Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Leggings Are Not Pants

Let's talk more about leggings. Leggings are usually black and sort of like tights without feet. They are often so thin that when you pull them over your behind they suddenly become sheer. Sometimes your underwear or even the label on the inside of the leggings can be plainly seen. 

That is why you must wear a tunic that comes down below your bottom. Your crotch area should be covered when wearing those thin leggings. 

The cashmere tunic above was supplied by J.Jill. The leggings are old from Chico's. They are made from Ponte and they have to be dry cleaned. They are not tight fitting at all but even if they were you could not see through them. I wore short black boots with this look but you can also wear longer or over the knee boots which look great with leggings and a long cardigan. Several varying length layers worn over leggings is a great look.

I bought my first pair of leggings last year for a photo shoot. I never wore them before that. I have often worn straight leg slim fitting pants that from the pictures might appear to be leggings. Those were normally made from denim or some fabric other than a nylon or cotton knit. 

I look for leggings that have a wide waistband. They should be made from the heavy dense knit material that you can not see through, no matter how much it is stretched.

I have some great leggings which were supplied by Body Language by Connie and also some HUE Wide Waistband Ultra Leggings which I found at Dillard's. These have a nice comfortable wide sculpted waistband, and they are made from very dense material. I tried the look above with a longer tank underneath, but the proportion was very frumpy looking. I broke the never show your crotch rule because the leggings are not tight fitting, and they are made from a very dense heavy knit fabric.

Jeggings are another "animal" altogether. They are made from a stretchy denim material. They have a zipper and pockets like regular jeans but they fit more like leggings.

I wore these gray jeggings from Chico's with a blue cashmere sweater from Ann Taylor. We were braving the cold and rain on Sunday afternoon to go for sushi. The coat is from Ann Taylor Loft, last year. The scarf is by Vince Camuto via Saks Off 5th. The boots are by French Connection via Saks Off 5th. (My mother calls these my combat boots.)

Jeggings are not normally skin tight but I still prefer a longer top that covers most of my backside. I cuffed these because the look of a bunched up pant leg is never pretty. I have to be careful with pant length because I have short legs. I don't want to have too many visual breaks on my legs. Keep reading for more on this.

There is an exercise I do with looks I have not yet determined to be winning a combination.

Take a selfie of the look from the front, back and sides. At the end of the day make notes about it. For example. This look would have been better if I had worn it with gray boots instead of black. The contrast was too great. The length of the pants is too long to go with these boots. Ankle length jeans would have been much better. This particular sweater is fine but I might have made a note such as "The sweater made me itch all day long!" You get the idea. You are grading the look and the comfort level of the pieces you wore. If a look doesn't get high marks, don't wear it in that combination again. If an item of clothing tormented you all day, don't put it back in your closet, get rid of it.

This practice has helped me to build a wardrobe of great pieces that are comfortable and also work well for me. I don't always get it right but I am doing so much better than I did a few years ago!

That's me with Mr. Mickey during a train excursion in 2010 before we lost almost 100 pounds between us.
We learned what to eat and why after reading the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Thank you for joining us on this wonderful journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Represented by Talent Trek Agency in Knoxville TN.

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Unless otherwise noted in the post, the products I am using or wearing were purchased by me or were a gift from family or friends. When products are supplied by companies, it is always disclosed within the body of the post.
All opinions are my own.


Unknown said...

I agree with your take on the leggings..cover up please! I keep a wardrobe diary; do you Susan? I actually made a form I can type into and I print it out. Its easy to forget outfits I've styled and this is a quick reference. I include my jewelry and shoe selections too.

Pamela Joan said...

I'd love to wear leggings but my inseam is 34" and I cannot find them anywhere that long. Please post if any of you have found leggings for longer legs! Thanks!

Nancy said...

The transformations you both have made & sustained are so inspirational!

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Pamela Joan - try the "Wide Waistband Leggings Tall" from Chadwicks.com. They're great! And, as Susan posted, they're not see-through and they're made of good fabric.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I encourage everyone to try them on without assumptions. Soft Surroundings has some great leggings...especially the denim Metro Leggings which fit like pants. If you assume they are leggings and don't try them on, then you miss out on a great fit in a pant. It is crazy how there are so many interpretations...but at least try them on before deciding about fit...all lines seem to fit differently. Thanks for bringing up the subject, Susan!

Ruth Robbins said...

Thank you Susan, as always -- a very helpful post! My problem with leggings, however, is that they always pull down and I feel like I spend all day trying to pull them back up again! Any tips?

Susan said...

Ruth Robbins, look for the ones that have the wide reinforced waistband. I didn't have that problem with those.

Elaine @ Following Augustine said...

Wow! You look so much younger than you did in 2010!

I love the title of this post. I don't think it can be said often enough... leggings are not pants! Cover up your butts and crotches, ladies! Leggings look fabulous when worn correctly.

crowmom said...

Pamela, I too have the same inseam and found the INC brand at Macy's to be long enough. Chico's sometimes carries the long length leggings, too.

Pamela Joan said...

Thank you so much ! I will check them out today!

Prairie Poulet said...

The trick to wearing these types of bottoms seems to be in avoiding horizontal lines...keep shoes and leggings in the same color, keep top and jacket in the same color, dress head to toe in the same color. Buy better quality leggings/leggings in a denser fabric, and keep tops looser and longer in contrast with the body-conscious bottoms. Keep waistbands high and wide to avoid the "plumber" look. Look for bottoms to fit your shape (yes, they do come in "curvy"). And don't wear yoga pants as day wear.

It's not an easy look for some of us, but it can be done right. Thanks again, Susan.

rhonda's escape said...

Today I had the courage to try leggings. Thank you for the advice.

Rhonda Williams http://www.rhondasescape.com/

Unknown said...

I thought of something this am that you might consider for your blog. If you have learned useful advise from your readers in 2015 why don't you write about it in a post.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the info Susan. I have nice leggings but every time I go to wear in public I chicken out. My legs look great in them but I think I worry too much butt and crotch will showeven though they don't. I can't wear too long of tunic since I'm only 5'3.Maybe today when I go out for a lunch date.

Andrea said...

There are such big difference between leggings, and finding a thick, quality pair is so important. And I'm with you on wearing long tops with them.

I also love your idea of taking pictures of outfits from all angles! Pictures tell us so much more than the mirror ever will! And, yes, there is no point in keeping uncomfortable items in our closet; they will just make us miserable again and again...