Last week, MSN Travel released their top 10 list of the world’s worst-dressed cities. Anyone familiar with international travel won’t be surprised to learn that eight out of the 10 cities listed are in North America; two of those offenders are Canadian.

Ottawa, you’re forgiven for your eighth- place ranking — as home to sensible-suit-clad politicians you’ve got more serious things to worry about than leopard print versus polka dots for fall.

Vancouver, on the other hand, rightly earns its spot in third-place for its yoga-pant epidemic. Those ubiquitous stretchy black pants seem permanently affixed to every woman (and most of the men) living in the Lower Mainland, regardless of whether or not they have plans to do Ashtanga.

But here’s the thing, yoga pants aren’t really all that bad. Yes, wearing them as outwear when you’re not en route to the gym reeks of laziness and an “I’ve given up” attitude, but at least they’re functional as athletic wear.

 

Canada’s biggest fashion faux pas is plaguing cities coast to coast. I’m talking of course about the yoga pant’s ghastly cousin: Leggings. Despite what you might want to believe, leggings, in all of their questionable incarnations (pleather, patterned, embellished), are not pants. Don’t be fooled. While they do resemble a trouser, leggings are never an acceptable substitute for proper leg wear unless you’re a superhero or a cat burglar.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been there. For years I worshipped at the altar of American Apparel. I purchased those black cotton Spandex jersey standbys in bulk, ensuring that when one pair ripped — because they always did — there would be three more understudies waiting to step in. Oh how I loved those merciful waistbands, keeping me blissfully ignorant of my winter weight gain.

But then, in a luminous moment of clarity, I realized just how unforgiving these stretchy staples really are. I was kidding myself with my black-is-slimming mentality. They don’t disguise anything; they cling in an entirely shameful manner to every lump and bump from your torso onward. And so I banished them to the back of the closet and embraced structured leg wear.

I’ll admit, I still slip up from time to time — usually when I’m running late for a hungover brunch date and I can’t face the suffocating reality of denim. But whenever I’m tempted to reintroduce them into my regular wardrobe rotation, I just remind myself Lindsay Lohan designed an entire collection around this fashion DON’T.

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