Leggings for Days: 7 Outfit Ideas to Try to Get the Mileage Out of Your Leggings
If a break from pants is what you need…
I could probably count with both hands the number of times I’ve worn pants since quarantine started. Pants (least of all, jeans) just don’t make sense with my dressing for comfort fantasy. In my case, the true stars of WFH dressing have been dasters, bike shorts and––the pièce de résistance––leggings.
Ah, leggings. Activewear that can be worn anywhere, actual physical activity optional. The one body-clinging, full-coverage bottom that’s still comfortable and breezy (buttery-smooth options available if you know where to look). So why not milk it?
An outfit with leggings for every day of the week? An outfit with leggings for different occasions? These seven outfit formulas alone could set off the many, many possibilities.
All-black everything is a no-brainer, but again:
This may not be the most inventive of outfit ideas, but it’s an expected suggestion for a reason. All-black everything works. Taking Stephanie Shepherd’s lead, you can work it hard and dub the whole thing a seasonal uniform.
Side note: if you aren’t a fan of leggings as pants, you can opt for an oversized turtleneck with a booty-skimming hem. Another easy trade would be to swap the boots for sneakers or ballet flats. The shoe and accessory choices are where your personal style can shine through.
And now, a color-blocking moment.
A nice contrast to the above-mentioned outfit, this is where you can go ham mixing and matching the colorful activewear you have in your wardrobe and then complete the outfit with a complementary cardigan. The look is athleisure-meets-loungewear and, if you play your cards right, conference call-friendly.
Is it a pre-workout look? Post-workout? No workout? Who’s to say.
The formula is simple: wear what you normally would to the gym and then throw on a bomber jacket. No one’s going to police you for not actually working out and that’s perhaps the best thing about the outfit formula. That said, there are ways to still dress this combo up. One fine example is Una Kinoco’s polished center part and low bun. Everyday jewelry helps in this department, too.
For week-long casual Fridays or long brunches:
Lovers of the oversized button-down shirt already know: one way to offset the volume or slouch of such a top is to pair it with something fitted at the bottom (see Phoebe Tonkin’s look). With leggings, the inclination may be to go straight for something relaxed with a capital R (see Phoebe Tonkin’s slides). Even so, office-appropriate upgrades can be as easy as layering over a knit vest or a cashmere sweater and then swapping the slides for peep-toe boots.
Best of both worlds.
It seems the WFH custom of dressing for a Zoom call has produced an interesting offshoot. If in quarantine, we’ve gotten used to dressing up just halfway, there’s really no saying we can’t find an in-between for other things, too. Thinking about it now: don’t leggings count as a transitional piece anyway? In Tatjana Catic’s case, it’s interesting to see them go with something more luxe like a silk draped top. Also, the idea of a workout-to-fancy dinner look? She’s on to something here.
Date night in/out.
Leggings are not pants. Or are they? I think this might forever be up for debate because outfits like Devon Carlson’s exist.
Maybe what makes it an exception is that there’s a fine line between latex leggings and latex pants, to begin with. Maybe it’s the way skin and skin-tight are exactly the point anyway. These points aside, tucking a delicate top into leggings like you would trousers and cinching the waist with a belt in a similar vein make a pretty cute outfit idea.
Grab your leggings, build a workwear uniform.
When Christine Centenera, Vogue Australia’s fashion director, and designer Josh Goot launched their brand of tightly-edited wardrobe staples, the front zip legging stole focus early on. Here, you have a pair of leggings meant to be worn like trousers, because they do look like trousers. The silhouette breaks from convention, too.
For a top-tier style guide on workwear-ready leggings, look no further than Wardrobe.NYC. For starters, there’s this: a white round-neck tee, a classic black blazer, leggings and pumps.
Anyone else in no rush to wear pants again more often? Say I!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver