Leggings have made a fashion comeback with a vengeance and everyone from fashionistas to business executives are wearing them. Comfortable and versatile, leggings can be worn with a variety of items ranging from tunics and tops to dresses, skirts and even (unfortunately) shorts. They can be dressed up for a party or formal occasion or dressed down for a laid-back brunch or day of relaxing on the couch.
While leggings are immensely popular for their comfort and versatility, many people have a love-hate relationship with them as there are certain rules to wearing leggings i.e. maintaining a flattering look, keeping them age-appropriate and staying stylish. Despite these fashion rules, practically anyone can wear leggings, as long as they stick to their individual style and keep their body shape and age in mind.
The success of great leggings lies with the type of top that is worn with them. Here are a few great options for tops to wear with leggings:
1. Long Sweaters- This is the most popular item if clothing to wear with leggings and everyone can carry it off. Long sweaters work really well with leggings as they are long enough to cover your bottom, and creates bulk to the top half of the body to complement the lower, slimmer leggings look.
- Turtlenecks are a good choice for a sweater to wear with leggings as the long neck and tailored fit are very flattering.
- If you want a sporty look, go for a hoodie or tracksuit top and trainers – perfect for the gym!
- Jerseys can also be paired with leggings and boots for a fantastic winter look. Wear a floppy jersey that falls off the shoulder for a sexy look or a lovely V-neck sweater to accentuate your décolletage.
2. Tunics- Tunics are one of the most popular styles of top to wear with leggings as they are long and fall straight downwards, creating a look of their own. They can actually be worn alone as short dresses or with leggings, so are great for summer or winter and can be worn in any color or fabric pattern – go for a floral fabric for summer or spring and a warmer block color of rusty red or browns for winter and autumn.
3. Long Shirts or Shirtdresses- For an elegant, sophisticated look, take a long-sleeve shirt or blouse, roll the sleeves up and wear it hanging loose (not tucked in) over leggings.
- This is a fantastic casual look or can be dressed up with a belt – go for a slightly larger size shirt, and use a skinny belt to cinch the waist in. For this look, go for a tailored shirt with length as opposed to a baggy shirt – you don’t want to look like you are wearing clothes that are too big.
- A stunning scarf can be added to this outfit for an ultra-chic look, as well as a jacket if the weather is slightly cooler. If you want to add an element of contrast, choose a silky top and pair it with a leather or denim jacket.
- One can also wear a shirtdress (a dress in the style of a shirt) with leggings if you feel the dress is too short. Wear it in the same way as the long shirt and pair it with a trendy jacket, scarf, and chunky jewelry.
4. Asymmetrical Tops- For a dash of color and a touch of drama, wear an asymmetrical tunic with leggings. These tops usually come in vibrant colors and patterns and tend to make a statement without saying a word – very creative and funky and look great with leggings. Pair with a plain color of leggings if the tunic is bold and bright and adds a trendy boot to the mix for a fabulous look.
5. Vests / Sleeveless coats- Faux fur vests are a fantastic way to add some texture and style to your leggings. Add a faux fur vest to a silky blouse, structured bag and flat shoes for a simple and stylish boho look. For a more outdoors look, go for a sleeveless puffer jacket with a tee-shirt or long vest beneath it, or a sleeveless coat (a long menswear-style vest), which look modern and ultra-cool.
Tops to avoid with leggings!
1. Tops Above the Waistline- The rule of thumb when it comes to pairing tops with leggings is to avoid wearing a top that falls short of the waist – no matter what your size or body type! Even if rock hard abs, tummy, and bum, a short top worn with leggings look common and cheap, so always go for a top that falls below the waist and covers your bottom.
2. Super Baggy Tops- There is a distinct difference between a voluminous top and a loose one. Always make sure you are wearing the correct size of the top with your leggings. A baggy top can look good with leggings, but be sure that the shoulders fit correctly and the sleeves do not hang way down past your wrists. Volume can look great, but oversized can look sloppy.