Adam Glassman
Photo: Patrick Andersson
Q: How do you feel about leggings? If I wore them in the '80s, can I revisit them now?
A: Yes to leggings—comfortable, cool-looking, body-friendly—but no to the spandex Olivia Newton-John showed off in Grease. These four rules can help guide women who want to adopt this ongoing trend:
  • Thick, unshiny fabrics like double knits don't show bulges.
  • Layering is crucial. Think of leggings as tights rather than pants; put them under skirts, dresses, or tunics.
  • Longer tops (at least to midthigh) camouflage tush, stomach, and hips.
  • Leggings can look tacky with the wrong footwear. I prefer flats, boots, or a low heel.

Get it right: 5 ways to wear leggings

Elie Tahari leggings
Cozy: For weekends, wear suede leggings ($228; for stores) with a cowlneck sweater ($78;, long cardigan (Kensie, $78;, wide belt (Modus Rio, $169, La-Di-Da, NYC; 212-875-8505), and tall boots (Antonio Melani, $150;

Next: A versatile work look
Splendid leggings
Versatile: Season-bridging trick: Stretch a short, summery dress (Elizabeth and James, $395) into fall with soft gray leggings (Splendid, $57), tall boots (Nine West), and a lacy silk scarf (Bajra).

Next: Works for work

American apparel leggings
Versatile: Layer a breezy scarf (Julien David, $510) over a stand-out dress (Zero + Maria Cornejo, $699) and leggings (American Aparel, $26) and a striking necklace (House of Lavande, $428) for an elegant alternative. Add a long cardigan or sweater coat and flats (Lela Rose for Payless, $30) to keep things casual at work.

Next: Dressy

Riller & Fount leggings
Dressy: Accessorizing a simple black vest (Elizabeth and James, $395) and leggings (Riller & Fount, $101) with floral brooches (Moschino, $245 and $260) and a sparkly belt (Krizia, $485) makes this simple outfit chic and elegant. A low-heeled black boot (Johnston & Murphy, $328) means it's still easy on the feet.

Next: Effortless and easy

Denim-inspired leggings
Effortless: Denim-inspired leggings (Sisley, $44; 800-535-4491 for stores) pair with a beaded top (American Eagle Outfitters, $40; and cotton jacket ($98; Flats, Daniblack, $140; Scarf, Me & Kashmiere, $175, Roberta Freymann, NYC; 212-583-3767.
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