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Leggings are the new pants

Whether we like it or not, leggings are becoming the hottest pants around. Yes, pants. After the “jeggings” craze began, these skintight bottoms have become more popular than ever. This winter, there are plenty of ways to wear them.

Classic black leggings have become a closet staple. Paired with riding boots and a boyfriend blazer, you get a preppy, collegiate look worthy of any Ralph Lauren catalogue. If this clean-cut look isn’t your style, try a pair of motorcycle boots and a cropped leather jacket instead. This look is a little more roughed up and looks trendy. Finally, when comfort is key, opt for your favorite Ohio State sweatshirt and knee-high socks. Lazy days never looked so good.

Like skinny jeans, leggings come with strategically placed rips and tears for subtle sex appeal. These might not be the best option for the snowy weather, but layered over lacy tights, this look becomes much more practical. Ripped leggings are great for going out when paired with a long-sleeve trapeze shirt and booties, because they show skin in a unique and unexpected way.

Velvet leggings will keep you warm on a cold night out. Although these might seem hard to wear, shimmery sweats can be worn with anything from a basic white T-shirt to a lacy feminine top. Choose deep colors like navy, black, maroon or gray. Keep in mind that velvet is not a very forgiving fabric, so you should make sure you are extremely comfortable with the way these leggings fit you. Also, avoid a disco ball effect by minimizing sequins and sparkly jewelry.

One of the best inventions of the season is flannel-lined leggings. These pants are practical without forcing you to sacrifice style. Wear them with just about anything and you’re sure to have a look that’s all your own. Although these bottoms tend to be a bit pricey, they’re worth every penny. No other pair of pants will compare, not even your warmest skinny jeans.

Cable-knits aren’t just for tops anymore. Leggings made of sweater material are the easiest way to pull off a “cozy chic” look. An oversized, denim button-down shirt and snow boots will keep your outfit seemingly effortless. Try these leggings out in different subdued colors like mustard yellow, teal and purple.

Leggings have become so common that you can find basic black ones almost anywhere and they cost anywhere from $5 to $100. Ripped and velvet pairs tend to be moderately priced and can be found in many women’s clothing stores. Flannel-lined and cable-knits are pricey and are most easily found online at specialty sites.

So, for those of you who think that leggings should not be treated as pants, maybe you haven’t found the style that works for you. The key to making leggings look good is finding a pair that fits you, but doesn’t suffocate you.

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