What to wear with leggings?

Leggings are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing in your wardrobe. They are thicker than tights, so they are warm and thick, so they are good to wear out and about if you want to prioritize comfort over style. Because of how comfortable they are, lots of us like to wear them just about anywhere. But what if you wanted to make them work with as a leggings outfit?

How to choose leggings

First, you should have the perfect pair of leggings to pair with an outfit. You have to consider a few things: size, length, the color, and the fabric.

You're going to want to make sure you're wearing the right size of leggings for you. If you choose a size that's too tight, you're going to end up with the dreaded camel toe: that unfortunate and obvious outline of your privates that we're sure you don't want anyone to see. Too loose, and you may end up looking frumpy or sloppy. Get yourself measured at the store or by someone that knows what they're doing, and always try them on before you decide, especially if you are an 'in-between' size.

Next, what length are you looking for? Leggings often come in a few lengths: full length, 3/4, knee and ankle length. While you can definitely pick whichever length you feel suits you best, it's best to consider what you're using them for. For example, will you be using them to exercise? Then you should go with knee-length leggings, which won't restrict movement too much and keep you from getting too hot. Do you just want to wear leggings when you go out? Ankle length might be best: they go with pretty much anything, from hoodies to slip dresses. Getting cold out? Then you might want to go for full length leggings that can tuck into boots.

Color and fabric are more aesthetic choices and depend more on your personal taste. Leggings come in a variety of fabrics, like standard cotton and lycra, to more stylish leather leggings. Colors are even more varied. It's totally up to you what you feel represents you and your style best.

How to style leggings

There are a ton of different outfits with leggings that you could try, and the options on how to wear leggings may be a little overwhelming at first. There may be no solid, set in stone style bible for leggings, but there are some good style tips to follow for styling them with your outfits. Just because you choose comfort, it doesn't mean you have to give up style, too.

  1. Try to wear leggings that fit right. Find your size and stick to it- not too loose, or not too tight.
  2. Black leggings are typically the way to go, being the easiest to style- stick to darker colors if you're not feeling confident about pairing them up yet.
  3. Layer your clothes! Leggings can be worn when its cold or hot, and the best way to control the temperature would be to layer up with jackets or cardigans. Balance is key.
  4. Pair your leggings with the right shoes! Try to look up photos with the look you're going for. Generally, flats and boots are perfect for most leggings, but you can switch it up with sneakers as long as you choose the right length for leggings.
  5. Pick the right length of leggings for your purposes! Exercising will often call for knee-length leggings, while going out for drinks or just running errands might call for ankle length leggings instead.
  6. Try to pick long tops that will cover up your lower body. Long, flowing tops will keep you looking classy and keep any unwanted attention away from you, too.
  7. Find leggings and outfits to wear with leggings that are comfortable for you! There's an endless amount of ways to style leggings. Experiment until you find what feels right for you.

Seasonal styles

A good way to narrow it down what to wear with leggings is to look at it by season, and look at your options from there.


In the spring, you'll want to keep it cool enough for the afternoon and morning heat, and still be ready for the cooler nights. Legging outfits are perfect for this, being not too hot and not too cold to wear, but what to wear with leggings?

One of your options is to keep it simple with light shirts: shirts made of silk, rayon or polyester, worn long over your leggings. You most likely will wear black leggings, which are the easiest to pair with any outfit. All you'll have to do is add some color and patterns to your leggings outfit. It would work best to pair them with floral, striped or dotted tops. You could even wear sleeveless tops or tanks with your leggings to stay cool and casual. Another option is to wear your leggings with a comfortable chambray shirt, or a well- worn boyfriend tee. In chambray, you could even try pairing them with something bolder, like printed leggings with a fun pattern. Add either flats or boots to your outfit and you're set. Layering up will allow you to add or remove parts of your outfit depending on the temperature. Just make sure you're wearing your leggings right and avoid any embarrassing leggings faux pas!


Leggings are great for the fall, being not too thick and still warm enough to wear with just about anything. If it's still temperate enough to wear leggings, you could opt for an outfit with leggings for the fall.

For wearing leggings in the fall, you might want to try to pair them with something warm and still easy to take off, like a denim jacket and a comfortable, warm shirt. Black leggings again are a great go-to. One look to wear with leggings is under a dress. Before the colder weather kicks in, you can pair your leggings with either a shirtdress or a more easy to wear drawstring waist dress. Another option is to pair lighter sweaters, like tunic sweaters, with your leggings. Wearing leggings with sweaters can be extremely cozy, and almost feel like pajamas. As long as you pair them with a good tunic sweater, you'll still look put-together enough to go outside. V-neck sweaters are also an option! Here, you can opt to pair your outfit with boots, booties or flats, if it's not too cold.


Winter is a funny one: it's arguably the easiest to style, but it also becomes too cold for traditional cotton leggings. In the winter, you might want to swap out your usual pairs with something thicker, like fleece leggings, or even thermal leggings.

The winter gives you the most options for what to wear with leggings. In the cold, you can choose to pair your leggings with clothing items like chunky sweaters, thick cardigans, or even winter coats. If you live in an area where the cold isn't as severe as other places, you could also opt for something else, like an oversized sweater, or a button down and jacket to wear with leggings. You could also wear a dress with leggings still, if the cold won't be an issue. If you're looking for a classier look, you might want to try wearing leggings with cashmere sweaters or even blazers. In the winter, you can choose to wear boots, booties, or even the odd Ugg now and then.

 Pin on Winter Outfits

Styling leggings for everyday wear

If you're looking to be cozy and still stylish for any old day, like a quick run outside or even to the office, there are ways to wear leggings for those times, too. Because leggings can look and be paired in so many different ways, they are definitely versatile enough to be worn from a quick errand run to an entire day at the office.

For the office

If you decide that you might want to be more comfortable at your desk on one day, but jeans are still too casual, you might want to opt for leggings (as long as the office dress code isn't too strict). But not just any leggings: the more formal, business setting is a great time to break out a pair of faux leather leggings.

Wearing leggings at work is when choosing the material matters: you don't want to wear cotton or lycra leggings, as these might give off more of an athleisure vibe that might not float over so well at a professional setting. Wearing something dark, not too flashy, and not reflective and not cheap-looking will help you maintain a professional look about you, while giving you the comfort to move around as you like. Pair your leggings with something like a blazer or a nice, crisp top, and you're set.

For working out

It can definitely be said that leggings are meant for exercise, even if that isn't their only purpose. Leggings are comfortable and easy to move in, and so are perfect for anything from yoga to running.

When choosing a pair to work out in, try to stick to ankle or 3/4 length leggings, so they don't restrict your movement too much and cover up too much of your body- you'll want to stay mobile and keep from getting too hot too fast. You can wear your leggings with anything from just a sports bra, a hoodie, or a track jacket that unzips easily. Cotton leggings work great here, but there are also leggings made specifically for working out, with material that keeps you cool and doesn't absorb sweat. Make sure to get a pair that aren't see through, and keep from having any awkward incidents in the gym or even stretching out in public.