What can you wear with leggings? Just about everything!

What can you wear with leggings? Just about everything!

Leggings were initially the bailiwick of dancers but the general population realized their value and versatility and swiped them. They have gone mainstream. You do not have to be a member of a ballet troupe to wear them. What you can wear with leggings is virtually endless. They keep you warm, look good and are worn by both young and old.

Leggings aren’t new by any stretch of the imagination. Worn by by both men and women for centuries, they provided protection and warmth. King Henry the VIII and his ilk were great fans of tights. Superman wears them. Football wearers wear them under their pants.

Leggings and tights are essentially the same thing. They are both heavier than hose. Some have feet in them while others are ankle or calf length. Some are convertible and can be worn as footed tights or footless. They come in various colors and patterns. Some are sheer while others are opaque.

Nowadays, men don’t normally wear tights unless dancers, Shakespearian actors or football players, although they could if they wanted to.


Leggings are pretty much the exclusive domain of girls and women. Mothers put their tots in tights because they’re cute and keep the child warm. Moms wear them for the same reasons. Pre-teens and teens also love sporting leggings because they’re cute, fashionable and colorful.

Some individuals wear tights as a layering garment, especially when participating in cold weather sports or spending long periods of time outdoors. Wear them under pants, pajamas or anytime you need an extra layer of warmth. They are not bulky so don’t add heft to the frame.

Others wear them with short skirts, which shows off the tights and legs.

Wear them with a great looking vest, wrap colorful scarves around your neck and add some flirty jewelry and you will take center stage.

Tights look great when combined with boots or high heels. Sheerer tights should be worn if the outfit is dressy and heels are worn. Opaque tights look more casual.

Tights can be worn under gaucho pants, shorts, long dresses and, of course, with a tutu. They’re a great costume accessory. Look for skeleton tights and striped leggings to go with a witch’s ensemble or a Pipi Longstocking get-up. Some tights have cut-outs, some have pockets.

Denim leggings are called jeggings. These tights look like skinny denim jeans. Wear them with boots or heels, coupled with a short jacket and some attitude. If you have a killer body this is the way to show it off.

Leggings are a fashion essential but take care not to wear the shiny, Spandex version made popular by actress/ singer Olivia Newton-John in Grease. This is passe.

If wearing tights as a substitute for pants, which most do not recommend doing, your top should be mid-thigh length, covering the stomach, hips and butt. Tights weren’t intended to be a substitute for pants. If wearing a tunic, the tights should be very fitted because the tunic is loose. This balances out the look.

A great asset for bohemian fashionistas and those women who like wearing casual dresses, tights make mini skirts look respectable because they cover that large expanse of exposed leg. Leggings can be worn with a jean skirt, which is a cool look.

Be careful what footwear you pair with tights. Try on your outfit with boots and then with a low-heeled shoe or flat and see which looks best. Many prefer flats with tights.

Fashion guru Betsey Johnson often shows her outfits coupled with patterned or textured tights. If a conservative dresser this may not be your cup of tea but if you do not mind being an attention grabber, this look will do the trick.