When leggings started to make a comeback in the fashion world, I have to admit that I was a little nervous. See, I was a 80’s child who experienced adolescence and fashion in the 90’s and it wasn’t a pretty thing. It seems there weren’t any rules back then when it came to leggings so all of us got more than an eye full. Anyways, it’s the dawn of a new day and leggings are back in and hot. ANYONE can wear leggings, no matter your size if you know how to style them. We’ve gathered up some tips that will get you in spandex heaven before you know it!
1. Leggings Are Not Pants
This is both the most widely accepted and most commonly rebelled against rule of leggings: they are not pants. I realize that so many people disagree with me, but the majority of Americans (and the world, I’m guessing), do not look like supermodels and don’t have sizable thigh gaps. In order to wear leggings in the real world, we’re going to have to make some accommodations. Leggings are known for their tight and somewhat slimming nature. That means that every curve and imperfection is often highlighted when you wear them, definitely more so than your regular jeans that give you concealment and dimension with pockets and buttons. Leggings are a vital piece to your wardrobe and should almost be thought of more as an accessory than just a garment. A little extra thought usually needs to go into pairing your leggings with tops, so continue reading! If you need an extra reminder here and there that leggings are not in fact pants, check out this awesome video here.
Gurl.com has 19 more tips on styling leggings so check them out!
2. Leggings Should Be Of Quality Material
We mentioned that leggings don’t hide the good, bad or ugly and as such, you should not wear thin or see-through ones that will share your front or backside with the world at large. Leggings are not tights, so you should not be able to see through them while holding them up and especially not while wearing them. Do the “bend over” test, and make sure that they hold their ground, not revealing underwear or tattoos. In the winter, sweater leggings are a great choice because they are both functional and thick!
3. Simple, Solid Or Neutral Patterns Work For Everyone
I kid you not, I saw a pair of leggings the other day at one of my favorite retailers that had a neon cat design. All.Over. I don’t even know how anyone could wear those and find something that relatively matched. That being said, leggings should easily pair with your existing wardrobe and a simple way to do that is go with black or neutral colors. There are tons of cute patterned leggings out there right now (tribals, etc.), and while they are stylish now, most of them will be last season by the end of the year. You can never go wrong with black, or other neutrals like navy or dark gray. NEVER wear nude or white leggings. Just don’t. See item #2 if you are still wondering why.
4. Length Matters
Leggings for the gym (which are workout pants), are passable when they are knee length, cropped or to the ankle. That’s because they are pants and you’re working out. Leggings should be ankle length so that your leg is elongated when wearing them. Since practically anyone can wear leggings, no matter how tall or short you are, a general rule of thumb is that most of us want to go with a look that makes our legs thinner, so go with full length leggings.
5. Wear Tops That Are Long Enough, But Not Too Loose
Ahh, now we come to the main problem most legging wearers have: wearing long enough tops. The best way to ensure you are properly pairing shirts with leggings is to just wear tunic style blouses or sweaters. No matter what store you are in, you’ll find tunic length tissue tees, sweaters, flannels, chambrays and silk tops that are perfect for leggings. Make sure they are at least 2-3 inches below your crotch (no one wants a wedgie situation down front), preferably mid-thigh. You don’t want to wear something too long, especially if you wear tall boots. There should be a gap that shows your leg between the bottom of your top and the top of your boots. It’s ok to have tops be longer in the back than front, or vice versa so long as you are comfortable (but they still need to cover the aforementioned area!). Also make sure your tops are somewhat fitted, even if only through the shoulders to provide your body with some definition. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing a muumuu!
6. No tunic tops Yet? Wear A Dress With Your Leggings!
Sometimes we ladies keep dresses in our closet hoping one day we can fit into them again or they will un-shrink from the dryer. Leggings can help keep those old dresses in rotation if you pair them with a solid color, belt and some accessories. This is also a great way to wear summer specific dresses far into the year. Just make sure they are long enough to cover your front and backside, but short enough to show at least the knee and below.
Be sure to check out ThePinkLilyBoutique.com for great styles for all shapes.
7. Layers Are Your Friends
Sometimes you don’t have enough long tops to wear with all your leggings. But maybe you’ve got a great combination of cardigans, tanks or blazers that you can easily pair and follow all the rules of leggings. A layering tank can cover your rear and and make that cute, but short top wearable. Long cardigans will help keep you covered as well, but the rule of thumb is to leave it on if you are wearing a short top underneath!
KellyGartnerStyle.com has tons of great tips on styling leggings, in addition to other great styles.