Maina Ndung'u is a fashion enthusiast and has been a fashion consultant and blogger since February 2015.
Outfits to Wear With Leggings
Wearing leggings is a fashion that enhances comfort and attracts attention to elegant shoes. They are flattering on the legs because they are completely smooth with no zippers, buttons or pockets. Proper fitting is essential to ensure that the entire legs and bottom look good. Although finding the best things to wear with leggings can be frustrating, virtually all ladies can wear them, provided they put into focus their age, body type and taste.
Leggings come in various styles and patterns, creating different ways of wearing them for almost all seasons and weathers. Though they may look obscure, most types are more aerated than tights and hence discreetly see-through. Lengths also vary from around knee to ankle. Ankle lengths are a favorite to many as they make legs look longer and more slender.
The whole point of wearing leggings is the smoothing effect, and hence trying on different styles to see which ones work best with you should be your first priority. Shinny leggings are probably the most difficult to style. If your legs have flaws, they tend to amplify them. Some Toned varieties also look ridiculously nude unless covered under long clothes.
Whichever variety of leggings that you may choose, finding the perfect outfits to pair with can be a humdrum task. Their versatility can lead to confusion, with the risk of the camel toe effect. But once you find the best outfits to match up, wearing leggings will be adorable and sexy.
Tops to Wear With Leggings
There are so many things that you can wear with leggings and still look cute and sexy. You can use a fancy pair of leggings to jazz up your plain tops. Else, you could beautify a basic pair of leggings with a structured top. If you are petite, choose a top that is no longer than your knees.
A tunic is a favorite top for many ladies who love leggings. They are shapely and come in a variety of materials. Choose a fabric that won’t cling to your leggings. Tunics are also available in diverse styles for different seasons. Petites and plus sizes will look better if they choose the same color for tunic and leggings. Caftan tops are also great if you can match the right colors and lengths.
Loose-fitting blouses are a nice pairing for leggings, especially in the hot weather. Their dressy and feminine nature creates a more sophisticated look. You can craft different looks with the same legwear by wearing blouses in different colors, styles and embellishments. If you can’t find a size that properly covers your bottom, opt for men’s shirts.
Oversized T-shirts give much comfort when combined with leggings. Simple as they seem, they can still be stylish with the right accessories. For a nice outcome, the T-shirt should be barely loose and long enough to hit below your buttocks. If the tee is cropped, layer with a long sweater, cardigan or jacket depending on the weather.
If you’d like to add more flavor to your legs, choose an asymmetrical top. So many creative and pretty designs of these tops have come up in modern fashion. Some are shorter on the sides and longer in the middle (or vice versa), while others are elongated on one side. Tunics are also available in these styles.
Whichever your choice of top, opt for one that is loose. Tight tops seem to over-emphasize your belly, especially if they are tank style. If you need more cover-up, opt for a sweater or cardigan instead of a jacket. If you must wear a jacket, pair your leggings with your skirts or dresses. However, some jacket styles will still go well with legwear.
How to Wear Leggings with a Dress
Many varieties of short dresses are available for pairing with legwear. Mini dresses are more stylish with leggings as they let you show an array of colors rather than your bare legs. This makes you look sexy but allows you the freedom to go out with more comfort.
As with skirts, mini to midi dresses will look prettier with leggings. They can add color and spice to even the darkest or plainest of dresses. Maxi dresses are generally not used to style leggings and tights. They are rather worn in the winter. However, slit maxi dresses may be styled with leggings even in the summer.
It is always a good idea to try on a pair of leggings without the dress first. This way, you will know whether the pair is good for your legs. Leggings that have a smoothing effect will go better with dresses. If they are very slack, they tend to make your legs look shapeless. But they can still go with a voluminous dress if it is in the same color.
Should you want a slimming effect on your legs, opt for a knee-length dress and pair with calf-length leggings. A skater dress will also slim you but will create the illusion of volume to your hips. It is also therefore ideal for ladies with small hips.
How to Wear Leggings with Skirts
In modern day fashion, you can wear a short skirt even if you are aged. But not everyone wants to show their legs. Leggings give you the freedom to wear a sexy outfit but in a modest manner. They also allow you to lean and sit more comfortably in short skirts. This outfit is ideal, especially with flawed legs.
Almost all styles and materials of skirts can go well with leggings. The major issue with skirts is if the fabric clings to the leggings. If both skirt and hosiery are either low-waisted of high-waist, choose leggings with a flat waistband. The same applies if the skirt is high waist and leggins low waist.
