Aug 31, 2006

Leggings: How to work them for your body type

By: Colleen Tully

Author: Elle Canada

Aug 31, 2006

Leggings: How to work them for your body type

By: Colleen Tully
Under miniskirts, shirt-dresses, oversized sweaters and tops, leggings are the ultimate accessory this fall. Take a cue from the runways of Versace and MaxMara -- the '80s are back in the spotlight. Great news for girls blessed with gorgeous gams, but the prospect of reveal-all legwear has the rest of us running for cover (literally!). Fear not -- there are ways to copy the trend without putting less-than-perfect features on display. Read on ...

Barbara Atkin, fashion director of Holt Renfrew Canada, offers this advice for all our unique body and leg shapes.

Wear leggings with knee-high boots, layered with an A-line, empire waist or cocoon-shaped tunic-length dress. Wear the dress loose and not belted. Add some of this season's long necklaces to give your body an elongated image. Play up the top half of your torso and keep the bottom half more fluid and swingy.

You have worked out hard, so show off your toned lines by layering your leggings with a body-skimming dress, or layer with a miniskirt and new off-the-shoulder sexy Flashdance top. Ankle boots with rounded toes and high, chunky heels will give you the right lift to accentuate your well-toned calves.

Your womanly curves need to be accented. Layer your leggings with a minidress or tunic. Add a waist-cinching belt and a knee boot or a shoe with a chunky high heel and round or almond-shaped toe. Throw over the whole outfit with one of this season's must-have knit capes.

Show off your cute androgynous side with skinny leggings layered with a romantic blouse: Victorian style with high lace collar. Layer this blouse with a vest and throw over the whole outfit an oversized tweed or velvet jacket. Add a jockey cap and the perfect equestrian riding boot.

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Wear your leggings with a high-heeled, rounded-toe ankle boot to give you height and a leggy look. Pair it with a hot mini jumper dress layered over a fine knit turtleneck. If going outdoors, choose a trendy staple: princess line knee-length coats.

Leggings are the perfect underpinning for you when layered over a knit tunic and ankle-length, chunky-knit extra large cardigan. Add a knee-length boot and extra long knit or fur scarf, or splurge on the celeb-coveted extra large satchel bags -- now you have flair!

Lucky you! You are not too tall, not too short, not overweight and can wear any of the above-mentioned styles. You may be average but you will always be noticed and have many options to choose from.

Remember to watch your legging wear-and-tear! Leggings are prone to bagging around the knees and bum. When they've lost their stretch-appeal, it's time to turn them in (or place them under house arrest). Consider buying two pairs of your favourite kind to reduce the wear and enjoy a full season of hot, stylish legs.

Go shopping!
Holt Renfrew



Old Navy

What do you think? Is the leggings look for you? Or do you think Lindsay Lohan has already killed it? Discuss in our forums with other ELLE fashionistas!

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Leggings: How to work them for your body type