By now it is no longer debatable whether or not leggings are appropriate outside pants (they are), but a recent micro-trend in the pantaloon style has raised some personal concerns from me. Namely, why are we okay with the idea of butt cutouts on leggings, and what should be done to stop it?
People has unearthed two notable examples of this trend, and though both iterations are different, they are spiritually similar enough for me to feel deep unease. Savage x Fenty, the wildly successful lingerie and loungewear brand created by Rihanna, is selling a pair of high-waisted, mesh, crotchless leggings meant for lounging in the home that also feature an erotic surprise in the back: a triangular opening that exposes the full breadth of the butt crack for no reason other than fashion.
“For the cozy night in,” the copy reads, which is the only thing about these pants that I agree with. There’s no real use for crotchless leggings that expose the butt crack except for a post or pre-coital sartorial moment, for running to the kitchen to get some water, or perhaps a paper towel. To be clear, I support anyone who makes the choice to wear these bad boys, and I can see how these would take off in, say, dancehall culture, but in general, I am perplexed—not because I think it’s offensive to show the crack in the first place, but because the crack itself is not a particularly attractive body part to begin with.
When compressed into the leggings, the butt crack looks lower than it should be, even though I’m pretty sure that’s how low all butt cracks are, generally speaking. This creates a confusing visual at the backend, and, unfortunately, makes the ass look like, yes, I’m sorry, a ham packaged for sale at Easter. Assuming that these pants are not to be worn out of the house because of their crotchless nature, my ruling on their acceptability is that they are fine, but not for me. However, I’m further confused by this clothing item as worn by Kim Kardashian, which exposes the butt, but not the part of the butt anyone is particularly thirsty to see.
This is a catsuit that tastefully obscures the butt crack and instead displays two slivers of cheek. Perhaps this is meant to be saucy or is merely a way to show off the smoothness of the ass, but it is not particularly erotic, just confusing. Arguably, the most alluring part of the ass is either the very top (where it starts) or the under-cheek (where it ends). This ensemble just highlights the place where someone might rest their hands on the cheeks, which is medium-sexy, but doesn’t look like it has enough give to allow the hands to slip in there and palm the cheeks in full. With that metric in mind, the Savage leggings are indeed sexy because the ass is just there for the taking, but this outfit is nothing more than a frustrating psychological puzzle that is impossible to figure out.