An Ode to Leggings – The Unsung Hero of #WFH wardrobes

Plot Twist: You Can Still Wear Them When You're Allowed Outside Again


by Sophie Henderson |
Updated on

Poor old leggings get a bad rap. From unflattering pap shots to the guilt of still wearing them when your intended workout turns to wine on the couch (surely not just me?), for something that's supposed to be worn for action, they can easily slide into slobby territory. But leopards, sorry… leggings can change their spots.

As #WFH becomes the new norm, and the daily debate of whether or not you should bother to get dressed (hint: you should) rolls on, you’ll be pleased to know leggings are quickly establishing themselves as the unsung hero of new season style - both in and out of the house. The shame of spending the day in an elasticated waist is now completely uncalled for.

There's now no need to quarantine your leggings when lockdown is over. Fashion has whole heartily embraced them as an outfit building block that goes beyond its workout credentials. Vogue Australia’s Fashion Director, Christine Centenera, is the ultimate leggings muse, serving up a masterclass in how to wear them beyond the Barre class. She wears high-waisted styles from her own brand Wardrobe.NYC - a favourite of fashion insiders - with chunky knits and spiky heels.

Elsewhere, Chanel’s logo leggings from the Resort 20 show have become ultimate Insta bait. They’re the perfectly polished, ultra luxe antithesis to the saggy-kneed, see-through styles of yore. Paired with trim tweed jackets and heels, this look says 'I'm ready for business' rather than 'I'm ready to give up now'.

Then there's the split hem styles, which have quickly become the ultimate fashion leggings power move. Shown by the likes of The Row and Victoria Beckham, they're set to become a staple for seasons to come. The perfect peekaboos to show off your shoes, the slight kick out at the hem is the added bonus making them more flattering than traditional styles.

The street style have already got the leggings memo. They wear their frothy dresses with stirrup hem styles and XXL blazers with slimline lycra leggings. Indeed, there’s so much wardrobe mileage to the legging that put it up there with the white shirt as an ‘essential’.

At the moment though, we understand if you want to wear them with nothing else but a slouchy sweatshirt and thick socks. After all, we're not dressing for an area any wider than our own homes. Here, we’ve rounded up four new ways to wear that deliver big on style and comfort. Who says you can't have it all?

Leggings and Dresses

Look to leggings like tights' cooler sister for this combo. Frothy frills look great paired with cotton or wool styles; minimal tunics make a better partner to sleeker styles in neoprene or polyamide.


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Flowered Dress, £205, Ganni1 of 3

Flowered Dress, £205, Ganni

Stirrup Leggings, £45, COS2 of 3

Stirrup Leggings, £45, COS

Flat's, £151, Essen3 of 3

Flat's, £151, Essen

Leggings with Oversized Separates

The brilliant thing about this combination is it creates balance. Slimline leggings with oversized knitwear, jackets or blazers make for an ultra-flattering pairing. Look for longline top layers that skim over the bum.


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Roll neck, £525, Raey1 of 3

Roll neck, £525, Raey of 3

Felted Slipper, £69, Toast

Leggings, £35, Arket3 of 3

Leggings, £35, Arket

Printed Leggings


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Cotton Dress, £1235, Petar Petrov1 of 4

Cotton Dress, £1235, Petar Petrov

Triangle cashmere scarf, £90, Allude2 of 4

Triangle cashmere scarf, £90, Allude

Snow Cuff, £219, Maria Black3 of 4

Snow Cuff, £219, Maria Black

Leggings, £17.99, Zara4 of 4

Leggings, £17.99, Zara

Ok, ok, we know printed leggings might sound daunting, but bear with us. Wearing with a tunic or something that hits mid-thigh is surprisingly flattering. Keep the top half simple to let the printed pants do the talking here.

Leggings with Tailoring

Leggings for work? Yes, really! It's all about split-hem styles - which have the illusion of slimline trousers - when you're back in the office. Rosie Huntington Whitley’s Instagram is a one-stop-shop on how to wear them.


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Shirtdress, £715, Maison Margiela1 of 4

Shirtdress, £715, Maison Margiela

Split Hem Leggings, £260, Wardrobe.NYC2 of 4

Split Hem Leggings, £260, Wardrobe.NYC

Boston Clogs, £70, Birkenstock3 of 4

Boston Clogs, £70, Birkenstock

Roll neck, £28, Boden4 of 4

Roll neck, £28, Boden

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