How to Wear Leggings

Today’s Stylemma comes from a Style by Caroline Facebook subscriber who has asked me to cover the topic of leggings.  ‘Cover’ being the operative word, as the coverage provided by leggings – or lack thereof – can be a source of contention, confusion and condemnation!


Why wear leggings

When worn correctly, leggings are a brilliant wardrobe staple, especially approaching the cold Winter months.  For instance, I love mine tucked into a pair of cozy boots.  They can be worn by women of all ages; however, as you mature, I recommend that you steer towards plain, high-quality styles.


How to Wear Leggings?

  • Coverage: Leggings are tricky to wear under regular-length tops, as they can make normal-sized and broad-sized legs look chunky, and skinny legs look sparrow-like!  In my opinion, leggings generally look best worn under a dress, tunic or long top.  Make sure that the hem of your top finishes at a flattering point on the leg.  (For example, if you are pear-shaped, avoid lengths that finish right at the hips / widest part of the thigh.  Instead, bring the hem down a few inches to a slimmer part of the leg.)
  • Colour: Dark colours are slimming; so, if you are looking for leaner legs, I suggest that you choose darker shades such as black, navy, grey etc.  If you have slender legs, then have fun with brighter colours.
  • Pattern: I think that patterned / textured / distressed leggings are best suited to young or legs.  It’s also worth bearing in mind that pattern will draw attention and may make your legs appear broader.
  • Fabric: One of the major benefits of leggings is that they can be extremely comfortable to wear.  Choose a fabric with stretch in it, which will offer plenty of ‘give’ as well as support.  Avoid fabrics that are tight or inflexible. Similarly, avoid ‘wet look’ or shiny fabrics if you are over a certain age, or if your legs are in any way broad.
  • Waistline: I favour high-waisted styles, as they are very comfortable, unlikely to slip and they ‘flatten out’ the lower tummy.
  • Length: Make sure that the leggings finish at a slim point on your leg.  Often, just under the knee or just under the calf are narrow points.  To make your legs look longer, pair them with a matching colour shoe or boot.
  • Footwear: The good news is that you can pretty much wear any footwear with leggings.  Heels will obviously make your legs look longer and leaner but equally a pair of flat pumps can look delicate and chic.  Experiment and have fun with a few different styles.

Vera Moda Denim Leggings

Vero Moda Denim Leggings (, €14)

Humanoid Winter LeggingsHumanoid Winter Wool Leggings (, €33)

Embroidered leggings

Bebaroque Luxury Embroidered Leggings (, £109)

Falke Prisca LeggingsFalke Prisca Leggings (, £11)


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