Monday, March 23, 2015

A brief foray into layering with tights and leggings

My amiga M asked for a post on leggings and tights layering- so here's my two cents.

Before I split my days between an elementary school and university, you better believe I was in the legions of college girls going to class in leggings. But my leggings outfits were comprised of more than leggings, Uggs or flip-flops, and t shirts. Usually they were hidden under sloppy old man sweaters and riding boots, or paired with a striped t with an oversized chambray I thrifted (I wore it to death, I ended up finally replacing it with something like this but I still miss that shirt...) and therefore there was no unwieldy amount of my derriere bouncing around campus.

I would say this about the current possibility of wearing leggings as pants- as long as the leggings are made of real material and not the cheap cotton and spandex ones that you can see through when you bend over- thats cool. Pair them with something flowy and loose to counteract the tightness of the pants- something chic like this blazer and flowy top to look smokin' hot to go out. I found a great pair on clearance at Target months ago, made of a neoprene dupe that is thick enough to leave something to the imagination, but not too much. This is how I wear leggings as pants when I do (not these exact pieces, but I sure wouldn't mind!)

(made on Polyvore)

In the winter, I wear my thick leggings under dresses and skirts if I'm wearing boots (which is always in winter, I decided I'm not going to wear anything but boots if its under 55 degrees). I don't wear leggings with dresses otherwise, but I do wear thick tights. My preference for tights for any outfit of my own is always black, but others (read: M, this is for you) might want some more colorful ideas.

I think less is always more when it comes to dressing, unless you are a clown or a particularly zany person. I would say patterned tights and leggings should only come into play if you're wearing solids. For example:

Chambray dress: Easy, this pairs well with nearly anything, depending on your taste. These are all acceptable combinations. I think the same applies to any solid color dress- if its solid and the colors don't clash, its ok.

Patterned dress: Go easy. Stick with something monochrome, I would go with black polka dot tights or complementary floral if you really wanted pattern. Some people can pull off having brightly colored tights with a dress like this... But those people are not me. If you are that person, good on ya!
I would also like to take this opportunity to implore each and every one of you, dear readers, to stop wearing this combination:

Look at this cute dress of reasonable length. What is the purpose of those leggings sticking out the bottom? They serve no purpose and are weird. Please just no. The same goes for this:

Look at this dress, not of a reasonable length. And these leggings, covering just enough for this to be acceptable. Is it chic? Does it represent current fashion? Is it flattering? To all of these I say no and my reason is this: I wore this as a freshman in high school. Which was more than 7 years ago. If you're going to wear something like this, wear some riding boots to even out the weight on top. But please just no.

In response to this, I might hear something like "But leggings make too short dresses and skirts appropriate for work!" No. No it sure doesn't. Unless your leggings are tucked into boots and the dress is maybe an inch or two shy. But if your dress code says your hem has to be at your knees, then a dress that hits you mid-thigh is never work appropriate unless you go off into the pants under dresses trend. Leggings are hardly better than tights in covering things up and maintaining the mystery of the shape of your upper thigh, so please friends, for the love of all things modern and elegant- no more leggings under too short dresses. The same goes for tights with gaps (like lace) under dresses that are mid-thigh or shorter. This is only acceptable when you're dressing for a.) Halloween as any kind of unsavory character, or b.) going to the club? I question this because there has got to be something more flattering than a too-short dress.

And so ends my treatise on tights and leggings. Hopefully its helpful! What do you think? Do you agree with my rules of leggings and tights engagement?


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