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How to Wear Leggings as Pants After 50

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For the last decade, leggings as pants have gone from “absolutely not” to a way of life. We know that teenagers and even young adults can pull off wearing leggings as pants, but what about women over 50? The answer is, of course! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Leggings Under an Asymmetrical Tunic

This bright and festive asymmetrical tunic is perfect for work or a night out with the girls. We love that with an outfit like this one, you are showing off some leg without leaving your bottom out in the open, to fend for itself.

2. Leggings Under a Poncho

Anyone can wear a poncho! Since most styles are long enough to cover the hips, the poncho makes a perfect companion for your leggings. Another plus is that ponchos can work as “outfit stretchers” — these are the pieces that combine with your tried-and-true basics to create a complete and put-together look.

This poncho from Evine offers a gorgeous v-neck cut with sleeves that swoop down for a comfy, yet sexy flare.

3. Leggings with a Skirt

Choose a skirt as an extra layer for dressier occasions, or when you’re tentative about wearing leggings as pants. This piece, a “skirted legging,” has the skirt built-in, but you can create your own skirted look with separates too. Look for skirts with a stretchier fabric that’s about the same weight as your leggings.

Another plus to this combo: it’s a conservative way to wear a short skirt at any age!

Choosing Shoes

Leggings can work with nearly any type of shoe — sneakers, pumps, sandals, boots and booties are all options:

  • Use a nice sneaker (vs. your beat-up cross-trainers) on casual days to let people know you’re not on your way to the gym.
  • Add femininity to your leggings ensemble with a sandal, flat or heeled.
  • Sleek open-toe booties and pumps are for your dressier, more sophisticated outfits.
  • Save the clunky boots for edgier days. If you tend to worry about your feet looking big, skip the boots entirely.
  • A tall boot with leggings keeps you warm and helps you feel less exposed in those tight pants.

Dos and Don’ts of Leggings as Pants

Do cover your tush.

Lindsay Lohan wearing leggings

Depending on your tastes, you might call what Lindsay is wearing either a shirt or a dress. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to note where her shirt/dress falls in relation to her leggings. Her top also covers her bottom, which is an essential rule for wearing leggings as pants. You’re welcome.

Do get the fit right.

Beyonce wearing leggings

Beyonce’s got the right idea. Although her blazer and top do not cover her mid section, her leggings are not so tight that you can see every imprint over her body. Instead, they are tapered nicely from the hips down.

Although leggings should fit tight, you should be able to pinch the material off your skin as you are wearing them. If you cannot, then your leggings are too tight.

Don’t wear see-through.

Kim Kardashian wearing leggings

Kim Kardashian doesn’t have the winning look this time around. The spandex material is hugging her curves a little too light, and to top it off, they’re see-through. If you’re going to wear your leggings as pants, make sure they are opaque.

Don’t show camel toe.

Mariah Carey wearing leggings

Mariah Carey’s leggings fit well, except for the tight part in the front. The best way to avoid camel toe is (again) to test the tightness of those pants.

You might also invest in an underwear insert like the Cuchini that was created to disguise camel toe — so public mishaps like this one won’t happen.

If you’d like to see more on dressing over 50, try these: