8 leggings outfits for every occasion – from fancy to sporty

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  • It’s no secret that leggings are among the most useful off-duty wardrobe pieces to own. Stretchy, versatile and cut to fit all body shapes, they offer a comfortable and chic solution to low-key dressing, and make putting an outfit together in the morning a breeze. With more of us now working closer to home (or from home), it’s hardly surprising that sales of the loungewear staple is booming; global fashion search platform Lyst reports demand is currently up by 25%. 

    However, leggings outfits are not reserved exclusively for at-home wear. When realised in luxe fabrics, splashed with stylish prints or adorned with considered detailing, the best leggings can be worn for myriad different occasions, from smart events to high glamour. The trick is to pick the right style and match them with elevating pieces that add polish.

    Thanks to a host of style insiders recently championing leggings in every iteration – from influencer Camille Charrier to supermodel Bella Hadid and Jennifer Lopez –  the appeal of leggings has never been stronger, and they’re set to be a key piece for the season ahead. So, if you haven’t already, it’s worth investing now.

    Whether brunching with friends, attending a work meeting or heading to a yoga class, here are 8 leggings outfits to wear now.

    Stylish leggings outfits for every occasion

    The French look 

    A pair of classic black leggings is a must in any wardrobe and, when teamed with a crisp white shirt, exudes Parisienne chic. Choose a flattering ankle-length pair, such as Boden’s Favourite Leggings, £22, which are made from soft jersey and have a shape-enhancing high waist. As for the shirt? A long-line boyfriend style that hits mid-thigh will add subtle volume, balancing the slim-fit silhouette of the leggings. Reach for a premium cotton style in a timeless cut such as Toast’s Oxford Shirt, £95. For added style points, turn up the cuffs and push sleeves to mid forearm, adding gold stacking bangles for a luxe touch. A pair of ballet pumps will complete the look. Every fashion editor I know is buying the Foundation Flat, £156, from sustainable brand Essen.

    Brunch attire 

    Casual mornings with friends call for a low-key yet stylish look. Reach for a pair of leggings with elevating details, such as Hush’s Side Stripe leggings, £45.  As well as adding luxe factor, the chic metallic strip helps elongate the leg.  They also have a wide waistband to prevent them slipping, and enough stretch to comfortably accommodate that extra helping of toast. Keep the outfit pulled together with a colour-pop knit, such as John Lewis & Partners relaxed Merino Sweater, £69. A trench coat and sleek white trainers are the perfect finishing touches.

    The new tuxedo 

    Thanks to numerous catwalk designers giving leggings the luxe treatment (think sleek leather iterations with a three-figure price tag), they are now a legitimate option for after-dark events. Every capsule wardrobe needs a pair of leather leggings – wear yours with a neat, tailored jacket for a modern spin on tuxedo dressing. However, this needn’t cost a fortune. Mint Velvet’s Faux Leather Leggings, £29, are made from sculpting fabric that offers gentle support while still feeling comfortable. Additional flattering touches come via the matte finish and wide waistband. Team with Mango’s structured statement button blazer, £70, layering a silky blouse or camisole underneath. Add extra vamp-appeal with heeled courts and a swipe of red lipstick.

    Elevated loungewear 

    With temperatures cooling and nights drawing in, it’s the right time to ready ourselves for long, cosy evenings on the sofa.  Sartorially speaking, this means investing in luxe loungewear that will keep you comfy and toasty all season long. A pair of warm cashmere leggings will do just that. They’re certainly a treat, but one that looks polished enough to keep wearing if friends drop by. N. Peal’s cashmere leggings, £259, come mixed with silk to make them lightweight and breathable yet still insulating. A ribbed waistband and cuffs add to the refined feel. Team with a slouchy cashmere knit, such as Marks & Spencer’s Autograph V-neck jumper, £89, for a supremely luxurious top-to-toe look.

    Dance-floor ready 

    As party season approaches take a style cue from Debbie Harry and Madonna circa 1980, by incorporating leggings into your dance-floor look. Eschew classic styles in favour of something with statement-making impact such as Zara’s Velvet Leggings, £25.99, adorned with a tone-on-tone snakeskin motif and gently flared leg. Team with a dressy blouse, such as & Other Stories’ metallic spot wrap blouse, £45, to keep the party spirit going, or layer them underneath your favourite mini dress as an alternative to tights. Add dazzling jewellery and an evening bag for a night on the tiles. Even if those tiles happen to be kitchen ones at your next dinner party.

    Boardroom best

    Leggings might not seem like the obvious choice for the office, however the recent crop of structured iterations are as boardroom appropriate as a pair of tailored trousers. Look for premium fabrics that will look luxe and pair well with a smart blazer. Cos’ Skinny Legging Trousers, £59, are made from high-quality cotton with just a hint of elastane for a flattering stretch-fit. The 7/8th length works with myriad shoes styles, while a discrete side zip and back pocket further enhance the silhouette. Treat them as you would classic work trousers and team with tailoring, shirting and sleek leather accessories.

    Gym chic 

    Every workout deserves a chic gym look (nothing makes the prospect of the treadmill more appealing than a good outfit) and leggings form the foundations for this. When doing exercise, reach for high performance leggings that offer support and comfort. Sweaty Betty’s Power ⅞ Gym Leggings, £75, feature sweat-wicking sculpting fabric, adjustable waistband and four-way stretch to do just this. They also come in a variety of stylish shades including khaki, burgundy and navy. The secret to success is to keep the rest of the outfit tonal, so look for a sports top and luxe sweatshirt (try Whistles’ Ultimate Hoodie, £79) in a complementing hue.

    Weekend uniform 

    Leggings were made for busy weekends when the family/ socializing/ relaxing juggle requires an outfit that can be pulled on in a hurry. However, quick and easy doesn’t mean sacrificing style. A pair of printed leggings add interest to off-duty outfits, offering the appearance of effort to a swift get-dressed-and-go day. Choose a versatile motif that will easily pair with the rest of your weekend wardrobe, such as The Upside’s Leo leggings, £110, which come in wear-with-everything leopard spot. Simply add a parka and trainers and you’re good to go.

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