I love encouraging YLF forum members to push their fashion envelopes. It’s fun to see people put their preconceived notions aside and experiment with new looks. One of the great examples of this has been leggings. Initially, there weren’t many takers for the look and I couldn’t understand why. It’s inexpensive, comfortable, unfussy, flattering, modern, practical and very versatile. We are into their third season and the item is still popular in cities like Paris, Hong Kong and London.
Anyone can wear leggings and look smashingly appropriate once the details are right. This is why they made my must have list for Spring and Summer 2009, and they’ll work perfectly as we head into Autumn. I’ve written several posts on how to wear leggings, including this recent synopsis.
In case you need to refresh your memory, here are 5 easy steps:
- Leggings are not a substitute for pants and jeans: Think of them as an accessory and not an item of clothing. In the 80’s some of us wore normal length tops that exposed our thighs and more when we wore this look. Not this time round. Think of leggings as bloomers that peek out from under an outfit. Note that even as an accessory, they still look best when they’re thick and substantial so go up a size if you need to.
- Consider the length of the leggings: wear them cropped, on the calf or at the ankle. Somewhere between the bottom of your knee and the widest part of your calf seems to work for most people.
- Consider the length of the top: A certain amount of coverage is necessary because leggings aren’t pants. This makes tunics and frocks the way to go. Generally, tops and frocks that finish between mid thigh and right above the knee cap are most flattering.
- Consider the height of the heel: There are no hard and fast rules regarding the height of the heel and the length of the leggings. It’s a question proportion and preferences. You’re after a look that gives you a longer leg line. In some instances you might prefer a heel and in others flats will be fine.
- Keep the look a little more sophisticated once you’re over the age of 40: You don’t want to look child-like in leggings unless you’re a child. Check out this discussion for thoughts on how to keep leggings age appropriate.
In most cases you’ll need to experiment with the length of the leggings, the length of the top and the height of the heels. There are many combinations that will work. In some instances you might prefer a tunic with cropped leggings for flats. In other instances you might prefer a dress with ankle length leggings and heels. I tend to prefer the aesthetic of a longer tunic or dress with leggings, but that’s not a rule.
The actions of our forum members speak louder than my words so feast your eyes on 35 of them in over 120 leggings outfits. Our models cover ALL heights, body types, sizes, ages, fashion personas, budgets and dress codes. A lot more compelling than catalogue models. Brilliant.
It was terribly hard to select only a subset, but here are 14 of our fabulous forum gals that illustrate an assortment of very wearable leggings ensembles (click the pictures to see the original photo). From super casual to chic deluxe and everything in-between. But that’s not all. Be sure to check out the rest of the looks in the forum.