Maina Ndung'u has been a fashion consultant and blogger since 2015. Fashion is one of her biggest interests.
How to Style Black Leggings
Wearing black leggings is a sure way of staying warm while showing off toned legs. You can dress them up for a more conservative look or dress them down for a daring outcome. Virtually any woman can use these fashion pieces to craft different styles. Unlike patterned varieties, black leggings blend well with many different things to add comfort and style.
Black leggings are not all the same, though: Some are opaque while others are somewhat transparent, but most of them will show through if stretched. Layering is essential because they are more like tights than pants.
Shiny black leggings will not work well for most ladies as they will create bulges whereas the idea is to produce a smooth look. Choosing the best length is also critical. Some outfits will require Capri leggings while others will look better with ankle lengths. While buying calf-length leggings, be careful to determine where they will fall on your legs.
What Top to Wear With Black Leggings
Because black leggings are simple in style, they will go with any top, provided it is long enough to cover your bottom and crotch. Tops to pair with leggings do not need to match with the leggings. Try matching the top to your shoes. To make the look more casual, you may want to wear a belt over your top.
Tunic tops are the first choice for most ladies who love the legging style. They come in a variety of shapes, lengths, and styles. Popular styles include unbalanced hem and side slits. For summer outings, choose striking prints like florals, tie and dye, color block or animal prints. Also try solid bright colors. For evenings or colder weather, choose darker colors like blue, navy or green.
Other tops to wear with black leggings include:
- One shoulder tops
- Lace blouses
- Casual jumpers
- Long camisoles
- Long T-shirts
- Off-the-shoulder tops
- Long tanks
- Graphic tees
- Fashion blouses
- Dress shirts
- Sports jerseys
- Batwing tops
- Casual blouses
- Tunic knitted T-shirts
- Thermal wicking tops for workouts
In winter, long-sleeved sweaters and cardigans are great. Cascading cardigans are great. To add more warmth, add a polo neck, crewneck, turtle neck or shawl neck underneath. When the weather becomes tougher, it is better to avoid leggings rather than wear longer and longer coats. Leggings do not look good with outfits that cover the knees.
What Shoes to Wear With Black Leggings
Flats look good with black leggings if they are low cut. Neutral colors are easy to pair but you can also experiment with the colored types. Choose from different colors and styles to create a casual or dressed up look. Ballet flats will go better with black leggings if they are black or very dark.
Wearing pumps with leggings can be sensational or old-fashioned depending on how you pair them. Stiletto pumps are a good starting point if you want to try this style. Try ankle-length black leggings with wedge or heeled pumps. Be sure to take the mirror test to see whether the look is good or retro.
How to Wear Black Leggings With Boots
Though black leggings will go with almost all height boots, they look more appealing in tall boots. You can use boots to fashion the look of your legs. When you wear high boots, the focus is not on the leggings but on the boots. For a cool and laid-back look that is comfy and warm, wear any style of flat and tall boots with your black leggings. Avoid boots that clash with your top.
For girls with thin legs, go for calf-length boots. If you have thick legs, choose boots that fall a few inches above your ankle, or where your legs start to widen. Women with wide legs will also look good in boots which do not cling tightly to the legs.
Ankle boots can be problematic when pairing with leggings as they fail to cover the skin below the leggings. They also tend to make legs look thicker and shorter. The best ankle boots with black leggings are those that cover the skin below leggings. If the boots are too short, or the top makes you uncomfortable, use boot cuffs to bridge the gap. Best colors are black or other very dark hues.
How to Wear Black Leggings With Sandals and Sneakers
Sandals are great with black leggings in the summer. They are very comfortable for casual outings. Avoid gladiator sandals unless they are very low with minimal detail. Also match the style of your sandals to the occasion. Wear colorful sandals to spice up your black leggings but be sure they agree with the other clothing.
Sneakers can add fun and liveliness to your black leggings. However, they are not appropriate for formal occasions. Wear them in bright colors to add accent. White, yellow or purple low top sneakers are pretty with dark legwear. For a relaxed but elegant look, wear high tops with a sports jersey, sunglasses and a fancy headgear.
