After a long and bitterly chilly season of putting together chic cold-weather outfits, you've hit the point where you can’t be bothered to prep yet another polished look for the office. Surprisingly, February has given us a glimpse of the warm days ahead, but you're not in the clear just yet. To help you ride out your woes here's an idea: wear leggings to work. Yes, it may sound odd to sport your trusty gym leggings in the office. But when dressed up with workwear pieces, these cozy bottoms can be the secret to creating a polished-yet-comfortable look.
For anyone who thinks leggings are strictly for working out, take a look at Chanel and Prada's Spring/Summer 2019 runways: Both featured leggings and bike shorts. If there’s anything these designer examples have taught us, it's that the comfortable staple has a place alongside your polished pieces. “There is this emotional connection — kind of like a security blanket — to leggings because they take you through a workout where you may perform beyond your expectations,” says Katie Warner Johnson, co-founder and CEO of activewear brand Carbon38. “Because of the ever-changing fashions, they are socially acceptable and quite on point from a fashion-forward sense.” Below, you'll find 12 fashion-girl approved ways to effortlessly pull off the legging look in front of your colleagues.
Faux Fur Coat
When in doubt, sport a faux fur coat to add a bit of sophistication to your black leggings. Keep the rest of the outfit black to play up the coat with chic accessories like this structured bag and trend-forward combat boots.
Make simple black leggings the canvas for a stunning pair of over the knee boots. Top with a blazer in the same color to instantly pull the look together.
Elevate a legging look and opt for a printed logo version. This fashion girl-favorite from Saks Potts makes for the perfect color-blocking option with black separates and a sparkle kitten heel.
The contrast of an oversized menswear blazer and slim leggings makes for the perfect outfit formula. An oversized option leaves room for several layers so you can stay warm and comfortable throughout the day.
Mix With Leopard
Leopard is quickly becoming one of the biggest prints, and what better way to road-test the trend then with a pair of black leggings? “I love leopard, leopard, and more leopard. It's a neutral in my book,” Johnson says. Add a bold red boot to give the outfit a glam touch. “It's really sexy and empowering to combine two eye-catching trends,” she adds.
Your first instinct may be to pair leggings with a sweater – and, luckily, that is still acceptable for the office when paired with workwear pieces. Play with proportions and layer a polo underneath an oversized cardigan. Inspired by the look above, choose a light-hued legging to compliment white cowboy boots.
Statement Puffer Coat
Play with proportions and make black leggings look effortlessly cool by throwing an oversized puffer on top. An electric cobalt blue hue can breathe fresh air into a plain black outfit. Finish it off with a pair of simple heels, and you have a foolproof work look.
Faux Leather Leggings
If you’re still iffy about wearing leggings to work, try a pair of faux leather leggings. When styled with structured workwear pieces like a crisp white button up and black overcoat, faux leather leggings play the part of a glossy skinny jean.
While stirrup versions are easy leggings to tuck into boots, try wearing them under a pair of heels for a cool styling trick. This subtle street-style trick adds instant polish to leggings. Layer a blazer under an overcoat for a polished vibe perfect for your nine-to-five.
Incorporate dressier elements to transform an athletic outfit to an office-appropriate one. “Footwear is key for any athleisure or performance fashion trend,” Johnson says. “Going from a sporty Nike sneaker that you would be kicking ass in the gym in to a kitten heel for an investor meeting is totally going to change your look.”
Layered With A Dress
For an unexpected look, layer an asymmetrical skirt over your leggings and add a printed blouse on top. Finish off the look with a pointed-toe heel and a structured straw bag for a feminine touch.
When you find yourself in a style rut, as many do when going to the same office everyday, go for a sleek all-black ensemble. A monochromatic outfit feels put together, but requires minimal effort.