In Praise of Jeggings for a 3-Year-OldJessie Knadler
“Mom, have you seen my jeggings? I wanna to wear my jeggings, mom. Hey mom, I got grape juice all over my jeggings.”
I feel like I’m doing something right every time I hear her say the word.
(In case you don’t know what jeggings are, i.e. live in the woods with little access to the outside world, they’re stretchy, skin tight leggings with the look of jeans.)
We got the jeggings — yes, that’s plural, we have at least 4 four pair, maybe more — as hand-me-downs from June’s cousin Madison whose mom I’m pretty sure cleaned out Target’s entire toddler jeggings department.
Not only are jeggings fun to hear a toddler say, but they’re actually really practical. Toddlers have round bellies — thanks, string cheese — so wearing regular stiff denim can sometimes give June the plumber butt look: jeans shoved down around her hips, the ends of her pants pooled up around her shoes. Not so with jeggings. I can pull these babies up over her belly button almost to her nipples. It’s a terrific look…like full body Spanx for 3-year old nerds. She only complains of restricted breathing a little bit.
Jeggings also offer more mobility, key for climbing, running and frolicking. Whereas regulars jeans get all hot and stiff and crunchy around the knees.
Lastly, jeggings are “on-trend.” Or at least they were three years ago, which is current enough for me.
There’s still some dispute over the proper way to wear jeggings. Fashion editors say that if the jeggings are merely leggings with a denim-looking print, they ought to be treated as such and paired with a bum-covering shirt or tunic. But if they’re actually a pair of stretchy, skin tight jeans complete with back and side pockets and hardware, go ahead and wear them as regular denims; don’t cover the derriere.
June’s jeggings all come with front and back pockets so I guess that means we can tuck her shirts in (do fashion rules apply to toddlers?). Personally, my favorite way for her to wear them is rolled up at the hem paired with Keens and a longer shirt.
But lately, she seems to have gone off the jeggings. Every time I suggest them — “Hey, babe, how about those jeggings? What do you say to jeggings, hmmm?” — she makes a face and reaches for something else. “I don’t wanna wear jeggings, mommy. I wanna wear a skirt. Skirts are so bootiful.”
I guess this means she knows something I don’t — jeggings are over.