How to Master Leggings in the Winter

Leggings are a closet staple. Take a look at 12 celebrity-inspired ways to style leggings this winter. Not unlike overalls or clogs, leggings are one of the most polarizing pieces in fashion.

How the tights are cut can also have an impact on fit and comfort. Makes me feel hidden.

Our leggings are a warmer alternative to tights and a great, stylish way to get that classic, layered look. For the colors, fabrics, and quality you want and need in this winter staple, purchase your leggings at .
Leggings are super-comfortable, and they can be worn with a variety of pieces, like long sweaters in the fall and winter, and thin tunics in the spring and summer. They also work well when worn as tights with short skirts and dresses.
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The research

After 40 hours of research involving interviews with professional athletes, runners, and fabric specialists, plus tests running in 19 °F weather, we think The North Face Winter Warm Tights are the best men’s winter running tights, and the Sugoi MidZero Tight is the best women’s option. Both feature a brushed interior that’s extremely warm and comfortable, and in our warmth and fit tests they bested all .

The primary driver for buying a pair of tights is cold weather—this is a point that was stressed by every expert we spoke to, and it covers both winter and all-weather running tights—so it only made sense for us to prioritize the full-length kind. We gave extra features such as brushed interiors and trademarked tech like Under Armour ColdGear secondary consideration.

In addition to ankle cuffs and waistband drawcords, we looked for running tights with front or back pockets preferably zipped. Sweat-wicking capabilities, while pretty much universal in this category, were not the highest priority for us. We did give points for reflectivity, but because this feature is partly a stylistic choice—and because top garments often have more reflective elements—it was not a prerequisite.

We prioritized tights with zippered pockets, though we did not deem them necessary. What was more important for us was making sure the pockets were not merely an afterthought, such as inseam pockets, but that they were actually worked into the design of the tights.

Most of the experts we spoke to were ambivalent about just how effective or important sweat-wicking tech really is. The point is that this is a function that is natural to nylon and, especially, polyester weaves as opposed to cotton, which is highly absorbent. And besides, any exercise apparel will retain some level of moisture anyway.

Overlocking , on the other hand, refers to a stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of fabric, resulting in a thicker seam. To understand how the fabric makeup of a pair of tights can affect warmth, comfort, and performance, you first need to understand the differences between the materials.

Some running pants are made from cotton, which is just a bad idea. In turn, this can cause hypothermia and have the exact opposite effect from what a pair of running tights should deliver. For the most part, though, the category is defined by two main materials—polyester and nylon—and they each have their ups and downs.

However, this is not always the case: As fabric specialist Melissa Fehr explained to us, activewear manufacturers introduce sweat-wicking features by manipulating the weave of the fabric, not the fabric itself.

But given those dueling characteristics, we decided it made more sense to give polyester the slight edge when narrowing down our list. A blend of the two, though, would certainly be appealing. The rest consists of a stretch material: With all these speciality weaves and proprietary sweat-wicking treatments, manufacturers tend to trademark their processes with names like Nike Dri-Fit and Under Armour ColdGear.

You need to try the tights on, test them out, and see how quickly they dry, which is exactly what we did in our tests. As we waited for test samples of our top picks to come in, we began reaching out to local running groups in the Boston area where I live. We looked for volunteers who were willing to test out the contenders and provide feedback on what they liked and disliked about each.

Over the next few weeks, these volunteers four women and four men, myself included, all size medium took time to get runs in with each of the 10 contenders. We asked the testers to score and rank each sample on warmth, comfort, features, fit, design, and value. From there we were able to apply some hard data to some rather subjective considerations, using average scores to identify the overall favorites.

We also tested each pair for its stretchiness, measuring how far we were able to stretch the weave from its resting position; specifically, we pinched the fabric with our thumbs spaced about an inch apart and then pulled to see how much farther we could widen that gap.

This pair was the overwhelming favorite among our testers, ranking high in warmth, comfort, and fit. All of our reviewers agreed it was the warmest of all the tights they tested; it also features a brushed tricot interior that helped it earn far and away the best scores for comfort among all the contenders.

The Winter Warm Tights design also includes a single key pocket in the rear, a waistband drawcord, and calf zips on some models. In testing all these different garments, we were looking for warmth more than anything else, and the Winter Warm Tights proved to be both warm and comfortable in the harshest of conditions. On a scale of one to five, our testers gave these tights an average warmth score of 4.

Our testers also ranked the Winter Warm Tights highly for fit and comfort. On a scale of one to five, they again gave the tights an average score of 4.

A lot of the comfort factor can be attributed to the brushed, fleece-like interior. The result is tight enough to conform to the contours of your legs, but also loose enough for casual wear around the house.

