wearing leggings together with a jacket and shirt on.  Is this all the rage now too?  I’ve not been to Paris Fashion Week for a while now, so I’m out of the haute couture loop.  Or possibly the leggings are too tight it affects blood flowing to the brain and manifests itself in the ability to coordinate clothes either side of your waist?

I’d like to see bowler hats returning to commuters’ outfits; if you’re swapping this for a pair of leggings then, like pregnant (or very lazy) women sporting “Baby on board” badges, have a sticker which says: “My personal trainer knows lots of Latin”.

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