Leggings Guide

The Ultimate Leggings Fashion Guide

As a fashion trend, leggings have proved they have serious staying power, but despite being an essential wardrobe staple for years, confusion about how to wear them still lingers. Are they pants? Are they tights? What fashion rules apply?!

The leggings fashion craze is fueled by their balance of on-trend style with convenience; their body-friendly look and comfortable fit. They can be worn in so many different ways, once you master the art of layering, mixing and matching, and athleisure style, your morning style routine will get a hundred times easier. Whether you dress them up or dress them down, leggings are a transitional staple that can carry you from season to season. Ready to learn about leggings fashion? Dive right into a guide to learn more!

Fashion History 101

Legging fashion isn’t just an 80s flashback! It turns out that they date all the way back to the Renaissance age... kind of. Men and women have been wearing something similar in various forms throughout the centuries for warmth and protection.

Legging fashion first became popular in their modern form after the creation of lycra in 1959, with stars like Mary Tyler Moore and Audrey Hepburn popularizing the new style with cute capri versions. Then the fitness and aerobics craze of the 80s took leggings from the dance studio to the street, with pop stars like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper changing how women dressed. Leggings returned to the fashion scene in the guise of urban leisurewear almost ten years ago, and they are here to stay.


7 Must-Have Pairs 

1. Basic black
Always classic and easy to layer with other neutrals and prints alike. While black is a great starter, don’t be afraid to branch out with other legging fashion trends!

2. Colorful cheer
The bright hues in colorful leggings liven up the neutrals in an ensemble. We love bright blues, reds, and greens to add a little life into blah days.

3. Texture time
Mix in a pair of textured leggings, like a cable knit or faux leather, to add visual interest in layered ensembles. If you keep a close eye on our collections, you may also spot velour legging styles, as well as crushed velvet pieces.

4. Print Variety
Cute print leggings, from paisley to chevron stripes, instantly elevate a casual weekend outfit, and let you play with mixing and matching patterns.

5. Fleece please
When the weatherman predicts a cold front, don’t leave the house without fleece lined leggings to keep you warm. They stay flexible no matter how thick they are, ensuring cozy comfort and fashion perfection.

6. Floral Adornment
Floral legging fashions are perfect for adding feminine flair. They can be styled with tailored pieces for pulled together sophistication, or with leather and boots for a more edgy vibe.

7. Capri Cuties
Dress up capri leggings with a nod to Audrey Hepburn by pairing them with a sweater tunic, a cute patterned top, or an oversized white button-up. Capris are also perfect for yoga class if you toss on a loose tank top!

5 Essential Styling Tips

1. Balance Prints and SolidsIf your leggings are a solid color, try pairing them with a patterned top. If you’re wearing print leggings, then opt for a solid top. Unless of course you’re a pro at pattern mixing! Some patterns, like stripes and polka dots, can be treated like neutrals and paired with patterns for unique legging fashion.

2. Length MattersFirst off, let’s be clear—leggings are not pants. They are more substantial than tights, which means you can choose longer tops and tunics in addition to dresses and skirts, but definitely pair them with something that covers your rear.

3. Lots of LayersLayering is a key part of legging fashion. Aim for 2-3 top layers, like a tunic top with a scarf or a print sweater over a monochrome button-up — with an oversized jacket thrown over. Don’t be afraid to use jewelry and accessories to help you keep your layers going.

4. Shoe ConfusionBallerina flats, and other charming dress flats, keep your ensemble looking polished. Knee-high boots and ankle booties are a cold weather must. Pairing leggings with pumps can have a glam retro feel, so be sure that suits the occasion. The athleisure style is everywhere right now, making sporty sneakers and high tops another common footwear addition. You can pull it off by adding classic touches, like a knit scarf or a structured peacoat. Wedges and stilettos are off-limits with leggings, but strappy and embellished sandals are perfect for summer.

5. Accessorize your heart outSimilar to adding layers, one of our favorite legging tips is picking out accessories that match your look. From a fringe shoulder bag that exudes bohemian style to geometric statement necklaces that scream preppy chic, choose your accessories carefully.

Legging Style Tips for
Every Body Type

As with any trend, women of every body type aren’t sure if this style is for them. If you’ve been wondering about leggings, the verdict is in — leggings look great on every body type! Leggings can look chic and stylish no matter your shape, but there are things to consider in styling a leggings outfit that will be flattering for your body type and perfectly accentuate your figure.

PetiteIf you’re petite, it’s best to avoid capri leggings, as the cropped hemline will make you look shorter and cut your legs off at the calf. Leggings fashion dictates that you choose footwear in a similar color to your leggings to create a longer, leaner silhouette line. For the best silhouette, choose a dark pair of leggings and pair with tall boots in the same shade.

TallIf you’re tall, leggings let you show off one of your best assets: long legs! Our legging tips for you include wearing your leggings with tunics, shift dresses, and mini dresses that otherwise would have been a little too short on their own. You can also add a long cardigan for a draped layering effect.

Curvy/HourglassIf you have an hourglass figure, it’s all about drawing attention to your waist. Belted tunics will accentuate your feminine waistline, while leggings in smaller, tight prints or dark, solid colors are the most flattering.

Pear ShapedIf you’re pear shaped, create an outfit that draws more attention to your upper body with a brightly colored or printed tunic top. Accessories, such as a statement necklace or patterned scarf, can also balance an outfit. A tunic style top that covers your bottom should fall to the widest part of your hips for the most flattering silhouette.


From legging tips to style guides, White Plum has the best advice for any girl looking to balance comfort and style. Explore our blog today for more tips on how to wear your leggings today!