How to Wear Leggings: Avoid These Style Mistakes


woman wearing leggings

Leggings are one the the biggest fashion trends for fall, which means you're going to see them everywhere you look. However, leggings are also one of those tricky styles that a lot of women wear completely wrong -- and one that many other women completely avoid for the sheer fear of wearing them wrong.

Don't fret. We've compiled the biggest legging-wearing mistakes to avoid here. That way you can get out there with the oh-so-fashionable ones and take on wearing leggings with style this season.

5 Common Mistakes When Wearing Leggings

Mistake #1 Leggings = pants

leggings see through black

Oh, this is a big one. The fabric on a proper legging should be thick so you do not see the person's skin peeking through. If you can see through the leggings, then they're probably too thin or they're tights, not leggings, and tights are NOT pants. In fact, it's a good rule of thumb to wear leggings as if they are not pants as well. Cause guess what? They're not.

Mistake #2 Tight top + tight bottoms

leggings cropped shirt

Many women try to coordinate leggings with cropped or tight, fitted tops. No, thank you. No matter how great you look from the rear, balance and layering are important when it comes to wearing leggings well. Let's think back to Mistake #1 and remember that leggings are more like tights than pants. Balance out form-fitting leggings with looser, roomier tops, sweaters, or tunics.

Mistake #3 The walking anatomy lesson

leggings not to wear

If we wanted an anatomy lesson, we'd go buy ourselves a Female Anatomy Doll, not go to the mall looking for women making Mistake #3. Wear leggings with longer shirts, tunics, or a short dress. Think mid-thigh length or, at the shortest, right below the hip and cover that rear.

Mistake #4 Disco revival

silver leggings

While there is probably some woman out there who can rock some silver, gold, or high-gloss leggings, let's all assume we're not her. When it comes to leggings, steer clear of the shine, which can show bulges or create them even where there are no bulges. Stick to opaque, shine-free leggings.

Mistake #5 Life is one big aerobics class

purple leggings

Life is NOT one big aerobics class, so please don't go around dressing like it is.

How to Wear Leggings -- the Right Way:

Make no mistake. Leggings are not just for women with buns of steel. If you wear them well, anyone of any body type can look great in them. Let's take a look some great legging looks.

leggings shirtdressWith a shirtdress

long sweater leggings
With a long sweater

leggings tunic
With a tunic

leggings skirt

With a skirt

layers leggings

With layers

denim jeggings

And if you must reveal some rear, try denim jeggings

Are you wearing leggings this fall? What's your favorite way to wear them?


Images via sean_hickin/Flickr, silentfuzions/Flickr, Urban Outfitters, Crusher1978/Flickr, silentfuzions/Flickr, American Apparel, Banana Republic, Macy's, Lane Bryant, Bergdorf Goodman,, Gap


clothes, how to wear it, trends, fall/winter 2010


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Phils... PhilsBabyMama

Jeggings are my favorite! :)  When I'm wearing regular leggings though, I basically make sure my butt is covered.  I've got a couple of sweater dresses that I usually wear with leggings and slouchy boots.

Kathy... Kathy0327

Thank you for this!  Not just because I"m going to show this to my teenage daughter, but because I've worked hard to lose weight this past year and a half and have wanted to be comfortable in leggings in public and just wasn't sure how to wear them right.

truly... trulyknowme

The office I work for actually just BANNED leggings. I have a feeling it could be because someone did one of the "don'ts" listed above... *sigh* I miss my leggings already :(

tazdvl tazdvl

When I wore leggings always covered my butt.

tonya... tonyalynn

the donts are so true, and i see them often

ethan... ethans_momma06

I actually don't think fitted stretchy tops look so bad with leggings. With you on the other ones though...

nonmember avatar RoChelle

We all look better (in my opinion) when wearing longer length tops over leggings and the longer length fashions and styles in this article!

momof... momoflilangel

hahaha thanks for the lesson althought I wish everyone would read this.

Kayleen Laird


WOW! Have not seen those since I was a wee one in kindergarten!

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