One tester said he wore the Winter Warm pair all day and at times even forgot he was wearing running tights. Another reason why the Winter Warm Tights proved so comfortable: The North Face Winter Warm Tights easily tripled the distance between our thumbs—a feat that proved a challenge to every other pair, most of which could hardly double that distance. The design also provides a waistband drawcord for a more specialized fit, though we found the leggings tight enough for us to ignore this feature.

The North Face claims on its website that the Winter Warm Tights come with calf zips, but the sample we acquired did not have any zips or openings at the ankle, making the leggings just a tad difficult to remove.

This pair was the clear runner-up among our testers, scoring high in warmth, comfort, and fit but still coming in second to the Winter Warm Tights in all those respects. The weave is mostly polyester 92 percent , with an 8 percent spandex count; this combo makes for a highly effective sweat-wicking potential in a semi-compressive body. One of our testers said this pair was uniformly tight, which you could see as good or bad depending on your size preference.

In all, our testers gave the Essentials Tight an average comfort score of four. These tights are also pretty stretchy: In our stretch test we were able to double the distance between our thumbs—a measure that was more or less comparable to that of every other contender aside from the Nike pair, which was less stretchy, and the North Face pairs, which were the most stretchy. Like The North Face Winter Warm Tights, the ASICS pair is somewhat sparse in the features department, offering a waistband drawcord and a single back zipper pocket for storing gels, keys, and small electronics, but nothing else.

It meets our minimum requirements, but in no way exceeds them. While we think these tights will be plenty warm for most circumstances, the real appeal is in how they balance comfort, fit, and affordability.

ASICS even promotes them as more of an all-season pair of running tights. This pair had the highest average score among our testers, earning big points for comfort, design, value, and especially warmth—all of the testers agreed it was the warmest of the contenders they wore.

With a soft brushed interior, the Sugoi MidZero Tight is likely to be more comfortable than most competitors of its kind. Measuring for warmth on a scale of one to five, our testers gave this pair an average score of four. Despite the high warmth rating, none of our testers ever felt overheated, and they all gave the Sugoi pair solid scores for comfort, breathability, and fit.

On a scale of one to five, the tights received an average comfort rating of 4. Most testers also agreed that the Sugoi pair had a superior design, despite its simple black exterior. They are so comfortable! I have a calf length winter coat. Thought my short boots looked funny, so bought long boots. Thanks for the great advice. Yes, longer cardigans and tunics are definitely the way to go with leggings. Hope you find something nice and I hope you can share your looks with us on the style forum!

I am 62 and I got a pair of leggings from a friend for my birthday. She said I should wear them to my yoga classes but I am concerned about wearing them out in public at my age.

I love how comfy they are but the material is not much thicker then a pair of opaque tights. I been wearing them around the house but need some opinions on whether I should wear them out. I would not wear them if they are see through, but other than that leggings for yoga are ok.

If see through, then only wear them as you would tights. You are never too old to wear normal leggings for your normal clothes, but I would never wear them without a long tunic or short dress over them. At 66, I wear my leggings all the time but never without a tunic or top that is long enough to cover both beast…….

It is a Huge pet peeve of mine to see anyone, of any age, advertising!! Must keep those beast in the barn ladies! Leggings are wonderful but do wear them modestly. I wear them with a tunic and booties or high boots and feel great. Any top should fall below the butt area. I am over 60 and love leggins, but have trouble finding things to wear with them…longer tunics, etc. Can you give me some advice? I often wear short dresses over leggings instead of tunics.

There are no special places to find them but you can see them everywhere. Just go for a style that suits you. Hit the stores perhaps wearing your leggings, and try a few! If you through all my outfits in the what i wore section, you can see many of my own examples.

The fabric is very high quality and a nice thickness. The hems are fully finished—not raw edged like a lot of cheap leggings. All the comfort and styling without the mess! I feel that some things like wearing short skirts not minis I am able to get away with. I do like solid colors and more fitted dresses and tops.

As I am single, I would still like to dress to impress. I believe it immediately that you look a lot younger. So many Asians do; I can never guess the age of an Asian woman. My site is dedicated to this topic so you will find articles throughout this site that tackle it. All the clothes I feature are in my opinion young and hip. I would say to trust your instinct.

If you look in the mirror and it feels good to you, then it is. I am a 42 year old woman who happens to be African American. I am fit, a size 2 and look like I am about 29… I still get carded at the liquor store. I would like to know how I can maintain my style without looking too young. While I prefer to look 29 vs 42 whatever 42 may look like, being stylish and chic is important to me. I also have trouble finding clothes sometimes because of my body type. So pants are usually tough.

I have a size 2 waist and a size 4 butt like a tiny Kim Kardashian. That is why I love my leggings and yoga pants. If you like to show both your waist and butt they sound like a good option. You could consider uploading your photos to the style forum so we can all have a look and give you more detailed advice.

