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Let’s Talk Leggings

February 1, 2019

Yesterday I pulled my black leggings out and wore them for the first time this winter. I was surprised at how much I liked the look and loved the feel of this comfy outfit. Honestly, I thought I was over these polarizing pants. (You know, you either love leggings or you loathe them!) Instead, I’m rethinking how I wear them. Let’s talk leggings!

Leggings 01
ponte knit leggings || leopard print blouse (similar) || open front cardigan (similar) || black riding boots (regular and wide calf) || black crossbody bag (similar)

Do you wear leggings? I know a lot of women choose not to wear leggings because they feel like they are too revealing or just unflattering. And they certainly can be both. But I like to think that there is a way to wear these versatile and comfortable pants with style, class and modesty.


Truly, worn with a few pointers in mind, leggings can create a beautiful, lean and elegant silhouette on most women. But at the same time I’m going to go out on a limb and contend that not every woman will look her best in them. In fact, there have been seasons in my life when I would not and did not choose to wear leggings because of where I carried a little extra weight at the time – namely in my derriere and thighs.

Leggings 03

That’s not to say that we have to be pencil thin or in the best shape of our lives to pull this style off. But I do think we gals need to be realistic about our style choices and know which ones suit us and which don’t. For one thing, we need to be able to wear anything we choose to wear with confidence. And if we don’t feel confident in a piece of clothing, then we don’t do ourselves any favor wearing it.

Leggings 04

So how should we style our leggings? For that matter, how do we choose leggings we can wear with confidence instead of leggings that will ultimately embarrass us?

Well, I’ve done some research on this. You know me! And I’ve found some great pointers to share with you today. So let’s talk leggings.


Which Leggings to Choose

  • Choose a style with a high waist to prevent the dreaded muffin top. Make sure they fit well in the waist so you won’t be pulling them up all day.
  • Select leggings with a wide waist band and a flat front.
  • Length doesn’t matter so much with leggings because any length goes. But to create a long leg, select leggings that are full length and wear with the same shade of shoe (more on shoes later).
  • The thicker the fabric of your leggings, the neater they will appear. Look for heavy weight ponte knit or other ample fabrics.
  • Go with a fine print, such as a micro check, to further conceal the appearance of lumps or dimples.
  • Choose leggings with plenty of spandex or Lycra so that they don’t begin to gape at the knee bend as you wear them.
  • Steer clear of shiny or sheer. Shiny leggings are fine if you are thin and toned, but they will draw undue attention to saddle bags, dimples or bulk if you have any of those (and I certainly do!!) So stay away from leggings that are intentionally sheer such as metallic finishes, but also those that just have a sheen. And sheer, well they just don’t look as classy. Go thick.
  • Stay away from tight or loose. You don’t want your leggings to hug so tight that they show underwear lines or bulges. Nor do you want them so loose that you’re pulling them up all day. Fit is important.
  • You can also find leggings with zip and snap front closures if you’d rather not deal with the pull-up version. I’ve had these before and enjoyed them.
  • Finally, many retailers are carrying leggings in a variety of textures and finishes, such as faux denim, leather, suede and plaids. These can serve you well if chosen carefully.

I’ve found good leggings at J. Jill. That’s what I’m wearing in this post. And while mine are several years old now, they still carry them. Unfortunately they’re almost sold out of the ones with the front seam like I’m wearing. However, they do seem to have a decent supply of these ponte leggings. And both are on sale right now.

I’m also linking to leggings at other stores in the shopping widget below, but I can’t personally attest to their durability, wearability or styling.


How to Style Your Leggings

Once you’ve selected your leggings, how do you style them so that you can wear them with confidence? Here are a few pointers.

