For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

How to wear leggings, at any age | Tweed leggings & Red layers.

Leggings are everywhere, in every shop, every colour and every price point.
But do they ever look good?
Can we look stylish in leggings?

Look up "Wearing leggings" and many blog posts, articles and youtube videos pop up.
With various levels of success.
Some looks are quite nice.
Even stylish and inventive (Check out this post by 40+ style)

But, most are boring and only look half-decent on a model-proportioned teenager.
And, let's be honest, they could look good in a bin liner!

Back in the real world...
Plain black leggings (in my opinion) are good for:
  • Under trousers (on a cold day).
  • Exercise....although, having said that, running trousers or yoga pants would be preferable.
  • Putting the bins out.
Okay, maybe that is a little harsh!
I must apologise to all of those legging-lovers out there.

I know they are super-comfortable.
But, those plain, black, cotton leggings are lazy dressing at it's worst.

Having said all of that, I do love skinny jeans and skinny trousers.
And, I love being comfortable.
So, can I find leggings but without the "Meh" factor?

Now is probably a good time to point out that I have worn leggings on many occasion....
I like to try new things, and I am willing to reassess my thoughts on an item of clothing.
Although, those black cotton leggings will NEVER find a place in my wardrobe.

However, I am open to a bit of Leather, Vinyl, or Tweed!

See this post where I am wearing Vinyl leggings (to a wedding, no...honestly)
Or, this post in (faux) leather ones.
Comfort and style....a combination that I am constantly searching for.

How to wear leggings, over 40 | Fakefabulous

This outfit is based around a pair of tweed leggings.
And, is all about the comfort (and warmth).
This pair are tweed-effect and have (faux) leather panels at the waist.

I wanted to wear a long shirt to skim over my bottom, so I reached for this orange chiffon (extra long) one.
{I seem to be slightly obsessed with oranges, reds and burgundys these days. I promise to find a different shade in my wardrobe soon!}

This orange shirt has pewter-coloured, metal buttons which add some more interest.
I was also needing a layer of warmth, so I popped on a thermal underlayer and my burgundy cropped jumper over the top (you can see it styled here with a cape).
My red bag was the perfect partner to this look.
See it styled here...minus my furry pompoms!

I was wearing my orange coat today too (Seen Here and Here) in case you were can see it in my instagram snap from work.
Plain, but chunky, boots gave me the height (and comfort) I was looking for and my metal "fishing weight" earrings and a cute orange/hot pink necklace, finished things off nicely.

Layering shades of red | Fakefabulous

Makeup over 40 |Fake Fabulous

Wearing leggings, over 40  over 5!

  • Buy the best quality you can afford. Avoid those cheap and thin ones that you can pick up for a few pounds. They will go baggy at the knees and bum. A decent fabric weight is a must.
  • Make sure they fit well. Don't get a smaller size in order to 'hold everything in' and look slimmer or firmer. It does not work.
  • Try some texture (e.g. tweed or brocade), or detail (e.g. ruching or leather panels) or pattern (e.g. fun fairisle, leopard, jacquard).
  • Remember LEGGINGS ARE NOT TROUSERS....unless you are heading out for a run, even then buy some yoga pants, joggers or fun running leggings. Even if you have a bottom like Kylie (in the spinning around video) don't' do it!
  • Don't wear leggings as tights footless tights if you want that look.

Tops to wear with leggings.

Good quality, and interesting, leggings CAN look great and give more wearing options to the following items:
  • Longline shirts or tunics.
  • Asymmetrical tunics or oversized slouchy tops.
  • Long (and slouchy) jumpers {be careful of the "classic" jumper dress and leggings can look really frumpy, especially with knee boots.}
  • Oversized and funky sweatshirts.
  • Shorter tops/shirts with a extra-long cardigan or waistcoat.
  • Shorter dresses. Be careful with this combination, it can look odd, take a photograph if you are unsure.

Shoes to wear with leggings.

