How to wear leggings over 40 – a complete guide with the best leggings and tops and shoes to wear with them

by Sylvia

How to wear leggings over 40 |

Leggings by Uniqlo

Leggings can be an extremely comfortable piece of clothing to wear throughout the year. Leggings are thicker than tights so they are nice and warm and give good coverage for your legs. But how to wear leggings so they also look good? And which leggings should you buy?

In this updated article with new shopping options, I will give you lots of guidelines on how to wear leggings over 40, 50 and beyond and where you can buy the best leggings online.

How to wear leggings so you look stylish?

Leggings are a great transitional option for fall as you can wear underneath dresses or tunics, meaning you can continue wearing your favorite summer dresses for longer.

In my opinion, 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 as a main garment.

What are the best leggings to buy?

You will want to make sure that your leggings are thick enough and have a good stretch, yet are still firm enough to give your legs a great shape. For that reason, it’s wise to invest in a good pair.

Ponte leggings (a hybrid of leggings and pants) are also a good choice. If you like even thicker leggings, you may consider jeggings or elasticated skinny jeans. I would steer clear of shiny or sheer leggings.

Leather or faux leather leggings are great for an edgier look and can be easily ‘softened’ with a silk tunic.

Some great brands for leggings include:

What to wear with leggings

Leggings look best with longer tops and tunics. Short dresses can also look great with leggings.

Leggings work best when they act as a base for your other clothes. If you want to wear shorter tops I would recommend wearing jeans and other pants.


Find out some of top recommendation for jeans here

The best tunics to wear with leggings

Leggings look better with longer tops. You still want to make sure that you create enough structure in your outfit though.

You can do that through the right tunics and longer asymmetrical tops. The latter especially create flattering vertical lines and add a bit of extra style to your look.

Linen tunic |

Long tunic to wear with leggings

Shirttail tunic |

Long tunic to wear with leggings

Tunic and jeggings outfit |

Stella Carakasi plaid tunicRebecca Minkoff silver bagNine West silver bootiesSimilar Liverpool jeggingsGorjana hoop earrings

Asymmetrical tunic to wear with leggings |

Asymmetrical tunic to wear with leggings

I’m always a big fan of asymmetric tops and dresses as they create interest as well as long diagonal lines to disguise your belly. Both black and white can be a great base.

Asymmetrical tops and leggings |

Gibson asymmetrical top – Stella Carakasi leggings – Superga ‘cotu’ sneakers – Karine Sultan chain necklace – Boden navy bag

Short dresses to wear over leggings

Instead of designated tunics you can also wear a short dress over your leggings.

A red dress makes a statement on its own. This versatile piece will look great with the right statement necklace. But it can also be worn over skinnies and leggings.

red dress by Eileen Fisher |

Eileen Fisher dress

Here is another one that’s really good. You can wear this on its own or over your leggings. You may like to belt it to highlight your waist but can be worn loose too.

Shirtdress | 40plusstyle.comAll in Flavor crepe dress

Wearing a short dress over leggings

wear leggings with a long shirt

Because a long shirt covers up your bottom and thighs, you can afford to go a little bit edgy with your leggings. You could opt for a a pair in leather or faux leather.

Polo and leggings |

Similar Spank leather leggingsPolo Ralph Lauren stripe blouse – Bernie Mev. bootie – Madewell burgundy tote – Rachel Comey square hoops

Layer your leggings with a poncho

Leggings are definitely your friend when it comes to layering. They look great worn under long tops and ponchos with ankle booties.Poncho, longsleeves and leggings |

Eileen Fisher stretch leggingsHalogen cashmere ponchoBobeau rib longsleevesUrban Originals crossbody bag – Panacea tassel necklace – Marc Fisher LTD bootie

Combine your leggings with a long sweater

When choosing a sweater to go with your leggings, opt for a longline version which will cover up your bottom.Cardigans and leggings |

J Brand ankle denim leggingsBobeau waterfall cardiganSole Society bootie – Madewell pocket tee – Antik Kraft satchel – Kendra Scott long necklace

Combine your leggins with a lightweight coat or cardigan

If you’re heading out for a walk or to run errands, slinging a lightweight coat over a pair of leggings, together with a longline tunic, can be a stylish option.Long cardigan and leggings |

Lyssé high waist leggingsBernardo oversize coat1901 leopard print blouseVince Camuto bootieCult Gaia mini ark handbag

Leggings look great with a long straight cardigan

Long cardigans can create lovely vertical lines which can help to elongate your figure.

Long cardigan and leggings |

Rag & Bone high waist leggings – Barefoot Dreams luxe cardiganHalogen turtleneck – Nordstrom crossbody bag Spring Step bootie – Baublebar earrings

In general, your ideal garments to combine with leggings include:

  • Tunics
  • Asymmetric tops and tunics
  • Short dresses
  • Knit dresses
  • Long knitted sweaters
  • Longer asymmetrical pieces
  • Long cardigans
  • Big wide sweaters
  • Sweater dresses

Here are a few more outfits to give you some inspiration for wearing leggings during fall and winter.

Outfit ideas on how to style leggings while layering |

Outfit ideas on how to style leggings during winter |

If you are heading into spring and summer, or going on vacation, then here is some inspiration for you.

Stylish outfit ideas on how to style leggings |


Outfit ideas on how to style leggings |

Shoes to wear with leggings

As you will see from all the example in this article you can wear a variety of shoes with your leggings. I feel that open vamp shoes look the best as they will further lengthen your leg line.

