How To Wear A Legging The Right Way? Everything You Need To Know

Written by Pratima Ati

Leggings – I practically live my life in these. I guess this is the case with most of us. One pair of black leggings, and we are sorted! Thank (fashion) gods for inventions like these. And, they have come a long way and took many forms from their inception. Even though a lot of other fads have come, leggings have weathered the storm and are here to stay. But, do we know-it-all? It turns out, after all these years, some of us still make rookie errors while pairing leggings.

And, that’s what we are going to discuss in detail. Check it and see for yourself where you stand in the leggings game.

How To Choose The Right Leggings

Choosing leggings might sound frivolous because it is the most versatile piece of clothing in our closet we can comfortably wear throughout the year. Yes, if you know the basics, it’s not such a big deal, but if you do not wear them correctly, you might just end up with a camel toe, which is a complete turn off! Eeeks! Most of us forget that leggings are not pants.

1. Size

Wearing the right legging size is the most important part of this puzzle. Leggings can neither be too tight nor too loose. Make sure they fit your body snugly without tracing the body shape/celluloid. They should also not be so loose that you end up looking sloppy. You can still get away with ill-fitted leggings if you pair them with tops that stretch way below the hips. Otherwise, it is quite an unpleasant sight.

To avoid any gaffes related to sizes, ensure you have your sizes right. Either measure it yourself or get it done at the store or from a professional. It is important because the sizes differ with brands and knowing your actual measurement will always help. Also, remember to err on the larger side if you are an ‘in-between’ of two sizes. For example, if you are somewhere in between M and L, go with L – or try both of them first before you buy the smaller size. Try a couple of brands just to be sure.

2. Length

As we already know, leggings come in various lengths. How and what you choose to wear them with is entirely a personal choice. However, just make sure the outfit looks like it has been put together well.

  • Full Length


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They extend a little below your ankle, and most of them will give you soft pleats near the shins, depending on your height. These are usually worn under long Indian kurtis, tunics, flowing boho tops, or in winter (paired with boots).

  • 3/4th Length


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These go with short tops and are an easy option. Might not be a great choice for a formal set-up, but perfect for everything else. They stop at the calf muscle and the focus shifts there, so if you are not very confident about it, then ankle length might be your best bet.

  • Ankle Length


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These are the sexiest of them all. Go with almost anything – slip dresses, tunics, jackets, coats, capes – you name it. Also, any or all kinds of footwear look equally good with these.

  • Knee Length


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Mostly used as workout apparel – gym, yoga, walking, hiking, running or even for travel.

  • Stir Up Leggings


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Stir up leggings are back in fashion, and we could not have been happier. Because we can never get enough of leggings, can we? You can practically style these with everything in your wardrobe.

  • Printed Leggings


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Printed leggings are something we all need to invest in, and they add a little zing to your outfit. However, just make sure you try them on before you pick them up because most printed leggings look great on the hanger but fall flat when stretched on the body. A lot of this depends on your body size and type. Also, remember this ground rule – if the leggings are printed, the top needs to be plain. You can experiment with bold and contrast colors, but as far as prints are concerned, let the top be in monotone.

  • Stockings


Image: iStock

Stockings are meant for covering your legs while wearing skirts and dresses. They are, by no means, a replacement for leggings. Stockings, pantyhose, leggings, and tights are all similar yet different in their own way; do not get confused or bogged down by it.

  • Workout Leggings


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Athleisure – the choices are limitless. And, workout leggings are yet another addition to this clothesline. Gone are the days where annoying sweats were your only options.

3. Fabric

Cotton and lycra are the most common fabrics for leggings, but leather and suede are other interesting choices you may try. These are extremely stylish and make for a stylish outfit.

4. Colors


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Initially, leggings were all white, black or off-white. Then came the colored, contrasted, and later, the neon colored ones. You can make it fun as long as they are not over-the-top and outlandish.

Dos And Don’ts Of Wearing Leggings


Frequently Asked Questions

How to wear leggings to work?

Some offices have a strict dress code, while some of them are more lenient. For the former, you can try something called treggings – trousers+leggings and pair them with your work shirts, tops, etc. For those of you with a more relaxed set-up, you can do the same with leggings. But, ensure that your tops are flowing, below the hip, and do not drive any unnecessary attention to the lower part of the body. Also, if you are choosing printed leggings, the prints have to be small, subtle, and negligible.

What shoes to wear with leggings?

The best part about leggings is that you can sport them with all types of footwear. From flip-flops and pumps to winter boots and ballerinas, all of them look equally good. The only exception to this is gladiators and strap sandals, which might look awkward.

How to wear leggings for workouts?

You now get leggings specially made for workouts. However, you could also wear the regular knee length leggings. Either way, just make sure they are of good quality and not see through. It can otherwise look very awkward with you being sweaty and doing all those physical activities. You know what I mean?

How to style leggings in winter?

Leggings are a blessing in winters. You can wear them with hoodies, cashmere sweaters or jackets, or pair them with boots. Also, if you live in one of the cold countries, you must have heard of fleece leggings. Get your hands on those beauties and stay stylish yet warm this winter.

How to style leggings in summer?

In summer, opt for leggings with softer fabrics like lycra or cotton. You can wear them under dresses, skirts, or even shorts if they are full length. For the ankle and knee length leggings, wear them with sleeveless tops or just about anything, but again, make sure there is no camel toe peeping.

How to wear leggings – for plus-sized women?

If you are curvy or come under the plus size category, there’s nothing you have to fret about. You just have to make sure that the top covers the problem area, which is usually down below the abdomen till the thighs. This way, you can camouflage the unnecessary celluloid while keeping it chic and stylish. You could also do a lot with layering and adding definition to the top or whatever else you are pairing it with.

How to style leggings for women over 50?

You can be mature and elegant while being stylish with the right kind of clothing. There is no age limit for wearing leggings. However, stick to dark colors. Black is your safest best.

Your body type, age or figure does not have to dictate the outfits you wear as long as you are comfortable in your skin and can carry them off. And, as far as leggings are concerned, they are a blessing in disguise – one solution for all your fashion problems. So, rock it in those leggings, all of you! Do drop in a comment if you have any questions.

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After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, Pratima Ati jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing. She’s now a full-time Fashion & Lifestyle writer and has never looked back ever since. She sleeps early, reads often, and when she can't, she finally gives a closure to all the characters living in her drafts. Sometimes, they pass off as poetry too! That, and her training in Indian classical music and playing (learning) the veena keep her sane, civil, and bearable.