What are you wearing with your leggings??
September 11, 2014 9:36 PM   Subscribe

Mefi ladies? What are you wearing with your leggings? Really, where are you getting cute shirts that cover your butt and shoes...well probably not sneakers.

I would love to rock a few legging style outfits. I feel like it has become fashionable to wear pjs all day and I'd like to join in! I am a grad student in engineering so nothing too crazy loud. My body is pretty average but I am still fighting the six months post pregnancy tummy. I figured I would magically fit in my old clothes by now (previous quite lean and fit) but am dressing for winter. I live in a cold town with limited shopping so online suggestions very much wanted. Where are you buying your cute long shirts online? Also....shoes? Are there good alternatives to spending so much on uggs? I am normally on my feet a lot and often wear sneakers but am writing more and more these days. Also my budget is minimal but you can't go naked and I'd love to look cute. Thanks!
posted by Kalmya to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (28 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Lands End tunics - reasonably priced basics in decent quality. I am typing this in leggings and a pale blue "starfish terry" tunic from them that is like sitting around in a bathrobe but looks good enough to run errands in. They're not trend-conscious, but they make solid basics and have a good return policy.

Get tunics to wear indoor and a super-long cardigan or a short cardigan to go above/below the tunic length to layer for warmth.

For shoes, I swear by Clarks. You can get them fairly cheap on Amazon although you may have to swap sizes around. Clarks are the only shoes I can wear for most of a day without pain or getting blisters other than sneakers. My daughter works as a waitress and I bought her a pair of Clarks after she'd tried other options, and those are her new go-to.
posted by viggorlijah at 9:52 PM on September 11, 2014

I don't have any links (I shop at mostly Aussie sites) but you need to google words like tunics and long cardigans etc. Having recently had back to back babies and being in your situation, that's my mummy uniform too!
posted by Jubey at 9:53 PM on September 11, 2014

I have a couple of cute tunics from Modcloth. Quality and sizing can vary so just be sure to read the reviews and check measurement details.
I usually pair them with ballet flats or ankle boots but I never buy shoes online so can't advise there.
posted by Naanwhal at 10:04 PM on September 11, 2014

I wear dresses with my leggings. Optimally, leggings should be worn more like tights rather than as a pair of tight-assed pants.

I can't really cite great online shopping for a cold climate with a cheap budget because I don't know jack about that, but I can say that I like getting leather boots that are at least somewhat high up the legs to wear with them--they class any outfit up. If you have a DSW anywhere, I have good luck at those. Looks like they have online shopping too. As for tunic/dress-type things, I like looking at the Serengeti catalog. Not super cheap, but they do have a sale section.

Might I also suggest leg warmers and/or fleece leggings if you can find them? Fleece leggings are becoming more common even at cheap box stores these days. Leg warmers might be harder to find, but sockdreams.com looks like the place to go online. Or dance stores if you have any near you.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:05 PM on September 11, 2014 [5 favorites]

Yes, dresses and tunics. If you get dresses made of jersey (t-shirt) material, or loose knits, it's like wearing pajamas.

I wear ankle boots with these outfits myself. Slight heel if I want to look professional; Doc Martens if I want to look more casual. I'm not a very fashiony person, though, so that might not be the right sort of shoe. I'm pretty sure Uggs are not an outside shoe if you are over the age of 18, though. (Although I am totally guilty of sometimes leaving them on if I am just going to the supermarket...)
posted by lollusc at 11:38 PM on September 11, 2014

Short, loose dresses with no waist, often in a jersey/knit fabric of some kind, but I use leggings instead of tights rather than as pants, and they are way more comfortable than either. Footwear= boots.
posted by Coaticass at 12:26 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Leggings are not pants, girl, so a shirt won't do. Check out skirts and dresses of the sweater variety. Super comfy and warm in winter. And knit on knit, as in knit skirt, knit knee-high socks and knit scarf can make for a really cute wintery outfit. There is also a DIY version for a minimal budget - cable knit sweater (from the closet or thrift store) to sweater skirt. Check out this tutorial! Here is one more before & after.

Another casual, comfy and warm thing to wear is a sweatshirt dress - here's also a DIY tutorial.

As for shoes: The colder the temps, the higher the boots. Nothing better than proper leather boots (read: not Uggs) for cold climates. Knee high might be ideal. You could have socks or legwarmers (just cut off the tube from the sock) provide additional warmth and peek out on top. Stay toasty!
posted by travelwithcats at 1:32 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Not a lady..... But I got my wife hooked on fabletics. I'd certainly in this vein. Very cute and nicely priced.
posted by chasles at 3:40 AM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

You don't want to wear Uggs, I don't think. But I think leggings with a long shirt are fine, really. #yolo, as the kids these days say.

