Our world has changed dramatically in the last year and the way we dress has changed with it. More and more women are working from home which means their wardrobe needs have changed. You may need to dress professionally from the waist up for Zoom or Skype calls but you still want to be comfy and can include leggings. How to wear leggings after fifty has been an extremely popular post so I’m updating it with some new ideas and fresh resources to find great leggings.
Leggings are hugely popular and one of the easiest garments to get wrong. We’ve been reaching for leggings since they became streetwear in the 70 and ’80s. They now have style details and shapes that resemble pants, so they don’t all look like workout gear.
Are they still in style? You bet. Can I wear them and still look polished? Absolutely! Can any woman wear leggings? Yes!
Here are some ideas and tips to keep in mind to get the look you want. Let’s start with the most important feature of leggings…the fabric.
This is critical because leggings are not the same as footless tights! I’ve seen too many women traversing the airport wearing footless tights as leggings which shows the world way too much. The fabric of leggings needs to be thick, 100% opaque (not see-through), and very stretchy. They should closer to stretch pants than tights. Here are some great fabrics for leggings:
- heavyweight ponte knit
- faux suede
- denim also called Jeggings
- faux leather…no these are not just for young women and yes, they are comfy! I bought these last year at Soft Surroundings last year and love them!
On the subject of faux leather leggings, they’re no different than other spandex leggings and they do breathe and the best fit doesn’t feel or look like a sausage casing.
All of these fabrics need a high spandex or Lycra content so they spring back in the knees and seat, Fabrics with a four-way stretch fit the best and have the best recovery. Darker colors are more slimming and dressy. Patterns are tricky so choose the smallest ones in subtle colors.
Faux Suede leggings have long been a favorite of mine. They give a softer look that faux leather and feel more relaxed. Here are some great options.
Leggings are meant to be snug but if they feel like a sausage casing, go up one size. You won’t sacrifice the style and they will be more comfortable. Choose high rise leggings with a wide, no-roll waistband. There’s nothing worse than sitting down and feeling your waistband roll down under your tummy.
Tops To Wear Over Leggings
It doesn’t matter how shapely and fit you are, leggings require a top that covers your crotch and backside. Full stop here ladies. This is critical. Even the heaviest weight leggings look best worn with a top that’s long enough to cover your lady parts.
Leggings look great worn with:
- tunic sweaters
- long line blazers
- tunic-length shirts
- thigh-length blouses
Choose tunics with some shaping through the torso. You don’t want tight, but too boxy is just as unflattering. You’re going for length, not width and bulk. Side slits in tunics and blouses are great for elongating your legs and helping to balance the proportion. Try a knee-length cardigan worn open over a fingertip length blouse. Unbutton lower buttons of longer jackets to show some leg. Beware of extra bulky sweaters which can make your legs look like stick figures and your torso look huge by comparison. Proportion is key here.
Also see Playing With Proportion
Footwear To Wear With Leggings
So what do you wear on your feet? Knee or riding boots are a classic combination. Choose boots in a color similar to the leggings to create a long lean line. Ballet flats are another classic look, think Audrey Hepburn. Low heeled pumps or sandals look great with leggings but beware of the stiletto which is hard to get right and can easily lean toward trashy. Booties are perfect with leggings.
See also How To Wear Ankle Boots Over 50
What’s your favorite way to wear leggings?
Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.