Style Guide

How to Dress up Leggings: Tips and Tricks for a Polished Look

As someone who loves to wear leggings, I know that they can be a comfortable and versatile addition to any wardrobe. However, some people may shy away from wearing leggings outside of the gym or yoga studio, thinking that they are too casual or not appropriate for certain occasions. In this article, I will share my tips and tricks for dressing up leggings so that you can confidently wear them to any event or outing.

First, it’s important to understand the different types of leggings and how they can affect your outfit. There are athletic leggings, which are designed for working out and may have features such as moisture-wicking fabric or pockets for your phone. Then there are fashion leggings, which come in a variety of fabrics and styles, including leather, faux fur, and printed designs. By choosing the right type of leggings for your outfit, you can create a balanced look that is both stylish and comfortable.

Key Takeaways

  • Leggings can be dressed up for any occasion by choosing the right type of leggings and pairing them with the appropriate clothing and accessories.
  • To create a balanced look, consider the fit and length of your leggings, and choose clothing and accessories that complement them.
  • Proper maintenance, such as washing your leggings in cold water and avoiding the dryer, can help them last longer and maintain their shape.

Understanding Leggings

Leggings have become a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. They are versatile, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down. In this section, I will give you a brief overview of leggings, their types, and fabric and fit.

Types of Leggings

There are different types of leggings available in the market, and each serves a different purpose. Here are some of the most common types of leggings:

  • Basic Leggings: These are the most common type of leggings that are made of cotton, spandex, or a mix of both.

  • Printed Leggings: These leggings come in various prints and patterns, and they are perfect for adding some fun and personality to your outfit.

  • Athletic Leggings: These leggings are designed for working out and are made of moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable.

  • Leather Leggings: These leggings are made of faux or real leather and are perfect for adding some edge to your outfit.

Fabric and Fit

Leggings come in various fabrics, and each fabric has its unique properties. Here are some of the most common fabrics used in leggings:

  • Cotton: Cotton leggings are comfortable, breathable, and perfect for everyday wear.

  • Spandex: Spandex leggings are stretchy and form-fitting, making them perfect for athletic activities.

  • Polyester: Polyester leggings are durable and moisture-wicking, making them ideal for working out.

When it comes to fit, leggings should fit snugly but not be too tight. They should be comfortable and not restrict your movement. It’s essential to choose the right size and fabric for your body type to ensure a comfortable and flattering fit.

In conclusion, leggings are a versatile and comfortable wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down. Understanding the different types of leggings and their fabrics and fit can help you choose the perfect pair for your needs.

Creating a Balanced Look

When it comes to dressing up leggings, creating a balanced look is key. Here are some tips on how to achieve a well-proportioned outfit.

Pairing with Tops

When selecting a top to wear with leggings, it’s important to choose one that covers your derriere. A tunic top or a longline shirt is a great option, as it creates a balanced look and covers any areas you may feel self-conscious about.

Another option is to wear a crop top with high-waisted leggings. This creates a flattering silhouette and highlights your waistline. However, be sure to choose a crop top that is not too short, as you don’t want to show too much skin.

Choosing the Right Footwear

When it comes to footwear, ankle boots or trainers are a great option to pair with leggings. They add a touch of style and comfort to your outfit, while also creating a balanced look.

Avoid wearing heels with leggings, as this can create an unbalanced look and draw too much attention to your feet. If you must wear heels, opt for a low heel or wedge to maintain balance.

Overall, creating a balanced look when dressing up leggings is all about proportion and choosing the right pieces to complement each other. With these tips, you can confidently rock leggings in style.

Dressing Up for Different Occasions

As someone who loves leggings, I know how versatile they can be. With a little creativity, you can dress them up for any occasion. Here are some ideas for dressing up leggings for different occasions.

Casual Outfits

For a casual look, pair your leggings with a loose-fitting tunic top or oversized sweater. Add a pair of ankle boots or sneakers to complete the look. Accessorize with a statement necklace or scarf to add some interest to your outfit.

