Leggings can be an extremely comfortable piece of clothing to wear in winter or in cooler weather. Leggings are thicker than tights so they are nice and warm and give good coverage for your legs. But how do you wear leggings so they also look good as well?
How to wear leggings so you look stylish?
In my opnion you should not wear leggings like normal trousers. I would not do that at any age, but it certainly does not look very classy when you are over 40. As they reveal all curves of your legs, I feel it is much nicer to wear leggings as a supportive element for the rest of your clothes, rather than a main garment. I’m also a big fan of loser fitting leggings or tight pants. These will not show every curve in your legs and provide nice vertical lines and make your legs looks nice and slim.
Have a look at how lose fitted leggings were worn at the recent Chanel prefall 2012 collection. All were combined with nice tunics and dresses that would suit many a women over 40, as it both comfortable to wear and looks flawless and stylish.
For which body type would leggings be suitable?
If you follow some of the guidelines below, all body types will be able to wear leggings. It can work especially well for the apple body type as Anja is demonstrating so fine in the images above and below. Your long tunic or top covers your belly and the leggings show off your fantastic legs. You could never tell that Anja does have a tummy from these images!
Although women with the pear body shape can wear leggings as well, it is important that they choose a top with sufficient length over them.
I would not wear leggings if you have very big calfs. Legging would just accentuate those and you would usually look nicer with straight leg or wide legged pants. However, you could wear leggings with some nice boots.
What garments work well with leggings?
Leggings are ideal to combine with tunics and short dresses. I often wear a short dress over pants but they would look equally nice over leggings. Leggings are also great contenders to wear with boots. In general, your ideal garments to combine with leggings include:
- Short dresses
- Longer asymetrical pieces
- Long cardigans
- Big wide sweaters
- Sweater dresses
Here is how I recently wore a white dress over leggings, which is still one of my favorite ‘leggings’ look.
What not to wear with leggings over 40
- Avoid any tops that are higher than mid thigh
- Don’t wear tops that are too tight
- Avoid animal prints and disco fabrics.
What is the ideal length of your leggings
You can never go wrong with full length leggings. These elongate and will make your legs appear longer. Another length I like in warmer climates is just below the knee. If you are short though, mid calf and short leggings should be worn with caution as they will make you look smaller.
Which shoes to wear with leggings?
As you could see from the Chanel images above, it is great to wear a shoe in the same colour as your leggings as it elongates your legs even further. Tall flat boots can work really well with leggings, but short booties and ballet flats can work equally good. I would not wear leggings with stilettos or very high boots over 40, unless you really know what you’re doing and you’re sure you’re not looking trashy. It can be done, however, as Anja so nicely demonstrates in the pictures above. She is wearing high heels adorned with lovely shoe accessories, tall boots and small boots. All look equally great!
What about jeggings and skinny jeans?
For me the same rules that apply to leggings also apply to skinny jeans and jeggings. They can be a great asset for any wardrobe of over 40 women, but they usually look better when worn with longer pieces on top. Of course some ladies will be able to pull off skinny jeans with shorter tops, but most women will look better and more stylish with longer ones. As you may know I’m actually quite a fan of wearing dresses over pants, although I also do that with wide legged pants and not just over leggings and skinnys.
This concludes my guide on how to wear leggings. I may add to this guide later as I discover new tips on how to wear them best, or have new photos to illustrate.
What do you think? Do you like wearing leggings and how do you usually wear them?
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