The Dos & Don’ts of Leggings
posted on November 7, 2014 | by Amanda Holstein
Ah leggings. They aren’t tights, they aren’t pants, what they are is confusing. If you wear them like pants, they can be too revealing with no pockets or details to cover the, for lack of a better word, crotch area. If you wear them like tights, they tend to be too heavy and distract from the outfit. So how do you wear them?
I’ve put together my rules for how to wear leggings below, but keep in mind, these are just my rules. Do what makes you feel comfortable!
What Tops to Wear with Leggings
1. Oversized Sweaters & Blouses
Sweaters and blouses that fall below the crotch area and cover your tush are great options for leggings. They aren’t too short that they leave the outfit too revealing, and they aren’t too long that they’d go better with tights. Try chunky sweaters, long tees, or flowy blouses. Even layer a cropped sweater over a long blouse for a unique look!
2. The deal with regular shirts
Avoid wearing tee shirts and blouses that fall at the hips. However, the only way these can work is if you layer a long cardigan over them – not a coat that will be taken off, but a sweater that completes the outfit.
What shoes to wear with leggings
Ankle boots and tall boots are perfect for leggings. If you go with ankle boots, just make sure you choose a pair that doesn’t leave any skin showing between the boot and the legging, or the outfit will look incomplete.
2. Sneakers & Pumps
The sneaker trend was made for leggings. It keeps the look sporty and the silhouette is flattering. Heels are fine as well, as long as they are close-toed like classic pumps.
3. Not these…
When it comes to what not to wear with leggings, these are certainly my own opinions so feel free to disagree. I feel that booties that don’t cover your ankles are not the right match for leggings. The look appears incomplete to me. As for sandals, heeled or flat, I don’t feel that they are a good match for leggings either. I think the look can appear messy and unpolished.
I hope this clears up the leggings dilemma! If you have any other questions on how to wear them, leave them in your comments below!
Meg @ Peaches and Cake Says
This is SO good and SO appropriate for me now especially since I LIVE in leggings after having a baby! Why wear pants when you can wear leggings? ;) Pinning now!! xoxo, Meg
haha, love this quick guide. hopefully i can avoid making some of the mistakes marked above…
Denina Martin Says
Useful article – thanks for sharing :)
Purely Me by Denina Martin
Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork Says
Thank you! I have the irrational need to yell, “Leggings are not pants!” whenever I see someone wearing a regular length shirt with them (thankfully, I’m able to contain myself). Thanks for showing the different shoe options and for helping with the tricky area of regular length shirt with longer cover-up cardigan or jacket!
Love the leggings? Where are they from?
I think it’s a great idea to replace your jeans with a legging. Leggings are more comfortable than jeans and they are once again in trends now.
I love your ideas of wearing leggings but apart from this leggings we can wear leggings with long top also. So, try it with long tops. :)
Luna A. Says
Thank you for show the Yup! AND the Nope because knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does!
Really informative, thank you for sharing.
Where did you find the black sneakers in the yup? love them! great article and SUPER helpful!
My personal opinion is that you should not be able to see your crotch when wearing leggings, so I would respectfully disagree with some of the tops. Otherwise, it looks like your wearing workout pants that you threw a top over.
OMG! Great article !!!! Thank you so much for your advice, I thought to wear any top or blouse with leggins would result nice, but i was wrong. With your advice, i change my mind I use to buy my tops in https://www.colmodausa.com/ropa-colombiana/es/97-blusas because they are amazing and gorgeous and also because there i find the perfect outfit to combine leggins.
I think leggings are really cute on young women with the figure to wear them. & older women,”IF”you have the figure. & I do believe they look better with a longer shirt. But come on girls,if you have bulges & crevices that can’t be covered up,”PLEASE” don’t wear them. They don’t look sexy at all. They emphasize the infractions you have. Be proud of your shape,just don’t look tacky. You can wear tight jeans & look sexy as hell,but leggings just don’t do it for you. Now,I’m a big woman & would “NEVER” wear them.
Michele de Luna Says
Thank up for the advice on leggings. I’ve always wondered if i was wearing them right or not ? It made a lot of scince .
Thank you so much .
Okay, great article EXCEPT you state to wear sneakers pumps is acceptable but not a low bootie. That contradicts its self, why…. beacauss both show the ankle and there is absolutely no difference.
I think there are some cute sandals that would go with leggings. I like to wear mine with a nice tunic type top, and I have a cute pair of red sandals to go with the out fit. I feel the sandals really pull it together for me. Just saying… Loved your article!
Hatti Johnson Says
I think you have a right to your opinion, but I think most women are smart enough to dress themselves aporopriately. I think women should wear what they want whenever they choose. I am petite and wear leggings with shorter tops because they look better on me without a long top that just makes me look shorter. I am in good shape and get compliments on my sense of style. One size fits all dressing rules don’t work for everyone. I would suggest using a a rear view mirror to check out your look before going out in public. It’s just common sense!
Allena Rissa Says
Well, I love wearing leggings with boots. :)
I found your article informative. I am from a different generation, but I like to dress current (not trendy) and def for my body type! I will be 65 soon and I live in my leggings, always in A long or flowy top. I won’t post ant pics
, but since I am mom of 3 grown men, I count on them to tell me , Mom, go change your pants! Haven’t heard that yet! Thanks for all of the tips!
I personally love leggings with sandals and low booties as well as with boots etc. I guess it’s all technically a matter of opinion but I do not think a short shirt that shows a camel toe looks good at all!
Fuck you Deborah I don’t give a crap if I have the “FIGURE” for leggings I can wear them if I want to “AND” I will look sexy as hell because I don’t need to wear tight jeans to look like a million fucking dollars and I’m sorry you don’t have the balls to feel the same way.
I hope you catch me in leggings and enjoy the hell out of the view of all of my emphasized “infractions”.
What’s with the bow-legged look? Just a current style trend, I hope, that will disappear soon.
Thank you for the styling tips on how to wear leggings. I love them and appreciate their comfort!
I think its better not to wear leggings with those shape of legs ,not flattering at all !!
I appreciated the thoughts and advice regarding leggings. To the Lindsey person who couldn’t leave a comment without all the bad language … whether you are a 10 or 1 on the beauty and physical scale … with a mouth like yours you are definitely a ZERO and should of kept your comment to yourself.
Kaylee Jones Says
The post you shared about how to wear leggings is very knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing such a nice information here.
Karen C Says
I agree with Karen, there’s no need for rude language, Lindsey. You can wear whatever you want. These are suggestions and tips for wearing leggings, which I LOVE. I struggle some with patterned leggings those. Do people still wear Patterned leggings? I could use some tips on those and Capri length also. Thanks!
Just nope for you. Domt think it is not right for other type of bodies/legs
Jo Ann Says
I don’t have the slim legs for leggings. If if did, i would wear a top ling enough to cover the crotch area and cheek indentation in the back. Obviously Lindsey likes the look of emphasizing the ‘cracks’ that also exist in her over inflated sense of self.
Your article is very nice. I like your sharing all dresses and all is awesome and good. I like these type dressing and i have many collection of this. By the way, i like to buy the <a href=replica designer clothes online for my self.
I read your blog and I really like this by the way do you have any idea about the replica clothes.
Why is the girl who wrote this standing so weird in all the pics? To try and create the illusion of a thigh gap? No thigh gap is cuter than looking bow legged, it looks ridiculous lol. Stop it.
PAMELA STRUCKHOFF Says
I do feel sandals and leggings are an ok choice when the top is long and light and the leggings aren’t a heavy winter shade. Your pic shows sandals and a sweater…nope for sure!
Cindy Z Says
Thank you SOOO much for clearing up the complicated rules about leggings. I’m eternally grateful that I stumbled across this article. I now realize sandals are a big no no with leggings but what about crocs?
Don’t wear leggings if you’re bow-legged.
Why are there so many judgmental comments? This girl is giving tips and clearly says these are just the rules she uses and if someone else finds them useful, great. She isn’t forcing her opinion on anyone. Also, maybe the person in the pictures simply has that shape to her legs…it’s really hateful to make these comments about such things. We are all different. If you’re so uncomfortable with differences, life is not going to be so pleasant for you or those around you.
Be nice to each other and life is so much more pleasant.
I have some booties that are rather clunky….they are a frilly western boot. They are absolutely lovely, but they seem to overpower leggings. *Think olive oyl. I adore these boots, and they seem fine with a boot cut jean or a super flare pant, but then you can’t see them as well and THEY ARE FABULOUS. Please advise, your skinny ankled friend!
Here’s how I feel about leggings: I’m going to wear them with whatever I want, however I want. Quit dragging people down with how they choose to wear THEIR clothing. I wear mine with t-shirts, hoodies, flip flops, tennis shoes…I don’t care. And I don’t care what size you are. It’s about being comfortable with yourself. This article is crap.
Lyndsey you kiss your mom with that mouth? Geesh relax! She was not forcing this style on you, I’m a thin person and I don’t even like leggings ,,
Laura Ochoa Says
I love this article, because although it might seem obvious that if to wear and not with leggings, we usually make mistakes and this helped me to have more clarity when choosing my outfit.
Sandals with leggings and that longish top can work in the summer, surely. I’d suggest keeping leggings & the top in monochrome, yet complimentary shades while letting sandals & earrings pop, with hair well groomed & make-up pared down.
Danielle BURKE Says
Wow I have to say there’s a lot of angry women leaving really mean and nasty comments.I liked ur article I’m in my 40s n I’ll take all the help I can get thank you for taking the time to write this and take the pics that all these Jealous are hating on I wonder how they would look in their legging pics????
Totally agree longer tops with leggings although I really like a little slice of slim ankle between my booties and bottom of leggings, sexy but still in good taste. Really enjoyed all your input, keep it coming.
Going to Scotland in May. Average temp is low to mid 50’s. Planned on lots of leggings with long tops and sweaters. I am 5’0” and pear shaped. Will this work?
Agree with the last half and this is my main outfit most days. You are a goddess with a gift knowing that sporty can meet fashionable heel. Love heels especially boots and booties. Given the right bootie these are the ideal leggings and what other pants would you wear? I apologize but the pictures here are… frankly awful. I’m also sorry, but Medium brown mid way boots matched alongside with the black and the awful jacket chosen to be worn all day… no.