My eighties childhood obsession with leggings has left me with a Diane Arbus–like collection of mortifying suburban photos. It’s hard not to cringe at the outfits I used to pull together: three layers of scrunched socks, puff-painted sweatshirts, soccer-ball-emblazoned scrunchies. All accented with leggings that only Olivia Newton-John could love: tie-dyed, checkered, even ones with ruffled edges. They were all shunted off years ago, of course. But deep down I still loved them. So when tricked-out leggings came roaring back recently (Kate Moss wore a shiny pair while stomping through the mud at last year’s Glastonbury festival), I was thrilled. Recently, I found the perfect pair: Kova & T’s nylon-spandex Oxys. They resolve all the issues I’ve had with the basic cotton variety. For one, the latex sheen makes my legs look slim and sexy, like they’d been squeezed out of a black-oil-paint tube. That’s a refreshing departure from the typical matte aerobicwear, which tends to pill everywhere and stretch out unflatteringly in the rear. The stirrup tugs the pant down, preventing any above-the-boot wrinkles or hiking up around the waist. With snug boots, they are perfect rain gear: The moisture just slides off. Most important, the blended fabric works magic on the backside, because the material breathes while still contouring to your curves. Be prepared for more attention than you might expect; it took about twelve seconds for the first drunken guy I encountered to call me Catwoman. And at $115, my new obsession isn’t cheap. But they’re useful, practical, flattering, and I’m delighted to be channeling Olivia again, this time circa Grease, not Xanadu.
Tested: Shiny Leggings
Kova & T’s Nylon-Spandex Oxys
$115 at Atrium
644 Broadway,at Bleecker St.; 212-473-9200.