Leggings Leave Jeans in the Past


Anna Letson

Can leggings be considered pants?

Ali Webb, Staff Writer

Leggings, once an ’80s trend reserved for music videos and jazzercise classes, have recently become an acceptable form of pants. While some have fought this idea, millennials’ revolutionary embrace of leggings as pants has been unstoppable. Women’s Wear Daily recently reported that Americans are buying more leggings than jeans online. This shift comes as no surprise to the millennial consumer and the industry is no longer able to avoid this garment’s popularity.

Those skeptical of leggings as pants may eventually change their minds as fans continue to find new ways to make the garment stylish and appropriate for any event. Below are five ways to enjoy the comfort of leggings without compromising style.

Under a dress or skirt

Although the leggings in this look function more as tights than pants, it works well for class, work or an internship on a chilly day. This allows for a professional look without sacrificing style or comfort. Wearing boots will keep your use of leggings subtle. Finish the outfit with a structured jacket and a statement necklace for a polished look.

All-black everything

For an outfit in every New Yorker’s favorite color, pair black leggings with a basic tank or t-shirt, a leather jacket and either tall boots or sneakers. With a few accessories, this combination of simple pieces works perfectly for enjoying a weekend day out or staying cute during those lazy days when you still have to go to class.

With a tunic and sneakers

While wearing these popular items with jeans is common and perfectly acceptable, swapping the denim out for leggings is comfortable and refreshes your everyday look. Pair black, gray or navy leggings with a coordinating tunic in either another neutral or a bright color. Wear any pair of trendy sneakers, such as Vans or Stan Smiths. On a cold day, add a big, cozy scarf.

Leather leggings

These are more stylish and look less like workout wear than other variations, making them versatile and reliable. Pair them with a comfy sweater, a favorite tee or a blazer and tank top. Add heels to dress it up, or wear flats for a more casual look.

Distressed leggings or jeggings

Both allow for experimentation with leggings while keeping the familiar look of jeans. Wear a favorite tee or button-down, and for shoes, pick a coordinating pair of combat or ankle boots.

With the above tips, fashionable students of all tastes can find legging looks for almost any occasion. While some may believe this stretchy garment is only for certain ensembles or lazy days, this limitation is unnecessary. Since leggings come in so many different fabrics, everyone can find a pair they can confidently rock. Leggings are only growing in popularity, and the future of new styles and ways to wear them seems promising. NYU students and professionals alike are welcoming this new era of celebrating more comfortable yet equally stylish clothing.

Email Ali Webb at [email protected].