March 28, 2008

How Not To Wear Colour Leggings

First off I must confess I haven't worn colour leggings myself before. I am simply not creative or bothered enough to actually buy them and do the whole mixing and matching thing with the rest of the outfit. Hypothetically, if I were to wear colour leggings, I would probably just do it the boring and simple way: colour leggings with a casual black dress like in the picture above. And yes, I know it's spring now and leggings is more of a F/W thing, but I thought I would share some of my observations here.

As the title suggests, these are my observations of how not to wear colour leggings/tights. A few weeks ago, I saw someone on the streets wearing something like this:

A bright yellow tee (way brighter than the tee in this image,) a green, half-length trenchcoat, a flowery skirt (very popular in UK highstreet stores this season) and bright, solid red leggings. OK, so obviously I am not a colourful dresser, but I'm usually pretty open minded about style. Now I'm not criticising this girl's outfit exactly (-I'm all for personal style), but I do think that she went overboard with the colours. Wearing solid green on the top (the coat) and solid red at the bottom (the leggings) just does not look cool, arguably except for Christmas day. If you wear colour leggings, please refrain from wearing ten million other colours. Really, colour leggings are colourful themselves already.

And just yesterday, I saw a women who looked at least 45 yrs old wearing shorts and bright red leggings. I'm not actually sure of her age, but she certainly didn't look that young from afar. Sure, colour leggings are fun, but isn't it something that is more for younger women? Is it wrong for me to think the maximum age that anyone should wear these colour leggings is 30? And I don't mean to discriminate against age, but I just really believe in dressing suitably for one's age.

There you go: just a bit of how not to on colour leggings. What are your thoughts on my two points?

55 Comments:

Anonymous yishuu said...

It's very true though. I'm always wary of colored tights because they can either make or break an outfit. I, myself, prefer the more subtle and darker colors: a rich plum or deep green. They're less to make an effect but also less of a chance to ruin an outfit.

3/27/2008 10:52 PM  
Blogger the_kitten said...

I do love colored tights. For the first example I'd suspect she's been wanting to be quirky and didn't really care about whether or not she's putting people off. At least this combination of clothes does suggest my suspicions. There you have it, it's not really my thing. I'm against red+green, as well as red+yellow in general, so that just never works for me anyways. As for the older woman, I do think that dressing unfit for your age has effects no one really can possibly wish for and as for shorts with leggings, I always thought there's extra attention needed, so with colored tights, that's a more problematic combo. All in all I'm pretty much pro colored tights, though, although admittedly when I wear them, I play it safe for all the rest, too. You made good points, though.

3/27/2008 11:21 PM  
Blogger Knikki said...

My fashion teacher wore colored leggings to class the other day. It was the first time I had seen what they looked like in person. She had it with a black dress and it looked cute.

I definitely agree that if you're going to wear colored leggins, they should be your main focus as far as color because there is such a thing as overdoing it.

3/28/2008 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the older woman: 20 years ago she would have been in her mid 20's when this was FIRST the trend. One thing people 30+ right now are doing is rejecting the idea that you can never return to the fashion of your youth. At the end of the day, they actually have more street cred wearing these things than the 30- group does. It's sort of like 80's music.

3/28/2008 12:37 AM  
Anonymous heidi said...

While I do agree with some of your points (mostly the older women trying to rock colored tights with shorts), I tend to think most people simply aren't daring enough to step outside of the box on this look. High Fashion often times looks a bit ridiculous, but somehow (most of the time) it is still inspirational and trend-setting. You CAN mix prints and colors, but you have to have the attitude to pull it off. Take examples from the Balenciaga and Moschino shows...they mixed tribal patterns and animal prints with colored tights and it looked fabulous. I say, get a solid colored high-waisted skirt, cute printed top, and colored stockings , throw a blazer over it and be sure to check your inhibitions at the door. The only way to try new things and look fabulous doing it is if you have confidence!

