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The Best Leggings + How To Style Them

January 5, 2018

Over the holidays I kind of took a step back from the blog (more on that to come soon).  Long story short I've been feeling burnt out and uninspired, which is not good....but as always there's a silver lining or a lesson in everything.  Taking a break helped me recenter my focus and what I want to share on here, and what I think ya'll are most interested in.  And hands down you love tips on everyday style, how to build outfits out of simple pieces, and how to be a better shopper. 

 

So today I want to share a style tip that focuses on one specific piece in your wardrobe: leggings.

 

Think about how often you wear leggings.  Most of us wear them more days out of the week than not.  Now, think about what you pay for them, and how they fit you. 

 

I'll cut to the chase: when it comes to a piece you wear ALL the time, it should be something you invest in.  Even if it's not shiny or sparkly or doesn't feel like the most special piece in your closet.  If it's on your body constantly, you should A) look and feel fabulous in it, and B) pay for quality that will hold up over time and wear.

 

Personally, I wear leggings a LOT.  I used to try and take short cuts and buy whatever was on sale so I could amass volume and not have to do laundry all the time.  This lead me to another discovery....

 

Your workout leggings and your everyday leggings should NOT be the same.  I know, that sounds expensive and maybe wasteful.  But dividing your leggings into two categories does a couple things: it allows you to spend less for things you sweat in and immediately toss in the laundry; and, it will teach you how to wear leggings -- and which leggings to buy -- in a stylish way that doesn't feel dumpy or like you're not trying.

 

Here is a rundown of what you should look for in leggings for everyday wear that will look stylish and can be styled.  

 

BEST BRANDS

 

When I shop for everyday leggings, I always shop these brands:

 

Spanx

lululemon

Commando

ALO

 

 

1 | START WITH BASIC BLACK LEGGINGS

 

Start at the beginning with the most basic, standard pair of leggings in jet black.  The things you should look for are:

  • Stretchy knit material

  • High-waisted with a waistband for extra support and control

  • Seamless is best, but it should definitely be on the outside leg -- this is key for choosing a pair that doesn't look gym-ready!

For years I wore the lululemon Wunder Under leggings, even while I was pregnant!  They are that good and adaptable to your figure.  I realized they were always the pair I reached for and hated when they were dirty, so I just bought a new pair of basic black leggings by Spanx.  The Spanx are cheaper FYI, but you can't question the quality of the lululemons.

 

LULULEMON WUNDER UNDER

 

SPANX 'LOOK AT ME NOW' SEAMLESS LEGGINGS

 

 

 

2 | ADD TEXTURED FABRICS

 

Once you've acquired your basic pair(s), add in leggings in fun, textured fabrics like velvet, faux leather, or an "airbrushed' effect.  Don't let the fabrics intimidate you -- we are adding these to wear with everyday separates, not to sass up with heels and crop tops (nobody should be allowed to do that except Sandy after her Grease makeover.)   And remember to apply the same three guidelines you used to shop for basic leggings to shop for these, too.  

 

Think slouchy sweaters, tunic tops, and graphic tees layered underneath a denim jacket.  You not only balance the fabric with more demure pieces, but you balance the tight fit of the leggings with looser pieces up top.  The thicker velvet fabric gives more of an illusion of pants so you don't have to worry so much about covering your booty.  With the faux leather or airbrushed leggings, I'd recommend a longer top.  You can finish the look with just about any shoe: booties, sneakers, or mules.  

 

SPANX VELVET LEGGINGS

These are so warm and comfortable!  I wear them on a weekly basis.

Available locally at Nest Boutique

 

ALO AIRBRUSH HIGH WAIST LEGGINGS

 

COMMANDO CONTROL TOP FAUX LEATHER LEGGINGS

(also available in black)

 

3 | GO MOTO 

 

Now we're cooking with gas!  Moto leggings are fantastic for adding a little bit of edge to your everyday look.  You can play them up with sassy boots and a blazer, or go street style casual cool with a boyfriend button up and sneakers.  I wear mine the most with chunky sweaters or layered pieces.  

 

I prefer moto leggings that are the same material all the way around the leg.  Leggings with panels (leather on the front, knit fabric on the back of the leg) create a really strong look that I like less for daytime wear unless you're a fashion risk taker or really know how to dress them down.  A front-only knee panel is okay!

 

SPANX MOTO LEGGINGS

I LOVE these leggings and wear them all the time!  

Available locally at Nest Boutique

 

COMMANDO CONTROL TOP MOTO LEGGINGS

 

 

These next two pair of moto leggings definitely look more workout ready than any of the rest of these.  That being said, I love the colors and design of these  -- they'd be perfect to wear with fun sneakers and a Better Sweater or sherpa fleece for low-key days. 

 

I wrote this post about Making Outfits Out of Activewear a few months ago and these are great options for this approach to daytime dressing, too.

 

ALO HIGH WAIST MOTO LEGGINGS

(available in 4 colors)

 

 

PIECES TO STYLE YOUR LEGGINGS WITH

 

Before I go I want to suggest a few pieces you can wear with any of the above leggings for a casual, stylish, everyday look!  

 

TUNIC SWEATER

 

 

CHUNKY TURTLENECK SWEATER

 

CHUNKY CARDIGAN

 

LONGLINE CARDIGAN

 

WRAP TOP/SWEATER

 

 

DENIM JACKET

 

SNEAKERS

 

Nike Flex

 

Adidas I-5923

 

 

 

 

RAIN BOOTS

 

LEATHER BOOTIES

 

 

 

MULE SLIDES

 

Merona Backless Mule

 Dolce Vita Leopard Slides

 

 

 

Okay that wraps it up for today!  Hopefully you guys found this post helpful.  I've gotten the sense that y'all are interested in these types of posts, so if that's true let me know...and if not, let me know too hah!

 

Hope you have a great weekend!  We're meeting a whole bunch of friends for dinner tonight and meeting some of our best friends' baby for the first time!  EEEEE!

 

xxBrooke

 

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