Legging It

Post by C.M.

Today I found myself wearing an outfit that seemed oddly familiar – in fact a niggling sense of déja vú had been following me around since the afternoon before, when I nipped into a well-known Irish clothing retailer and picked up a long cosy knit for €14. “This will look great over leggings with a pair of high boots!” I thought, wondering where the inspiration came from. Well I didn’t have to wonder for long. On the hunt for some Halloween ideas I delved into the old shoe-boxes filled with childhood photos , and lo and behold in the October 1995 pile I discovered a picture of myself wearing more or less the same outfit as the one I was currently sporting.

jumper

Substitute the boots for sand-shoes and you’ve got my favourite childhood ensemble

 But were you aware that leggings have made a comeback? They’ve been slowly on the rise for a few years here in the real world, but now they’ve infiltrated the wardrobes of the great and the good of the world of fashion. In the 90s your leggings were part of a set (my mother had a great pair with an Aztec print and an olive green long sweater), but these days they come on their own and you have to use your own initiative on what to put on top. It’s not as easy as it might seem!

And don’t forget, there are RULES!

We here at TMCM have a well documented grá for Diane Kruger, and here she is having a little New York minute in her pair:

diane-street

The Krugs

Notice how her top is just skimming the bottom of her derriére? Any higher and you’re in too-much-information territory. Getting it right as always, Diane!

A great thing about leggings is that they hit the ankle at its slimmest point, drawing attention to its daintiness, and ballet flats can help in the illusion. I’m not mad about the dress or skirt-over-leggings look – it’s a bit teenagery for me – but saying that, with the cold weather creeping in, they’re an extra layer of warmth in place of tights.

chictopia.com

Street Style from chictopia.com

This lady’s take is cute too – the white tee, though short, is offset by the denim shirt and any potential crotch-gazing will be re-directed towards her colourful scarf. The flat boots are cool, but that calf-length height is best suited to those with long/thin pins. For those with a more generous calf a loose-fitting ankle boot  will work much better.

la-modella-mafia-Fall-Winter-2013-Fashion-Week-street-style-Barbara-Martelo

Barbara Martelo courtesy of lamodellamafia.com

Leather-look-leggings are ev-er-ywhere these days, and are not for the faint of heart. Or sweaty of thigh. This look is chic paired with a nice long coat in contrasting fabric, a mid-length silk shirt underneath would complete the outfit; I’d also love to see it with a huge faux-fur snood with a little head peeping out at the top with stylishly tousled hair. Texturising is the name of the game!

bubble-gum-leggings_400

Annabeth from whatwearewearing.com

Patterned leggings are a bit of a game-changer and so, so tricky to pull off. I am a great lover of prints and will gladly wear a pair of looser pants covered with graphic decoration, but being flat of arse and short of leg I’m afraid I have to stick to black or navy leggings. My eleven year old self would balk at the thought – she had a great passion for a pink floral number with accompanying baby pink jumper, made casual with a pair of LA Gear high top runners.

If are going to brave a pair like the one above take inspiration from the model in the pic – a dark base is always going to be more flattering, a plain and simple top in a complimentary shade will take away the garish factor and, again, ankle boots will offset the look nicely.

I must say I’ve been thoroughly enjoying parading around in my leggings. They are so comfortable they feel like I’m wearing practically nothing (who knew I was such a closet exhibitionist?) and I don’t have to change into pjs straight away every evening when I come in from work. They’re perfect curling up on the couch fare and can be smartened up or down depending on your mood.

Whether you’re in possession of LA Gears notwithstanding .

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2 thoughts on “Legging It

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