How to style this season's leggings
From Beyonce to Blake Lively, stay chic in this century's favourite clothing choice...

Jun 14, 2013 02:05
by Caitlin Reid

The world loves leggings. Stretchy material which, in decades past was considered racy even in the aerobics studio, is now an everyday uniform for many. Why? Comfort? stretch? Beyonce wears them? These plus other reasons keep us running toward lycra nylon blends. But are they chic?

Dame Vivienne Westwood describes leggings; “[They've got] these tights on, black tights with bare feet. They would look less vulgar and less pornographic if they were nude!” If you’re gasping indignantly, never fear! The very same woman has designed patterned leggings since 1980. But one has to wonder, does she have a point? The eponymous designer is referencing plain, black leggings in that quote, but do some leggings show a little too much information? Leggings definitely deserve their place as a wardrobe staple, but like any beloved piece, it takes a few tricks to keep them chic.

Plain leggings command the most controversy. Why? The single hue acts as a body sheath, carefully defining every lump, bump and crease, leaving one looking a little...naked.

The answer is simple: cover the culprit! Take a leaf out of Jessica Alba’s style book; pair long tops or jumpers with plain leggings. It's about increasing the length of your upper half. Edgy styles where stud or pattern detailing begins mid thigh look perfectly punky with long tops that cunningly meet the level of detail. (Workout gear at the gym is excepted from this rule because, well, its about sweat not style!)

Coloured leggings are the fashion favourite of the past 5 years. The ideal complement to a monochrome ensemble, or a sneaky way to add colour, patterned leggings are loved by the bold and the beautiful. Prints from tribal to triangular, geometric to Jurassic, art deco to impressionistic are everywhere. Remember, leggings are designed to stretch which means pattern distortion. So choose the right size for you to keep the print picture perfect.

All leggings can look super stylish, it's what goes with them that can mean chic or shriek!

What do you pair with your leggings?


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