I have a cute pair of black and grey flats that are comfortable and look nice with leggings. I like to pull the leggings halfway down over my feet like reverse socks with my flats so a half-moon of skin shows between the end of the pant and the toebox of my shoes. I think it looks cute!

Try flats and see how you like it. And seriously, leggings are now worn as pants, as much as some people might not like it, so rock on with your leggings and tunics. I think they can actually be dressed up really nicely if you wear the right shoes, shirt, and accessories.

For a more formal legging inspired look, try J. Crew's Minnie pant in black wool. They are visually indistinguishable from leggings unless you're right next to me, but they feel a lot more classy to wear.
posted by sockermom at 5:50 AM on September 12, 2014

Previously -- my "Legging newbie seeks knitted pants guidance" question... As I am still a bit of a rube here I'm not overflowing with good advice, but, the best things I ended up with were a swoopy long cashmere tunic (looks un-pyjama-like), and some long cardigans. The tunic-length cardigans with a little shape and ability to button/tie up let you wear your existing shirts underneath.

I have a tiny Pinterest leggings board you can peek at -- there's way more on Pinterest, leggings-wise.

Short knit skirts are easy to find in "juniors" departments -- like, "skirts" so short you wouldn't normally consider them appropriate -- are good bum covers for leggings and give you more flexibility for what you can wear on the top. Try thrift stores for these; there're usually loads of super-short skirts. This Super Skirt on Etsy is not quite as short as the jrs stuff, but amazing -- the quality is fantastic, it's flattering, the fabric is wonderful. Highly recommended. (Also check out the cowl neck dress from the same seller...)

Boden and LL Bean Signature have put out some nice tunics. And, Nthing boots!
posted by kmennie at 5:59 AM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

My rule is you can wear leggings as pants as long as you can bend over without them becoming transparent. Usually this means that you need a really thick fabric -- as sockermom says, J. Crew has some pants that work for this. You also maybe don't want to go absolutely skin-tight in this situation, so consider sizing up. I wear these sorts of leggings with a chambray button-up and flats (I would go with a crisp white blouse if I could make it through a day without spilling coffee on myself).

Otherwise, it's hard to go wrong with slim black leather boots and something drapey on top. I like big open sweaters like so.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:04 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is such a hard question! I feel like (at least for me) it's really important to try on tops you intend to wear with leggings. So if nothing else, look for websites with a good return policy.

That being said, I've gotten some great things from Anthro. Vince makes great tunics/long sweaters but is pricey. Athleta has some nice things. I like this sweater, for example, but it's more of an investment piece. Short dresses can also work , but I don't like to wear t-shirt material dresses with leggings. I feel like the fabrics cling together in an unflattering way. I would look for something like this (but on sale!). This is super cute for fall/winter too. And a couple more ideas. There's so many options!

For shoes, I like a wedge sneaker or boots/booties. I don't have much "weather" to deal with where I live though, so YMMV.
posted by tealcake at 6:10 AM on September 12, 2014

Besides getting long tops for leggings, another thing you could do is get "dressy" sweatpants and printed pants for your non-butt-covering tops. Super comfy, and you can easily layer tights or long underwear underneath if you need.
posted by bettafish at 6:11 AM on September 12, 2014

I agree with the advice to treat leggings as tights rather than pants. In the winter, I really like sweater dresses with leggings. Tunics work too. I especially like the "button up" tunic look, sort of like this. I usually wear tall boots with either of these styles of tops. This outfit plus a scarf or some fun earrings can look really put together, and it's still super comfy. It can be quite warm too, especially if you buy thicker tights.

Here are some other tunics to check out.

I also like this dress. And then here are a couple other sweater dresses just to get inspiration. Oh, and this cardigan is cute and nice and long. You could probably pair that with a longer T shirt.
posted by litera scripta manet at 6:17 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

As another new mom fond of wearing whatever is most comfortable - I'm a grad student in the hard sciences - I've found a couple really nice tunics from Milk Nursingware. I don't know if you are breastfeeding - it probably wouldn't be worth the added expense if you aren't - but if you are, they sell sturdy, nicely-draping tunics that go well with leggings and have actually-useful nursing flaps. Costs about $40.
posted by Cygnet at 7:05 AM on September 12, 2014

Leggings are not pants, girl, so a shirt won't do.

Long tunic-style shirts, which she asked for, will!

I wear black ankle boots with leggings. I like how it elongates the leg (I have short legs). I find suitable dresses and long tunics at Target on occasion. Madewell probably has some stuff but I haven't checked.
posted by stoneandstar at 7:19 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just wear regular t-shirts with them, in casual situations. On casual Friday at the office, I have a couple pairs that I wear with longish (handmade) sweaters.

