How to Wear Leggings to Work

I often have difficulty finding pants that fit and are comfortable.  Leggings, then, provide a great refuge because they so easily stretch over everything—hips, thighs, the stomach, you name it.  So, on days when I don’t feel like reaching for a dress, I grab my leggings.

If leggings look like pants, then I think they are appropriate for many work environments.

  • I opt for slim-cut or bootcut leggings because these cuts more closely resemble “pants” than the super skinny cuts.  
  • I also opt for ponte knits, double-knit interlock fabrics, that provide great coverage and have the added bonus of being durable.  
  • To ensure that leggings look tasteful, I also always fully cover or half-way cover the butt when sporting them to work.

I own two pairs of ponte knit pants, a slim cut by Adrienne Vittadini, and a bootcut pair by Max Studio (featured today).  Both pairs of pants were purchased on clearance in Marshalls for $20 each.

For a casual leggings-to-work look, a polka dot ruffle shell is paired with the bootcut ponte knit pants and belted with an edgy studded belt.  A red zip front cardigan provides the perfect topper while leopard flats add an unexpected twist.

Pants—Max Studio via Marshalls
Shoes—Banana Republic Factory Store
Belt—Destination Style NY by Patricia Field via HSN


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  1. September 12, 2011 / 4:05 pm

    Too cute. I love the pattern mixing.

  2. September 12, 2011 / 6:45 pm

    i love this! i have a hard time figuring the leggings thing out while keeping it appropriate for work. thanks for the tips!

  3. September 13, 2011 / 2:43 am

    Very cute outfit! Love the idea of mixing polka dots and leopard!

  4. September 15, 2011 / 10:01 am

    Funny, I have a few skinny ponte pants but I don't think of them as "leggings" — but I do follow many of the same rules when I wear them.

    For me, real leggings should only be worn with short dresses/extra-long tunics so absolutely no part of my dupa is showing. Ponte pants can be worn with shorter tops, but like you said the dupa needs to be at least halfway covered.

    Heh, now that I look back at your outfit I realize I was copying you in my Tuesday outfit. I've had this tab open so I could come back and comment and I think the photo stuck in my head. 🙂 Thanks for the inspirations!