Is Chanel Trying to Make Leggings the New Jeans?

Sign me up.


It is so easy to manipulate me! To persuade me! To convince me that a hunch I have is more than just a hunch — it’s a premonition.

Last February, I wrote a hate letter to winter after fashion week in a seasonal story about what to stop buying, what to start trying and in it, I half jokingly suggested kneecap leggings as a choice alternative to pants for the following Fall. In April, I surmised that the kneecap-legging hunch was probably tethered to an imminent capri-pant revival and accordingly, turned that into a story only to find myself abandoning said capris and gravitating back towards leggings-as-pants the following month.

Around the same time, resort collections were sprouting like hairs on my chin and Chanel, who showed in Cuba, did this really cool thing. I can explain, but a picture is worth so many more words, so:

Chanel Resort '17

Boom. Kneecap leggings. I’d have chalked it up to coincidence if it weren’t for what happened earlier this month in Paris at the Ritz for the house’s annual Metiers d’Art/Pre-Fall show.


More kneecap leggings! Three instances, as a matter of fact. Which is precisely what brings us here, to this post, demonstrating three ways to wear kneecap leggings not for the gym and, as a matter of fact, pretty formally.

Exhibit A: Got a Wedding? Great! I’ve Got an Outfit Idea


Dolce & Gabbana slip dress, Outdoor Voices leggings, Manolo Blahnik heels, Roxanne Assoulin chokers and Agmes bracelets

Do you have a sheer dress? It’s okay if you don’t, you can at the very least steal a slip from someone you know or pull one out a garment you already own. Then, wear it with a pair of leggings underneath and some heels. If you like and take this suggestion, I only hope that to repay me for the favor, you stop drop and bicycle when the cake cutting starts.

Exhibit B: Late for Work But Eager to Get There


Protagonist shirt, No. 21 striped sweater, Outdoor Voices leggings, Rachel Comey socks, Manolo Blahnik mules, jewelry by Aurélie Bidermann

This look is really important to me because for whatever reason, it keeps reminding me of what my dad looked like when he would get home from work and take off his pants — knee socks and shoes still artfully in place. I encourage you to challenge the boundaries of your workplace’s dress code and make a case for The New 9-5 Pant.

Exhibit C: If You’re Going Dancing, I’m Coming


Chanel jacket, Walk of Shame tank top, Outdoor Voices leggings, Miu Miu sandals

And also, I’m going to be the most comfortable disco ball on the g-dang dance floor because I’m wearing activewear. Though I am getting hot while performing my sprinkler. I’m also taking off my jacket to reveal a pink silk tank, looking slightly as though I think I am a board game princess. I assure you, young buck, that I will save myself from the burning castle. Probably with, you know, my sprinkler.

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.

Get more Personal Style ?
  • i don’t usually come to MR for the fashion posts (ironic, i know) but THAT SLIP DRESS. i wouldn’t know how to wear it but i love it all the same.

  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    what do you think santa would say if I were to ask for a 115$ pair of socks for xmas? personally, i think he’d be quite enthused.

  • Rayna Tobin

    Your accessories game is always so strong. I am so excited for the accessories story that I saw being shot on snapchat

  • KK

    Exhibit C: MATADOR GLAM

    • Leandra Medine

      Where were you when I was captioning these headlines.

  • Mary

    Holy smokes that first look

  • I simply love it!

  • Okay this is actually so weird. I was literally just searching online for sequin knee leggings to wear with a sheer dress (from my own SS17 collection :)), thinking ahead to NYE, when I saw your post on facebook about this story. Thinking on the same wavelength today!!!

  • Irene Laura

    Wouldnt wear it but it looks great on you!

  • Emy M

    Love this. Thank you as well, Leandra, for making me rethink the chicness of my razor burn and ankle hair bracelets. I mean it!

  • Knowing Chanel is in full support of my wearing leggings with Normal Clothes is the best Christmas gift I could have hoped for.

  • Zoe Harewood

    Suits us in Manchester UK: we’re still wearing the long versions

    • Well,it’s cold. This is more of a shoulder season look. Which shoulder, I am unclear on.

      • Zoe Harewood

        If the trend ever reaches Manchester (most peter out halfway up the M6 motorway), the mancorialistas – being thrift-driven by and large – will merely lop the ends off their existing pairs and pass round the co-operative overlocker to hem.

        • Which ‘manco’ is responsible for threading the machine? The last one to use it? The next one? This thought process is going to get me through a very family intensive fortnight, and I thank you for that. All the better holidays to you and those other folks.

          • Zoe Harewood

            There’ll be a row…it’s the law.

  • BK

    Do OV still make black kneecap leggings? I have them in gray and sky blue but have never seen the black ones online. But I do wear them in outfits, instead of pants, all the time, so I feel you’re on to something.

  • I was waiting for the day that pedal pushers would be a thing again. I don’t know how to feel.

  • rachel

    Capri leggings!?!?! This is the end, I can feel it. Leggings have their time and place (namely, winter at the grocery store under a huge sweater), but capri leggings should exist only at the gym. No, I take that back: they shouldn’t exist at all. Sorry Chanel/Leandra!

  • Mun


  • Gosh don’t tell me leggings are back?!
    I have to say I love how you’ve styled them. I can never know how to wear them, they make so body subconscious.


  • With gams like yours Leandra, you can pull off anything.

  • Didn’t they try bringing them back years ago? I remember Alexa Chung trying to push them on behalf on Chanel, but later stated in an interview that it was her biggest fashion faux pas. Anyway, you pull anything off.

  • Fashionably Sparkly

    I really like Exhibit A! I would wear it for NYE! 😀

    Maria Pilar | Fashionably Sparkly

  • I am absolutely down with this trend!

  • Veronique Villarroel

    Woooooow! Amazing post! I love your black dress!



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  • Kittenbottom

    He took off his pants without taking off his shoes? 🤔

  • I don’t like these , and I really want to love them. 🙁