3/28/2008 3:06 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I think older women can have fun with colored tights, if done right...just because you're more mature doesn't mean you can't enjoy some levity in your clothing choices. Colored tights can be fine with bermuda shorts, not short shorts, on an older woman, with some nice heels and a blouse, rather than a t-shirt. The trick is to add some fun but not try to look like a teenager.

3/28/2008 3:19 AM  
Blogger sarathira sukiman said...

i really agree on the age part. i mean, it is still acceptable if she wears it over something thats more covered like a knee leght skirt because some of the fashion editors do wear them in a more pulled together way than some of us youngsters do.

the other day at a mall i saw this lady at least 50 wearing white leggings as a bottom. no cover ups no nothing. just tights and a tight black top. to add to it, there was vpl involved as well. it was not a pretty sight at all

3/28/2008 5:06 AM  
Blogger Hai Anh said...

Finally! At least someone has said something unlike the rest of the fashion blogs. I agree with you of how to wear color tights: keep the rest simple. The idea of combining prints+color tights like somebody mentioned above works only for bigger cities where your style is appreciated.

For aged women, I see a lot of good example when they wear office pencil skirts with color tight, looking awesome. Again, we should judge a style depending on the location that the wearer is going to.

3/28/2008 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Serena Fate said...

That multi-coloured mismatched outfit sounds to me a bit like this new indie fashion, all in a line with new punk and that so called emo (what is that anyway?). I guess they want to give the impression that they don't really care about how it looks and what others might think (as the_kitten already said).

I have to agree so far. I'm not really into coloured leggings, but I'd combine it with black, too, then again, I tend to combine black with black. A definite No-Go for me are leggings without anything like a skirt/dress or shorts on top of it as to me that looks like there's something missing "You were in a rush leaving the house this morning, huh?"

I'd be careful with any age-deadlines at all, as it all depends on the physical state of the body as well as the posture. I know some women in their late-40s that could definitely pull it off without raising any question about their age and whether it's appropriate. On the other hand I have seen some in their early 20s where I wanted to shout in their faces to buy a damn mirror.
Maybe I'm acting a bit defensively here, 'cause the big bad 30 is looming over my head like the literal Sword of Damocles, but that means at the same time that I still can remember when the leggings made their big (re-)appearance in the 80s and believe me, compared to back it's inoffensive now.

- Serena

3/28/2008 5:45 AM  
Anonymous savvygal said...

I am not really a tight wearing person but have bought a couple (plum and dull rose colors) to wear with skirts to add interest to my outfits. I think everyone should define their own style and dress accordingly. Just use "good" judgement when pulling pieces together.
As for the age issue, I believe it's important to dress age and body type appropriate. There is no need to focus on the age number.

3/28/2008 6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with savvygal. Its very important to think both age and body type when you dress. If you're uncertain how to dress according to your body type or whatever, I advise you to check out http://www.fashhh.com , a fashion community where you let people vote on your style.

But the basic rule is almost always: Never dress like a kid. But dress like fun.

3/28/2008 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your No Colored Tights After Thirty rule: fair enough. Just keep your hands off the pencil skirts, blazers and pumps. They are WAY too mature. 8-P

3/28/2008 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only colour I wanted to wear as tights/leggings was a dark violet, like the tights Katie Leung wore to the Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix London photocall. However, I do not have enough confidence in my legs to clothe them in leggings any other colour than black, because you'd be surprised how much weight colour adds to your legs. Either your pins must be Kate Moss-skinny or perfectly proportioned, like that of Catherine Zeta-Jones. Otherwise, I really think one ought to stick to dark colours, if not solely to black.

3/28/2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger aschlee said...

Yeah I have yet to wear neon bright leggings, I prefer my black 'n brown ones just fine :P

But if someone is going to sport the bright colored leggings, they need to do it right, and I totally agree with you that chick with the green jacket 'n yellow shirt BAD ...not a good combo. Oh 'n the 40 something lady yeah ...probably not her best fashion choice haha. Anywho, I agree.

3/28/2008 11:56 AM  
Anonymous xA said...

I like coloured tights. And I think they can be worn with non-safe options, but the person must be wearing the outfit- not the other way around. I own pink patterned ones and lavender ones.

