If you shied away from wearing leggings because they were fitted or because you felt they were revealing, think again. This fashion staple started out during the renaissance and Shakespearean periods (15th – 17th centuries), worn primarily by men. During the 1980’s leggings gained popularity as workout attire and were worn by those with good physiques. Today most everyone owns a pair of black leggings because they are easy to wear and comfortable. The lycra in the material is what allows us the comfort to move and bend with ease. Leggings are one of those fashion staples that will permit you to go from the gym to the office with a quick addition of a tunic length top, sweater, or jacket. Keeping your leggings a neutral color will make it easy for you to wear them with everything.
Leggings offer versatility and fit most body types; petite, tall, thin, and plus-size. They also offer support (comparable to support hosiery) while making a fashion statement. Knowing what to wear with them is most important.
KNOW YOUR BODY TYPE:
Apple – Fullness in the middle means you don’t want to tuck anything in. Avoid belting as it will draw the eye to your waist and add additional fullness. Wearing a monochromatic color scheme such as black with a bright jacket will give you a longer appearance, camouflaging a full tummy. The same color top and bottom will not cut you off visually at the middle.
Boy Shape – A body similar to that of a fashion model with fewer curves and almost no hips allows you the freedom to be fun and creative. Team your leggings with a pleated mini skirt and cropped jacket. The use of banded tops can give the illusion of a more curvaceous figure.
Pear – Fullness in the thigh, hip and bottom means you want to avoid banded tops or any style top that stops at the full area as this will draw attention to it. A-line styles will skim the hip area rather than stretch over it. Tops with detail around the neck will draw the eye upward as well. Bottoms should not have pockets on the hip because they will add fullness. As with apple shapes, tucking in a bulky top can give the appearance of a larger size.
Hour Glass – Bust and hips that are in proportion with a small waist means you can wear almost any style. Try teaming your leggings with a cropped jacket layered over a longer top. Although hour glass body types can normally tuck in their tops, legging styles look best with tops untucked because of the elastic waistband.
As a previous fit model (fit models try on samples and make comments on fit; corrections are made until garments fit properly) I learned fit is more important than style. Other people see style but only you feel the proper fitting garment. Garments should not pinch, pull or stretch over your body. A proper fit means comfort throughout the day. Our generation has embraced the fact that you no longer have to sacrifice comfort for style. Leggings afford you the opportunity for both comfort and style.
Caring for your leggings is easy – machine wash cold, line dry. Garments with lycra should be hung to dry as this will extend the life of the item. Please be sure to read the care instructions on the label. Drying in high heat may cause damage over time.
Finally, complete your look with appropriate footwear. Your activity throughout the day will dictate the style of the shoe. For example, an active mom, teacher, or student will want sneakers or flats to keep up with their daily activity. For a trendier fashionable look you may opt for boots that may be worn to a dinner party or date. Business women will want to choose a more conservative shoe such as a neutral colored pump or flats while avoiding excessive buckles and straps.
Be bold, be fashionable, but most importantly be you!
For more fashion advice and modeling know-how, order Ro’s book; Modeling at Any Age.