A while back, my good friend Grace wrote a fabulous post called Fashion Over 50. She received a great response in the comments and that post consistently gets great traffic. Evidently there are a lot of women over 50 searching for fashion advice! I’ve been begging her to write more style posts for me, and she finally agreed to share her fashion advice on how to wear leggings.
So without further ado, I give you Grace!
How to Wear Leggings
Leggings have been around since I was a little girl in the 60’s. The stretchy pants, with the help of newly popularized synthetic yarns, migrated from the ski slopes to every day wear. Young women wore them as they danced to 45s with their girlfriends on shag carpets. And 50 years later, they’re still here. Is it no wonder? Is there anything more comfortable?
Think you can’t wear leggings at your age? I wear them! Here are the rules I follow. Leggings are worn in 3 general ways:
Leggings as Tights
Since “hose” has become a 4-lettered word, leggings are a good way to have some modesty when the situation calls for it. Wear leggings with a dress — to the knee in the summer, or to the ankles in cooler weather with boots, pumps or ballet flats.
Leggings as Pants
Just Say No. Really. A while ago, I saw a beautiful woman with an amazing physique wearing leggings as pants. Meaning, she had on a top that one would wear with jeans or slacks. I saw her every nook and cranny and muscle structure. It made me blush. For her.
This is what we’re interested in today. And there are just THREE major rules:
3 Rules for Wearing Leggings for Women Over 40
#1. Fabric and Fit. Make sure the fabric is heavy enough and stretchy enough. There may be some trial-and-error, but it’s really Rule Numero Uno. You don’t want your skin to show through, nor your lumps and bumps to be visible. We highly recommend the Hue Ultra Wide Waistband Leggings at Nordstrom (make sure you click on the Regular sizes if that’s your size; for some reason this link defaults to the Plus sizes.) They’re regularly $36 and often go on sale for 25% off, bringing them down to $27. You can’t beat the value.
#2. Cover your Crotch. I hate to be so crass, but – there you have it: I can’t say it any other way. Wear leggings with tunic tops that will cover you front and back, and won’t cling if you walk or sit.
#3. Find tops that will give you a graceful proportion; not voluminous, and not tight to your body.
Check out these three outfits I put together.
brown riding boots // black dress boots // suede tall boots
earrings // cuff bracelet // crossbody // layered necklace // scarf // pave cuff // black tote
Here are some ways NOT to wear leggings, and I’ll explain why:
- Don’t hide behind volume if you’re worried about your figure. It’ll make you look bigger and top-heavy. And don’t wear matchy-matchy frumpy shoes.
- Don’t use a too-short dress as a tunic. Don’t wear gaudy leggings. And don’t try to look like a little girl.
- Don’t wear a body-hugging top, even if you have a nice figure. And goodness, please don’t wear stiletto pumps. [Does “hootchy-mama” mean anything to you?]
- Don’t wear a jacket; it’ll just look like you forgot your pants. Did I say not to wear stiletto pumps?
Leggings In Real Life
Here’s Grace with some of her favorite leggings outfits:
And here are some of Jo-Lynne’s favorites.
#1. With a tunic sweater and riding boots:
#2. With a chambray tunic, infinity scarf, and OTK boots:
#3. With a tunic blouse and riding boots:
#4. With UGGs and an extra-long tee under a drapey waterfall cardigan:
#5. With a sweater dress, riding boots, and a scarf.
So whatever your size, style or season, go for it! Are you ready to rock the leggings!?!
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