Lately, everywhere I turn I’ve been seeing girls wearing leggings as pants. It’s painful and embarassing to see, as this great article from The News Record points out. In fact, there are thousands of blog posts on the subject of leggings and precisely why they shouldn’t be worn as pants.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love leggings. I would gladly wear leggings instead of jeans any day, I practically live in them. I own a half dozen pairs in black, grey, navy, turquoise, purple and even bright blue. So instead of just criticizing, I’ve decided to compile a list of the five best ways to flaunt the trend.
1. Keep your leggings simple and in one piece. Seeing ripped leggings like these ones makes me want to cry.
2. Always wear a long top, sweater or dress with your leggings. Rule of thumb: your entire butt should be covered at all times. My trick is to always wear a long, layering tank top underneath whatever top I’m wearing. My favorite is the boyfriend tank from American Eagle which I buy in a bigger size so it’s longer on me.
3. If you’re going to wear brightly colored leggings (which I am all for!) be sure to pair them with a simple solid color like black or white. Wearing a bright green top with purple leggings can be a bit of an eye sore.
4. Keep your outfit simple. When I wear leggings, I try to stick with solids. Often, all you need is a pair of leggings, a long tank top and a basic long sleeve sweater to pull on over. What makes the outfit is your scarf, necklace, earrings or shoes. Even if you’re wearing black leggings and a great sweater, make your outfit pop with a bright gold necklace, like this one from Forever 21.
5. Pair your leggings with boots or flats – when wearing my leggings with flats, I often pull the leggings underneath my heel to create a different, unique look.
The article begins with a great question, and I am immediately intrigued.
“Menswear. You hear the word everywhere, but how, exactly, do you steal from your boyfriend’s closet & make it your own?”
As shown to the left, Vogue suggests a $1,595 Maison Martin Margiela blazer, a $795 Matthew Williamson scarf-neck blouse, a $2,375 Hermes bag and $600 Rupert Sanderson pumps. No questions asked, the outfit pictured is gorgeous. and when I am a millionaire, I will be sure to purchase all of those items.
In the mean time, what’s the trick to duplicating this outfit without spending your entire savings account?
My first advice would be to stay away from your boyfriend’s closet. Plenty of women’s stores create clothes specifically tailored to women but based on men’s fashion. Another option is to shop in the men’s (or boys) section. Sometimes you’ll find nothing, but other times looser mens sweaters can look great when paired with leggings and a fun belt.
In searching specifically for blazers like the one Vogue suggested, I discovered this blog post about blazers and how women can pull them off. Her advice is definitely solid: keep it lose, add girly details and never, ever wear shoulder pads.
Flickr user idhren posts a huge number of fashion images, including the one to the right of a model in a women’s blazer. The model pulls of the style beautifully, and although I could never wear an outfit like that, I admire her ability to!
In searching Forever 21 for “blazers” I was given over fifty search results. My favorite is the Shoulder Studette Blazer. I’d probably pair it with my favorite skinny jeans, a simple blouse, a bold necklace & bright flats (if I could manage to walk around in pumps all day I would, but I’ve got to be realistic!).
However you wear your blazer, just keep it simple. The beauty of the blazer is that it immediately dresses up an outfit, but because of the baggy style, you still look comfy and fashionable. Overdoing it, wearing too many colors or buying a blazer that’s too tight can make this simple outfit a giant flop.
In searching for bags [and blatantly ignoring the piles of work I have due in the next 10 days] I have been on an online search for bags.
Here are my latest discoveries.
This bag is from Forever, and for $35 I’m not sure how I feel about it. I really need a bag that is practical – I need to be able to stick shoes [flats or heels during my commute and uggs or flip flops during the day], a book, my ipod, my makeup case, a water bottle and possibly my lunch into without it looking overly stuffed or stupid. It also needs to have a practical strap, since I’ll be standing and waiting for the bus, the t and the shuttle in a single commute.
These hobos are both from target, and their straps are totally ridiculous. How on earth could I fill that bag and expect to carry all that shit on that tiny ass strap? Especially the stupid chain link one of the black bag. I love the patent look of it – so fun for a purse or summer bag, but for $22.99 each – its not even worth it if I want a seriously practical bag.
This isn’t a great pictures because its from the “make your own” section of the site, but this is the LeSportSac I am considering. The thing with LeSportSac I’ve noticed is that its huge on the west coast and not the east coast, but it really is the basic same concept of Longchamp with a patterned body and canvas straps instead of solid colors and leather straps. LeSportSac bags are significant cheaper – this one retails for $98. They have all sorts of sizes and designs, some of my other favorites are below.
These patterns feel more fun – I’m not sure how great and practical they are for a work bag. I’d want to go into the store they have in LA and check it out – which might be a perfect 21st bday present to myself, since I’ll be home that week before. Im more inclined to spend the $100 on a bag with a pattern I truly love and the same practicality as a Longchamp – I cant even find a Longchamp on ebay, craigslist or amazon for more than $20 less than their retail price. With that difference, I’d rather just spend the full amount and get a brand new one.
And here it is – the Longchamp. It really just doesn’t blow me away. I dont like the way the brown looks with the leather, the black seems too plain, the kiwi green is too bright as is the pink, and I dont like the color of the red enough. Basically, all the arrows point to not getting one, but I’m just too attached to the size/way everything fits so well inside of it.
This Michael Kors bag is $200, which is a liiittle bit out of the price range [ahha]. I love the buckles on it, but I’m not sure how expandable it is on the sides in terms of getting a significant amount of stuff in it..
Of course in an ideal world I would just wander down to Marc Jacobs on Newbury and pick up this bag. For $495 who wouldnt? Oh how I would die for this bag. The color, the simple design, the size. Birthday present hint. Cough Cough.
