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DRESSING ON THE SIDE

For the Love of Leggings

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

 

Where has all the denim gone? There’s a statistic out there that says from 2015-2016 women ordered more leggings online than jeans, 40% more than the prior year. Denim orders increased by only 3%. Leggings win.  

 

Leggings equal comfort. They’re as mobile as you are…or aren’t. (Even if you prefer the couch to crunches, leggings make you look active.) Whether anchored with stirrups or infused with high-tech fibers, leggings have gone so far beyond the gym, they’re even showing up in evening looks and creeping into couture. In addition to mainstream retail brands, big names are in athleisurewear now – from Kate Hudson’s Fabletics to Karl Lagerfeld’s $235 sweatshirt. Leggings are no longer a fashion cop-out.   

 

As with all fashion categories, there are ever-changing trends and particulars and the legging trends emerging now include:

 

• Black, matte or leather

• Darks and neutrals, subtle prints

• White      

• Shades of pink                    

• Nature-inspired prints (like snake)

• Star prints

 

Whatever the trend, it’s all about how you interpret it for your body type and lifestyle. Here are some ideas that transform gym to glam.

 

Leggings Plus

 

• Over-the-Knee Boots. The fitted leg in contrast to the slight bulk of the boot creates an edgy contrast and adds sophistication. The boot masks the active wear legging vibe.

 

• With any Boots. Switch sneakers for boots to update the cliché leggings and sweatshirt combination.  

 

• Statement Coat. Bold outerwear adds instant glam. Leggings are the perfect subtle background to a statement coat or jacket. 

 

• Moto Jacket. Great street look. Casual and sleek simultaneously. The moto remains a must-have. 

 

• Bomber Jacket. Another must-have jacket. A bomber highlights the sporty side of leggings. Try this with black sneakers to go a few degrees more casual than the moto jacket look.

 

• Long Top and Pumps. Match the pumps and long top to the leggings for a monotone effect, and the combo will actually look dressed up, formal enough for evening dinner, cocktail parties, etc.

 

• Jean Jacket and Hat. Pair black leggings with a hat and denim jacket for a bohemian day look.

 

• An Oversize Sweater. The big sweater paired with the sleek, fitted leggings is the perfect example of the fashion-proportion rule: big on top, small on the bottom–and vice versa. Also, a great sweater can add just the right touch of dress-up to the leggings. This combo looks great with sneakers. 

 

• A Feminine Bag. No matter how sporty the outfit, you can always add a surprise touch of chic like a great handbag with feminine details.

 

• Heels and a Trench Coat. Leggings look very dressed up if they’re leather paired with pumps and a classic trench. Very sophisticated.  

 

 

Legging Tips

 

•You can add a fresh spin to anything, even black leggings. Find a pair with details, insets, paneling, or some other touch that takes basic to beyond.

 

• Like the extra-long sleeve trend, there are extra-long leggings that bunch at the ankles. These look great with either high heels or flats. Pair the longer leggings with a matching cropped top. That proportion rule again: long and bunchy on the bottom, sleek and short on top. 

 

• Swap black leggings for skinny jeans. Same silhouette and fit. 

 

• High-waisted leggings cinch your waist and make your legs look longer, just like high-waisted pants and skirts.

 

• Love the glitter/metallic sneaker trend? Keep the rest of your look simple. Pair fun statement sneakers with black or neutral leggings.

 

CAPTIONS

 

Mixed print on bottom, solid top at Sportech

 

Geometric print leggings at Rye Running Company

 

Star print tee and pants at Great Stuff

 

Subdued hues at Sportech

 

 

 

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

 

Gain weight, lose weight, shoes stand by you. They are so loyal that they often serve beyond their popular peak. With a little imagination and a sense of personal expression, they can work through shifting trends. 

 

However, fashion is about nothing if it’s not about what’s next. Heel heights alter. Toes taper. The vamp varies. Materials morph. And they have to. Depending on what shape skirts and pants take, the volume or level of linear in silhouettes, the use of color and prints in fabrics, the ever-supportive shoe plays its role in the total look by converting into the perfect complement. 

Maybe that’s why they are so lovable. They do so much for the good of the whole.  

 

And they’ve been doing it for…well, Spanish cave drawings from more than 15,000 years ago show humans with animal skins or furs wrapped around their feet. We’re still wearing the oldest crafted foot covering known to man — sandals. So shoe-lovers, it’s in our DNA. When it comes to style, anyone who even flirts with the idea of dressing well has no choice but to be well-heeled. That’s why throughout history humans have fit their feet into ever-changing configurations.

 

In the ’50s, dresses, jewelry, and hairstyles were bigger. With so much happening from the knees up, shoes went low-key — single color pumps, flats, wedges, and loafers. For the ’60s, anything that once came with a heel was available in a flat to ease the sex-factor impact of mini-skirts. Then there were the giant ’70s platforms playing into empowering new heights for liberated women (and men.) Because ’80s fashion and hair were so big, colorful, and padded, ’80s shoes imitated the ’50s in keeping it on the down low. Dyed-to-match heels, sneakers, flat Capezios, Huaraches. The ’90s revisited the ’70s clunky platforms. And here we are. So what’s ahead?

 

This year’s trends spotlight texture, fabrics, and heels, with glitter and metallic high on the list. 

 

• Satin: mules, evening slides, sneakers, and pumps 

• Kitten heels: slide-ons, pumps, boots, and booties

• Suede and glitter sneakers 

• Soft, square-toe mules 

• Evening slides 

• Embellished: fur, feathers, beads, bows, glitter, graphic prints

 

CAPTIONS

 

Patterned lace heels at Angela’s

 

Suede flats at Walin & Wolff

 

Blue satin heels at Angela’s

 

Suede slip-ons at Walin & Wolff

 

Suede and glitter sneaker at Angela’s

 

 

Suede slide-ons at Walin & Wolff