But outside of an office - why cover your butt? The whole point of leggings is to celebrate having some junk in your trunk. Flaunt it with confidence!
posted by Kurichina at 7:20 AM on September 12, 2014

I like ballet flats with leggings, though can't recommend any US brands. I really like to wear my stompy Doc Marten boots with them too. If wearing a tunic, make sure you can bend over without showing the world things you only want your gynecologist/partner to see.
posted by wwax at 8:32 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

These shirts from Splendid. I was hesitant the first time I bought one -- $88 seems like a lot of money. But I now have them in several colors and neutrals. They're fantastic, flattering, and a perfect length.
posted by janey47 at 9:24 AM on September 12, 2014

I generally advise against shirts. The difference between a shirt and a dress are just a few inches. A glorious length that covers camel toe, cellulite and panty lines. Wear whatever you want at home, but no one in public needs to know the shape of your labia or the color of your underwear. Maybe you think you are free of those issues, but if you wear leggings instead of pants in public you create conditions for other people to do the same.

And since you mention your minimal budget and online shopping, check out vinted.com - it's an awesome site for swapping (and selling) clothes (there are other such sites on the net, but this is one I've used before).
posted by travelwithcats at 9:44 AM on September 12, 2014

I, too, am trying to hop on the leggings bandwagon (but trying to avoid '80s style). I plan to pair them with little jersey dresses that have flared skirts, drapey jersey tops and either ballet flats, canvas sneaks (not Chucks) or ankle or knee-boots.

This summer, I've become a dedicated H&M fangirl. The clothes are inexpensive and available in a wide range of sizes. Jersey is used liberally, which is lovely. It is, as others have said, a lot like wearing pajamas.

A note about H&M: their pricing is . . . odd. It pays to check their website frequently. In the past month, I've seen the same linen-blend top selling for $7, $20 and $12 (in that order, IIRC). Items added to your basket aren't reserved, so if you want things that are super-on-sale, snap them up immediately.

I have several of these little jersey dresses from H&M. Though they have spaghetti straps, you could layer them under other things. They're form-fitting up top, but have a gently flared skirt.

Tops (I haven't bought any of these yet)
Jersey top, $9.00
Similar jersey top, $12.99
Chiffon top $24.95 It's got a straight cut, but some nice, subtle layernig detail at the hem.
Dolman-sleeve top, $12.95
Wool-blend cardigan, $34.95

This peplum top is probably not what you're looking for, but am I the only one who thinks it looks very Star Trek TNG engineering-uniform redux?

Leggings are available in traditional ($9.95) and high-waist ($17.95). They also have patterned options. Occupying a whole 'nother category of leggingsness are treggings (basically, thick leggings with faux pockets, etc.)
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 11:13 AM on September 12, 2014

FHT beat me to it, but definitely check out H&M online. I live in the pieces from their Basics collection; just layer a bunch of solid pieces over leggings with boots from Zappos and a cute scarf and you've basically got luxe jammies that are fooling everyone.

In particular I'm a huge fan of this H&M dress that looks like a tank top but with a lot more coverage. You can throw on any type of shirt, cardi, sweater, or jacket over it and it looks great. I'm pretty curvy and find that the majority of their stuff works for me.
posted by stellaluna at 11:50 AM on September 12, 2014

I'm a very big fan of H&M and their tshirt dresses, which are far more tunic length in my experience. I wore leggings pretty much every day for about 2 years straight. Depending on the occasion, I'm a fan of Converse, boots (whatever kind might suit your fancy, I wore a lot of slightly slouchy leather boots), pointy toed flats, and oxfords. Leggings are pants, just make sure they aren't going sheer, and if they are, that you have appropriately nude colored underwear on if that's a thing that bothers you.

American Apparel makes a boat necked "minidress" here, the picture is misleading, I am not tall and this is a tunic on me which are some of the nicest tunics I've owned, and were always fantastic with leggings.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:44 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm doing this post pregnancy too. I'm putting a long tank top ( sorry, h+m is crashing my browser right now, but they recently had them for 2 /$10, you may also see them as tank mini dresses) with a boxy shirt over it. I find this easier and cheaper than finding appropriate tunics.
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:45 PM on September 12, 2014

This black dress on sale at H&M can double as a long top over leggings and look fabulous either way, and you can't beat the price.
posted by misha at 10:28 PM on September 12, 2014

And this sweater would be arm and cozy with fleece leggings, too.
posted by misha at 10:37 PM on September 12, 2014

This is my go-to tunic with leggings. I now have it in several colors. Comfortable, pockets, etc. I am plus-size and it makes my figure look all hourglass-y.
posted by rednikki at 1:04 PM on September 13, 2014

Oh yeah, a note about H&M shopping online-- they seem to design clothes for the very tall (i.e. taller than me, at 5'5"). So if you see a model wearing a tunic/dress/long sweater that just barely covers their crotch/butt/camel toe area, it will probably be much longer on you if you're 5'5" or less! YMMV but this is something I've noticed for sure.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:32 PM on September 13, 2014

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