How to Take Your Leggings to Work

As businesswomen, we often cringe when we see wedge heels, too much cleavage, short skirts, and poor-fitting tops. However, what do you think when you see a pair of leggings, a wardrobe staple once we realized we could basically get away with not wearing pants?

What makes your leggings a hit or a miss depends on your place of employment (do women wear heels every single day? Or do they sometimes go for jeans?), the color of them (always black at work), and the fit, as always. The real deciding factor, however, isn’t your leggings themselves (or the fact you have worn them since high school), but instead the outfit that you wear with this sometimes-stylish staple.

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1. Never be fully exposed. The shirt you are wearing should fall long enough to comfortably cover at least half your butt – and that doesn’t mean you are constantly pulling it down to make it so. If your shirt is too short, not only will you look like you belong in a college dorm, but you will look short.

2. Your shirt should be loose enough. Sometimes at work you can get away with tight tops if you pair them with modest dress pants, however, with leggings, there is quite literally no wiggle room. Your shirt can be completely shapeless, have cinches in the right spots, or just have a little space, but it cannot be skin tight. If you want to try to bend this rule then pair with a blazer or cardigan.

3. Stick with shoes that cover the most skin. Once in a while you can sneak by with sandals as well, but just don’t with leggings. Even short boots are a gamble since it’s going to make you look squat. The best pairing is with high boots that fall just below the knee with or without a heel.

4. Only wear your best leggings. I don’t know about you, but quite a few of my leggings are clearly fraying, holey, thinning, and are otherwise unsightly beyond their normal use of trudging to Target on a Sunday afternoon. Keep these at home Monday through Friday and consider investing in designer leggings or otherwise well-made ones.

5. Keep everything else in top shape. If you’re wearing leggings, unfortunately you can’t really slide by with crap boots, old tops, or no jewelry – everything else needs to be at the business-casual level to keep up.

You can wear leggings to work… however only if you can be sly about it and never make someone say, “What is she wearing?”

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