Yes, you heard me yelling that - Leggings ARE NOT PANTS. Nor are they appropriate for women over 16, maybe 17, unless it's for Yoga.
I had a client this evening, a lovely woman who wanted help with her wardrobe. She had seen another Bay Area personal shopper/stylist a couple of months ago and this "professional" actually tried to get her to buy leggings, and not for yoga. They bought adorable wool skirts, and the leggings were, gasp, to go under those. The horror. I'm sorry, this client is a doctor, in her mid-thirties, and she looks young enough to be mistaken for the baby sitter without the sartorial insult known as leggings. THERE IS NO EXCUSE. No grown woman should dress that way, and no one who is supposed to be a professional should be telling a grown woman to dress this way. ugh.
Phew. I've gotten it off my chest.
Now if anyone has made the mistake of thinking you can wear leggings as a substitute for pants, or tights, just head right out and buy some opaque black tights. Leggings cut you off at the ankle or calf, a very unflattering point. Tights, especially with a shoe that's the same color, will elongate the leg.
You can make them fun with a subtle pattern -
I will admit that a friend showed me a good way to wear leggings - MATERNITY leggings, with a long sweater over them with the bottoms of the leggings tucked into her frye boots. That looked stylish, but the leggings weren't very tight, and when hidden on top by a long sweater and on the bottom by the boots, they no longer looked like leggings. And let's be honest, who is going to begrudge a woman with a growing belly a pair of comfortable elastic waist pants? Not I.
Anyone else however, unless you are under 16 or on your way to the gym, just say NO to leggings.