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!