A ballerina shoe is a good option.

best shoes to wear with leggings: ballerinas


An asymmetrical shoe with an open vamp will make your leggings look extra stylish.Asymmetrical shoe with leggings | 40plusstyle.comAsymmetrical shoes

Finally pumps can be a great option too for your more dressy leggings looks with a long tunic. The Rockport total motion pointy pump is a popular option as Rockport’s shoes have lots of padding and are very comfortable. They comes in all kinds of colors and textures.

Rockport total motion pointy pump - a good shoe to wear with leggings | 40plusstyle.comRockport total motion pump

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. If you have very thick calves though I would recommend you wear skinny jeans though so the pants skim over your calves and will make them look slimmer. Wide legged pants are also an option or you could wear leggings with nice knee-high boots.

Leggings can work especially well for the apple body type. 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.

What to wear with leggings |

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.

Here are a few more travel looks with leggings.

wearing leggings over 40 while traveling |

Here is how I wore black and white leggings on a recent holiday. Tunic by Stella Carakasi (They also have a winter version).

leggings and asymmetrical tops |

Black tunic over capri leggings.

Chic leggings outfit |

Styling looks with leggings |

Leggings with asymmetrical tunics

I especially love asymmetric tunics and tops as they create an interesting silhouette and lengthen you through additional vertical lines. Here is how I recently wore a super asymmetrical black top with white over the knee skinnies and a high / low tunic with very stretchy skinnies.

How to wear asymmetrical tops over 40 |


Here are some more examples of women wearing asymmetrical tops and tunics over leggings. You can always find a great selection of tunics at Eileen Fisher and Stella Carakasi. In winter, layer these looks with sweaters and cardigans.

Eileen Fisher tunics

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 for your leggings and remember that the classier the top, the better leggings will look. The luxury fabric of silk, wool or cashmere will create a great contrast with the comfortable jersey leggings.

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.

Ankle-high leggings can also look sexy especially with heels or booties. If you are short though, mid-calf and short leggings should be worn with caution as they will make you look smaller.

Here is a look with an asymmetrical tunic and draped leggings which are available in many colors.

How to wear leggings over 40 and be stylish |

Another length I like in warmer weather is just below the knee. These Second Nature Capri leggings  from Stella Carakasi (below) are super fab.

knee high leggings

Not too thin and very stretchy and comfortable. They are also great for tucking in your tummy. Worn here with the printed Attitude is Everything tunic and the long camisole in serene.

hiding your belly with leggings |

I have these leggings in various colors and also use them for working out and yoga!

Navy and white knee high leggings with buttons

As you may have seen from the images above, it is great to wear a shoe in the same color 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.

For more info on what kind of shoes to wear with what pants check out this article.

What about jeggings and skinny jeans?

how to wear skinny jeans over 40 |

I’m also a big fan of looser fitting leggings, jeggings or skinny jeans. These will not show every curve in your legs, but will provide nice vertical lines and make your legs look long and slim.

Depending on the kind of jeggings and skinny jeans, your tops can be shorter for these pants although they will also look good with longer tops. They can be a great asset for any wardrobe of women over 40.

Skinny jeans are usually a bit thicker and roomier so can be worn with shorter tops. Be sure to wear the right underwear though, so there is no clear VPL (visible panty line). (Featured below are myself and Greetje).

Stylish looks with leggings |

Finally here is an overview in this short video!

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.

Stylish looks in winter with leggings |

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I hope you got some more clarity on how to wear leggings! What do you think? Do you like wearing leggings and how do you usually wear them?

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How to wear leggings |

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kionon

In general I think leggings are a good accessor, as long as they are under a dress or large blouse, but do not serve to replace “pants.” However, I prefer they be traditional colors and materials.

I think jeggings are an atrociously eye-assailing abomination and I cannot wait until they find their way into fashion’s dustbin of non-surviving trends. Harsh? Maybe.


2 Sylvia

Hi Konon. Thanks for your feedback. As long as jeggings are worn as described above (supportive garment), it’s ok. Otherwise, I agree with you!


3 Lisa

I love leggings. I think when worn as you have noted, Syliva, with more generously long tops, they highlight the part of the leg that very rarely changes in size or shape as we age (the knee to the ankle). Highlighting the very feminine silhouette of the lower leg is very flattering, no matter what a woman’s size. Thanks for all of the great inspiration above. I love all the pics and I am actually surprised to find that I like the very top pics that feature the dresses with cream leggings – very chic!


4 Sylvia

Yes that’s right. Although in many cases I personally still prefer skinny pants that don’t completely ‘hug’ the calf…I still love to wear white and cream pants and find those Chanel combinations so chic as well!


5 Suzanne

I love leggings. I have a pair of black ones and a pair of brown ones. They are really heavy knit – hold their shape (never bag at the knee or in back no matter how many hours I wear them) and are very warm. I treat them like tights – if my top isn’t long enough to wear over tights then it isn’t long enough for my leggings. I like them to come to the top of my foot and I wear them with boots – ankle, to the knee, or over the knee. I would never want any skin to show between a shoe and a legging. I do not wear them when it gets warm. I also have 2 pair of denim leggings and I love those most of all but I apply the same rule as knit leggings. They look good with a more casual top. I am only 5′ tall and one trick I have learned is to wear black boots with black leggings and brown boots with brown leggings. This way, even if the boots are short, I get a longer leg line.


6 Sylvia

Yes, that’s a point I forget to mention. You definitely need to make sure that the leggings are thick enough to cover you legs and as you say, hold their shape. I can’t remember ever wearing leggings with a shoe and opening either, but I do think that Anja really pulls of this look with her (dancing) shoes, so it can be done!


