Leggings are one of those pieces that is constantly being debated: To toss or not to toss? That is the eternal question. But despite the endless deliberation, they prove themselves time and time again, providing an added layer of warmth or making the likes of tunics and mini dresses out-of-the-house appropriate. That being said, it’s all about choosing the right pair: Leather-look leggings, fashion-forward fabrics and those with more sophisticated silhouettes (think: cropped flares) are a more grown-up version of the bottoms you love, delivering both comfort and style — a winning combination. Once you’ve scored the perfect pair, these eight outfits will help you rock ’em in style.
1. Topshop Fringe Side Leggings ($20 on SALE): OK, cotton leggings aren’t always going to fly, but if you do decide to go down that route, make it count. Eye-catching embellishments will elevate the laid-back pair, making them a solid start to an on-point ensemble. Instead of the classic oversized top and trainer combo, throw on a pair of platform creepers and a next-level sweatshirt. A vibrant chunky knit scarf injects energy and life into the getup, with ultra sleek baubles and a structured crossbody providing a polished finish.
Zoe Karsson Killer Cool Jersey Sweatshirt ($66), Purified + George Cox Patent-Leather Creepers ($270), Tiro Tiro Radian Earrings ($112), Urban Outfitters Icelandic Rib Scarf ($44), Target Women’s Pushlock Crossbody Handbag ($30)
2. Opening Ceremony Printed Stretch Scuba Skinny Pants ($148): A printed pair you’ll never want to take off, these scuba leggings can seriously hold their own. Put them front and center with a bright sweater and menswear-inspired kicks, then add on a few personality-packed accessories, like a statement cuff and pom-accented box bag. Sartorial status: straight-up chic.
3. Topshop Metallic Bronze Snake Leggings ($48): If you’re looking to fly under the radar, keep scrolling. There’s nothing subtle about these shimmery gold leggings, but that’s what makes them so alluring. Take the unexpected route with a plaid denim shirt or similarly suitable button-down (the bohemian-meets-disco-diva thing totally works), then look to eclectic add-ons to pull it all together. A few suggestions: suede mules, a faux fur clutch and statement sunnies. You can’t go wrong.
4. No’Kai Helu Printed Stretch-Jersey Leggings ($235): Super flattering and anything but boring, these leggings were designed for wear both on and off the mat. For a killer off-the-clock look, style them with a knit turtleneck, badass steppers and a soft shearling backpack. Two-tone drop earrings finish the look with a note of sophistication and urban edge.
5. River Island Black Leather-Look Biker Leggings ($60): For a night out, not just any pair of leggings will do; it’s an all-or-nothing type of deal. Leather or leather-look styles were practically made for after-hours, offering a don’t-mess aesthetic and plenty of give — key, because there’s some serious dancing on the agenda. To take things up a notch, layer them under a sequin-studded mini dress, then throw in a fluffy red topper for good measure. A little peacocking never hurts, right?
French Connection Cosmic Beam Dress ($268), Topshop Faux Fur Fluffy Longline Coat ($180), Zara Shiny Heel Ankle Boot ($60), A Common Space Hologram Reversible Clutch ($98 on SALE), Orly Genger by Jaclyn Mayer Jasper Earrings ($78)
6. Zara Flared Cropped Leggings ($30): Made for the girl who likes to do things differently, these cropped flares deliver the comfort you want without the classic legging look. And that means they can go beyond the realm of off-duty. Hellooo, new favorite work-week essential. When you’ve exhausted denim on casual Friday, just whip out these side-zipped stunners. Pair them with a plaid button-down that offers both polished and laid-back vibes and elevated accessories like a feather waist belt and pumps.
Madewell Oversized Boy Shirt in Irwin Plaid ($60 on SALE), H&M Cotton Jacket ($50), BCBG Layered Feather Waist Belt ($128), J.Crew Collection Elsie Pumps ($358), French Connection Polly Snake Print Shoulder Bag ($178)
7. Rag & Bone Cotton Blend Leggings ($99 on SALE): Jeggings are a beautiful thing, offering the appeal of skinny jeans with the comfort of your favorite bumming-around bottoms. Take them along on all your weekend adventures, from art gallery explorations to sipping cappuccinos at your go-to cafe. Fuse urban-boho with woodland-chic by pairing them with a bright striped top, fringe-flecked vest and lace-up platform boots.
Vince Striped Linen Top ($87 on SALE), Glamorous Croc Clutch With Top Handle and Lock Detail $43, F-Troupe Lace-Up Boot ($255), River Island Cream Knitted Contrast Back Fringed Cardigan ($100), BDG Cuffed Rib-Knit Beanie ($19)
8. No Ka’Oi Huli Color-Block Stretch-Jersey Leggings ($205): Stylish enough to stand on their own, bold color blocked leggings make the transition from the gym to brunch to running errands seamless. Stick with statement kicks for a look that feels purposeful and fashion-forward (oh hey, athleisure), rather than frumpy. A long-line jacquard sweat and marbled chunky chain bracelet take the sporty aesthetic one step further, while a snakeskin sac adds a subtle exotic edge to the outfit.
9. Alice + Olivia Ribbed Knit Tapered Pants ($110 on SALE): Ditch the mini dress and bodycon; these ribbed knit leggings are about to change the way you approach night-out style. Super comfy and totally unexpected, they’ll keep you feeling dance-floor ready and earn you some major style points too. Rock ’em with a boxy, feathery top, vibrant steppers and a few look-at-me add-ons for an unexpected after-hours ensemble.
Do you rock leggings on the regular? How do you keep them feeling fresh? Tell us in the comments!