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What to wear with leggings

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Love ’em or hate ’em, leggings aren’t going away. Today’s versions are much nicer than their early-2000’s counterparts. They’re durable, opaque, and always comfortable.

Because they’re no longer flimsy and sheer, leggings are versatile enough to be office appropriate – assuming you pair them correctly. That’s what we’ll discuss here: how different legging styles influence your look and what other articles of clothing to wear with them:

Easy Lounge Top
The leggings you choose will determine the rest of your outfit.

Creating an outfit with leggings

Dresses with leggings bring summer year round

“Leggings are great for transforming summer dresses into winter ones.”

Leggings are great for transforming summer dresses into winter ones, adding a layer of fabric to keep your lower half warm. That said, they’re also great for winter outfits like plus size tunic dresses and sweater dresses. Essentially, leggings act like tights in cold weather – but that doesn’t mean they’re only for winter! They’re also great for fall, spring and even summer if the weather isn’t too hot.

Also, play around with accessories! Style your dresses and leggings by adding a cute hat or wide belt at the waist. Throw a shawl over top to keep warm in a chilly room, or go for big hair and sunglasses for a fabulous 70’s style. You may even find a pair of gold metallic leggings and platform heels to complete the look.

Shirts that go with leggings

Because leggings are so tight on your lower half, it’s best to go loose and flowy on top. Think long-sleeve tunic tops or drapey empire-waist blouses for the office.

To make an outfit with leggings work appropriate, you want to make sure your backside is covered by another garment. If you don’t have a top that’s long enough, throw a lengthy vest or jacket over top or wear sweater dresses with leggings.

When it comes to casual style, on the other hand, wear whatever you feel comfortable with! Long tank tops make great summer tunics, while a bright cami and gauzy shawl have a cute bohemian appeal. A long shirt with leggings is a nice option for a lazy weekend.

In the winter, pick out a couple of oversized sweaters for a cute and comfortable staple that works well in the office and while running errands. Or, try a sweater tunic for a similar look.

White Cinched Stretch Legging

Skirts with an extra layer

Again, leggings keep your legs warm under your skirt, and they add a new element for you to experiment with. Try pairing a neutral A-line skirt or slit maxi with patterned leggings. If your skirt has a bold print, go for black leggings instead.

Don’t forget to play around with texture! Lace leggings in a single color under a printed skirt can create an interesting contrast, as can leggings with a shiny, liquid look. Some even have metallic embeds or ombre coloring, so you can really have a lot of fun experimenting with different looks.

Shorts for a casual afternoon

Most people don’t think of shorts and leggings together, but they can create an interesting casual look that’s perfect for the weekend. Try jean or pleated shorts over leggings with a loose t-shirt on top. Throw on a pair of low top sneakers, grab a slouchy bag, and you’re ready to go.

Shoes to wear with leggings

The key to making a look with leggings work is to choose the right shoe. Knee-high boots are always a great option, as they cover up the ankle line and make your leg look lean and long. Booties can work as well, as long as the leggings stay within the shoe.

Alternatively, sandals and sneakers are comfortable and perfect for summer. Try shoes with metallic accents or giant gemstones to add a little glam to plain black leggings.

Leggings are a great, versatile option that can be casual or work appropriate depending on how you style them.

Woman wearing Pleated Hoodie with Black Leggings and Sandals

Different styles of leggings

Before you choose what to wear with leggings, you need to think about just what type they are. Standard black isn’t the only option – there are many styles to choose from:

  • Brightly colored: Leggings come in any color imaginable, including pink, yellow, green and orange. Keep this in mind when choosing a top. You can go with a matching color for a show-stopping look or choose something neutral to tone down the brightness. That said, leggings that are highlighter bright are best worn outside the office.
  • Patterned: Diamonds, polka dots and pinstripes are all common patterns for leggings. You can also get novelty leggings with pictures of cats, cartoon characters or sports logos. These are great for catching a game or fun evenings like Halloween parties.
  • Lace: Some leggings are made completely of soft lace, while others only have lace trimming on the legs. They usually come in black or neutral colors like beige, brown and white.
  • Leather-like: Available in matte or high gloss, faux-leather leggings add edginess to any look. Go motorcycle chic by wearing them with an all-black outfit, or choose the high-fashion route by wearing a crisp white button-down.
  • Fitness leggings: These are often made with compression features or sweat-wicking fabric. They usually have sporty trims and features, such as reflective panels, and usually feature a lot of stitching.
  • Black: Basic and every day, every woman needs a pair of black leggings in her closet.

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