Leggings are very popular and one of the clothes where you can easily do something wrong. Women have been reaching for leggings since they became street clothes in the 70s and 80s. Are they still trendy? How can I wear them over 50? It is an art to wear leggings. Women over 40, 50, 60 and beyond can easily wear them in style if you follow a few tips.
Let’s start with the most important feature of leggings. It’s the fabric.
This is crucial, because leggings are not the same as footless tights! I have seen too many women crossing the airport wearing footless pantyhose as leggings, which shows the world far too much. The fabric of leggings must be thick, 100% opaque (not transparent) and very stretchy. You should be closer to a stretch pantyhose than a tights. Here are some great fabrics for leggings:
heavy bridge knit
Denim also called jeggings
All of these fabrics require a high proportion of elastane or lycra so that they spring back in the knees and buttocks. Fabrics with a four-way stretch fit best and have the best recovery. Darker colors are slimmer and more elegant. The patterns are tricky, so choose the smallest in subtle colors.
Leggings should fit tight, but if they feel like a sausage casing, they should be one size bigger. They don’t sacrifice style, and they’re more comfortable. Go for high-rise leggings with a wide, non-rolled waistband. There’s nothing worse than sitting down and feeling the waistband roll under your stomach.
TOPS TO WEAR OVER LEGGINGS
No matter how shapely and fit you are, leggings require a top that covers the crotch and buttocks. Ladies’ point. This is crucial. Even the heaviest leggings look best with a top that is long enough to cover your ladies parts. Leggings look good when you wear them:
Shirts in the tunic length
Choose tunics with some shaping through the upper body. They do not want to be tight, but too boxy is just as unflattering. You’re going for length, not width and volume. Side slits in tunics and blouses are great for lengthening the legs and balancing the proportions. Try a knee-length cardigan worn openly over a fingertip-length blouse. For longer jackets, undo the lower buttons to show some leg. Beware of extra-thick sweaters that can make your legs look like stick figures and your upper body look huge in comparison. Proportions are crucial here.
FOOTWEAR TO WEAR WITH LEGGINGS
So what do you wear on your feet? Knee boots or riding boots are a classic combination. Choose boots in a colour similar to leggings to create a long, slim line. Ballet flat boots are another classic look, think Audrey Hepburn. Pumps or low heel sandals look great with leggings, but beware of the high heels, which are hard to get right and can easily become trashy. Booties go perfectly with leggings. Here are other ways to wear booties.
WITH A DRESS OR SKIRT
Wear leggings with a dress or skirt of similarly heavy fabric. Light, floating dresses can seem overwhelmed by a strong pair of leggings. Leggings are a great option for those dresses that you think might be too short for you.