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Whether it's forgetting  to wax or having a 'fat'  day, leggings hide all manner of sins.
But the army of women who rely on them could be in for a nasty shock now that it's time to peel them off for summer.
Experts have warned that leggings can make the muscles 'lazy' and  can result in flabby stomachs and wobbly legs.
The claim will alarm thousands for whom leggings have become a  wardrobe staple.
Physiotherapist Sammy Margo said: 'Leggings feel good and look great and I am as addicted to them as anyone, but there is a downside.

'They hold in and support the quadriceps (thigh muscles), buttocks and core muscles in your tummy,  and do the job the muscles are supposed to do.
'As a result, the muscles are allowed to relax and switch off, so when we reveal our bodies for the first time as summer approaches, they are not as svelte or firm as they otherwise would be.'
The problem is further exacerbated because wearers' bare legs and  midriffs are 'out of sight, out of  mind', so women are less inclined  to take steps to tone up during the winter months.

Mrs Margo said: 'Leggings hide the bits of our bodies we don't like, such as the cellulite on our legs or our "muffin top", so we are able to ignore the problem and we are less motivated to exercise these parts.'
Celebrity advocates of leggings include Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham, who even launched her own designer range.
Lycra leggings made a fashion comeback in 2006 and have remained popular ever since.
They are now available in virtually every style and colour, including wet-look, denim, animal print and neon.

But perhaps today's news marks the beginning of the end for this particular fashion fad.
The good news is that women can apparently regain the strength in the muscles that have been made lethargic by their leggings through a few simple, daily exercises.
They include walking with ankle weights, clenching and releasing the stomach and buttocks throughout the day – and even using a piece of string to aid core exercises.

Mrs Margo, a chartered physiotherapist based in north-west London, explained: 'Suck your stomach in as far as it will go then breathe out about halfway. Tie a piece of string around your stomach at that point and keep it there all day.'

The idea is that by holding in  the stomach – using the string  as a guide to tell you when you are not holding it in enough, you work the muscles.
Mrs Margo said it takes about  six weeks for the muscles on the  legs and stomach to noticeably  tone up from the day you start to exercise them.
She added: 'So people should already be weaning themselves off their leggings if they want to look their best in time for summer. The sunny weather should have helped them to ditch them a bit earlier this year and get a head start.'


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