How to Wear Patterened Leggings and Look Fabulous


Just when you had worked up the courage to give leggings a try, the fashion industry changed the rules. Oh, solid color leggings are still in, but the brave ladies are wearing patterns. All kinds of patterns, in all kinds of colors. Not to worry – whether you’re a leggings fashionista or a relative newby, you can rock patterned leggings. It’s really not about the leggings, after all. It’s about what you pair them with. Wearing patterned leggings with a bold top or head-turning jewelry is like tying two alpha-male dogs to the same leash. A clash is inevitable. But you wouldn’t do that, would you? Not if you follow these common-sense tips.

pattern leggings

Let the leggings shine.

Top Buttons suggests that your patterned leggings need to be the central piece of your outfit. They’re right – everything else needs to revolve around that bright sun. Never buy a pair of leggings to go with a particular shirt, because then you’ll be wondering what shoes to wear or what jewelry to put on. Buy the leggings first – because you love them, not because you have something that might go with them – then build the rest of the outfit around that core.

A long, simple top.

While few people can pull off a short top with leggings, it’s a particular danger with patterned leggings. You don’t want people to be calculating how many repeats of the pattern it takes to cover your rear. Wear a long, loose-fitting top that falls to mid-thigh. Paper blog suggests that a chunky cardigan over a form-fitting tee is a great choice, as is a simple tunic. Any top you choose should be a solid color and free of eye-catching details. Think of it as the picture frame for the leggings, or foundation for your makeup. It has a major supporting role, but it’s not the star.

A belt.

Depending on the top, you may or may not want to wear a belt. A loose belt just above the waist can give shape to an otherwise boring top; just make sure it’s close in color; you want that belt to shape, not pop.


Like a belt, accessories should support the leggings, not try to steal the show. This is not the time to pull out your “look at me!” jewelry or scarves. Pick one color – two at the most – from the leggings to tie together with jewelry or a scarf. Simplicity is key. With patterned leggings, you want to attract attention without looking like you’re trying to attract attention.


Like accessories, shoes belong in a supporting role. Ideally, choose shoes that match one of the more subtle colors in the leggings. And boots can be great if you’re nervous about wearing those patterned leggings for the first time. With a long tunic and tall boots, there’s only a limited amount of leg showing. It’s a great way to get your feet wet (pun recognized, if not intended).

It’s not hard to pull off patterned leggings. But if it makes you feel better, there are plenty of people ready and waiting to take “mistakes” off your hands. On this website, for instance, you can sell your fashion “oopsies” with ease. Because we’re all so different, there’s bound to be someone out there looking for exactly the thing that didn’t work for you.

But let’s not worry about that. With a little courage and a strong dose of common sense, you can put together a look that makes you feel and look fabulous. Find a pair of leggings you love, then finish the rest of the outfit with items that will make your leggings shine…so you can, too.

Mason Williamson is passionate about fashion. He enjoys blogging about ways the everyday woman can stay stylish and on trend.

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