My professor pointed me towards this Boston Globe article, which touches upon the impact of the economy on today’s fashion trends. After reading it, part of me completely agrees, while another part of me really disagrees with what they had to say. Part of it may be my upbringing, and my attitude towards trivial things like dying my hair and getting botox. A prime example is my mom, who has gorgeous long hair that falls to the middle of her back. Her head is half grey and she refuses to die it – saying that every grey hair is living proof that she survived raising two teenagers. She never dyed her hair growing up and I was never allowed to dye mine as a teen. When all the girls were getting streaks and highlights, I called my hair poop brown. In retrospect, I’m thrilled with my mom for not letting me destroy my hair – every time I get my hair cut my hair dresser marvels at how gorgeous and natural my hair is. Granted its full of split ends now, but thats a whole different story. I did, however, grow up going with my mom to the nail salon every once in a while. Since I was 10 and insisted on getting 10 different colors, one on every nail, I have evolved to having a variety of classic shades on my fingers and toes. At the same time, as a broke college student, I never go to the nail salon in Boston – the only time I ever go is when I’m home and Mom is in the mood to treat me. I can tell that the lady doing my toes is disgusted by the polish that has been on since the last time I was home three months ago.
The fact of the matter is – I cant afford to be shopping right now. My roommate just ordered a huge amount of stuff on American Eagle’s website simply because her mom had a 40% off coupon that was expiring the next day. People cant afford to be getting new stuff, but I dont think that’s a good excuse to drag out the sweat pants. There are plenty of fun ways to dress up basic items – I wear the same 6 american eagle beaters under every single sweater I own – they’re pill-y and falling apart but they do the job just fine. I rock the same gold bangles from forever 21 and the same long gold beaded necklace from target and nobody judges me – I can still put myself together and look cute even if I cant afford to be constantly buying new items to spice up my wardrobe. [That isnt to ignore the fact that I have no self control and go buy trench jackets and scarves at forever 21 when I shouldnt be, but still].
I think its a good thing that girls aren’t going out to the tanning beds, waxing places and hair salons as much – all of that stuff always seemed trivial and unnecessary to me. It’s just as easy for me to do a slightly sloppy but decent job on my own nails before an interview than it is to pay 30$ to go get a mani-pedi on a regular basis – I somehow doubt that the Boston Globe won’t hire me just because I did my own nails the night before and dont have the latest streaks or highlights in my hair.
I think I’ve also always stuck with the basics – solid american apparel v necks, basic bra camis from express and american eagle, simple denim without rips and execessive stitching, that can be paired with different items over and over again. And that comment from the girl with her hoops – I wear my hoop earrings every single day and I dont think thats lazy or boring at all. Theyre simple, classic and match everything I wear… so why not?
Since Forever 21 is my guilty pleasure, and the only time I can ever go there is when I’m home in LA, I of course “accidentally” wandered in during my week home. I was under strict orders that I was not allowed to purchase any clothing, but I couldn’t resist this fun scarf, which I snagged for $7.80 & then rocked the next day when we were being obnoxious tourists around LA.
Boston weather has this bizarre tendency to have weird heat waves during the strangest times. Yesterday, our thermostat read 59 at 1 PM. Considering its been in the 30’s lately, that didn’t make much sense to us, but the roomie and I were determined to make the most of the weather with spring inspired outfits.
Erin was unsure of her ability to rock the legging look, but I ensured her [and the continued to help complete her look from my wardrobe] that she could do it no problem.
problem one; finding a bra and tank top for underneath the slightly see through top, which Erin purchased at Jasmine Sola for 80% off when they went out of business last year. We decided on a nude bra and a blue american eagle beater from my collection to add color underneath the top, and to add length to the tops since Erin was hesitant her other top was too short on its own.
we added on her cute target flats that she found a few months ago with me [which i am so so jealous of!] since the colors went well together.
next we added the coat – Erin’s first Burberry purchase a few weeks ago. She scored this spring jacket from the Burberry store on Newbury street for $280 – marked down from $400. I love it because it’s simply and classy, but still has the great touch of the burberry pattern on the cuffed sleeves, which you can unroll if needed. I added my pink forever 21 scarf to the ensemble, and she was all set!
Sorry for the crappy mirror shot, the light in my room is horrible and Erin had already left for class when I was heading out. My outfit is almost entirely forever 21, the leggings, vneck, scarf and jacket are all forever 21 finds. the striped tank top is one of my staple american eagle beaters, and the pink flats I got at target years ago. My bag is my favorite purchase from when I was in China last summer – the color is incredible, it’s a perfect size to carry my books and notebooks without being too overwhelming, and it only cost me $12.
My necklace that had been hiding under the scarf, which I purchased at american eagle for a whopping $4 on sale and with my discount.
Ohh summer weather, I wish you came around more often!
When I was home in LA over winter break, I bought a pair of knit white knee socks from forever 21. For $2.80 I figured what the heck. I’ve never worn them before, although I took them out of the packaging to try them on when I initially bought them. The knit pattern is clearly not meant to keep my feet warm, and as I got dressed this morning, I tried them on under my brown suede Steve Madden boots. I couldn’t decide what my sentiments were. My roommate said she wasn’t sure how she felt, and I think part of the trouble was that I was wearing deep turquoise leggings, making three colors just below my waist. I tried pulling the socks up and bunching them at the top of the boot, but I was still undecided.
In the end, I stuck with regular knee socks [hey, it was 20 degrees out today and I was leading a tour] tucked safely beneath my trusty Steve Maddens. Maybe next time? Or maybe with black boots & black leggings, to make the look simpler? I’m not sure, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated.