How To Wear Leggings | 5 Unwritten Rules

Leggings are now a gymdrobe must-have; sometimes it seems as if they’re actually drawing more attention to exercise than any other aspect of the practice itself. It could be the fact celebrities are sporting super tight leggings, holding a Starbucks coffee outside with their brand-new 2 seater in shot, or perhaps it’s the never-ending Instastories of girls in yoga pants – either way, leggings are becoming a substantial part of our daily life.


Let’s be honest here, although these pants look incredible on Michelle Keegan, there are still rules to follow. Let’s check them out, shall we?


Rule #1   Leggings & Underwear


Like jeans shopping, choosing the right pair of leggings to work-out in can be a total pain. Not only do you need a pair that feel comfortable, you most definitely need to ensure they’re squat-proof. Make sure nobody can see your underwear – it simply looks wrong and you may be embarrassed when people starting pointing at the penguin pattern on your briefs. Also, if you ever decide to wear white leggings or yoga pants (brave move), make sure you’re wearing matching knickers – you don’t want visible lines or be baring a little more than you planned.

Rule #2   Size & Fit


We understand the aim to is to make your bum bootylicious and your stems sculpted, but wearing the wrong fit is going to defeat the object – too tight that you’ll gain a muffin top or too loose that you’ll gain unnecessary wrinkles – it’s too early for those. Leggings should embrace your curves from the waist down, don’t settle for second best – flaunt it!

It is possible to find leggings with a broader waistband which prevents this problem quite effectively, high-rise fits are ideal.

We’ve all had a rushed morning which has led to approving an outfit in bad lighting, but causing an unwanted cleavage down below is criminal – nobody wants to be that girl.


Rule #3   Breathability


Sticky, sweaty leggings are not eye-catching – well they are, just in the wrong way. Buy leggings which are ventilated or have sweat-wicking fabric – there’s nothing worse than getting into the car post-workout and not being able to get back out…

Surely the aim of wearing tight leggings is to look and perform incredible, not to mention impressing those around you? Don’t make the simplest gym fail possible, breathe!

Rule #4   Body Shape


This isn’t a matter of discrimination but choosing a pair of leggings which are truly flattering to your body shape is key. We’re all different and in no way am I stating that curvy girls should avoid skin-tight pants, simply advising everyone to take a minute to assess the size, whether it’s your waistline or inside leg – we can all agree, size does matter.

There are numerous styles in the market including high-rise, cropped, patterned and elasticated waistlines, plus they’re affordable which is an extra bonus.


Rule #5   Men’s Leggings


Guys, unless you’re a ballet dancer – leggings alone are not flattering. We understand you need extra layers on a cold, crisp morning, just make sure your shorts aren’t super tight too, otherwise you’ll look like an 80’s retro star.


Whether you call them yoga pants, leggings or tights, one thing remains – abide the 5 unwritten rules (which are now written). If you’re feeling self-conscious, need a boost or just make the fugliest fashion choices possible, choose slim, streamlined and comfy leggings – trust us, we design them.


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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