This is the hardest part for can dramatically change the overall look of the legging and the 'feel' of the outfit:
  • Ballet flats give a girly feel. Very cute and feminine. Try some colour, or patent leather, or both!
  • Court shoes can be VERY sexy {Think, leopard courts and leather leggings} or look quite 'vintage' {50's pin up or 80's disco diva}.
  • Ankle boots can be anything from very casual to very dressy, depending on the style. This would be my go-to footwear choice. However, they can be unflattering on the leg...take a photo if you are unsure.
  • Booties and shoe-boots can look fabulous!
  • Knee boots can look great or really frumpy, depending on the look of the legging and the style of the boot.
  • OTK (over-the-knee) boots can look amazing with leggings {Think, purple suede, flat OTK's, jacquard leggings and slouchy knit...yummy).
  • Brogues (or oxfords) can look chic and edgy, if you find a style that fits the mood.
  • Sandals (high and flat) work too. Cage sandals or ghilles look especially good. Not today though, my toes would snap off in the cold!
  • Converse or high-tops give off an effortless vibe, and look especially cool with a slouchy sweatshirt.
Let's shop for leggings!

Please let me know what you think of leggings.
Comfortable and stylish? Or, just sloppy, lazy and a bit Yuck?!

Please share any style tips you have....I love to read your comments!

Leggings: River Island (half price!)
Boots: London Rebel (similar and in the sale)
Cropped jumper: French Connection. (similar)
Orange shirt: Brave soul (similar)
Necklace: Primark
Bag: Bognar (a gift from a friend) This one is nice
Earrings: Newlook (similar)
Pompoms: Topshop

Get my look:



  1. I practically live in 62! Love them....and I really like this outfit on you...just pops those blue eyes...great color choice.

    1. That is great to hear, Pam. Millions of women agree! What do you love about them? I need more tips and tricks to help me get the most out of them. The comfort-factor really appeals...but a baggy bum does not! I see (on your blog) you have a real positive message to send to women (healthy thinking) and are a great example of how to wear leggings like a pro! No paper thin-see your pants-baggy knees in sight. Thank you. XXX

  2. I am finally learning to love leggings---I used to think they were so....what's the word? maybe unprofessional or silly? But there is a time and place for almost everything (here ---let me be philosophical!!). Anyways---your leggings are supreme---I mean, who doesn't love tweed!!
    But i have to ask, why do you say not to wear them like tights? I would think it'd be a great 2 for 1?
    ps...had to laugh at your "toes would snap off" comment...let me just rub it in that it'll be 50 degrees today in Denver!!

    1. I get that Jodie...and you are right, there is a time and place (except for those cheap black ones...there is no time OR place for those...hahahaha). The leggings as tights thing just doesn't work, for me, I just think that good quality opaque tights can look so good why bother with that awkward seam that leggings give us? I just don't like the look of it. Only my opinion though, and I love a good debate. If you can find a photo of "leggings as tights" looking good then I am more than willing to change my mind. Thank you for your comment.....and the fact that you have read my post. My toes would be in peril today, for sure! XXX

  3. I'm a huge fan of leggings, even black ones. But I don't wear cotton leggings, they stick to your clothes like velcro!. I like viscose or viscose-blend fabrics, even if they're not warm. Some elastane-lycra is also very important!. And I've discovered that ponte knit leggings are fab for very cold days.
    I've been wearing leggings under my dresses for ages, so comfy!, particularly because many short dresses look like tunics on me (and I'm not really tall, just 5' 7").
    Obviously, you look gorgeous wearing those beautiful orange, red and burgundy shades, such a fabulous color combo. Lovely leggings too!

    1. Ponte leggings! I forgot those...yes, they deserve a mention.
      They have great structure. Great choice. Leggings under dresses can look tricky sometimes, other people just pull it off very well. I know you are a fan of leggings and style them beautifully! I should have mentioned you in my fact I might go back for a little edit. How to make Leggings anything but lazy looking! XXX

  4. I like leggings because they are so comfortable. I think your points about quality are really important. And I would have to agree that black leggings can easily be boring (yet I happen to own a few pairs...). One are faux leather leggings, and I think they are interesting enough. But plain black leggings can easily look less than interesting... I think it all depends what you pair them with. Interesting shoes/boots are so important (I wore mine the other day with not so interesting boots and made a mental note not to do that again...). And of course the style and color of the top part of your outfit will make all the difference. You did it perfectly in my opinion!

