Thursday, December 05, 2013

Fashion Leggings: Ways to Wear This Classic Item That Will Never Fade

Leggings are more popular than ever this season. From denim to print to leather, leggings are everywhere. Some women pull them off like a rock star, while others make us quickly turn our heads. If you want to rock your leggings, start by memorizing these universal truths:
Tights are not leggings
Tights are translucent or sheer and are usually made of a thin material. Leggings are opaque and made of thicker fabrics. Tights cling like the proverbial second skin; leggings have some give. For the classiest, most flattering look, shop for thicker, opaque fabrics that are fitted through the hip and thigh but not glued to the rest of your body.
Leggings are not pants
As flattering and comfortable as leggings can be, you don't want to look like you left your pants at home. Even women with perfect figures may reveal sights best left unseen in public. Always wear a top that, at the very least, covers your buttocks.
Leggings are also not jeans. You can't buy leggings that are pre-distressed and full of holes for a reason - they don't look fashionable, just worn out. When your leggings start pilling and showing signs of wear, it's time to retire them.
With that out of the way, let's focus on things you can do to look amazing in leggings:
What's hot in leggings
Aside from the universal rules of "thick, not thin" and "opaque, not see-through," your options are rich and varied. Solid or print, denim or leather, smooth or textured, neutrals or jewel tones: the options are seemingly endless. Chicous showcases some of this fall's new looks, including the hottest patterned leggings.
What to wear on top
The perfect top for leggings is slightly oversized and falls between the hips and mid-thigh. Long shirts or jumpers, short miniskirts, and shaped tunics are ideal. Bulky fabrics are great, but just about any fabric will work as long as it's not so thin you can see the top of your leggings through it. Large women may consider longer tops to cover more of their thighs. Petite women may want to choose a shorter top to make their legs look longer. Pose highlights some classic looks as well as a few that are a bit edgier.

As far as color and pattern, you're looking for balance. Boldly patterned leggings look great with a top or jacket in a neutral solid. Brighter tops that pick up an accent color in printed leggings are a stylish look, too. And just about any color top works with solid leggings. Just don't mix dressy with casual (yes, leggings can be dressy); pick a style and stick to it. Check out these great combinations at the Stir.
Shoes are crucial to pulling off a stylish outfit centered around leggings. Boots are the trend of the moment, and they can easily and quickly dress an outfit up or down. Classic boots with a heel immediately add a touch of glamour, while lace-up boots project a more casual look. Mid-calf boots can camouflage thick legs, while booties look great on skinny legs.
Ballet flats are another popular option. They offer the same slender profile as leggings, and the flash of skin from the top of your foot adds a nice visual break, especially if you choose flats the same color as your leggings. You can also dress things up with metallic or embellished flats; just make sure the "dressiness" of your shoes matches that of your top.
Pumps can work, too, but save them for your dressiest tops. Otherwise, your outfit can come across as mismatched. Pumps with a long button-down shirt don't work.
Pulling It Together
As with all things fashion, accessories are the finishing touch. Layering is a hot look, with a long jacket over a shorter top or jumper. Belts are another great option. If a tunic that's long enough to cover the essentials makes you look like a tent, cinch it with a loose chain belt just above your natural waist. It will add shape to your outfit and slim down your torso. For some examples, take a look at an online fashion finder. They've pulled together dozens of ensembles to help you pull off a complete look.
It's time to put the myths to rest. All women can wear leggings, so don't let weight or age keep you from wearing a look you love. Find what works best for you, and wear it with confidence!
Megan Barnes loves trendy fashion. She enjoys turning trends into flattering looks on style blogs.