I think the first person, in all likelihood got dressed in the dark and doesn't own a mirror.

Regarding the older woman wearing them, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. As long as she was happy wearing it. In general though, I agree that it depends on the woman's figure- my mother has a friend who is over 60 and can pull off coloured tights and crazy fitted dresses that me and my friends could never because of her amazing body.

3/28/2008 1:36 PM  
Blogger semi charmed kind of life said...

i adore colored tights/leggings

donna karan had a gorgeous line at nordstroms this past fall

hue also came out with an entire stockings line that was great

3/28/2008 2:42 PM  
Blogger Mica said...

I think sometimes people make amazing outfits with coloured tights! The red and green is a pretty strange combination though - it is very Christmas-like.

I think the older woman could have looked good wearing them - but it depends on the colour scheme in the rest of the outfit too I guess. If she has the legs for it, and wants to have fun dressing up, then go for it! :) Most clothing, if worked into a good outfit, can work for any age.

3/28/2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah people! why be either sexist or agist when you can be agist and sexist AT THE SAME TIME!!!

3/28/2008 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Fashionista said...

Leggings…Glad they are back in style!

Trends certainly come and go, but many times they come back. Some of course we like and others we don’t like. I have to say, I am glad leggings are back. Leggings are a great way to add some warmth with a skirt or tunic in the cooler months. Plus, they are just down right comfortable!

Lucky for us, comfortable is magnified with the Elasthane/Viscose and Cotton/Cashmere blend leggings available from Majestic. These are truly luxurious and very practical.
www.artfulwears.com

3/28/2008 11:04 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Stoddart said...

I love coloured tights and leggings but agree that they have to be worn with the right outfit. I'm a big fan of American Apparel leggings. But I'm also from the safe school and mostly only wear them with all black, myself.
Case in point: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenniferlstoddart/2338502620/

I agree that it's very important to think both age and body type when you dress. (Or at least be aware of whether or not you look ridiculous in what you have on...)Somebody mentioned wearing the oufit and not the other way around-that's my philosophy as well.
Great post!

3/29/2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

i'm a very colourful person and i do own a few pairs of coloured tights. Most in blue tones. But i do think that there is something more elegant and chic about wearing perhaps one item of bright colour and the rest dark.I need to do this more i think, it may help me achieve more elegance, which i severely lack in.
I'm quite in the middle about this. i love colour but i'd love to have a chic-er style.

3/29/2008 3:35 AM  
Blogger Hong said...

F that, there are no rules on how to wear coloured tights. be creative

3/29/2008 4:22 AM  
Blogger AR said...

i love leggings but just can't see myself wearing these bright colors. I have brown and black leggings which I wear often. I think you have to be a certain way in order to pull off the bright colors. You need to have a sort of funky style. If I showed up to class tomorrow wearing bright pink leggings, everyone would probably look at me like I was crazy. However, if someone who normally dresses so boldly did so, no one would even notice.

3/29/2008 6:06 AM  
Blogger alis said...

sausage legs? no thanks. I already hate all sorts of hoisery, but do need to bear with it sometimes because of the cold. My only other purchase other than black was sheer gray.
as for women over 30 wearing those, when I think 30+, I think of the classy sexy women like monica belluci as a good example; universally beautiful and she would never wear such a thing..

3/29/2008 6:25 AM  
Blogger Natty said...

If you can pull it off I dont think it matters what you wear or how old you are to wear it. Im 30 now and have a pair of shiny bright pink tights I wear. Having fun with fashion is cool - trends start by bold people taking risks with what they wear. Personality also plays a big a part. I dont think that now I am 30 I am going to suddenly dress more sophisticated - just look at Anna Piaggi!

3/29/2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger Jael Paris said...

This seems limited to me. While you may dislike two or three colors in combination, it can be done to a beautiful affect. I match my bright tights to colored clothing all the time, sometimes skipping neutrals all together. This all depends on the person wearing it. Same goes with someone over 30 in tights.

3/29/2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger tckkid said...

I love you guys and your down-to-earth take on style!