  • Add volume up top if you’d like. You can do that with a bulky sweater, a ruffly blouse, a loose fitting top, a draping cardigan or a scarf.
  • Use drama up top to draw the eyes up and away from the leggings. Think leopard print, dynamic colors, a pretty scarf, big jewelry or other eye-catching print.
  • Or you can take advantage of the slenderizing silhouette of the leggings by creating a column of color. Simply pair a tunic or top of the same color as your leggings and then add a loose fitting cardigan, kimono or jacket or a contrasting shade.
  • Make sure you’re wearing the appropriate under garments. You’ll probably need to select either a thong or seamless undies. Otherwise, make sure your top completely and always covers your rump.
  • Your top doesn’t have to completely cover the front, top portion of your leggings as long as they do not fit snug. But most of us will look our best if our top does completely cover our derriere.
  • Pair with a long button up shirt, such as a crisp white shirt or a chambray or denim one.
  • Pair with an oversized, long sweater.
  • Layer a long top with a poncho, cardigan or utility jacket to add interest and volume.
  • You can pair so many shoes with leggings, but probably the safest are sneakers (for a casual vibe), flats, booties or boots. If you pair your leggings with heels beware of looking a little “come hither.” You might want to tone down that look by keeping the top portion of your ensemble more subdued and conservative. Unless, hey, you’re going for come hither!
  • Finally, you can even wear your leggings under a sporty dress such as this one or this one.

So I kinda think a post like this just begs for controversy. And I’ve willingly opened myself up to that. Your comments are encouraged and welcomed. Always. But let’s just be kind. Okay? I’d be glad to hear what you think about leggings, but more importantly, if you do like and wear them, I’d like to hear any additional tips for where to buy good leggings, what to look for and how to style them. That’s the kind of constructive comments I’m really hoping for. Remember, this is a community. And I want it to be a safe, friendly one.

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You can shop the look through the links in the copy above or through the shopping widget below. Sale prices are not always reflected in the widget, so click through to get pricing info. Remember, if you purchase anything through these links I potentially earn a commission, but at no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through Dressed for My Day. I am grateful!

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I’m linking this post to Jo-Lynne Shane’s Fashion Friday Link-Up, so be sure to check out some of the great fashion ideas there.

Blessed for My Day

Does being around people drain or energize you? Now let me ask you another question. Does being around difficult people drain or energize you? Whether you’re an introvert who needs her alone time to refuel or an extrovert who is energized by the crowd, probably being around difficult people makes you weary. And maybe it even exasperates you!

But we are encouraged in Philippians 4:5 to let our gentle spirit or reasonableness be shown to everyone…in all circumstances. When we show Christ-likeness – especially in difficult situations or conversations – we show the love and patience of Christ. How do we do this? By not being disappointed when other people do not give us our due, but instead expecting that God will give us more than we deserve.

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. ~ Philippians 4:5

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xoxo, Kay
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25 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Leggings

  1. I love wearing leggings (at home, running errands, to work).Your tips on how to style them are great – the longer top, bringing the eye up with scarves, etc. I really love Loft leggings, especially their leggings in ponte. They fit great, the fabric is a bit heavier, and they wear well. I am not the only one who thinks they are great as the reviews show that. This time of year (winter in New Hampshire) I wear them with boots, but when the weather is warmer, flats for work and sneakers for running around. I am heavier around the middle (still working on this area), so leggings can be so comfortable.

    1. Thanks for sharing Arna. I hadn’t tried Loft leggings myself but they look good. So I appreciate your opinion ?.

  2. Great tips! I tried to find leggings last fall for a big trip. I just never found any that felt comfortable and that I felt comfortable wearing. I did buy Ann Taylor “jeggings” that I have enjoyed wearing. I will try, try again for the perfect leggings! I do like the look of the solid or small patterned leggings. The ones with wild patterns are very popular with some ladies but I just don’t think that’s my style! Thanks, Kay!

    1. Yeah, I should have mentioned the big wild patterns. I’m not a fan either. They’re fine for working out I guess, but I don’t even want to draw that kind of attention to my legs then. Thanks for sharing! ?

