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:
Zella – live in leggings – more than 4000+ 5 star reviews on Nordstrom!
Sejora Satina High Waisted Leggings – more than 2240 reviews on Amazon. These come several colors, have a high waist (so perfect for hiding your belly) and are only $12!
Stella Carakasi – my personal favorite. I own their second nature capris and ready to wear leggings. They are firm and high-wasted, thick but not too thick and they keep their color and stretch wash after wash.
Uniqlo – very affordable leggings of good quality
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leggings look great with a long straight cardigan
Long cardigans can create lovely vertical lines which can help to elongate your figure.
In general, your ideal garments to combine with leggings include:
- 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.
If you are heading into spring and summer, or going on vacation, then here is some inspiration for you.
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.
An asymmetrical shoe with an open vamp will make your leggings look extra stylish.Asymmetrical 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.
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.
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.
Here is how I wore black and white leggings on a recent holiday. Tunic by Stella Carakasi (They also have a winter version).
Black tunic over capri 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.
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.
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.
I have these leggings in various colors and also use them for working out and yoga!
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?
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).
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.
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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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