For such a simple item of clothing, leggings can be surprisingly controversial.
Some say they can’t be worn as pants, others say they can’t be worn under dresses. Some people even think that if you’re over 50 you shouldn’t wear leggings at all!
But leggings have been a wardrobe staple for years now and you don’t have to throw them away anytime soon.
Leggings are versatile and comfortable, no matter what age you are (Also check out How Should A 40-Year-Old Woman Dress?). If you’re an older woman, you can definitely wear leggings!
Discover how to style leggings at any age with this guide.
Can You Wear Leggings When You’re Over 50?
If you feel comfortable in leggings, then you can wear leggings. It doesn’t matter what your age is or your body type.
Leggings are a basic item of clothing. Anyone can wear leggings and look good.
Leggings consistently come back into fashion. In the 60s, the legging trend was just about starting for women. Slim-legged stretchy pants symbolized the new freedom in dressing that women had.
By the 70s, stretchy synthetic leggings were popular for keeping active. By the 80s, no one could get away from them.
Since then, leggings have become a wardrobe staple.
They aren’t for everyone — the tight fit and stretch fabric can be very revealing. But if you love leggings, you’re probably a fan of easy comfort.
Styles Of Leggings
If you’re a little nervous of mega-tight, slim-fit, see-through leggings, the good news is you have plenty of other options. Let’s take a look at the types of leggings you can find.
Standard Black Leggings
When we speak about leggings, this is the style that probably springs to mind.
Typically high-waisted, these leggings stretch down to the ankle, clinging to the body all the way along.
Standard black leggings can vary in quality. Some can be made from very thin fabric. As they stretch over the body, they show every curve along the way. Including exactly what underwear you’re wearing.
Thicker materials are better all around. They give you some privacy and they’re less likely to tear and snag. These can be worn as pants or as footless tights.
Capri leggings, like Capri pants, cut off just at the ankle. This style is very relaxed and perfect for warmer days.
Capri style is also ideal if you want to show off your shoes. There’s a retro touch to Capri leggings — they’re reminiscent of 60s styles.
Capri leggings don’t have to be black, but they often are black. Like standard-length leggings, the quality varies significantly.
Jeggings introduce a new material to the mix — denim. Jeggings are a combination of jeans and leggings.
These are thicker leggings, but thinner than standard jeans. They also have more stretch and movement than normal jeans.
Some jeggings come with pockets and added details like grommets.
Some of them even come with fastenings, although this isn’t as common. Thicker and with less of a form-fitting finish, you can wear jeggings with shorter tops.
Faux Leather Leggings
Leather (and faux leather) can be intimidating, but you shouldn’t shy away from this fabric.
Faux leather leggings can add a bit of edge to an outfit, contrasting fabrics. It’s a great way to dress up a simple tunic or dress.
Faux leather legging can be a little more expensive, but it’s worth paying for quality in this case.
They’ll fit better, have more movement, and won’t mark as easily. Look for black or brown, for a classic leather pants look.
You can get leggings in basically any color or pattern you can dream of. (LuLaRoe basically made an entire business selling leggings with unexpected prints.)
There tends to be an assumption that women of a certain age should stay away from printed leggings.
This is wrong — patterned leggings can look amazing at any age. They can add a touch of life to a simple tunic top.
Loose Fit Leggings
Leggings don’t have to cling to every single part of your body. If you choose a thicker fabric, there will naturally be a loose fit.
These styles tend to have more room around the ankle. Instead of clinging from the knee down, they have a little more flow.
How To Wear Leggings As An Older Woman
Interested in introducing (or reintroducing) leggings to your wardrobe? Here are a few style tips.
Check The Fit
Leggings have a lot of stretch to them. They pull out before clinging in, which means you can generally squeeze into smaller sizes than you might expect.
However, fit is really important when it comes to leggings. Don’t just settle for the first size you try.
If they’re stretched too far, they’ll become semi-transparent. They’ll also highlight every single curve and dip of your body.
But you also want to avoid going too big. Otherwise, the leggings will start to bunch behind the knees. They’re hard to wear with a belt, so you might find your loose leggings slip down as you move.
Before buying, try moving around in the leggings. They should stay pretty much in place even as you stretch and lunge.
Under A Tunic Top
Leggings and tunic tops are a classic pairing. This look really doesn’t go out of style, as you can play around with it so much.
Consider wearing a white and lightweight tunic top with Capri leggings on a warm day. Or pair a heavy winter tunic with some faux leather leggings.
Leggings are tight, so the tunic top helps to balance out proportions. A little bit of shaping around the bust can make this look super flattering.
Under A Dress
Leggings can be worn as footless tights to bring warmth to a winter look. Leggings under a fit and flare dress can also add extra coverage, so you can move with freedom.
Leggings can work under any style of dress. Leggings under a sweater dress is a cozy choice for a cold day. Or try pairing a casual shirt dress with some patterned leggings.
With A Long Cardigan
Length is key when wearing leggings.
A long cardigan means you can pair your favorite top with leggings and you don’t have to worry about being exposed. Leave the cardigan loose to add movement, or button it up for a play on the shirt dress.
Struggling with the fit on your leggings? Boots can hide a multitude of issues. A pair of calf boots can cover any awkwardness around the ankle and even mask a baggy knee.
You can wear leggings at any age and look fabulous in them (Also check out What Should A 60 Year Old Woman Wear?). The key thing when choosing leggings is to get the fit and fabric right.
When you’ve nailed those aspects, you can experiment with how you style your leggings!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can wear leggings when you’re over 50. Pair your leggings with a tunic top for a casual daytime look, or wear under a dress for some added warmth and coverage.
The easiest way to dress up leggings when you’re over 50 is to exchange your simple stretch leggings for a different fabric.
Faux-leather leggings are great for adding some edge to your look.