Tuesday, December 02, 2008


My friend Harriet loves legwarmers. I mean she honestly hardly ever goes out without wearing them. She says it's because her ankles are too skinny, but I think there's more to it than that. My theory is that they are a kind of comfort blanket - an endearing idiosyncrasy that says "This is me: Legwarmer Girl. What about it?". Harriet loves birds too (don't get her started), and is a self-confessed nature geek, but I'm not sure if the two passions are connected. Perhaps the legwarmers could double as emergency sleeping bags for injured wildlife - I can't rule out the possibility that she may have at some point considered this. I must remember to ask her. The other night we were at a party where two other girls were also sporting and espousing the virtues of legwarmers. Much girlie bonding ensued and I must admit to feeling rather left out.

To me, legwarmers will forever be associated with dance classes and childish aspirations to be a ballerina, though of course they were also quite popular as a fashion accessory during my schooldays in the Era That Taste Forgot - the 80s. I do remember getting a rather splendid maroon patterned pair for Christmas, possibly the same year that I got my first pixie boots . I grew out of wearing them on a regular basis after their popularity declined and they disappeared from the shops, which was also around the time that I gave up ballet lessons. The last time I actually bought any for myself would have been a couple of years ago when I was thinking about dressing up as one of the Kids from Fame for a fancy dress party, but then never did. One of the pairs I bought was bright garish pink, and have now been donated to Harriet's collection; the other (black) pair, which I have kept, do come in handy on occasion - like when there's that annoying gap between sock and legging, or if I have particularly chilly ankles.

Today it rained here in Lewes, and my shoes fell apart while I was walking about at lunchtime, so that the sole of one was literally flapping around. What's left of them is now drying on the radiator along with my soggy socks. Thank goodness I happened to be wearing my legwarmers, which are now acting as temporary socks and stopping my toes from going numb in this freezing weather. And very cosy they are too. So today I say, "yay for legwarmers" - now I know why Harriet loves you.

N.B. The legs in the above picture are not Harriet's legs (though hers are very nice too). These are actually from a photo by Stellae et Luna that I found on Flickr.

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