How to Wear Black Leggings Under Dresses
Leggings pair well with most short to midi length dresses. Maxidresses are not fashionable with legwear though you can still wear them to add warmth. Also try long dresses with long side slits. Black leggings under dresses are particularly fabulous for casual summer wear where you are likely to be barefoot.
Dresses pair better with leggings which are tight. Loose leggings can make you look too slack. However, they go with flowy dresses if they agree in style and material. Dresses that you worry wearing to windy areas will be your best bet.
Best dresses to wear with black leggings are:
- Colorful lace dresses
- Wrap dresses
- Tunic dresses
- Sweater dresses
- Stretch casual mini dresses
- Party dresses
- Bowknot dresses
- High low short tee dresses
- Stretch sweater dresses
- Sheer Maxi dresses
If your knees and calves seem to bulge when you wear leggings, try crop leggings with knee length dresses. Above ankle leggings are also okay. This outfit makes your dress appear longer and your calves slimmer.
For just below knee leggings, pair with a mid-thigh dress and flat footwear. If the leggings are mid-calf, choose a dress that is knee-long or shorter. The accessories you wear will depend on your activities and setup.
How to Wear Black Leggings With Skirts
Wearing leggings with skirts gives you the freedom to wear short tops which would otherwise not go well with legwear fashion. Black leggings go well with skirts providing the skirt is the right style and color. Nice skirts include stretch mini skirts and skater skirts. For a good look, choose a skirt length that falls above knees or shorter. If you must wear a midi or maxi skirt, buy one with long side slits.
Almost any color skirt will have an amazing outcome. An all black outfit may be too dark for many women. But petites and plus sizes can pull off this look as it seems to create a streamlined silhouette therefore adding height.
To break the monotony of the all black look, show some skin unless it is cold. Try a camisole, tank, off-shoulder or backless top. Always avoid long tops when wearing hosiery with skirts.
To wear a black skirt with black leggings and a different color top, you can try closely matching your shoes and shirt. For instance, you can wear blue shoes with a blue tank. A white top is difficult to wear with this outfit.
Colorful and printed skirts are great in adding spice to black legwear. Choose a colored skirt and a floral top. Or try a printed skirt and a solid color top. If you must wear both printed blouse and skirt, buy them as a suit cut from the same fabric.
How to Wear Black Leggings in Summer
Wearing skirts and dresses with leggings in the cold months is a common practice. Switching over to outfits with bare legs when the snow melts seems a bit challenging. That is why you need to know how to wear black leggings in the summer.
Cotton leggings are the best in hot weather because they are light and absorbent. Wear them with tops like tunics, T-shirts, tanks or sundresses. Tank dresses and tube dresses are also fine. You can wear any type of shoes depending on the occasion. For evenings, wear sneakers, heels or boots. For casual day wear, choose strappy shoes.
Though black opaque leggings are more comfortable, stretch cotton seems to work better than the thick sports varieties. Though athletic leggings are perfect for the gym, they are not necessarily good for a casual sun-filled outing, or a summer dinner. If you are going to stay outdoors, opt for longer flowy tops in bright colors.
Wear the right accessories with your black leggings outfit. Try experimenting with different types of bags, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. For night-outs, you can make a trial with patterned fishnet leggings or ripped denim shorts over your black leggings.
Whatever clothes you wear with your black leggings, be sure to check yourself in the mirror before going out of your residence. Don’t try to emulate other women as you may not have a body type with theirs. Create your own style for wearing with your black leggings that will make you uniquely and tastefully elegant.
Allena Risa on August 28, 2019:
Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. Great tips!
Maina Ndungu (author) from Thika, Kenya on April 01, 2015:
Leggings are indeed trendy. But the style depends on individual taste.
There are people who are for wet-look varieties while others are against them. Whatever feels comfortable with you is probably what's best for you.
StealTheirStyle on March 17, 2015:
Love leggings! I can't get enough of wet and leather styles. Thanks for sharing!