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!
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.
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.
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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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