Leggings Etiquette, Revisited

Today’s topic is one I’m sure you’ve already read about, whether on this blog or elsewhere, and I’m also sure that you have your own opinions about it too. I certainly have mine, and I believe that they in the best interest of those who wear leggings as well as those who see others wearing leggings. This past week I was asked what was my favorite fashion trend. Now that’s a big question! I thought about it for a second and selected leggings – truth be told, there are a lot of trends that I really, really love and can’t say that leggings stand alone at the top. But they are certainly up there. Leggings are both extremely comfortable and extremely versatile in a way that no other type of bottoms can be. When worn correctly, leggings can be really flattering, too (on the flip side, they can be equally unflattering if worn incorrectly). Here are my top tips for pulling off a pair of leggings and looking fabulous while doing it:


1. Don’t treat them the same as pants.

…because well, they’re not. This seems to be the main problem with our culture’s relationship with leggings. Women throw on a cute (short) top with leggings and call it an acceptable outfit. It’s not. It’s like wearing tights (albeit with less opacity)  and nothing over them, which you wouldn’t do. So don’t treat leggings the same as your jeans.


2. Pass the fingertip test.

Choose a top to wear with your leggings and see if it passes the fingertip test: stand tall on a flat surface with your arms at your sides. Is the top you’re wearing the same length or longer than your fingertips? Then it’s fine to wear with leggings. Is it shorter than your fingertips? Then you should save it to wear with a pair of jeans and pick a longer tunic instead. A simpler yet less refined way to remember this test: if it (the top) covers the rear, you’re in the clear.


3. Don’t spend more than $20.

Recently a blogger that I follow was raving about a pair of velvet control top leggings she was wearing. The control top I can take or leave, but velvet leggings sound like luxurious comfort to me so I followed the link to the site where they were for sale…and they were $98. What. In my opinion, that’s crazy. You should never spend more than $20 on a pair of leggings because, well, they’re just that – leggings, a thinner more fitted version of sweatpants. They’re so basic and so easily replaceable you can buy a cheaper pair and still find that you’ve saved money as opposed to buying a more expensive pair because you still won’t need to replace them that frequently. Save your clothing budget for something more substantial, like a nice pair of jeans or a leather jacket. FYI – Nordstrom Rack currently has nice-looking back leggings for only $10.


4. Say no to see through.

I don’t even feel like I need to explain this tip. On to the last one…

5. Wear patterns sparingly.

Patterned leggings are cute and fun to wear, but they also have downsides: they’re not usually flattering and it can be hard to find a top that matches them. Unless you’re under the age of 15 (which I doubt), I would advise only owning a couple pairs of patterned leggings at most in more muted prints, and always being sure to pair them with a solid top. If you’re looking for another way to add interesting to your legging options, try faux leather or another fun material!



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