outfits style winter

layers and leggings

long cardigan zella leggings2long cardigan zella leggings3long cardigan zella leggings9long cardigan zella leggings5long cardigan zella leggings4long cardigan zella leggings5long cardigan zella leggings10long cardigan zella leggings11long cardigan zella leggings12

cardigan: Old Navy // blouse: Loft // leggings: Zella via Nordstrom // boots: Chinese Laundry // purse: vintage Coach via Pieceology Vintage // Texas necklace: Dogeared // bar necklace: gift Betsy Farmer Designs
I don’t necessarily get lots of “outfit requests,” but I do always keep in mind when someone mentions wanting to see how I style something. I’ve recently had a request to show how I wear leggings as pants and how I’ve been wearing the duster-style cardigan I picked up from Old Navy in November. Luckily for everyone involved, the two pieces are basically meant to be worn together!
I wore this outfit during the day portion of my bestie’s bachelorette weekend, and it was perfect for an early BBQ brunch and wine tasting in the Hill Country. I got this Loft blouse just before Christmas and it’s been in constant rotation since. It’s extremely flattering in shape, and the color is so rich. Plus, it’s the perfect length to wear with leggings and not feel like I’m putting it all out there.
That said, here are a few tips for wearing leggings as pants:
1. A long-line top like this flowy blouse or sweater is great because it provides some coverage without totally cutting up your proportions. I personally worry less about covering the whole booty, because why mask the greatness???, and instead focus on wearing something that isn’t too tight around my hips. This helps the whole outfit look more natural and less ‘hey, did you notice that I’m wearing leggings?’
2. The leggings you choose are even more important than what you wear them with. After reading too many rave reviews from bloggers about these Zella leggings, I finally made my way to the mall on Christmas eve eve to grab a pair to wear during the holiday. They are by far the most substantial I’ve worn. Rather than being a thick ponte-type fabric, Zella leggings are intended for exercise (though this pair is appropriately-named the Live-In Legging), and made from something called Zeltek Ultimate Stretch fabric. What I love most about these leggings is that they don’t sag in the knees! All of these factors make them a great pair to wear in public because they hold everything in, they don’t risk being translucent, and fit all day long.
3. The third thing that I think makes a difference in leggings is length and how they fit at the ankle. You can’t see here (but will be able to in an upcoming post), but these leggings fit all the way down to the bottom of my ankle. A pair of leggings that stop mid-calf or capri length aren’t ideal unless you’re wearing them with tall boots, like I am here. I’ve also been wearing these leggings with my fringe ankle boots and with flats or sneakers, so the length makes them way more versatile. The leggings also don’t fit too tightly around the ankle (like thinner pairs often do), so they look more natural as pants.
4. As far as styling leggings, rather than just wearing them, I definitely recommend layers! Throwing on a shawl cardigan, a cute vest, or a longer blouse under a sweater are all good ways to dress up the outfit, making the leggings a comfy afterthought.

A note on sizing. The saleslady at Nordstrom insisted that I would want to size down in the Zellas, at least one, if not, two sizes. I personally did not find them to run big at all, and I am wearing a medium that I am perfectly happy with. I actually don’t think I would have been able to get a small on, so there’s that. For the Loft blouse, I got a small because the top runs pretty big/oversized. I’m usually in between sizes in tops there, but the medium make me look like I was a kid playing dress in my mom’s clothes.

I’m curious; do you wear leggings as pants in public? If so, what’s your go-to outfit equation?

P.S. This post is not sponsored by Zella (hit me up though!); I just really love these leggings. 

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