By Ally Champagne (photo by Helga Weber)
According to many fashionistas, leggings are the new jeans. They had a rough start with a lot of backlash for not being “real pants,” but now, everywhere you go, no matter what the venue, someone is wearing leggings.
There are several reasons to celebrate this favourite fashion trend. Firstly, most women of all sizes can wear these – and secondly, they are so comfortable.
And versatile. No matter what your fashion needs; you can dress them up and you can dress them down.
Our winter climates may not seem conducive to leggings, but no one seems to have noticed… They are thicker than tights, and can easily be worn under a miniskirt or dress. They up the ante to your casual look because you can add them to so many wardrobe pieces, giving your outfits a whole lot of mileage.
More and more women are retiring the traditional panty hose, because today’s shoe styles are suited for the barefoot look. Gone are the days when a woman would be shunned for going out sockless or hosiery-less in her winter boots.
Leggings can be worn with almost any length from mid-length to mini-dresses, tunics, or long sweaters. Living in the Winter City, you can also pair these up with your maxi dresses for some additional warmth (on those days with horrid windchills). Just make sure your leggings are a neutral colour and match your coat to your hemline to avoid a faux-pas. (You don’t want yards of your maxi dress hangin’ down below your jacket.)
Mini lengths also look fabulous with leggings. You can choose a bright colour scheme for your dress with a complementary-coloured legging, or vice versa, as there are so many patterns and colours of leggings to choose from. They also allow you to be less self-conscious when trying to sit with a mini – eliminating the whole hem-tugging process.
Knee-length tops/dresses pair just as well with leggings. You can wear them with your high boots, making for a much more comfortable feel inside the boot than if you were wearing tights.
I find tights tend to ride down, while leggings are more like well-fitting pants. If your boots are a little loose, you can get away with wearing a nice warm sock and no one will know.
A large variety of skirt shapes are compatible with leggings. I prefer the neutral, lighter fabric leggings with skirts made of lighter fabrics. The materials do not chafe or cause your skirt to turn.
Find skirts and leggings with similar waistbands so that they sit approximately at the same place. Leggings with flat waistbands work the best, as they do not create a bump under the skirt waistband. Light and soft fabrics will show bumpy waistbands.
Make sure they’re just right
The secret to a good fit is finding leggings which are tight enough, yet not too tight where they appear see-through. (This is crucial, ladies.) The saggy baggy look is not attractive either, especially when paired with a skirt or dress.
Again, matching your fabrics and styles will give you that put-together look you crave. And for the brave-at-heart, rather than wait for warmer weather, you can pair up three-quarter-length leggings with a dress skimming your knees. The illusion created will be one of a longer dress hem and slimmer calves.
There are certain areas where leggings should be avoided. Cocktail parties and semi-formal events are non-casual outings, and more formal attire should be worn.
But if there are no red carpet soirees on your agenda, enjoy leggings, which exude comfort and ease – and still make you look fabulous.
Need fashion advice? Contact Ally at firstname.lastname@example.org.