How to Wear Plus Size Leggings (Without Looking Ridiculous)

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(Editor’s note: This post was updated 11/2016.) It’s an ever-lasting debate for women of all shapes and sizes: How Do I Wear Leggings Without Looking Ridiculous? Luckily, it’s really quite simple, and the best tips for wearing leggings work for women from petite to plus.

5 Rules for Wearing Plus Size Leggings

Plus Size Leggings

1. Choose the Right Fabric

The number ONE tip for wearing leggings is “make sure you aren’t wearing tights.” What does this mean? Well, the biggest offense for any lady is to don a pair of TIGHTS thinking she’s wearing leggings. Tights are like second skins, and tend to be sheer. Before you pull out the credit card to buy those leggings, double-check the fabric. At a minimum, you want leggings that feel like thick cotton. Other heavy fabrics (like faux leather) work well too.

2.. Choose the Size Carefully

Plus Size Leggings

No matter what your shape is, “squeezed” doesn’t look good on anyone and “tighter” never makes you look thinner. Buy leggings that fit your body. They should fit snuggly throughout the leg and hip without creating a stomach pooch at the waist. If your leggings create muffin top, they’re the wrong size.

3. Wear a Hip-Length Top

What to pair with leggings? The answer is anything that is not tight and/or short. Any top that hits at the hip or below is ideal, and choose one that leaves a little room to wiggle. Tunics, over-sized sweaters, dresses, and long shirts are great for every woman.

4. Wear with Confidence

The best accessory for your leggings look is CONFIDENCE. You know, when you hear someone say, she’s got that “je ne se quois,” that’s her confidence talking. Confidence trumps all fashion rules — wear your clothes as if you look amazing and you will look amazing. Simple, right? Remember to stand up straight, hold your chin up high, and wear your leggings with swagger.

5. Know your Go-To Leggings Outfit That Always Works

plus size leggings outfit collage

My favorite leggings-look is a tunic, tall boots, a sweater, and a long necklace.

Want More Plus Size Fashion? Check out this video of the Isabel Toledo line at Lane Bryant.

Note: This article was inspired by a question from one of our readers, Ehoover51, who asked:

“I’m not skinny so I’m holding off on the leggings. Any advice on how to wear them without looking ridiculous?”

Hope this guide helps, Ehoover!

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  • TigerKim

    Love the fashion show on the video but I am tired of designers trying to shove us all into tall heels. Then there is the other extreme; one woman was barefoot. Is there nothing in the middle between hobbling and no shoes at all?

  • Finally, good explanation how to look well i geggings 🙂

  • Bree

    I dont think leggings / jeggings / tight jeans look great on every one lol. im 4’10 so i have a “shape” and they fit my body type but its always hard to find a top to go with it so i dont really wear them out the house.. Unless they look just like jeans and have jean like material and arent as tight as reg. jeggings .. I dont think they look good on plus size or bigger people though but thats just my opinion..

    • Thanks for your two cents, Bree! Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all rule here given our body diversity, so I agree that it’s important that we take note of our own body types and see if it really does fit us.That said, I’m size 16 and I love rocking leggings with dresses I wouldn’t dare wear with just my bare legs! =)

  • Guest

    Wear pajamas instead and stay home. Or put on some exercise pants and get on the treadmill already. Ick. There’s “curvy” and there’s FAT. So sick and tired of “curvy” being a euphemism for lard-bucket. Who are these people, fifty shades of Chris Christie in drag?

    • Ashley L.

       That’s a really hateful thing to say about people you don’t even know.  I suggest you work on your own faults before you start ragging on strangers, unless, that is, you’re already perfect…

      • Amanda

        Hooray for YOUR comment!

    • D

      Why should you care if someone is curvy? Sounds like you’re the one who needs work. Seek professional help.

    • woman inspired

      guest says- your ignorance is disgusting as you must be as a human being! Being big or fat should not matter, but it’s people like you that are wrong with our world! you might not be fat but I’d be willing to bet you aren’t perfect! Especially when you have to be so disgusting towards others!

  • cb

    good points, but idk