Leggings are comfortable, versatile, and suitable for any season, so it is no surprise that most of us own at least a few pairs. However, there is one thing that leggings are not, and that is pants! While there are a few exceptions, such as when you are going to the gym, or when you are wearing a long tunic style top that is basically as covering as a dress, wearing women’s leggings, no matter what the colour or style, as general outerwear is a huge fashion mistake. Here we look at why leggings are for layering only!


Photo by Maegan Tintari

Leggings are Unforgiving on Even the Best Body

While you may argue that the skin tight effect of leggings is no different from wearing very tight jeans, the fabric leggings are made from is not designed to hug the body in a controlling and flattering way. While tight denim will smooth over cellulite and hold in any flab, leggings will just accentuate it, so even on the best toned body the look will not be a flattering one. Yoga pants, while equally tight on the thigh, have a specific kind of waistband that doesn’t cut into the flesh around the waist or hips, and creates a nicer silhouette, so leggings can’t be substituted for these either (except for perhaps when doing actual yoga, where the stretch and comfort is a priority over the look).

Leggings Cling Where You Don’t Want Them To

If you have a great body and want to show it off in tight clothing, there are probably some parts that you would still rather leave to the imagination! Leggings are designed to be worn underneath things, so are tight literally everywhere, and will show any lines whatsoever from your underwear and your body. Add to this the fact that they are not always made from the thickest fabric and can go somewhat see through when stretched, and there is a strong potential for showing far more than you intended when you try and wear them as pants.

Wearing Leggings As Pants Looks Lazy

Even if you do have the rare kind of body that looks OK in leggings without anything covering the top part, and you have managed to find some that aren’t too revealing, the effect of leggings as pants simply isn’t fashionable. It looks sloppy and lazy, like wearing sweatpants out in public only less flattering. If you genuinely are in a lazy mood and are just aiming for something to throw on to go grocery shopping, leggings with an oversized, long t-shirt can work, but attempting to form an outfit from leggings and a shorter top or a tight tank top looks more slobby.

Leggings are versatile, and can allow you to wear your mini skirts in a more modest way or let you wear shorter styles in winter. However, they should never be worn with anything that doesn’t cover at least most of your backside, no matter what your shape!

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