I have several solid and patterned dresses that would work well for fall if I paired them with leggings. However, one colleague suggested that my dresses are too long fall just below the knee, since i am petite to wear with leggings. Should I consider having the dresses hemmed to just above the knee?

Yes dresses over pants and leggings usually look nicer when the dress is a bit shorter. That is usually how I wear the look check the what I wore section for lots of examples. For more ideas on how to dress the best when you are petite you can also check this article: Thank you so much for this write up on the leggings! The entire sites subject is exactly what I was looking for!

I turned 40 last March and I have been struggling with how to dress. I was especially leery of leggings at my age and your article has made me so much more comfortable to wear them.

I guess I just felt like I was supposed to dress like my mom did when she was 40 but after reading your posts I realize I can still dress fashionably without dressing too young for my age. They were like leggings but not the skinnies type. They did form fit to the leg but rather had a smooth vertical look and did not hug the knee. I would kill for a pair now. I had a great pair of black one when micro fiber first came out.

Alas, they had a tear in them from being worn out and I have never been able to find another pair. Does anyone know if they still exist? Soft Surroundings have some! Hopefully will see more soon, since I think they work great with boots! Thanks for great advice on leggings for the over 40ss etc. Was going to wear a jersey red dress — but thought this would be too dressed-up.

A perfectly comfortable outfit. Thanks for providing the lowdown, and such great visuals of examples. Sounds like the perfect outfit for the occasion Carmen. Great to read that this article inspired you! You can wear your leggings with summery jersey dresses. This is especially nice when you select a great print.

Another option is to choose a cotton short dress in a light color, like this breezy white dress https: You can also consider getting some white leggings and combine with a long cotton blouse or short dress as seen here https: I think ballet flats can work really well with leggings as can some funky sandals.

You can definitely consider navy which is a bit softer than black and can look really great with lots of colors. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions! I thought it was a fashion faux pas to wear the black leggings with the lighter short dresses! I like the outfits in your pics ……again, many many thanks!! I love the leggings and short dress look for both winter and summer. Is a dress over leggings still in vogue in your summer this year?

Just found your blog via Pinterest — hooray! A reasonable voice in a sea of extremes! I love leggings, and wear them all year, usually with a fingertip-length tunic.

Sewing is a passion, and I use a lot of chiffon and velvets in my tops. Here in Texas, a tunic, leggings, and cowboy boots are typical.

Again, thank you for the blog! Great to see you found your way to this website. Lots of articles to explore! There is one on Texas as well where I was indeed wearing leggings! Leggings look utterly ridiculous on anyone over When worn right, they can look really good.

My long time girl friend who was a buyer for Marshall Fields just got me onto leggings. I am in Florida and worn with a lovely summery top, look fantastic. My mother is 83, and looks wonderful in loose fitting leggings. In paisley and other very flattering prints, they look great. Which is the comfort standard I always strive for.

I like either way short or longer tops. Usually that would be a coat. But wear mine with moto jacket, fake fury vest and V-neck sweater as well like here… http: I have black leggings but when I wear them they are somewhat wrinkley looking or slightly bagging when getting up from sitting around knee area. Totally agree with you Sylvia. Was just thinking the same thing. I keep coming back to this post because leggings can be so stylish and material mix can make a difference too.

So love your advice here! Totally love my Adidas animal print grey leggings and have been wering them for 2 years now. Great for sightseeing in NYC see current post or everyday life. I just dont feel that comfortable wearing them the Chanel-style. Love the pics here Silvia though. But not for me. Makes me feel hidden. Have a nice day! I have them in very many colors and designs … even in pastels yes ;-.

I though do not like animal prints, except zebra, so this is not an issue for me. I had already started wearing skinny jeans and pants as soon as they made their comeback by , mostly with short dresses. When it comes to shoes, to my opinion, everything goes but low sneakers which make me look as heading straight to the gym, though high sneakers are ok.

Age is not a factor to affect your looks, if you carry off what you wear with confidence. Belief in yourself is the key to fashion in the slightly higher age bracket.

I am in a wheelchair and age My legs are ugly and I have poor circulation so I have to wear support socks or hose. So I always wear pants. My daughter is getting married in the fall and I have a off white vintage type tunic with a small gold embellishment between the breast she picked it out and plum color leggings. Should I keep the flats or try to find something in the leggings color to match. Any other suggestions would help. Thank you so much. Is it OK to belt a long tunic or dress? I love the cream leggings and outfits.

Oh I so love that cream, sleeveless boat neck tunic with the asymmetric pleated hem. Perhaps a legging might work better than thick tights with that cream dress of mine. But I have no money left. Yes, I love to wear leggings. I think this isy third time around. I wear them for casual and dressy. I also wear leggings over tights and under long johns in the winter. As well as having a successful career as an IT Architect. I wear leggings with my Vans tees and trainers all the time.

