Way back when the men’s preferred underwear choice for extremely cold temperatures became accepted as a stylish piece of women’s fashion, there was quite a big and clear divide in people’s opinions. No matter if those people were interested in personal style choices or not, everybody seemed to have an opinion about leggings.
And that opinion was either a steep “No!” or a “Hell yeah!” From these two camps I am one who wears leggings many days a week to the office, to the gym and to a party, owns several pieces of different colours and prints, and considers them the most revolutionary innovation since the toast rack.
I used to wear trousers similar to leggings all my youth because I didn’t like jeans. I found them uncomfortable, and the fact that everybody had jeans made me wanna stay clear of such garments even further. Uniqueness, that’s something that has greatly controlled my style and fashion choices throughout my life, and there was nothing unique about a pair of jeans, in my opinion.
These days I do own altogether 3 pairs of jeans and 5 pairs of leggings; 2 leather, 3 regular ones. So, I guess you can already figure that my answer to the headline’s question is ‘yes, they can be hot’. But I also know that you can easily go badly wrong with a pair of leggings.
Here’s why I think leggings are a great replacement for the classic black trousers, and how I make sure not to look like someone who has wandered out wearing a pair of men’s long pants.
Comfort ahead of all
I’ve been an advocate for “style comes waay before comfort!” since I’ve been aware of what ‘style’ is. And I’ve lived accordingly. But now, dozens of flights and long boat trips wiser, I’ve had to admit that in some situations comfort really is of utmost importance.
Leggings are my go-to bottoms option when I’m traveling, particularly because they are so comfortable: light and not pressing any place uncomfortably due to the stretch-factor and the absence of buttons and zippers.
I simply can’t imagine sitting for hours on a plane or a bus wearing jeans pressing on my navel, which is extra sensitive to begin with.
Easier than tights
Particularly here, where summer lasts altogether 2 weeks and even then it’s too cold to wear shorts or skirts, leggings are the perfect option! When black trousers are too hot an option and shorts too cold, leggings to the rescue!
I absolutely despise the process of pulling on tights, it’s such a challenging and time-consuming act. And the risk of breaking them before you get them above the knee-line is so great that I really don’t want to bother with them, if I can avoid it.
And I can! Thanks to leggings. Just make sure you’ve got a pair with light enough fabric that works with dresses and skirts. Thicker fabrics, on the other hand, work perfectly as a replacement for the black trousers as long as the top half is dressed accordingly.
Cover strategic areas
Now, it’s very easy to go wrong with leggings due to the fabric being quite unforgiving. You should always make sure to cover your front – because camel toes are probable with leggings – and (at least) most of your bum.
This is super easy with floaty, loose tops and tunics. I have plenty of tunics for the sole reason of favouring leggings over jeans, and since my outlook is very important to me, so I want to stay clear of the biggest “style-crimes”. The biggest reason for people’s hatred of leggings is the particular fact that they reveal quite a lot.
But they really don’t need to. Not all leggings require covering any part of your body, though, hence:
Choose the right materials
The point of leggings, and in order to not look like you’re wearing men’s underwear, is that they are tight against the leg, like skinny jeans. Loose or worn out knees and stretched fabric makes a pair of leggings look like something you shouldn’t leave the house wearing. So, fabric choices are especially important with these pieces.
If you feel comfortable in leggings and want to make them a stable part of your wardrobe I recommend having 2 (or if living up North, 3) options: A pair of leather leggings for nights out (they are so easy to style up!); a pair of leggings with light fabric with a fabric that could easily pass for a black trouser; and a thick pair of leggings with fleece lining.
Are you on the “Hot!” or “Not!” camp when it comes to leggings? I’d love to hear if you guys have some awesome outfit ideas that incorporate leggings, so please hit me with a comment! xx