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A Guide to Leggings - Fashion Blessing or Curse?
Leggings are one of those fashion accessories that evoke strong feelings. You either love or hate them. Whatever your opinion, it appears the legging trend will be around for a while, so you might want to learn how to incorporate them into your wardrobe. Versatile leggings can be worn year round and make the transition from casual weekend wear to a night on the town with ease. Another plus is that leggings are inexpensive. You can find cheap leggings everywhere!
That being said, there is definitely a right and wrong way to wear leggings. Heaven knows, we have all seen the latter – and it is not pretty. This article will help you avoid the pitfalls and find the appropriate look for your personal style and body type.
The list is limitless: you can find leggings made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, bamboo and wool. However, most leggings contain synthetic fibers for shape retention. Look for labels that include a blend of spandex with polyester or nylon to keep your leggings looking like new after repeated washings. The latest in funky fabric choices include feminine laces, comfy corduroys, faux leathers (to appease your inner wild child) and “jeggings” that simulate skin tight blue jeans (without the obvious discomfort!)
What are Leggings?
Technically, leggings are tights that typically stop above the foot or include a stirrup. They hug the hips, buttocks and legs and are marketed either as undergarments (for cold weather or figure control) or as stylish outerwear. For the sake of this article, we will concentrate on leggings designed for the entire world to see.
When shopping for leggings, be aware of the rules for a proper fit. The legs, hips, rear and crotch should fit snugly, but comfortably. Think of the fit as slightly more loose than a pair of panty hose. If you choose scrunched leg leggings, the excess fabric, or scrunch, should be limited to the ankle area. And please remember, leggings are not a suitable substitute for pants under any circumstances. We know you want to show off your amazing booty, but resist the urge, for fashion’s sake!
Types of Leggings
Ankle length leggings are the most widely available and most popular type. They work well during the cooler weather months providing added length for warmth.
Mid-calf leggings create a kicky, casual feel for warmer weather. Average or long legs are a must for this look. Mid-calf tights visually “cut” the legs, so petite ladies should steer clear of this trend.
Almost everyone can pull off stirrup leggings. Not my personal favorite as they remind me of the 1980’s (totally over it!) Nonetheless, they provide a great alternative to ankle leggings and full tights.
Rock Your Figure!
No matter your figure type, leggings can be worn tastefully by following these important tips.
If you are petite, do opt for ankle length leggings. Avoid scrunch leg varieties – the look is too sloppy on a shorter leg. Pair your leggings with high heel ankle boots (in the same color as your leggings) to elongate your legs. Top the leggings with a mini dress and jacket for a casual day of shopping or a weekend getaway.
Full figures can also take advantage of the leggings fashion trend. Many manufacturers make plus size leggings, making them a necessity for your wardrobe. Plus size figures look fabulous in leggings layered under a knit tunic with a super-long matching cardigan. A sleek knee-high boot and pashmina will take this look from fall well into winter. This type of outfit moves from office to evening effortlessly. Keep in mind that black leggings are your best friend -- they make you look taller and elongate the legs.
Just because you are pear-shaped (smaller on the top and rounder on the bottom) doesn't mean you should ignore leggings. The proper pieces will draw the eye upward, taking the emphasis away from the hip area. Pear-shaped bodies should wear ankle leggings with a top or dress that accentuates
your upper body, in turn minimizing your hips. Try a long blousy top teamed with
a cute vest or shrug. Depending on the time of the year, wear either knee-high boots or
a strappy gladiator sandal. Now get out there and have fun with leggings!
Tall and Slender
Tall and lean figures are well-suited for skinny leggings. Make the most of your model's figure with outfits that highlight your assets. Showcase those long, slender legs by pairing your leggings with a flowing poet’s blouse and equestrian style jacket. Knee-high riding boots complete this cold weather package. During the summer, try a denim miniskirt worn over mid calf leggings. Top them with a brightly colored tee and a pair of flats -- either ballets or sandals.
Celebrate your perfect proportions with leggings! Hourglass shapes feature a tiny waist and an upper and lower bodies with nearly identical measurements. Curvy hourglass types can team a cinch waist sundress mini with coordinating mid-calf leggings and a high heel sandal. For cooler weather, try a belted tunic over a sleek turtleneck, a pair of dark leggings and a cute, chunky shoe.
Still Need Some Help?
Leggings: Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?
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© 2010 lindacee