How to Wear Black Leggings

There were three things you HAD to have in your closet in order to be cool in the 80’s: a pair of acid wash jeans, an off the shoulder sweat shirt, and a closet full of leggings. Fortunately, the fashion gods spared us the return of acid wash jeans and let the more fashion friendly black leggings return.  Black leggings are not only incredibly comfortable, but offer a great covering options for those days when you don’t have the energy to shave your legs or apply the self tanner (only you, and the leggings, know what’s underneath). Plus everyone from Old Navy to Hanes Her Way to Lane Bryant are featuring the leggings for well under $20 dollars, making them an affordable fashion option.

Here’s How to Wear Black Leggings:

– Layer underneath a jersey dress for a hipster look

– Pair them with last year’s tunics and a wide belt for an updated look

– Wear underneath a short skirt to provide additional coverage

– If all else fails, wear them to the gym


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  1. says

    I just can’t imagine the leggings being “IN.”  Maybe I just need concrete photo examples of the matching and mixing. 😛

  2. anon says

    UGH!!! NO!!! I thought you, BudgetFashionista, of all people, would restrain from advocating leggings. They are extremely unflattering unless you have skinny legs and no butt, they instantly scream “TRENDWHORE!!!”, and besides, they are soooo last year.


  3. TBF says

    Actually Anon- you’ve got it wrong.. I own two pair of Danskin Leggings and I definitely don’t have skinny legs. You’re not going to where them with a cropped top or anything- but under a jersey kint dress it’s very flatter to all body types (the black makes your legs look slimmer) and a great alternative to stockings..

    Whether you like it or not leggings are in and pretty much can be seen on the pages of all the major mags from Bazaar to Essence to Marie Claire.. Sorry, just a fashion fact..

    I never said that you can’t enjoy a trend… just don’t spend a billion dollars on it..

  4. susan kelly says

    I agree with the masses here, leggings… no thanks.  I’m 5’8” 118 lbs and even on me they look stupid.  This is one of those fashion trends that unles you happen to be a runway model or famous you look stupid in them… like a soccer mom that didn’t have time to get dressed up in the morning and thinks she looks sporty in them.

    I’m a girl and I want to look feminine, leggings don’t cut it.


  5. Melissa says

    Even better – Spanx sells footless tights/leggings guaranteed to make you look a size smaller!!  Super cute with that mini you didn’t think you were bold enough to wear anymore, slimming & fashionable… (look at how Lindsay Lohan’s wearing short dresses with these lightweight leggings/tights to get ideas about how to make them look “now” not “80’s”)

  6. Kathryn says

    I think we can agree to disagree…

    Oh.. well I love leggings and where them all the time and I really don’t care if I look fat in them (I don’t – trust me my stylist friends would shoot me down if I did). It’s a trend that I love and I wore them even when they weren’t in style.

    Also you have to remember they’re many different versions of the leggings some are longer to the ankle, some are short like capris, and many actually act as a girdle- holding you in and shapping your middle and thighs…. Even Spanx/ Assets has a version, Torrid and Lane Bryant the plus size stores sell them, etc..

  7. Kathy says

    P.s. Almost every fashion designer had leggings in their shows last fashion week. Whether you like them or not- there’s this season’s hottest new trend. If they don’t work for you don’t buy them- But don’t knock the people who choose to spend part of their 30% trendy (from the 70/30 rule) on this item and wear them fashionably.

  8. Anon says

    How can leggings be flattering? They chop your leg in half…if you want flattering black legwear, try opaque black tights? Everybody looks heavier in leggings, and THAT is a fact.

    I’m not saying that it isn’t a trend, of course it’s a trend. But I have always thought you were one to enjoy trends with discretion…you’ve let me down, TBF.

  9. TBF says

    Come on now…if something like a grammar mistake bothers you that I suggest this isn’t the blog for you… I make tons of mistakes and will probably continue to make tons of mistakes. I would much rather focus on dishing the tips, than worrying about little mistakes…

    that being said, thanks and I fixed it…

  10. Anne says

    You’re welcome.  I didn’t mean to sound snarky, and I know you want to dish the tips as much as we all want to read them … but come on, I am sure you know better and are just typing fast … right?

  11. says

    Hmmm…this was a topic for discussion in my home. I wonder if I wore leggings once—in the eighties, should I wear them again. Husband and kids say no. I may have to try out the spanx version.

  12. Annie says

    I don’t understand why designers are just putting leggings out now – last year, these were the item to have, but now, they just seem like a tired flash trend.

  13. TBF says

    1. Yes.. I was typing fast.. plus blogger don’t have the benefit of a copyeditor like our print colleagues. I’ll put a copyeditor on my christmas list.

    2. Leggings weren’t a trend last year. I go to pretty much every fashion week (not like I would buy anything) and leggings weren’t a big feature on the runways last season. You may have seen preview photos for this season (the Fashion Week is held almost 6 months before the actualy season)

  14. kristine says

    This is the best free website for fashionistas, there is no need to criticize the person who is giving us this great service.  And plus she is absolutely right, leggings are hott this year, just try them on… you dont need to buy/wear them!

  15. e says

    i just bought a pair, black, capri length, paired with a flowy jersey, above-the-knee empire style tunic (like a mini), and they are just fabulous! Sort of an urban hippie-chic look. Pair them with black stilletos and you are ready for the catwalk… match them with flat black ballerina shoes and you are as demure and elegant as Audrey Hepburn… and yes, they are featured in all fall fashions!

  16. Ann says

    I LOVED leggings in the 80s and am thrilled they are back; I love the new way they are being shown.  I need permission to wear them though, since they say if you lived through it once, you are too old to take it up again.  I don’t want to look like I’m trying to dress like a teenager, so my question is, can a young-looking 50-something in the best shape of her life wear leggings for casual looks (obviously not business or cocktai!)?

  17. Nancy says

    How old is too old for leggings?  I wore them in the 80’s and loved how comfortable they are.  I am now 56 and I look longingly at them in the magazines and stores.  I would love to wear them with a tunic and a great belt.

  18. Jules says

    I have to put my two cents in… I like the leggings and knee-boots look, as long as my butt is covered up with a nice tunic sweater and wide belt or a long sweater-coat and sheer tunic top underneath. It’s really easy, packs wonderfully for travel, and looks sleek and put-together with chunky jewelry or a long knit scarf. I am SO glad leggings are back!

  19. Observer says

    There’s (almost) no such thing as generically flattering.  Whether leggings are flattering depends on your body type.  If you are bottom heavy they usually aren’t for you, but for the top heavy with good legs (a common combination) they are great-they draw attention to our best feature, and the bagginess is actually an asset since it balances out the top.

    But I still want to know how we oldies can wear them

  20. mari says

    I think leggings are great for people with good legs. I have good legs only!! So I am really pleased they are back

  21. eggplant says

    I think these look cute on younger females. I believe people who wore them in the eighties should not try the retro eighties thing.

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