Work Outfits

Leggings can be appropriate for the office if you style them correctly. Opt for a pair of high-quality leggings in a dark colour like black or navy. Pair them with a long tunic blouse or a blazer for a professional look. Finish off with a pair of classic pumps or ankle boots.

Evening Outfits

For a night out, dress up your leggings with a sparkly top or a sequin blazer. Add a pair of strappy heels and a clutch bag to complete the look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold colours and patterns to make a statement.

Remember to keep your accessories and makeup simple and understated to balance out the boldness of your leggings. With these tips, you’ll be able to dress up leggings for any occasion with confidence.

Accessorising Your Outfit

When it comes to dressing up leggings, accessorising is key to elevate your outfit. Here are some accessories that can take your leggings outfit from casual to chic.


Adding jewellery to your outfit can instantly make it look more put together. For a minimalist look, go for a dainty necklace or a pair of simple stud earrings. If you want to make a statement, opt for a chunky necklace or a pair of statement earrings.


A bag can be both a functional and fashionable accessory. When it comes to leggings, a crossbody bag or a small backpack can complement the casual vibe of the outfit. If you want to dress up your leggings for a night out, a clutch or a small handbag can add a touch of elegance.


Belts can help define your waist and add some structure to your leggings outfit. A thin belt can be worn over a long tunic or a sweater dress, while a wide belt can be paired with a crop top and high-waisted leggings for a chic look. Just make sure to choose a belt that complements your outfit and fits well.

Overall, accessorising your leggings outfit can be a fun and creative way to express your personal style. With the right jewellery, bag, or belt, you can turn a simple pair of leggings into a stylish and versatile outfit.

Maintaining Your Leggings

As someone who regularly wears leggings, I know how important it is to keep them in good condition. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your leggings:


Always check the care label on your leggings before washing them. Most leggings can be washed in a machine on a gentle cycle, but some may require hand washing. Avoid using fabric softener as it can damage the elasticity of the fabric.


It’s best to air dry your leggings rather than putting them in the dryer. High heat can damage the fabric and cause them to lose their shape. Lay them flat on a drying rack or hang them up to dry.


When storing your leggings, fold them neatly and avoid hanging them up. Hanging them can cause them to stretch out of shape. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from direct sunlight as it can cause the fabric to fade.


Over time, leggings may develop small balls of fabric on the surface, known as pilling. To prevent this, turn your leggings inside out before washing and avoid washing them with rough fabrics like denim. If your leggings do start to pill, you can use a fabric shaver to remove the pills and restore the smooth surface.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your leggings looking great and extend their lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some dressy outfit ideas that incorporate leggings?

Leggings can be dressed up for a more formal occasion by pairing them with a long tunic or blouse, a blazer, and heels. Alternatively, a dressy top with statement jewelry and ankle boots can also elevate the look.

What are some ways to dress up leggings for summer?

For a summer look, try pairing leggings with a flowy tunic or crop top, sandals, and a statement hat. Layering with a lightweight cardigan or denim jacket can also add some dimension to the outfit.

What are some winter-appropriate tops to wear with leggings?

During the colder months, leggings can be paired with a chunky knit sweater, boots, and a scarf. Adding a jacket or coat on top can also keep you warm while still looking stylish.

What are some stylish ways to wear black leggings in 2023?

In 2023, black leggings can be paired with a cropped graphic tee and chunky sneakers for a casual look. For a more put-together outfit, try pairing them with a statement blazer and ankle boots.

What are some outfit ideas for women over 50 to wear with leggings?

For a mature look, women over 50 can pair leggings with a long tunic or blouse, a statement necklace, and comfortable flats. Adding a scarf or cardigan can also add some warmth and style to the outfit.

What are some casual outfit ideas that feature leggings?

For a casual look, leggings can be paired with a simple t-shirt or tank top and sneakers. Adding a denim jacket or oversized cardigan can also add some dimension and style to the outfit.