Leggings look prettier with casual skirts whose hemline falls to at least mid-thigh. Unless you want to wear leggings as pants, a shorter skirt is not a good option. Due to their laid-back nature, leggings with skirts are not appropriate in professional settings.
To look cute in skirts, try leggings with different lengths, fabrics and styles. Ensure that you choose the best combination of legwear and skirt to avoid looking awkward. You may start with solid leggings and printed skirts, or a plain skirt with fancy leggings. Printed hosiery can make legs look thicker or shorter.
The length of the skirt is normally dictated by the look of your legs. You can choose a shorter skirt if your legs are awesome. But if you get embarrassed in miniskirts, wear a top that hits above your knee, or longer. If you are slim and would like to create the impression of bulk, wear a skater skirt. A maxi skirt is something you should avoid unless it is in winter.
What to Wear Under Leggings
Most leggings are not opaque, and what you wear under might show through. Most people are not content with this, but some consider panty lines as a statement. To avoid this, choose toned or dark undergarments with light-colored hosiery.
Other than the risk of underwear colors bleeding through, it looks bad for big lines underneath leggings. Seamless underwear is perfect because it does not show the panty-line. Thongs, on the other hand, have no lines to show. But some women might find these ones uncomfortable.
Some girls are of the opinion that wearing any type of legwear with nothing under creates a very exciting experience, especially when going out. However, there is the risk of wetting on the crotch in the event of discharge or incontinence. Such a scenario is far worse than showing your panty line. If you wear leggings with no underwear and no long outfit, make sure they are thick and be sure to check their opacity as they age. Wearing a pair to bed with nothing under is up to you.
Another issue that causes the formation of Visible Panty Lines (VPLS) is the pinching of panties under the bottom. This is a result of tight elastic at the leg area of the underwear. If these elastics were to be looser, the knickers would be too loose at the crotch. The best solution is to wear underwear that goes below or above the buttock curvature. Some panties are also shaped to fall directly on the curve but will not dig. Try different styles to see which ones are suited for your shape. Experiment with both high cut and low cut underwear.
Another item that you may wear underneath is shaper underwear. They are usually high-waisted with low-cut legs. These types of inner wear will also work to hide your bulges as they add to the smoothing effect. Boyfriend briefs and boxers will have an almost similar outcome provided they are seamless at the bottom.
Wearing pantyhose under leggings is ideal in cold weather or for sheer style. In winter, you can wear multiple pairs of hosiery to keep you warmer. In today’s fashion world, it seems like leggings are becoming thinner. It makes some sense to wear nude or dark tights underneath. To look more stylish, you can wear fishnet or print leggings with obscure pantyhose under them.
How Not to Wear Leggings
In order to have confidence in what you wear, you must exhibit a sense of caring and dignity. Always wear leggings as leggings and not as pants or trousers. Since most leggings are not truly opaque, it is a good idea to wear tops that are at least mid-thigh in length. These should cover not only your bottom but also your crotch.
Leggings and jackets do not go well together. But if it’s your style or taste to wear jackets, you may still try and see which jackets will look best on you. A bridge-style coat or tunic jacket is worth trying.
While you may try your best not to flash your underwear, unintentional flashing is sometimes possible. This may happen in windy areas or in accidental falls. To avoid embarrassment, take a mirror test with your top hiked-up. To be on the safer side, avoid colorful underwear.
Since leggings are casual clothes, they should be avoided in most formal settings. In the majority of evening occasions, they may also not be considered appropriate. Regardless of the event, don’t wear them if you think they will make you unnecessarily hot.
Choosing the right outfits to pair with leggings is the key to looking stylish in them. Both of them must be in harmony with one another. For many styles, finding a perfect match is a matter of experimenting. While the wrong choices can mar the glamour of the most stylish hosiery, finding what to wear with leggings will result in an adorable and cute look.
© 2015 Maina Ndungu
Maina Ndungu (author) from Thika, Kenya on February 16, 2015:
Thanks ladies. With these ideas, you can find so many things to experiment with and wear your leggings in diverse and yet stylish ways.
Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on February 11, 2015:
I am the same as Hannah, love my leggings! Love your ideas, well written.
Hannah Moskowitz from New York on February 10, 2015:
I love this! I'm a total leggings freak, but I end up wearing the same things with them over and over because I know one thing that looks good with them and I've been scared to branch out! This has given me tons of ideas. Thank you!