Check out my blog - possiblefollies.blogspot.com!

3/29/2008 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Mint said...

Hey, I'd like to suggest a topic that you could blog on next time (if you haven't already done so, of course).

I wore a skirt as a dress to work today. I don't have a hard-out corporate atmosphere at work, so it doesn't really matter what I wear so long as it's tidy and sensible.

I was wondering if you could blog about the merits of wearing a skirt as a dress. I wore a black, swishy, jersey skirt as a strapless dress that came just above my knees, added long black leggings patterned with creeping roses, and fastened a cream, embroidered belt around my waist to give it some shape. I was surprised by how good it all looked.

Just wanted to give you a suggestion. I love your blog and what I especially like is when you blog about trying new things, such as that clutch post and how to wear coloured leggings, etc.

3/29/2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mint: the most important thing for us to know is if you are under or over *30* because that makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE as to whether your outfit was or was not acceptable and permissable.

3/29/2008 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love colored tights but you really have to wear them with the right skirt. Also, I saw a lady in yellow tights the other day and her legs were way too large for yellow tights. Now, if she had worn a yellow top with black tights... ah, yes..that would have been much better. I love this season's colors.
I need to order in some more yellow handbags.
www.pookiespurses.com

I am in the process of making retro jewelry and LOVE working with all the colors.

3/29/2008 5:26 PM  
Blogger Philosophing-Fashionista said...

Shorts and leggings should never happen...although I don't think the yellow T shirt/flowery skirt combo sounds so bad (depends I guess on the person wearing it).
I just discovered your blog, and I'm enjoying it. :)

3/30/2008 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colored leggings are highly controversial this season! We have a bunch of them on Polyvore, and there are definitely a least a few good looks for colored leggings

-Sarah, Polyvore.com

3/30/2008 2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the age limit on color leggings. If some one is going to wear bright red leggings they should me a younger women and match it with the right outfit, not the outfit shown! I do think an older women can wear black or brown leggings. As long as they are worn in a mature fashion it would look fine.

3/31/2008 12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.hel-looks.com/?p=image/archives/1/20080327_01/

hel-looks just posted this photo of 65 yr-old leena rocking these leggings! i guess some people just don't believe in "age limits" (more power to them)

3/31/2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger The Seeker said...

Well... leggings are very tricky, they cut the silhouette and one must know how to wear them, at any age.
About tights I love colour tights!!! I wear them and I'm more than 30.
What one must do is to be careful when wearing colour tights, just that, like any other piece of clothes. With good sense.
Why that agist position?
It would depend always on the person who's wearing and how's wearing.
I agree with Jael Paris.

3/31/2008 8:19 AM  
Blogger AFitz said...

Hm...fashion is all about experimenting and trying new things. Sometimes you can look terrible, but it's all part of the process ;)

3/31/2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous VonTraxX said...

I've always been a huge fan of leggings especially fishnet looking ones with weird designs. I got into colored leggings a while a go and still havent found the perfect purple colored leggings. Its weird though I agree with the initial blog on too much color being a bad thing. I also believe if you know how to color coordinate you can pull off even the most oddest of pairings. I think in many ways its more of putting a limited amoung of brights with darker shades otherwise you'll be a walking skittles bag and no one wants that. righ?

4/01/2008 7:20 AM  
Anonymous STYLE SHOPPING FINDS said...

Well, Gwen Stefani's 38 and she can wear whatever she wants and look cool or not. I, on the other hand, am a touch younger and would literally not be able to stop laughing (or perhaps crying) if I saw myself in a mirror whilst wearing coloured tights, let alone red sequin shorts and a tartan blazer. It's nothing to do with age, it's about how the individual looks and if the right person/people say they look good.

It's very simple, if you don't look good in garish clothing, pay your publicist to pay the right columnist to praise your style choices or get a few hundred-thousand fans to do it for free.

4/01/2008 2:40 PM  
Blogger girlzed said...

