5 Locals Show Us How To Style Leggings — The Cool Way!

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on March 27.]
Pulling off a lust-worthy leggings ensemble is a true sartorial feat in our book. Think about it: When faced with the predicament of pairing the tighter-than-tight bottoms with anything besides an oversized sweater, sometimes even the most style-savvy ladies are left staring into their closets, scratching their heads. So, since this comfy and casual garment can be such a challenge, we tasked five local gals to show us their spin on styling leggings.
The results? Whether it’s topping them with a slouchy coat or going for a more streamlined feel, let’s just say these outfits aren't for sloppy weekend days. Get to clickin’ for some serious inspiration, plus tips on top brands and major no-nos when it comes to showing off your stems. Bottoms up!
1 of 10
Name: Michele Janezic

Gig: Buyer and manager at Mill Mercantile and designer at Janezic

What are your tips for styling leggings?
"In general, I believe that less is more and choose quality over quantity. As far as styling leggings specifically, I think it's best achieved by balancing proportions, textures, and colors. I prefer basic black ones and style them with oversized shirts, tunics, and sweaters."

Michele mixes up her leggings in an Apiece Apart duster coat and vest, 6th Grade shirt, Uniqlo leggings, Dries Van Noten oxfords, and felt hat.
2 of 10
Do you have a go-to brand that you absolutely love?
"Uniqlo has a great black-cotton basic."

What are some legging no-nos?
"Tights are not leggings and never wear leggings with a cropped shirt."
3 of 10
Name: Jenny Chung

Gig: Shop owner of Acrimony and ACRE/SF

What are your tips for styling leggings?
"Don't treat leggings as an excuse for pants. That's how they end up looking sloppy. They need more thought and styling effort than a pair of jeans. Think long and short layers, mixing of prints, and extra emphasis on really good shoes. If you're sticking to standard black, try a new fabric like neoprene or leather."

Jenny rocks Topshop leggings, a Second Female silk top, Ann Sofie Back shirtdress, Cheap Monday jacket, Celine shoes, and a Lady Grey bracelet.
4 of 10
Do you have a go-to brand that you absolutely love?
"Helmut Lang. They are super long and not skin tight, so they stack in all the right places."

What are some legging no-nos?
"Yoga pants — Lululemon or any other athletic brand while doing non-athletic things is a total no-no. Comfort and style can be synonymous without appearing lazy."
5 of 10
Name: Jennifer Waight

Gig: Designer at Harputs

What are your tips for styling leggings?
"I love tunics and long vests. I also like to pair them with heeled booties to define my legs!"

Jennifer is wearing Balenciaga leggings, Stylien tunic, Harputs vest, jacket, trench coat, clutch, and belt, and Hugo Boss sunglasses.
6 of 10
Do you have a go-to brand that you absolutely love?
"Leggings are in heavy rotation for my day-to-day wardrobe since comfort is a huge factor for me. Zara is my go-to for leggings with fun but clean details. They are also extremely affordable!"

What are some legging no-nos?
"Leggings should never be a substitute for jeans or trousers! No midriffs or above-the-hip shirts should ever be paired with leggings."
7 of 10
Name: Emma Neville

Gig: Editorial intern at Refinery29 S.F.

What are your tips for styling leggings?
"For spring, I think it’s fun to play around with different prints and colors, and instead of using leggings as a layering piece, let them be the star of your outfit! I always try to pair leggings with looser tops, as well."

Emma kicks it in Urban Outfitters leggings, a J.Crew chambray top, Cooper & Elia shirt, ASOS shoes, and Madewell bag.
8 of 10
Do you have a go-to brand that you absolutely love?
"Yes! David Lerner is my go-to for super well-made and sturdy leggings. I’ve had a pair of those bad boys for three years, and they are still going strong! For cheaper options, Urban Outfitters and H&M have a great selection of funky, printed leggings that are perfect for spring."

What are some legging no-nos?
"I think the biggest legging no-no has to be the always-awkward, camel-toe situation. We’ve all seen it — you can avoid it by trying to size up when it comes to leggings!"
9 of 10
Name: Olga Montserrat

Gig: Art director and blogger at 12:04

What are your tips for styling leggings?
"I think leggings get a bad rap because of the implication that they are lazy, but I think they are in the running to be the most hard-working pair of pants in my closet. They help my wardrobe be more versatile by making my warm-weather dresses winter appropriate, they look great with boots, and when you're dealing with leather they can make an outfit out of almost any top. I especially love how leather leggings toughen up a short dress, tempering the sexiness of cocktail attire and adding a little bit of dark edge to the look."

Olga struts it in Zara leggings, a Barneys Co-Op dress, Alexander Wang heels, J.Crew necklace, Stitch & Hammer clutch, and Kathleen Whitaker earrings.
10 of 10
Do you have a go-to brand that you absolutely love?
"I like when Target hits a stride with its everyday leggings because they're so comfortable and only $6. American Apparel makes a pretty good pair of jersey ones, too. I love Zara for its amazing faux-leather options at a great price. Leather leggings stretch like regular fabric leggings, but are extra warm and surprisingly comfortable. They also add an element of luxe to a very basic outfit. These ones from Zara are my go-to pair of pants right now."

What are some legging no-nos?
"To put it gently, if you're going to wear leggings you have to cover your frontal region. This hyper vigilance is the price you pay for a pair of simple seamed pants of the non-jegging style. So, just layer your tops and dresses enough over your central region and you'll be good."

More from Styling Tips


R29 Original Series