One of the most common questions of dressing for women over 40 is whether or not you can wear leggings after 40. Another one is: what is better: leggings or skinny pants. I discussed how to wear leggings in a previous article already but let’s tackle the second question today.

What is better leggings or skinny cropped pants?

As anything in life the answer usually begins with “it depends”. However, in general I can safely say that I prefer skinny pants or tapered pants over leggings for the following reasons:

  • I like the straighter silhouette that pants give. Of course you will need to make sure that they are tapered, otherwise you cropped pants will shorten your legs a lot. Leggings are completely fitted to the leg and show every curve in the leg which is not always pleasing to my eye.
  • Pants are usually made of a more luxurious and thicker fabric. Cotton jersey can very easy look ‘cheap’.
  • Overall, pants give a more dressy look, which appeals to me.

Please note that the skinny or tapered pants that I’m referring too are not super tight. I like them better if they have just a little bit of space. And of course there are plenty of occasions where I love a look with leggings.

When should you absolutely choose pants over leggings?

In some cases pants should always be chosen over leggings:

  • Although I don’t believe in too many dressing rules for women over 40, I feel strongly that women (even below 40) should not wear leggings with short tops. As a general rule, if you would not wear your top with tights, then don’t wear it with leggings.
  • If you have too many curves in your legs or very full calves, then forget about wearing leggings altogether. Tapered pants that fall freely over your legs will be much more flattering.
  • If you are very short, you would want to use every ‘tool’ you can use to create the illusion of longer legs. Good pants that are not too tight, have a much more lenghtening effect. Of course it would also be best to choose full length pants for that purpose.
leggings or skinny pants

When is it better to choose leggings?

  • Leggings are usually better when you want to wear something under a tunic or dress at knee-length or slightly below.
  • Very thick leggings can look great with boots and a longer cardigan / tunic, for a very comfy look.
  • When you want to be super comfortable or are in sports mode.

In general I go more for pants, rather than leggings. I prefer the look and silhouette of those and feel that the silhouette achieved is almost always better than with leggings. There are exceptions to this rule of course, and I would love for you to prove me wrong, by sending me fantastic outfits with leggings!

Do you agree with me? What would be your answer to the title question?

Feature image by Aroob

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