Whoever said leggings aren’t pants clearly wasn’t doing it right. Yes, your $9.99 leggings from CVS paired with a crop top definitely do not qualify as pants. No one wants to see your thong through your leggings, nor do they want to see your labia glaring at them while they’re exchanging pleasantries with you. But if you wear a high quality pair of leggings and actually style them correctly, then they sure as hell do work as pants. And, being able to wear leggings all season long while working on your winter bod is pretty much the only perk of the colder months, so let’s embrace leggings as pants.
There’s no outfit I love more than a big oversize chunky sweater paired with leggings. It’s stylish, cute, and comfy af. Wearing leggings as pants is pretty much the epitome of having it all. Here are seven leggings styles you should add to your wardrobe ASAP.
1. Faux Leather
Point blank, every girl needs a pair of faux leather leggings. They make every outfit look that much cooler and give it an edgy, sexy feel. This pair by Spanx have quickly become my new go-to outfit staple. They’re comfy, hold everything in, and look v chic. You can even get away with wearing these leggings as pants, paired with boots and a cute top, and be your comfiest self while pounding shots at the bar. Win-f*cking-win.
Get yourself a good pair of printed leggings and they could easily pass for pants. Take this pair, for example, which have all the makings of a pair of pants, but aren’t pants. So like, they’re a hell of a lot comfier. Might be pushing it here, but wear these with a nice blouse and you can even get away with them for your 9-5 grind. Just maybe avoid HR’s floor for the day to be safe.
3. Faux Suede
Faux suede leggings are another staple legging you’ll want in your wardrobe arsenal this season. The suede material offers more warmth than other legging options and gives them a classic, elevated look. Fair warning, they may not be your best option for the bar, considering they’ll immediately show all the beer your drunk bestie keeps accidentally dumping on you. But, with a sweater and ankle boots for Thanksgiving? Ideal outfit.
4. Pants Adjacent
Leggings have come a long way since jeggings. So much so, that there are tons of options that are pretty much the equivalent of pants. In recent years, leggings have gotten a Bella Hadid-level face transplant, and so there’s really no longer a need to wear anything but leggings as pants. With a pair this good, you can be comfy all the time. And a comfy b*tch is a happy b*tch. So put away the Xanax and get yourself some pants-adjacent leggings instead.
We’re still doing the whole athleisure thing, and hey, I’m here for it. A great pair of athletic style leggings are all you need for running those dreadful errands, like picking up Plan B or running out to buy more toilet paper (even though it’s def your roommates f*cking turn to buy some). She’ll be getting a petty Venmo request from me later.
As with every wardrobe staple, you have to get one version that’s “trendy.” Why not go super extra like the attention-seeking, high-maintenance betch you truly are and get yourself a neon pink pair? They shouldn’t be the only pair you have, or you’ll look some Richard Simmons imposter. Which, given the fact that I think he’s still “missing,” would be a very confusing mishap.
Another way to elevate your leggings game this season is to get a pair with fashionable details. These moto ones, for example, would look Insta-worthy with a graphic tee and an oversized denim jacket #DoItForTheGram.
There’s a time and a place for jeans…but there’s a lot more time and a lot more places for leggings. Between keeping up with all the Real Housewives and yelling at the Starbucks barista for the third time this week that your name is “Shannon” and not f*cking “Janet” (personal problem) there’s no need to make your life any harder than it already is. Add edge to your outfit, instead of your life, and get yourself some must-have pairs of stylish leggings. Your mental health (and your therapist) will thank you.