7 Suzanne

Anja always looks wonderful! I appreciate her contributions to your blog. I don’t think tall girls have to worry about cutting off their leg line as much as short girls. 🙂 And I might even try her leggings and shoe look if I had thinner leggings – more like footless tights. Mine are too heavy to wear with anything but boots.


8 Sylvia

Yes it all comes down to dressing and doing what’s right for your body type 🙂


9 Aileen

Women in other countries don’t seem to have this issue with their clothing. They just tend to not wear certain colors after a certain age. With regard to leggings specifically, I think most women can take excellent cues from the Indian and Pakistani clothing called ‘Salwar Kameez’. If you search online, you’ll see many of these pant suits are beautifully paired and colorful. Also, they are feminine. I think if a woman applies the same principles with regard to tunics and the shape of the pant suits, there won’t be any problems pairing an outfit together. I have yet to have anyone tell me I look horrid in one of my Salwar Kameez outfits. But, I have had someone tell me I look horrible in western clothing. Hence, I still am a bit blundered as to why we in European countries and the USA always have such a calamity with our styles. Mystery…


10 Heather Fonseca

Like you I believe that no one, NO ONE, should wear leggings as if they were pants. Well, it looks cute on little girls, but once you hit about 13 the look should be avoided. The leggings as pants look is very popular in LA at the moment and lots and lots of women are looking really terrible as a result. However, when worn light heavy weight tights under a tunic or short dress I think they’re great.
At one point I was also very against skinny jeans, but now that I have a pair I really love them. They give a lot more support than leggings and I think can look good with a regular top.


11 Sylvia

You know what? I don’t even like it on little girls! I really don’t understand why women would want to wear leggings like that. It’s not flattering at all. I do like skinny jeans as I wore them above with a large jumper (or similar). Unfortunately, I don’t own one. They are just too hot for Singapore!


12 Jeannie Heilman

Hey it is a free country and we wear what we want to wear.

Some like to cover their skin and many like to flaunt it. If you don’t like it then you don’t like it. Leggings are a hit and it is flattering to be in style.


13 Nanne

I love wearing leggings with knee-high, flat boots and a long tunic-style top and/or cardigan, it’s a look that I find quite stylish and comfortable as well. As for skinny jeans I prefer them snug fitting but not too tight, and I’ll wear them with boots or ballerina flats and slightly longer tops, cardis or a blazer.


14 Sylvia

I would do the same for skinny jeans and not buy them too tight. Sounds like you look very stylish with leggings and skinny jeans indeed!


15 Phuong

Very nice guide on how to where leggings. I too love wearing leggings and tight jeans especially right now with the colder weather. I pair it with short dresses, sweater dresses or long cardigans. Knee-high boots for sure. Love the look because it’s stylish and comfortable!


16 Sylvia

Thanks and welcome to 40plusstyle! Yes, they are great in cold weather. As I live in the tropics I don’t wear them so often…


17 The Style Crone

Very thorough and thoughtful! I am a fan of leggings and wear them all the time!


18 Sylvia

I know you are an expert at wearing them. It would be nice to feature some of your outfits in this post.


19 Robert

Great Post! I haven’t worn leggings for quite sometime…


20 Sylvia

Thanks Robert. Try it out sometime..


21 Kim,USA

This are a piece of clothing (leggings,jeggings) that I have not tried that much yet. I have two skinny jeans and so liking it but still I am not really that confident. And you are right Sylvia short tops isn’t the best way to wear for this pieces of clothing. It shows some of those not good looking flabs, lol. So now I have to re-design my style especially if I am wearing skinny tights. Well sometimes I forget I am over 45 I thought I am in my 20’s hahaha!!


22 Sylvia

Yes I know that feeling. I too have to remind myself that I’m not 20 anymore. Sometimes I still feel like I am 😉


23 Kim,USA

Not skinny tights, but skinny jeans. ^_^


24 Sylvia



25 Valeire

I am a 70 year old women size 8 and still love fashion. I love dresses but have bad viens on my legs, so I wear pants or maxi dresses. Would it be ok to wear a slightly shorter dress lenght with leggins or would I look ridiculous! I also loke to wear a 21/2 inch heel
Would appreciate some help.


26 Sylvia

I think that would be totally ok and can look very chic! Wear with a nice tunic or dress. You could combine with ankle booties or shoes with a 2.5 inch heel. Thanks for your questions Valerie. Feel free to put images from you style up on the style forum. That is also a good place to ask more questions so I and others can help you.


27 Valeire

Thanks Sylvia, I shall try dress up today .


28 Liz

Hello, I am wondering if it is ok to wear a tunic dress with brown leggings and brown clark knee high boots in May? I am going to a wedding rehearsal May 4th in California for my niece. But I am from the Seattle area. We wear boots here a bit longer in the spring because weather is cooler. But didn’t know if it is a fashion no no to wear the boots in a little warmer weather. Long beach area. I am 49 and the outfit is very age appropriate and have gotten complements on it. Just not sure and don’t want to embarass my niece. Thank you for your help.


29 Sylvia

Hi Liz, I think that you can wear boots in cooler weather all the time. I’m just not sure if they would be the best choice for a wedding. But then you are saying that it is a wedding rehearsal so that should probably be fine. For the real wedding I would try to wear dressier shoes and I would stay away from leggings too.


30 Liz

Thank you Sylvia for your response. It is appreciated. As it turned out it was fairly warm so I wore sandals with the outfit and it looked just fine. Yes I agree about legging and weddings. I wore a flowery, flowing spring colored dress and some black ankle strap sandals. I found out that boots are often wore almost year around there in Long Beach area. Thanks you again for your input. Liz


31 Maisie

I am 70 and tried on leggings today. They are so comfortable! I have a calf length winter coat. Thought my short boots looked funny, so bought long boots. Now my wide bottom jeans don’t work. That’s how I came to try on leggings. Looks great as long as I don’t take my coat off. Next purchase…….tunic length cardigan or sweater dress. Thanks for the great advice.


