After relying on leggings to wear our favourite dresses and skirts all winter, the thought of going bare legged seems akin to being well, naked, this summer. But as one of the most versatile pieces, leggings can also be part of a stylish—and practical—wardrobe this season. Here, Amy Lu, fashion and celebrity stylist, takes us through the rules of wearing leggings this summer.
1. Leggings? For summer? Believe. “Leggings can help avoid nasty sunburnt legs as well as offer extra warmth once the sun goes down,” says Lu. “Anything breathable and light-weight works well. Cotton and Lycra blends are great and comfortable.”
2.Your perfect transitional piece. “They are much more flattering than pasty white legs early on in the season,” she says. Bonus? “Leggings go well with sundresses and tunics, just make sure that the leggings elongate, rather than foreshorten your legs.”
3. For barely there dresses… “Cotton stretchy leggings work well with slip dresses and jersey tank dresses,” says Lu. “Think Kate Moss circa 1997: lingerie-inspired slip dress with leggings and Dr. Martens.”
4. Go for classic and playful prints this summer. “Opaque black leggings are definitely the most flattering and versatile, so I would invest in a pair of those,” she says. “Printed leggings are definitely on trend at the moment, just make sure you try before you buy, often patterns look really cool on the hanger but not as cute once they’re stretched out.”
5. Leather leggings—your all-season staple. “Leather leggings work beautifully all year round with tunic length tops, for example, an Isabel Marant Indian cotton blouse with leather leggings and suede booties.”
6. The golden rule of yoga pants: “If you want to wear something comfy, opt for fitted stretch cotton jersey ones rather than the thicker athletic ones with lots of spandex; they tend to dig in at the waist and can look unflattering outside of the gym,” says Lu.
7. Choose your footwear based on the length of your leggings. “You’ll want to ensure that you highlight—expose—the most flattering part of your leg,” she says, adding that full-length leggings can be more forgiving than mid-calf ones. “In general, booties, closed-toe heels and sneakers look best with full-length leggings. Ballet flats, peep-toe heels and sandals look amazing with slightly cropped leggings—think ankle length.”