I'm not really into leggings actually. I find they either make me look as I've just come out of a "Call On Me" video or they make my calves look huge. I adore coloured tights though, if worn with a sober outfit, like the pictures you've got at the top of that article. I'm into minty green at the moment and superman-blue lol

4/01/2008 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love LOVE LOVE the colored tights look...especially like you guys showed it here with a cool vintage tee...I wasn't sure...but did you find that My LIttle Pony one on truffleshuffle.co.uk? They have the coolest vintage tees and sooo many to choose from!!! Just wondering where I could find it!!

4/01/2008 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're confusing tights with leggings. tights have feet, leggings don't. also, i think you can work colored tights as long as you're dealing with a reasonable palette. there are no rules! if there are fashion rules then i think they should pertain only to balancing silhouettes.

4/03/2008 2:58 AM  
Blogger girlzed said...

About what the last "anonymous" said. Fashion is art. Art needs rules. When the rules of art are known and mastered, then, and only then, can they be manipulated. therefore there have to be some rules with fashion, and once you know them, or once you know some, you're allowed to do crazy things with them.

4/03/2008 3:59 AM  
Blogger WendyB said...

One good thing about getting older is not giving a shit when people tell you you shouldn't wear something.

4/08/2008 6:11 AM  
Blogger kateR said...

As a 47 y.o. woman, I can confirm that it can be really difficult to figure out the fashion boundaries as you get older. I think coloured tights are a great look but the key is the length of skirt or dress. And forget shorts. They are completely out of the picture. If I put on a mini skirt now it looks so WRONG. The length has to be a little above the knee.

4/13/2008 2:33 AM  
Blogger Agoooo said...

i do like coloured leggings as well, but i think the best time to wear them if the overall outfit is in a neautral color such as black or gray, a flash of bright colour will nicely contrast all of these
:)
age dosent really matter- looking good is what matters

5/03/2008 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

This "Older Lady" could have been still wearng these leggins before they came back in style....hmmmmmm stuck in hte 80's

5/28/2008 3:49 AM  
Anonymous Stefan said...

Good Job! :)

6/20/2008 7:44 PM  
Blogger belhana said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

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أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه

كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه

بالله سل خلف بحر الروم عن عرب * بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا

وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه

هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه

الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا * وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين مـجراه

يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته * الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه

يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ، وملوك الروم تخشـاه

يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

7/05/2009 8:07 PM  
Blogger belhana said...

Thank you for the wonderful effort

إني تذكـرت والذكرى مؤرقـة *مجـداً تلـيدا بأيـدينا أضعـناه

أنَّى اتجهتَ للإسـلام في بـلـدٍ * تجْده كالطيرِ مقصـوصًا جناحـاه

كـم صرفتنا يـدٌ كنـا نـصرفها * وبات يـملكنا شعب مـلكناه

بالله سل خلف بحر الروم عن عرب * بالأمس كانوا هنا واليوم قد تاهوا

وانزل دمشق وسائل صخر مسجدها * عمن بناه لعل الـصخر ينعـاه

هذى معـالم خرس كـل واحـدة * منهن قامت خطيبـا فاغرا فـاه

الله يعلم ما قلبت سـيرتهم يومـا * وأخطـأ دمـع الـعين مـجراه

يا من يرى عمـراتكسوه بردته * الزيت أدمٌ لـه والكـوخ مـأواه

يهتز كسـرى على كرسيه فرقـا * من خوفه ، وملوك الروم تخشـاه

يا رب فابعث لنا من مثلهم نفـرا * يشـيدون لـنا مـجدا أضعنـاه

7/05/2009 8:27 PM  
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9/25/2009 5:18 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Colored leggings can definitely be worn at any age, but as with anything in fashion you just have to know how to wear them. We Love Colors has over 50 colors in their leggings and tights and the pictures on their site definitely show great ways to wear colors and not look cheesy or clownish. So if you need any ideas or a place to get some great colored tights or leggings you should check them out. http://www.welovecolors.com

12/13/2009 8:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

I think colored leggings are one of those women's clothing articles that should just be left alone. Unless they're on children, they look silly.

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