32 Sylvia

Thanks Maisie. Yes, longer cardigans and tunics are definitely the way to go with leggings. Hope you find something nice and I hope you can share your looks with us on the style forum!


33 Jamie

I am 62 and I got a pair of leggings from a friend for my birthday. She said I should wear them to my yoga classes but I am concerned about wearing them out in public at my age. I love how comfy they are but the material is not much thicker then a pair of opaque tights. I been wearing them around the house but need some opinions on whether I should wear them out.


34 Sylvia

I would not wear them if they are see through, but other than that leggings for yoga are ok. If see through, then only wear them as you would tights. You are never too old to wear normal leggings for your normal clothes, but I would never wear them without a long tunic or short dress over them.


35 Deb

At 66, I wear my leggings all the time but never without a tunic or top that is long enough to cover both beast…….camel and donkey. It is a Huge pet peeve of mine to see anyone, of any age, advertising!! Must keep those beast in the barn ladies! Leggings are wonderful but do wear them modestly.


36 Jayne

Deb that reply made me lol literally and I agree with every word


37 boops

I don’t think anyone should wear leggings as regular pants, don’t care what shape your in. I wear them with a tunic and booties or high boots and feel great. Any top should fall below the butt area. I’m 58 a size 4 and exercise-so I feel pretty confident when I wear leggings.


38 Phyllis

I am over 60 and love leggins, but have trouble finding things to wear with them…longer tunics, etc. Can you give me some advice? Thanks.


39 Sylvia

I often wear short dresses over leggings instead of tunics. There are no special places to find them but you can see them everywhere. Just go for a style that suits you. Hit the stores perhaps wearing your leggings, and try a few! If you through all my outfits in the what i wore section, you can see many of my own examples. Although I don’t wear leggings so often, I often wear dresses over pants, which is similar.


40 Ada

The BEST leggings for anyone over 40 (I’m 56) are Eileen Fisher’s skirted leggings. The fabric is very high quality and a nice thickness. The miniskirt is attached so you don’t have to go searching for the right layering piece. The hems are fully finished–not raw edged like a lot of cheap leggings. If you have a large bum or jello thighs, this covers them elegantly and effortlessly, and for all of us, you don’t ever have to worry about cling around the crotch. All the comfort and styling without the mess!


41 fay

I am over 40, petite, fit and Asian, but I am always told I look like I’m in my 30’s.
I feel that some things like wearing short skirts (not minis) I am able to get away with.
I do like solid colors and more fitted dresses and tops. But the area I have difficulties with are dressing to look my age but more in a hip & sophisticated fun way. As I am single, I would still like to dress to impress. Any advice?


42 Sylvia

I believe it immediately that you look a lot younger. So many Asians do; I can never guess the age of an Asian woman. My site is dedicated to this topic so you will find articles throughout this site that tackle it. All the clothes I feature are in my opinion young and hip. I would say to trust your instinct. If you look in the mirror and it feels good to you, then it is.


43 J. Rae

I am a 42 year old woman who happens to be African American. I am fit, (a size 2) and look like I am about 29… I still get carded at the liquor store. I absolutely love leggings and skinny jeans because I have a dancers body and they look great on me (I’m a yoga teacher). I realize maybe I shouldn’t ever wear leggings as a main garment but as a yoga instructor I find myself doing this often (no complaints ever)! I would like to know how I can maintain my style without looking too young. While I prefer to look 29 vs 42 whatever 42 may look like, being stylish and chic is important to me. I also have trouble finding clothes sometimes because of my body type. I’m long and lean with a very small waist (size 2) but my butt and hips are big in a sense considering my waist. So pants are usually tough. I have a size 2 waist and a size 4 butt like a tiny Kim Kardashian). That is why I love my leggings and yoga pants. HELP!!


44 Sylvia

Hi J. We are all different so I can’t judge from this comment how you look in your leggings. If you like to show both your waist and butt they sound like a good option. you may also like to experiment with wearing a tunic or dress over leggings (or pants) as has been featured on this site many times, which would solve the size issue and which I find a very classy look for women over 40. You could consider uploading your photos to the style forum so we can all have a look and give you more detailed advice.


45 Cindy

Leggings question: I have several solid and patterned dresses that would work well for fall if I paired them with leggings. However, one colleague suggested that my dresses are too long (fall just below the knee, since i am petite) to wear with leggings. Any suggestions? Should I consider having the dresses hemmed to just above the knee?


46 Sylvia

Yes dresses over pants and leggings usually look nicer when the dress is a bit shorter. That is usually how I wear the look (check the what I wore section for lots of examples). You want to aim for the nicest silhouette which often relates to the 1/3-2/3 rule (explained in my style course). For more ideas on how to dress the best when you are petite you can also check this article:


47 Stephany

Thank you so much for this write up on the leggings! The entire sites subject is exactly what I was looking for! I turned 40 last March and I have been struggling with how to dress. I have two teen daughters that dress so fashionably and I didn’t want to become the Mom that dressed frumpy! I was especially leery of leggings at my age and your article has made me so much more comfortable to wear them. I constantly preach to my daughters that leggings aren’t pants! I guess I just felt like I was supposed to dress like my mom did when she was 40 but after reading your posts I realize I can still dress fashionably without dressing too young for my age. Thank you again! I’m off to buy some leggings!


48 Sylvia

You sure can Stephany. Welcome to 40+Style!


49 Lori

I’m 61. 25 years ago I enjoyed wearing stirrup stretch pants. They were like leggings but not the skinnies type. They did form fit to the leg but rather had a smooth vertical look and did not hug the knee. I would kill for a pair now. I had a great pair of black one when micro fiber first came out. Alas, they had a tear in them from being worn out and I have never been able to find another pair. Does anyone know if they still exist?


50 Jan

Soft Surroundings have some!
Hopefully will see more soon, since I think they work great with boots!


51 Carmen

Thanks for great advice on leggings for the over 40s-50s etc. I’m going to a nephew’s 21st party, and smart casual is of course the dress code. Don’t want to look like an absolute dag (Australian for “dork”?). Was going to wear a jersey red dress – but thought this would be too dressed-up. After reading this piece, have decided on a shorter red tunic dress (above knee length), and loose fitting black leggings/pants. A perfectly comfortable outfit. Thanks for providing the lowdown, and such great visuals of examples.


52 Sylvia

Sounds like the perfect outfit for the occasion Carmen. Great to read that this article inspired you!


53 maggie

hi there, thank you for your wonderful website & advice!! question: how do i transition my substantial black leggings & tights (dkny, lysee and spanx) that i wear with above the knee knit shifts and shirt dresses, into a spring and summer look? most of my dresses are 3-4 season ones that are knits in various shades of solid blues and also black and berry. i also have a few short jersey shirtdresses with embroidery on the front (navy and gray backgrounds). i am currently wearing short black suede boots with the black leggings & tights. my daughters look great in black leggings and ballet flats, which is a wonderful look, but my daughters are young! i am in my early 50’s! can i keep the black leggings for the spring & summer? should i consider navy leggings? what shoes should i wear? thank you for any helpful advice! i am in the nyc area, thank you again!!


54 Sylvia

You can wear your leggings with summery jersey dresses. This is especially nice when you select a great print. Another option is to choose a cotton short dress in a light color, like this breezy white dress You can also consider getting some white leggings and combine with a long cotton blouse or short dress as seen here I think ballet flats can work really well with leggings as can some funky sandals. You can definitely consider navy which is a bit softer than black and can look really great with lots of colors.


55 maggie

Hi Sylvia,

Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! I thought it was a fashion faux pas to wear the black leggings with the lighter short dresses! I’m going to try some light-colored short dresses with my leggings, and I now have the courage to try some white leggings for the 1st time. (I like the outfits in your pics)……again, many many thanks!!


56 Fiona

I love the leggings and short dress look for both winter and summer. Is a dress over leggings still in vogue in your summer this year? Its winter here in NZ but I really want to be able to wear my capri leggings with my short dress/tunic for this coming summer. Please advise?


57 Sylvia

Absolutely. I still wearing it frequently. Although usually with skinnies rather than leggings


58 Cynthia M

Just found your blog via Pinterest – hooray! A reasonable voice in a sea of extremes! I love leggings, and wear them all year, usually with a fingertip-length tunic. Sewing is a passion, and I use a lot of chiffon and velvets in my tops. Some of the photos above seem like the tops/dresses are too long for leggings. I’m also in the process of losing weight, and leggings can be worn over a large range of sizes – gotta love stretch fabrics! Here in Texas, a tunic, leggings, and cowboy boots are typical. Again, thank you for the blog!


59 Sylvia

Welcome Cynthia. Great to see you found your way to this website. Lots of articles to explore! There is one on Texas as well where I was indeed wearing leggings!


60 Cathy Harvey

Leggings look utterly ridiculous on anyone over 40. I’m sorry. It’s simply the unvarnished truth.


61 Sylvia

It may be your truth Cathy but it’s certainly not mine. When worn right, they can look really good.


62 sheila meadows

My long time girl friend who was a buyer for Marshall Fields just got me onto leggings. We are both in our 70’s and I was shocked because of our age but having just bought a couple of pairs of leggins, SIMPLY LOVE THEM. I am in Florida and worn with a lovely summery top, look fantastic. SO PLEASED I TOOK HER ADVICE.


63 Sylvia

Wonderful to see that you found leggings that worked for you. Enjoy!


64 Carmen

I agree Sylvia. My mother is 83, and looks wonderful in loose fitting leggings. And, now she’s sporting the latest summer look “legging” (we’re in Australia) – being the non-stretch rayon harem pants style. That is, the style that’s gathered at the ankle. In paisley and other very flattering prints, they look great . . . and I imagine are as comfortable as wearing pyjamas – only they look nothing like pyjamas. Which is the comfort standard I always strive for.


65 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

I like either way short or longer tops. Usually that would be a coat. But wear mine with moto jacket, fake fury vest and V-neck sweater as well like here…

Have a great day Silvia! xo Sabina


66 Ann

I have black leggings but when I wear them they are somewhat wrinkley looking or slightly bagging when getting up from sitting around knee area. Should I invest in more tightly fitting “tights”? I plan on wearing skirts and tunic length tops on a cruise but w/o bare legs. I’m a fashionable 72 year old. Thank you


67 Sylvia

Good quality leggings can make a difference to your look, so I think it’s worthwhile investing in a good pair. Welcome to 40+Style Ann and enjoy your cruise!


68 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Totally agree with you Sylvia. Was just thinking the same thing. I keep coming back to this post because leggings can be so stylish and material mix can make a difference too. So love your advice here!


69 Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Totally love my Adidas animal print grey leggings and have been wering them for 2 years now. Great for sightseeing in NYC (see current post) or everyday life. I just dont feel that comfortable wearing them the Chanel-style. Love the pics here Silvia though. But not for me. Makes me feel hidden. Have a nice day! Sabina @Oceanblue Style


70 Mat

“Jeggings” (woven fabric leggings) are my absolute wardrobe staple. I have them in very many colors and designs … even in pastels (yes ;-). They are so flattering for “inverted triangle” types, putting more volume around the legs, in order to balance a big bust and broad shoulders. That’s also why they cannot be “flashy” enough! (I though do not like animal prints, except zebra, so this is not an issue for me). I had already started wearing skinny jeans and pants as soon as they made their comeback by 2005, mostly with short dresses. And “jeggings” do the same job … a lot cheaper, with flashier designs and more comfortable. Nowadays, I would kind of feel “naked” in a dress with tighs only.
I even wear black “jeggings” for (easy) business occasions with a white shirt and a long black boyfriend blazer (long defined legs seem to make up for the “not recommended” not fitted blazer ;-).
When it comes to shoes, to my opinion, everything goes but low sneakers (which make me look as heading straight to the gym, though high sneakers are ok). I even don’t hesitate to pair black “jeggings” with black high (block) heels, bright colors rather with beige or white shoes (stilettos are not for me, anyway).
That’s where sufficient length becomes important, and to me the only downside of “jeggings” is the following: it’s quite hard to find them long enough without them being too wide, slipping and getting quickly baggy around the knees. Therefore some of my “jeggings” are in smaller sizes and I wear them with booties, or colored/striped long socks.


71 Ubaid

really a great post.

Age is not a factor to affect your looks, if you carry off what you wear with confidence. Belief in yourself is the key to fashion in the slightly higher age bracket.


72 Judi

I am in a wheelchair and age 62. My legs are ugly and I have poor circulation so I have to wear support socks or hose. So I always wear pants. My daughter is getting married in the fall and I have a off white vintage type tunic with a small gold embellishment between the breast (she picked it out) and plum color leggings. My question is, I want to dress it up a bit so I bought some gold flats (I can’t wear heels) with rhinestones and gold embellishments at the toe. Should I keep the flats or try to find something in the leggings color to match. Any other suggestions would help. Thank you so much.


73 Sylvia

These sound like a great choice! Congratulations and have fun at the wedding.


74 Gail

Great guide! Is it OK to belt a long tunic or dress? Loose tops/tunics don’t suit my shape unless I create a waist. I love the cream leggings and outfits. Very elegant.



75 Sylvia

Yes absolutely!


76 Greetje

Oh I so love that cream, sleeveless boat neck tunic with the asymmetric pleated hem. Gorgeous. I cannot wear it like that, so I won’t even search for it, but I love it, and the trousers/leggings and the shoes. Perhaps a legging might work better than thick tights with that cream dress of mine. Grey perhaps??? But I have no money left. Oh well.


77 Sherry Edwards

Yes, I love to wear leggings. I think this isy third time around. I wear them for casual and dressy. I also wear leggings over tights and under long johns in the winter.


78 Karen perrin

I disagree with some of the above – I’m 47 a freestyle snowboarder (I ride rails and big jumps) and a skateboarder. As well as having a successful career as an IT Architect. I wear leggings with my Vans tees and trainers all the time. I’m fit (I have to be, I compete), toned and healthy and they suit me. If you are still toned and have the figure to get away with it then why not? You shouldn’t have to cover up your thighs and hips with a big blouse or top if you don’t need to, just because you’re “over 40.” Age is just a number and shouldn’t be a barrier to what you wear if your figure is still good enough and it suits you. Great blog btw


79 Martine

I agree. I wear leggings with a sweater all the time, and sometimes with t shirts. Sometimes it covers, sometimes not. I don ‘t see the problem.


80 janet

Totally agree Karen, if you are fit and look good why not indeed. However I think the article is talking generally, Id bet the vast majority of over 40s 50s are not snowboarders or indeed i assume would look good in leggings and regular size tees. I admire your fitness, I was a PT for over 20 years until fibromyalgia took a hold and now most days I can barely walk around the house, I still want to look good though lol but now comfort is a very close second.


81 Angela

This article was written to give women ideas to hide their big bellies, if they have one. I’m 44 and skinny but metabolism went down 10 years ago and now I have a big belly. I should stop eating sugar and exercise, but chances are I’m not going to be valiant at that. This article is very helpful to women like me. 😉


82 Alice

Do you have any advice about wearing a Tulle midi skirt …I am 67 size 12 waist and would like to wear a black tulle skirt to a wedding…..if you had any guidance that would be great. The wedding is in Paris and is a black themed wedding.


83 Daphne Buckingham

This is my humble opinion. Leggings are too rugged for a tulle skirt, especially to a formal wedding. And if the wedding is in Paris, it’s safe to bet that it will be formal. Tulle is a delicate fabric, so should be worn with a delicate leg covering, such as sheer hosiery that does not “fight” the look. If it’s a midi skirt, then not much of the leg will be shown anyway. Secondly, if the wedding is in Paris, you need to be extremely confident about what you choose to wear. You don’t want to show up and feel like you are in costume. Parisian women have an effortless and elegant style. I say go for simplicity and put your effort toward a really good, elegant pair of shoes that will accentuate the skirt.


84 Linda Harris

I am short, and have short legs, so tunic tops make me look stubby. I’ve solved that by cutting off about 2 inches from the hem. A good length is to shorten to the tips of your fingers with your arm extended at your side.


85 janet

Thank you for your tip, I am built like you lol and have terrible trouble buying clothes that fit and suit, I am 51 and 5ft and believe me every single lb shows up and is hard to loose. I am going to invest in a sewing machine and get snipping x


86 Lorraine Hill

Hello. All your advice seems to be for women who are short with apple or pear shapes. I’m exactly the opposite. 6ft and slim. I suppose your advice would be to do the opposite to what you advise. I love your advice though. Thanks


87 Sylvia

I give advice to women of all shapes. There is a special article for tall women too at


88 Donna Scanlon

Help this is a great article. I’m 68 and love wearing leggings with tunic tops. I would like to wear them with shorter knit dresses, but my slips are too long. Any suggestions for preventing knit dresses from clinging to knits. Should I just wear tights and buy some shorter slips if I can find them.



89 Ally

Why do you need a slip?
You don’t wear a slip with slacks or shorts or other legged bottoms.

Years ago women wore slips with dresses for modesty so you couldn’t see their legs and where they met (oh dear can I say crotch?)

Just use fabric softener for cling


90 Daphne Buckingham

Sometimes cling can be reduced by rubbing a fabric softener sheet onto the fabrics. As for slips, if you really need one, don’t bother trying to find short ones. Just use a good pair of sissors and cut the slip to the desired length. Presumably no one is going to see it anyway, and shouldn’t, so take care to select the right color for the garment being worn. A slip is just an extra layer and it should not bring any attention to itself.
In cold climates, a snug undergarment is good for thermal layering. Target has a long camisole (the length of a slip) that is available in the maternity department. It’s very stretchy as it fits close to the body. This may be a solution for you. It’s like a SPANX but it costs around $12.


91 ramani wittatchy

I like to wear leggings ,so im little short and how can I wearing shoes to ,if the leggings ower the ankle.?.High heels is good or not..I like to know from you..


92 Sylvia

Yes heels can work in a similar way as they are worn with skinnies. For lots more tips on what shoes to wear with what pants, see this article


93 Inaya Shujaat

Okay, you advised that people with big calves not wear form fitting leggings. What should we wear? You cannot, and should not exclude us. I see that you’ve been blessed with beautifully skinny legs. Good on you. What about the rest of us? I’m 41 years old, and I’ve never had skinny calves.


94 Sylvia

There are so many other options to wear. You could still wear skinny style pants but choose styles that skim the legs, not hug them. You may like to have a look at the body type guides in this section where I have written many articles for all kinds of body types.


95 Holli

I love your blog! Thank you for the tips with leggings. I wore them in the 1980’s and just started again. I forgot what I had been missing. So comfortable. Now I just have to find the right top 🙂


96 Sue

I am just turned 71, as I remember I wore a lot of leggings in 1966 , when I was in college. In fact I still kept some of them until now. Just last week, I tried them on and they fit !


97 Robert

My style sucks. I don’t know where to go.


98 Sylvia

There are over 1000 articles here to inspire you Robert. However for the most constructive help and personal feedback I recommend my 21 steps course or the 40+Style club where we practise style on a daily basis.


99 Marie

Fabulous article! Can you tell me when it was written? I appreciate dates on either articles or comments. Thank you.


100 Sylvia

This article is regularly updated with new looks and the latest shoppable items.


101 K

I love leggings and the assets shapewear ones in particular!
But my only gripe with them, is that because of the fact that most womens behinds are larger than their thighs, the material over the bum stretches and allows the skin and panties to be more visible than liked!!
My suggestion would be for the leggings to have a thicker knit ‘shorts’ area or failing that, to cover up the bum using a tunic type of top.
I love the versatility of these leggings, but think it very unsightly when walking behind a woman wearing these thinking, ‘does she not realise how see thru they are?? I don’t want to be stearing at a womans knickers, it should not be!!
So in short, make the bum area denser material, but the leggings themselves should be worn as women see fit!!! they are the best thing ever! just make sure you dont wear if frayed, faded or wrinkly!!! you’re welcome!! 😉


102 Phyllis

A grat pair of leggings which I wear almost exclusively know is Spanx…Coverage is really good and they hold you in. Comfortable, yet sleek.


103 san

Are flat knee high boots still in style with leggings?


104 Sylvia

That’s a classic style so can always be worn but shorter booties are more fashionable at the moment


105 cathymac

I’m just trying to find out what are the best type of tunics to wear with leggings if my butt is large? I’m an apple shape, so my tummy is definitely large, but so is my booty. I’m also 5′ 4″. What can I wear that doesn’t make me look so fat?


106 Sylvia

You will want to choose tops that accentuate your slimmest pant. All wide is just going to make you look bigger so find tops that are a bit tailored in the waist. Empire tops can work too although it does not work for all apple women. I recommend visiting my article on the apple shape and my article on how to hide your belly for more specific tips


107 Lia Cooper

We like to style even as we age. This is very useful advice that’s going to help us look pretty.


108 Linda

I am in total agreement with your advice on how to wear leggings. I am in my mid 60s, am a full figured woman and I am tall. I absolutely love my leggings and find it hard to wear regular slacks now. Anyway, I would t think of wearing leggings/jeggings without pairing with a tunic length top…even if I were a skinny woman (like i used to be). Anyway, I have a good friend who is in her late 60s who wears leggings all the time. She’s a curvy girl and she is tall and in proportion. However, she NEVER wears longer tops with them and it’s rather embarrassing for me when we go out antiquing or whatever. She pairs leggings with short, fitted tees, etc. (Eww) I sure would like to tell her how inappropriate (and offensive) her look is but can’t bring myself to talk to her for fear of hurting her feelings. I sure wish she would wake up! She needs to read your article.


109 Sylvia

What you could do is just talk about your own experience and say something like “I found this wonderful website that has so many useful style tips. I found it so helpful. You may like it too”


110 Kammie Wilton

I have worn leggings since I was 6 years old.I feel comfortable and warm when I wear leggings.I wear leggings when I run and when I go to the pool.I feel happy and healthy when I wear leggings.


111 SuD

I have mixed feelings about leggings. I am petite and tops that just cover the butt or are asymmetrical look best. I need to show as much leg as possible. I rarely wear them outside the house except to exercise because they remind me of thick stockings, and I never wear them in our mhumid summers. I prefer slim pants.


112 Nancy

I think leggings can be fantastic. If you wear it in the right way of course! It’s what they say: leggings are not trousers, don’t wear it like they are!


113 Greetje

I have to say, I have not fully taken advantage of a legging. I have a pretty cream dress which is too short and I always wear it with green slim trousers and leopard pumps. A black legging could give me another option. Thanks.


114 Sylvia

Absolutely. Just look at Judith Boyd on how she always wears leggings in such a stylish way 🙂


115 Jane

Is it ok to wear colored leggings? I am 70, and would like to wear long tunics or short skirts to work, but in an age-appropriate way- i.e., with full leg coverage. There are some colors that black leggings just don’t flatter.


116 Sylvia

Absolutely, although I find that leggings look better when you go for one of the more neutral colors or if the color nicely blends in with your tunic.


117 Monolith Apparel

Don’t forget about leggings for the gym! Just cause your over 40 doesn’t mean you give up on keeping your body running smoothly! Comfy leggings lead to a longer life!


118 Ann

Hi – I love leggings with tunic type tops. I’m very short waisted and this is the most flattering style for me. Mine are bamboo fabric – so comfortable.


119 Brenda

I am 64 years old. I love leggings/ jeggins.
If you wear them correctly they look fabulous
Age should have. O bearing on them. I mean look at the less than stellar bodies as society calls them wearing them at a younger than us OLD ladies.
Thank you



120 Michele

Disagree. I do not think many women who are not well proportioned, under a size 12 with naturally pretty legs can look elegant in tight pants.
As a former image consultant I hope women will avoid trends and wear clothing that creates a lovely silhouette, emphasizing their best features and disguising others. This is a silhouette difficult for most to wear. Concentrate on your body being fit and a beautiful line will be readily achievable with more but never unlimited options.


121 Emma

In my opinion, leggings are fine to wear as long as they are both loose and not see-through. I am overweight and wear leggings all the time, but I follow my own rules for looking decent. It doesn’t matter if you’re old, young, thin, or big if you go up a size or two so that your leggings fit just like any other pants and not like pantyhose/tights. My butt looks exactly the same in jeans and work pants as it does in loose leggings, so I don’t even have to worry about covering my butt, or what tops I wear as long as the colors don’t clash. I generally don’t like to wear long shirts anyway, because with my pear shape, they tend to cling to my hips and butt while hanging loosely over my thighs, which makes me look lumper and bigger than loose leggings could ever do. So that’s my advice – get loose leggings look nice and are comfortable, and they can be worn just like any other pants regardless of age or size.


122 Maapplegate

Kate&Mallory leggings are great. No “see through” and no bagging. Love em. You can get them on
I live in leggings and tunics. Hides my over 50 belly and Im very comfortable all day.


123 Christine

So informative! I’m self conscious about wearing leggings but I did buy a pair and found them to be so comfortable and your article really helped me feel more confident about wearing them. The comments are helpful too. Love how you also talked about what shoes to wear, always a mystery to me. Thanks again!


124 Liz Hands

So pleased that it helped you. Yes, leggings can be tricky to wear, but they can also be really versatile, stylish and comfortable.


125 SuD

I like leggings with tunics or button down shirts (depending on cut and length). I do not like leggings and regular dresses. They just look like dresses with knit stockings that I would wear in cool weather. The exception is the Asian style another poster mentioned above, they work much better.


126 cheryl l welch

I’m 54 and 6′ feet tall! I’m also large chested, this may be a blessing to most but to me it makes me look like a linebacker! I have thin legs and arms,its just my upper body, I just dont know how to play this down , any suggestions?


127 Sylvia
128 Sue

Hi Sylvia,
I can never find tops I love that look classy with leggings. I will try to find silky blouses etc. but to confirm, the top length, does it have to go to mid thigh? so halfway to the knees? I have bigger but and thighs and I always feel frumpy and self conscious wearing leggings. I just bought the Lulu lemon brand to start as they are bit thicker. I have a long black knit cardigan., If I wear this, should the top underneath still hit mid thigh? does it need to be more fitted or loose?, the problem with wearing under this long cardigan( long sleeved) is that anything underneath is bulky and you see that bulk in the sleeve of the cardigan.
please help 🙂


129 Sylvia

The best length depends on how tall you are. 2/3 from should to foot is ideal.
Instead of leggings, you can also try jeggings or stetchy skinnies that are not super tight. They’re still very comfortable.
No, if you’re wearing a long cardigan, you may want to have a top that shorter. A top underneath is usually better fitted.
I can only offer limited help here Sue, but I’m currently enrolling students for the new style course, so maybe that’s interesting to you?
Good luck!


130 Ann Marie Smith

I love my knit leggings! I have heavier ones for cold weather and thin ones for warmer weather. I’ve always worn them with tall boots (not over knee) or flats. However, I have cute ankle boots, they do have 2-3” heels. I want to wear them with my knit leggings but, I never want to look tacky. I am 5’7 125lbs and just turned 50. Should I wear these ankle boots?


131 Sylvia

It all depends on what you wear with the leggings. The outfit as a whole needs to be in balance.


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