You might not think there’s much to choosing the perfect pair of leggings, but these comfortable wardrobe staples can be surprisingly flattering when picked and sized properly. The tights-trousers hybrid offers comfort unlike any other item in our wardrobe, but some of us make some rookie errors when it comes to how we wear them and which ones we buy. Whether you’re in the market for a pair of designer denim leggings, or you’re safe in your favorite black pair under a long shirt or dress, we’ve put together this guide to help you pick the right pair for you.
Believe it or not, there is actually more than one type of legging and each one can service a different purpose throughout the year. The most common types you’re likely to come across include:
- Leggings – These are the stretch fabric heroes of our dreams. Leggings are typically from modal, viscose or a poly-spandex mix, and are likely to be the leggings you picture when the term comes up.
- Footless Tights – Footless tights are a thinner material, typically a little thicker than tights. Any denier 50 or above will give you the same opaque look that you’d get with standard leggings but are typically found in the hosiery section of the store.
- Jeggings – Jeggings began as a trend that never really died out. These particular leggings tend to be a little thicker, made from either denim or stretch denim and often have a zip and button as with normal jeans. They can also be made of heavy cotton material.
- Ponte Pants – Ponte Pants are a thicker alternative to leggings, providing better cover and support for the wearer. These are particularly popular in the winter, as they are warmer than alternative leggings.
The time of year and intended event or outfit can determine what type of leggings will suit you best, so make sure to buy smart when it comes to the weather, and the look you want to complete.
Finding that perfect pair of leggings can feel like a chore – you need to make sure it isn’t too tight or too loose, fitting your body snugly without showing off too much. If you can, get measured to find out the best size, or opt for the larger size if you feel like you’re in between. Whatever the case, you’ll need to try them on before you buy to be secure in your purchase decision.
The length of the leggings you buy will ultimately depend on the look you’re going for and, of course, your height. If you’re on the shorter size, ankle-length leggings can give you the same look as full-length, but you’ll need to measure the length of your own leg to be certain which will fit best. Full length tends to bunch up around the ankles, which can pair fell with tunics or bohemian tops. Ankle lengths go with practically anything, including dresses, tunics, longer t-shirts and more.
Knee-length leggings are typically used as workout apparel, and ¾ length leggings are great with shorter tops.
The material of the leggings you choose can also make a huge difference in how they look. Cotton and lycra are some of the most common materials in leggings, both of which offer the opaque look with easy movement and comfort. However, with the rise in unique and quirky prints and patterns, we’re seeing a huge number of different materials being used, including fur, leather, and suede.
When styled correctly, leggings can be a flattering addition to any outfit. Layered, used as an alternative to sweatpants or as a warmer alternative to tights, leggings are a must-have in any women’s wardrobe.
Featured Image by Melody Jacob