  3. I love this look!! It’s exactly how I wear leggings when I wear them. I have thicker legs so adding a long cardigan and tall boots help to elongate. You look beautiful with the leopard blouse and the color of the cardigan!

  4. Hi Kay,
    As always, you have approached this fashion topic with kindness, candor, and just plain good sense. I love leggings for around the house. They are so warm & comfortable. Your look is so fantastic. Many gals look super in this look and it seems it is not restricted to a particular size or body type. I have seen gals of all sizes look great and other instances where leggings didn’t look like quite the best choice. I have only ventured to slip on a pair on a whim last Easter under my dress because it turned out to be snowy! That worked, of course, but otherwise I always feel that my tops or cardigans are not quite long enough to ensure I am not over exposed. But I am only 5’2″ and tops that are too long can be overwhelming. I am still searching for my best combination to wear leggings with confidence and look nice. I thank you and other readers for all the suggestions. Love Blessed for My Day today & every day, too!

  5. I love this look and have been wearing this style myself this year. For me, I have to be careful about covering the top of my thighs if the leggings are snug. This is a fantastic look for many body types, and as you said, not all. For me, the look is very ‘forgiving’ to my mid section. Thank you for this wonderful post!

  6. Thanks for braving this topic. I wear leggings styled pretty much as you shared. They are so comfortable. I always make sure my backside is fully covered!

  7. I do not think I look good in leggings so I stay away from them. I so appreciated your voicing that we are all put together a little different. God did make each of us unique. Even though I don’t wear leggings I still enjoyed your post today. I can walk away with some great hints on styling to draw eyes upwards and about layering. Thanks!

  8. Kay, I am really enjoying your blog! I found you via @Jo-Lynne Shane, and I’m so glad I did. You look so nice in this outfit. I have two pair of nice black leggings that I forget to wear most of the time. One pair actually looks more like slim fitting pants, so I don’t have to be as careful with what I pair with them. The other pair requires more planning to keep certain areas appropriately covered. I hope that you are having a blessed day!

    1. Yeah, I forget mine, too. I actually just pulled mine out for the photo shoot because I’m doing a collection of shoots with the boots. But the leggings felt so great that I wore them the next day and decided they deserved their own post. Ha! Thanks for reading. I’m so glad you found my blog!

  9. Kay, well first of all, I think you look great in your outfit. Personally I love wearing leggings. I’m not in the best shape, but for some reason I think they make me look slimmer. I always wear with boots or booties, and a longer top to cover the derrière! Great post with lots of good information!

    1. You know, I think you’re right. If we choose the right ones and style them well, they really are slimming. Thanks for sharing, Jacqui!

  10. Kay…right on!!! Leggings or skinny jeans…what’s the difference really? I’m 71 (a young 71) and love wearing both! I do style them as you detailed and get lots of compliments. I love to wear them with my boots when it’s raining, which it is in central California. You look amazing today!!


  11. You look wonderful in this outfit. I do wear leggings. I might wear thinner ones around the house, but when I am out, I wear thicker ones or dressier pairs (with zippers at the pocket, faux fly, etc.). I like Loft and Ann Taylor and Talbots. I found a couple of Chico cropped leggings that were thicker and can wear those in Spring/early Fall. You have been hitting it out of the park lately, and I haven’t had a chance to comment. Thank you for all of your research, for your BFMD, and your recent honest confession. God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate everything about your comment. This blog is a lot of work. A lot, a lot. But it is so worth it. A labor of joy, thanks to you gals!

  12. Kay, I love your entire look! It is very much what I would wear! My issue with most leggings is the “sliding down” during the day and the constant need to pull them up. What do you suggest? I read that the wide waistband is important, as is the flat front and the fabric, but for some reason, I still have problems. Do you normally get your regular size or go smaller or larger? I’m missing something, since I usually have this problem. Pulling up your leggings on a regular basis is not very chic! 🙂