If you are still toned and have the figure to get away with it then why not? I wear leggings with a sweater all the time, and sometimes with t shirts. Sometimes it covers, sometimes not. Totally agree Karen, if you are fit and look good why not indeed. However I think the article is talking generally, Id bet the vast majority of over 40s 50s are not snowboarders or indeed i assume would look good in leggings and regular size tees. I admire your fitness, I was a PT for over 20 years until fibromyalgia took a hold and now most days I can barely walk around the house, I still want to look good though lol but now comfort is a very close second.

This article was written to give women ideas to hide their big bellies, if they have one. This article is very helpful to women like me. Do you have any advice about wearing a Tulle midi skirt …I am 67 size 12 waist and would like to wear a black tulle skirt to a wedding…..

The wedding is in Paris and is a black themed wedding. This is my humble opinion. Leggings are too rugged for a tulle skirt, especially to a formal wedding. Secondly, if the wedding is in Paris, you need to be extremely confident about what you choose to wear. Parisian women have an effortless and elegant style. I say go for simplicity and put your effort toward a really good, elegant pair of shoes that will accentuate the skirt.

I am short, and have short legs, so tunic tops make me look stubby. A good length is to shorten to the tips of your fingers with your arm extended at your side. Thank you for your tip, I am built like you lol and have terrible trouble buying clothes that fit and suit, I am 51 and 5ft and believe me every single lb shows up and is hard to loose.

I am going to invest in a sewing machine and get snipping x. All your advice seems to be for women who are short with apple or pear shapes. I suppose your advice would be to do the opposite to what you advise. I love your advice though.

I give advice to women of all shapes. There is a special article for tall women too at https: Help this is a great article. I would like to wear them with shorter knit dresses, but my slips are too long. Any suggestions for preventing knit dresses from clinging to knits. Should I just wear tights and buy some shorter slips if I can find them. Why do you need a slip? Sometimes cling can be reduced by rubbing a fabric softener sheet onto the fabrics. Just use a good pair of sissors and cut the slip to the desired length.

A slip is just an extra layer and it should not bring any attention to itself. In cold climates, a snug undergarment is good for thermal layering. Target has a long camisole the length of a slip that is available in the maternity department. This may be a solution for you. I like to wear leggings ,so im little short and how can I wearing shoes to ,if the leggings ower the ankle.?.

High heels is good or not.. I like to know from you.. Yes heels can work in a similar way as they are worn with skinnies. For lots more tips on what shoes to wear with what pants, see this article https: Okay, you advised that people with big calves not wear form fitting leggings. What should we wear? You cannot, and should not exclude us. What about the rest of us? There are so many other options to wear. You could still wear skinny style pants but choose styles that skim the legs, not hug them.

You may like to have a look at the body type guides in this section where I have written many articles for all kinds of body types. I love your blog! Thank you for the tips with leggings.

I forgot what I had been missing. I am just turned 71, as I remember I wore a lot of leggings in , when I was in college. In fact I still kept some of them until now. Just last week, I tried them on and they fit! There are over articles here to inspire you Robert. However for the most constructive help and personal feedback I recommend my 21 steps course http: Can you tell me when it was written? I appreciate dates on either articles or comments. I love leggings and the assets shapewear ones in particular!

But my only gripe with them, is that because of the fact that most womens behinds are larger than their thighs, the material over the bum stretches and allows the skin and panties to be more visible than liked!! So in short, make the bum area denser material, but the leggings themselves should be worn as women see fit!!!

A grat pair of leggings which I wear almost exclusively know is Spanx…Coverage is really good and they hold you in. You will want to choose tops that accentuate your slimmest pant. All wide is just going to make you look bigger so find tops that are a bit tailored in the waist. Empire tops can work too although it does not work for all apple women. I recommend visiting my article on the apple shape https: We like to style even as we age. I am in total agreement with your advice on how to wear leggings.

I am in my mid 60s, am a full figured woman and I am tall. I absolutely love my leggings and find it hard to wear regular slacks now.

Product Features to keep you warm in winter One size elastic legging fits US S/M size. Get Your Legs Out of the Cold and Into Some Yummy Warm Winter Leggings. When the cold weather hits, you have to have some legging options that will give your legs added warmth and it just so happens that our winter legging selection is going to make your legs smile. Winter Cream Leggings As long as my shirt covers my booty. Love the winter print! Find this Pin and more on Clothes: Leggings/Tights by Taylor Stewart. Winter Cream Leggings With Long Leather Boots Women style fashion clothing apparel outfit Winter Cream Leggings With Long Leather these funky style leggings so much.