    1. Thank you Andrea.... I think I might be in the minority on the black leggings issue. Millions of women love them! I agree that those leather leggings are very interesting....I was wearing mine again today, with my burgundy lace-up boots and a multicolored top/tunic/jumper thingy. I felt comfortable and like myself too. I am glad you like this look. The quest for interesting leggings continues! XXX

  5. Great points and I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately, the rest of the world just won't listen no matter how many times this is preached. Every time I am out, I see tons of girls and women wearing leggings as pants. I give up.

    1. Yay! Thank you Amy....Leggings as trousers makes me cringe. Even my eight year old grabs shorts to pop over the top! :oD XXX

  6. Great color combination! I really like your tweed leggings - they look wonderful with your sweater and booties. I only began to wear leggings last year - they just made me think of bad flashbacks of wearing them in the 80's. I have to admit I do enjoy how comfortable they are. Thanks for linking up with Fabulous Friday, Samantha!

    1. Thank you Jennie. I had white ones with giant yellow polka dots in the 80's worn with a cropped top!! Oh for that flat stomach again. XXX

  7. I love leggings and think they are very stylish...BUT only when the points that you raise in this post are considered and incorporated. I see way, way, way too many people wearing leggings in the ways that you mention above, and it makes leggings unappealing. I think you are hilarious! I love the way you think! And I could not love this outfit more...I, too, have a thing for reds and oranges.

    1. Thank you Regina! I am glad you agree with me (and love oranges and reds...great colours aren't they?). We need more "good" legging-based outfits in the word. Then we can have comfort and style in one place. XXX

  8. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Love your color combination

  9. I've always shied away from leggings as I have skinny legs with big feet at the end of them. Not a good look. But Im always willing to experiment, so never say never.
    Your colours are great and ones I definitely wear 🌂

    1. I have skinny legs too Lynn, and I feel that my feet look HUGE on the end of them (at times) so I understand how you feel! XXX

  10. I love wearing leggings but have been mostly black ones. I recently bought a pair of faux leather leggings and just building up the courage to wear them. Love your tweed leggings!

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!


    1. You are not alone leggings are HUGELY popular! Those Faux leather ones sound fabulous though.....bite the bullet and go for it!! XXX

  11. Love this post! As a teacher working in high school, I unfortunately see all too often the 'lazy black legging' in action. In fact, I felt compelled to write my own PSA...Leggings are not bad...when worn as leggings. I'm especially fond of any leather ones. I think those look hot. But all of them have to be worn appropriately. Key is the quality of fabric and thickness, etc. I'm totally with you!

    1. PSA!!! Hahaha that is fantastic! I love that....thank you for your comment, and your link. I am so pleased that you agree! XXX

  12. SAM
    These colors look great on you I love red, and with fair skin, yes it does look great!Tweed is a unepected fabric which makes it so much the nicer when wearing legginsgs and those chunky boots are stylish!! and so you xx
    thanks for linking up with MRS style
    jess xx

  13. You wear your's fabulously and I really like the color combination of the tomato red and maroon. Thanks for sharing your stylish point of view on the My Refined Style Linkup!


  14. Hi, thank you so much for all your wonderful information. Since I live in the opposite hemisphere (Australia), is there an archive area on your site so that i can read past posts about the opposite seasons?
    Warm regards from Melbourne which was a wet and cold 14 degrees today

    1. Hi Sonia, thank you for your lovely comment.
      If you are using a desktop (or laptop) the sidebar (on the right) has a search option (right at the top, under my photo).
      You can type keywords in there.
      Or click on the different headings in the categories section.
      Or you can just have a look through the archive.
      I hope that helps.

  15. Stripes are always a good idea! I wore them a lot in spring. Great combination and the choice of pieces.
    Joseph Donahue


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