When it comes to what is and isn’t appropriate for office wear, many wonder if leggings can be considered as part of a work outfit. If so, how does one pull off wearing them without breaking any rules for corporate dressing? To help you get this right, here are a few style tips to keep in mind that so you can be comfy at work while still keeping things classy:
Do: Make Sure You’re Allowed to Wear Them in the First Place
Some offices may be stricter than others when it comes to what employees can wear to work. Some offices permit leggings for women to be worn with business casual ensembles, while others may only allow workers to wear leggings on casual Fridays. That being said, carefully review your office’s dress codes so that you can plan your outfits accordingly.
Don’t: Wear the Same Leggings That You Wear at Home to Work
Given the fact that most women (including yourself) wear leggings for comfort, it’s likely that you have a pair of leggings or two for home use. You might even wear these leggings when you go out to run errands and spend time with friends. However, you should avoid wearing these same pairs to work, as they can make you look too casual.
Instead, invest in at least two pairs of high-quality leggings that are exclusively for office use. Make sure that the types of leggings you buy are allowed at work, too.
Do: Pair Your Leggings with Long and Loose Tops
You may look too casual if you wear a tight-fitting short blouse with leggings to work. As a rule of thumb, wear your tight, form-fitting leggings with flowy tops that cover your behind. At the end of the day, you are working in a corporate office, so it’s not always appropriate to wear skin-tight clothing from head to toe.
Don’t: Wear Light-colored or Sheer Leggings
Not all leggings are made the same way. Since they come in different styles, some are bound to be less office-friendly than others. As a rule of thumb, choose leggings made of thick and opaque fabrics. Avoid leggings with mesh cuts and sheer paneling, and steer clear of any pairs that are marketed as leisurewear. To play it safe, put on dark-colored leggings made of fabrics like jersey or fleece. Even jeggings can work for the office; just stick to dark denim to keep yourself looking professional.
However, you can still get away with wearing sheer or light leggings to work if you know what you’re doing. The trick is not to wear them like pants, but to treat them like hosiery instead. Pairing them with a short dress or skirt can give the illusion that you’re wearing tights or stockings, instantly making the leggings more office-friendly. This is a nice way to style your leggings for when it starts to get cold, too.
Do: Choose Your Footwear Wisely
A good way to make leggings more office-friendly is to keep the rest of your outfit as professional-looking as possible. That being said, you might want to stick to your work flats or heels when you’re wearing them on a regular workday. If you want to wear colorful shoes or cool-looking sneakers, you’ll want to save those for casual Friday.
Fortunately, most office-appropriate leggings go well with a wide range of shoes. So whether you regularly wear heels, flats, loafers, or boots to work, you shouldn’t have a problem matching your footwear to your leggings.
Don’t: Make Them Your Only Go-to Garments for Work
Leggings are meant to expand your existing office wardrobe; they’re not meant to be the primary garment that you wear to work. It’s perfectly fine to wear leggings to work twice or thrice a week, but it may not be appropriate anymore if you make it a daily habit. If your office still has a relatively strict dress code, you might get reprimanded by HR or your managers for going against the rules too often.
So switch things up by wearing slacks, dresses, and skirts to work. As a bonus, you’ll have a wider variety of work outfits, so you won’t be wearing the same thing all the time.
Do: Wear a Blazer
When you’re in a pinch and have to put together a work outfit in a short amount of time, throwing on a blazer is a great way to make you look more polished. This style hack also works for ensembles with leggings. It gives your outfit more structure, balancing out the tightness of your leggings and the silhouette of your top. It can also help to keep a blazer in your car or at your desk. That way, you can simply throw it on before heading into an important meeting.
While wearing comfortable clothes to work can seem ideal, remember that you still need to be careful because of corporate dress codes. While many workplaces are beginning to allow workers to wear leggings to work, there are certain ways that you can and can’t wear them. If you’re wondering how to add leggings to ensembles that are both comfortable and office-appropriate, we hope that these tips can help you out.