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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.
Three Main Types of Leggings
Ankle length leggings are the most widely available and most popular type. Their added length work well during the cooler weather months providing extra warmth. Ankle leggings are perfect for a workout, weekend shopping excursion or lounging around the house. Wearing these forgiving bottoms improve circulation and are far more comfortable than ultra tight pants or jeans.
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 or wedge 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. Most designers feature plus size leggings making them a necessity for your wardrobe. You can look fabulous in leggings layered under a long sweater. A sleek knee-high boot will take this look from fall well into winter. This type of outfit goes from office to after work effortlessly. Keep in mind that black leggings are your best friend--they make you look taller and elongate the legs.
Just because you are 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-shape bodies look great with ankle leggings and a top or tunic that minimizes your hips. Try a fringed jacket teamed with a flowing scarf. In the spring or fall pair them with strappy gladiator sandals.
Tall and Slender
Tall and lean figures are well-suited for 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 an oversized chambray shirt and comfy cardigan. 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 types can team a cinch waist mini dress with coordinating capri leggings and a pair of cute skimmers. For cooler weather, try a belted tunic over a sleek turtleneck, a pair of dark leggings and a chunky shoe.
Ensure a Proper Fit
When shopping for leggings follow 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 tights or panty hose. If you choose scrunched leggings, the excess fabric should be limited to the ankle area. And please remember, leggings are never a suitable substitute for pants under any circumstances. We know you want to show off your amazing bod but resist the urge for fashion’s sake!
Still Need Some Help?
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