DRESSING ON THE SIDE
For the Love of Leggings
By Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Where has all the denim gone? There’s a statistic out there that says from 2015-2016 women ordered more leggings online than jeans, 40% more than the prior year. Denim orders increased by only 3%. Leggings win.
Leggings equal comfort. They’re as mobile as you are…or aren’t. (Even if you prefer the couch to crunches, leggings make you look active.) Whether anchored with stirrups or infused with high-tech fibers, leggings have gone so far beyond the gym, they’re even showing up in evening looks and creeping into couture. In addition to mainstream retail brands, big names are in athleisurewear now – from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics to Karl Lagerfeld’s $235 sweatshirt. Leggings are no longer a fashion cop-out.
As with all fashion categories, there are ever-changing trends and particulars and the legging trends emerging now include:
• Black, matte or leather
• Darks and neutrals, subtle prints
• Shades of pink
• Nature-inspired prints (like snake)
• Star prints
Whatever the trend, it’s all about how you interpret it for your body type and lifestyle. Here are some ideas that transform gym to glam.
• Over-the-Knee Boots. The fitted leg in contrast to the slight bulk of the boot creates an edgy contrast and adds sophistication. The boot masks the active wear legging vibe.
• With any Boots. Switch sneakers for boots to update the cliché leggings and sweatshirt combination.
• Statement Coat. Bold outerwear adds instant glam. Leggings are the perfect subtle background to a statement coat or jacket.
• Moto Jacket. Great street look. Casual and sleek simultaneously. The moto remains a must-have.
• Bomber Jacket. Another must-have jacket. A bomber highlights the sporty side of leggings. Try this with black sneakers to go a few degrees more casual than the moto jacket look.
• Long Top and Pumps. Match the pumps and long top to the leggings for a monotone effect, and the combo will actually look dressed up, formal enough for evening dinner, cocktail parties, etc.
• Jean Jacket and Hat. Pair black leggings with a hat and denim jacket for a bohemian day look.
• An Oversize Sweater. The big sweater paired with the sleek, fitted leggings is the perfect example of the fashion-proportion rule: big on top, small on the bottom–and vice versa. Also, a great sweater can add just the right touch of dress-up to the leggings. This combo looks great with sneakers.
• A Feminine Bag. No matter how sporty the outfit, you can always add a surprise touch of chic like a great handbag with feminine details.
• Heels and a Trench Coat. Leggings look very dressed up if they’re leather paired with pumps and a classic trench. Very sophisticated.
•You can add a fresh spin to anything, even black leggings. Find a pair with details, insets, paneling, or some other touch that takes basic to beyond.
• Like the extra-long sleeve trend, there are extra-long leggings that bunch at the ankles. These look great with either high heels or flats. Pair the longer leggings with a matching cropped top. That proportion rule again: long and bunchy on the bottom, sleek and short on top.
• Swap black leggings for skinny jeans. Same silhouette and fit.
• High-waisted leggings cinch your waist and make your legs look longer, just like high-waisted pants and skirts.
• Love the glitter/metallic sneaker trend? Keep the rest of your look simple. Pair fun statement sneakers with black or neutral leggings.
Mixed print on bottom, solid top at Sportech
Geometric print leggings at Rye Running Company
Star print tee and pants at Great Stuff
Subdued hues at Sportech