I’m not sure if this has been discussed, but a post on a “how to wear leggings” would be fantastic! Leggings are so comfortable and you always looks great in them. I have a couple pairs but I struggle with how to wear them. Maybe you could help with a few guidelines on shirt length?
Did you hear a happy sigh just now? That’s me warming to this question. I adore leggings and they are my go-to weekend choice for ultimate comfort. Not all women dig the look, but I do. Big time. In fact, I believe that leggings can look fantastic on a huge variety of body types, which just makes me love them all the more.
OK enough gushing. Let’s talk about how to make leggings work. As always, these are my personal guidelines for wearage … and even I don’t follow them to the letter! Pick and choose as suits you.
WHEN TO WEAR LEGGINGS
I consider leggings to be casual bottoms and wear them as such. There are plenty of office environments laid-back enough to accept leggings on a daily basis, but none of my desk jobs ever felt like leggings-all-week places. They were my jeans alternative, and only worn to the office on Fridays.
They are absolutely ideal for those who live highly active lives and sport casual style on a daily basis. Moms to young kids, anyone who works with animals, fitness instructors, etc. And I firmly believe that women of all ages can sport leggings, if they love them and wanna rock them.
I have seen arguments for leggings as actual pants. I don’t believe they are, and prefer them worn with tunic- or dress-length garments on top. There are plenty of tight, sassy pants available that have a little more structure and formality, and provide a little less information about your anatomy. This is a rule I follow quite strictly myself. If I were to wear leggings as pants, you could literally see how my ladyparts are shaped. ALL OF THEM. So I just don’t.
The sweater dress shown here is a great length for me to wear with leggings. It’s short enough to show lots of leg, but not so short that it hits me at my widest part. If you’re looking to make your legs look as slim as possible, choose a top that hits you in a similarly sweet spot: Somewhere above your knee, but before your thigh widens and starts to become butt. At least two hand-widths above your kneecap is a good guideline for most folks.
I certainly don’t abide this rule all the time, but when I’m hoping to make my legs look as long as possible, I’ll pair leggings and boots/shoes in similar color palettes. Black leggings with black boots means black from high-thigh to toe. A nice, long, unbroken line. Fantastic if you are concerned about shortening yourself up.
NOW! Let’s talk about legging-shoe pairings, shall we?
ANKLE-LENGTH LEGGINGS WITH ANKLE BOOTS
This pairing can be leg-shortening, especially when they’re in high contrast to your skin tone, as mine are here. But the look is arty and fun, and comfy as all get-out. So if you don’t care, go there.
Ankle-length leggings also look smashing with pumps and sandals, especially low-vamp styles. I don’t believe I’ve ever paired them myself, but have seen other women do so to great effect.
FULL-LENGTH LEGGINGS WITH TALL BOOTS
OK, I’ll admit it. There is no difference between ankle-length and full-length leggings. The only leggings that go longer than ankle-length are stirrups and I don’t own those. Yet. ANYHOO. I am my happiest in a pair of long leggings and a pair of tall boots. Comfy, cozy goodness. As always, a monochrome pairing will be the most elongating.
FULL-LENGTH LEGGINGS WITH SHORT BOOTS
Leggings look fab with giant socks and clonky engineer boots, but they can also look sleek and chic just on their own. As is the case with taller boots, those big socks will add warmth and another fun layer, but also bulk. If you prefer a trimmer look, go without.
MISCELLANEOUS LEGGING TIPS
- Leggings are not the same as tights. Tights are more thin and sheer, and generally encase the entire foot. Wearing thick leggings with a flirty sheath dress will likely look a bit odd.
- To each her own, but I vastly prefer cotton-blend leggings. The nylon/spandex ones are hot, and remind me of figure skating costumes.
- If you have issues with leggings that ride up your calf, tucking them into your socks will definitely help. Or if you’re wearing boots, a pair of thin socks that are hidden by the boot will secure the legging.
Hope this is helpful! Looking for advice on buying quality leggings? Try this post!
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Originally posted 2010-09-15 05:16:00.