Leggings are one of those polarizing fashion items that usually inspires major devotion, guilty-pleasure shame, or righteous hatred. You’re either on Team Leggings, or you’re on Team Secret Leggings, and only wear them in situations where you’re 99% sure you won’t bump into anyone you know (at home, to the bagel shop down the street, on a red eye, etc.). While athleisure — and its whole wardrobe of sneakers, joggers, sweats, and anoraks — has become a very real, very fashion-y trend of late, leggings are one of the few items that still gets a bad rap. But the tide may be a-changing, starting with 3.1 Phillip Lim’s spring 2016 show.
In celebration of 3.1 Phillip Lim’s 10th anniversary, the collection featured a theme of rebirth, renewal, and growth — which is fitting, considering leggings are always ground zero for getting dressed. On your laziest, most zombie-feeling days, you start with a pair of leggings and move upward from there, and as Lim showed, it doesn’t have to translate into a lazy, zombie-looking outfit. A pair of slim-fit, slightly cropped, high-waisted leggings let you go a little next-level with the rest of your look: Lim paired them with layered outerwear, pretty ruffled tunics, and peep-toe booties. Lim’s trousers are made with thick fabric and flare out slightly at the ankles thanks to two cut-out notches at the side, but standard-issue leggings would achieve the same effect.
Click through to see how he dressed up leggings on the runway, and how you can get a similar look using clothes you already own.