How to Wear Leggings to Work
Unless your workplace has a very relaxed dress code, you probably assume you can’t wear leggings to work. After all, leggings are typically worn doing yoga, running errands, and lounging on the couch, so they may not seem like the most professional clothing. However, there are many ways to incorporate leggings into your office wardrobe. By choosing high quality leggings and pairing them with work-appropriate pieces, you can enjoy all the comfort and convenience of leggings while maintaining a professional appearance.
Selecting Your Leggings
Choose black leggings.If you’re a fan of leggings, you’re aware that they come in every color under the sun. While a pastel pink or a cool patterned pair are great for a workout class, don’t try to dress those up for work. If you want to pull off leggings at work, they need to be black. Black leggings look much more sleek and professional than any other color, and you’re less likely to call attention to the fact that they are, in fact, leisure clothes.
Make sure your leggings are high quality.You wouldn’t wear a ratty old T-shirt to work, so don’t try to pull off your ratty old leggings. Lower quality leggings often fade and start pilling after a wash or two. If your leggings are covered in loose strings and fuzz, you won’t be able to wear them in a professional environment. Invest in a pair of leggings that hold up in the washing machine, and wash them carefully to ensure they stay in tiptop condition.
- Turn your leggings inside out and use a bio detergent when you wash them. This will help to prevent pilling, which makes your leggings look worn out.
Check and double-check that your leggings are opaque.Thin leggings may look great in the dim lighting of your bedroom as you get ready for work, but be careful. In the bright, unforgiving lights of your office, those same leggings may be completely see-through. Make sure you examine your leggings thoroughly in bright and natural lighting before heading to the office.
- Use your hands to pull the fabric taut. If you can see skin through the stretched fabric, save those leggings for the comfort of your own home.
Choosing Appropriate Tops
Wear long, loose-fitting tops.Leggings can certainly cling to your curves, and that’s not exactly the look you should be going for in the workplace. To ensure your outfit is conservative enough, avoid pairing your tight leggings with a tight top. Instead, pair them with a flowing blouse, a longer tunic, or an oversized sweater.
- Choose tops that hit mid-thigh and cover your rear. Showing too much of the top of your leggings looks less professional and modest.
Pair leggings with a blazer.Nothing says professional quite like a tailored blazer. By wearing layers on your top half, you’ll attract the eye that way. A crisp blazer will steal the show, allowing you to be happily comfortable on the bottom half. If you wear a blazer or another dressy layer on your top, you don’t have to worry about being underdressed on the bottom.
- Layer your blazers over a long shirt or dress. Your rear should still be fully covered.
- Crisp button-downs, dressy cardigans, and structured, high-quality tops can all be worn to dress up your top half.
Make short dresses work-appropriate with leggings.If you have a mini dress that you absolutely adore, try wearing it with opaque leggings. Unlike see-through tights, dark leggings will make the outfit look much more conservative. Think of leggings as thick stockings that can make even the shortest dresses suitable for the office.
- Keep in mind that this only works if all other elements of the dress are more conservative. For example, adding leggings to a dress with a plunging neckline and skinny spaghetti straps won't automatically make the dress work-appropriate!
Accessorizing Your Outfits
Spice up your outfit with eye-catching jewelry.If you’re afraid that your outfit isn’t dressy enough for the office, try throwing on a beautiful piece of jewelry to take it up a notch. For example, leggings paired with an oversized sweater may look too casual alone. Throw on a chunky statement necklace, and you’ve taken it from relaxed to trendy.
- When looking for work-appropriate jewelry, consider things like statement necklaces and chunky bracelets. Avoid things like noisy bangles that might be distracting, as well as overly large earrings that may be a bit too flashy for the workplace.
- Bangles, watches, flashy earrings, and layered necklaces are all great options to dress up a legging outfit.
Embrace accessories.Your leggings should just be part of your outfit, and certainly not the focus point. Accessorizing can add some sophistication and style to an outfit that may be a bit plain on its own. Try adding a fun belt over a dress or oversized cardigan. In the colder months, pop a chic scarf around your neck.
- When you're selecting accessories for this look, think dressy. For example, choose a silk scarf over a chunky knit scarf. Casual accessories will make your entire outfit look casual, while dressier accessories will elevate your look, and hide the fact that you're wearing leggings!
Dress up your leggings with your footwear.Your favorite black leggings will look much different paired with patent leather heels than they do with your running shoes. Knee-high boots and ballet flats can also transform your look, making your leggings look polished and professional.By pairing the typically sporty leggings with fancier, more feminine footwear, you can easily take your leggings from the gym to the office.
- Consider grounding your leggings with some tall boots for a preppy and professional look.
Finish your look with polished hair and makeup.It's not always possible to do a gorgeous full face of makeup with perfectly-styled hair every single day, but it's important that you put a bit more effort into your hair and makeup when you wear leggings to work. Remember, it's all about balance. By taking a bit of time to enhance your features with makeup and make your hair look tidy, you'll look more more formal and work-appropriate.
- Throwing your hair up in a messy bun and skipping the makeup is probably fine some days, but if you do this while also wearing leggings, you'll look ready to nap rather than work.
Video: 4 Outfit Ideas for Wearing Leggings to Work Your Key to Success
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