Images: freestocks.org / Unsplash; Nordstrom (2); South Moon Under (2); Revolve (2); Anthropologie
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I know I’m not a typical fashion writer here at Betches—I tend to save my talents for Bravo recaps and the occasional hate piece—but I’m willing to branch out for something I’m extremely passionate about: wearing leggings as pants. It is an important cause I support wholeheartedly. Really, I think that the woman who lobbied for women to wear pants fucked us all up, because pants are only a viable and comfortable option if you have all of the following: perfectly proportionate legs (i.e. not too long or too short), no muffin top to speak of, and nothing weird going on in the butt area—a set of criteria that basically only applies to models and nobody else. And that is why, despite the protests of my friends, my dad, and probably everyone who’s seen me walking down the street minus a few mouthy construction workers, I continue to wear leggings as pants. No matter the season. No matter if my shirt covers my butt. But here’s the thing: You can’t do it with just any old pair of leggings. They’ve got to be opaque enough that you can get away with it, yet still comfortable. So I’ve gathered my the 5 best leggings to wear as pants (from my closet). You are welcome in advance. Also full disclosure, you will not see super expensive leggings on here because I’m cheap and can’t justify spending more than like, $45 on some spandex.
1. Hue Original Denim Leggings
These things are the shit. I literally have three pairs and am soon going to acquire a fourth. They are a jegging and priced as such, but they behave like a jean except there’s no fly digging into your stomach or weird, small front pocket that nobody uses. They do have back pockets (I repeat: pockets!) and they look so much like jeans you’ll confuse everyone. Just ask the fuckboy I’m hooking up with who told me “I love when you wear these jeans.” Guys are idiots, am I right? And before you ask, no, I’m not hooking up with Ginuwine. Yet.
2. C9 Champion Premium Legging
Okay, these aren’t the exact leggings I have, but if you go to Target, hit up the workout section and go to the rack of Champion leggings—any of those will do. They’re not super thick but they are opaque and they fit super well. No muffin top to speak of and I know you all don’t know me or my body type, but trust me when I say that’s saying a lot. There’s no uncomfortable horizontal line across your stomach when you take them off. And they’re like $20, so they’re probably the cheapest thing you’ll buy in Target. They come in a bunch of patterns so you can buy all 67 pairs—speaking hypothetically, of course. That’s definitely not something I’ve done before.
3. SPANX Leggings
I’m not going to lie to you all, this one’s a risky choice, but I just did a few leg presses yesterday so I stand by it. I have the “seamless” kind so I can only speak to those, and I have them in the camo print—I just didn’t use that picture because I didn’t want you guys to judge me. They’re probs not leggings you want to work out in (but they have an “active” kind you can take to the gym) because they feel a little like tights because they have a horizontal seam along the crotch instead of the vertical seam you see on most leggings, nahmean? I’ll be real, it’s a little bit of a stretch wearing these with a crop top (as I am right now), and I’ll update you on how many moms yell at me for exposing their kids to lewd content in public later. But again, they are super comfortable and as someone who’s prone to a muffin top, I personally appreciate how high-waisted they are. Would def try their other leggings and report back.
4. Splits59 Dryver Capri
Yeah I know these aren’t cheap per se, but I chose a style that was on sale so you’re fucking welcome. Really any Splits59 leggings will be extremely comfy—I’m extrapolating based on how many pairs I tried on at a Bandier sample sale yesterday—but I know we’re not all Kendall Jenner and spending upwards of $100 on a pair of leggings is a little ridiculous when you have like, rent to pay and shit. I’m personally a fan of the mesh leggings because anything that appears slutty but is also technically covered by fabric so nobody can say shit—even if it is see-through fabric—really highlights my personal aesthetic, which is slutty. Sorry, dad. Anyway, these things are comfortable, not restrictive, blah blah blah. I think we can all agree the qualities that make for good leggings are universal.
5. Lilybod Coco – Shadow Lux
These are really the ideal leggings if you want to give off the “Did I just come from yoga or do I go grocery shopping like this?” vibe. They’re sporty-looking and they’re the shiny-looking leggings, if you are into that and know WTF I’m talking about. They’re pretty thick and opaque and easy to move around in. They are a little tight around the waist if you don’t get the right size, though, so my best advice is: Don’t let the size chart flatter you (it told me I was a small—mistake) and order the size you normally wear and you’ll be Gucci.