April 9, 2014

Leggings – such a polarizing subject.  How many times have I seen a friend’s facebook statis say something like “Leggings are not pants people!”  I know where this is coming from.  There are many potential fashion emergencies.  Such as the nude legging which causes you a double take, the light colored legging on a hot day creating an unfortunate sweat line right between the cheeks, or the thin legging revealing every outline of the obviously darker underwear.  Despite these things I proudly put myself in the “Leggings are Pants” club.

What would I have done without the leggings trend pre and post both of my babies?  It saved me.  And I still wear them a lot.  I have a few loose rules for wearing leggings (please note that these are my rules and I completely support others breaking them :).  First I like to pair them with a top that covers my behind (for obvious reasons).  Second, when sitting or kneeling you should never be able to see my skin through them.  If so I layer them with a second pair.  Third, only dark or busy prints.  This hides a lot – whether it be underwear lines, fat rolls, dimples or sweat.  So there you have it.  Take it or leave it.

I made these leggings up for my daughter and I just because I loved the fabric and it was cheap.  I don’t usually think it’s worth my time to make leggings since they are so cheap to buy, but I’ve also found it a good use for knits in the stash.  The fabric came from and I think they are sold out.  Unfortunately it’s not a nice quality and it already starting to pill 🙁  I used a pair of current leggings that fit well and just used those as a pattern.  I think this a really good option for most, but there are also lots of great tutorials and patterns out there as well.  Here are a few to check out :

Virginia Leggings by Megan Nielsen – I hear these are worth it and fit with no adjustments.  Seems worth $12 to me.

Make Your Own DIY Leggings Tutorial by Randomly Happy

Drafting and Sewing Leggings by One Little Minute Blog

Super Simple Leggings (kids) by Make it Love it

So there you go.  Do you support wearing leggings as pants?  Do you ever sew them up or is it not worth your time?

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  • Reply Kristi April 9, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    I do wear leggings as pants, and I have your same general rules (tush must be covered!). I tend to feel 1/2 dressed when I’m wearing them, but they are so comfy, sometimes it worth it.

    • Reply Kelli Ward April 9, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      I hear what you are saying about half dressed. although i have found that if i pair them with ankle boots and an oversized cardi it does the trick.

  • Reply gingermakes April 9, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Oooh, I love the print you used (and how cute to match your mini me!!)! I’ve used the Virginia leggings pattern and it was easy easy easy. Also, there’s a petite option, so you don’t even need to work out how to shorten them on you’re own if you’re a petite lady.

    I was walking behind a lady this morning who had the tights-as-leggings thing going on with a short shirt, and you could see everything. EVERYTHING. She was with another woman so I didn’t have to decide if I should tell her that you could see her butt!

    • Reply Kelli Ward April 9, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      i had a similar experience on the train last night. you could see a girls butt dimples through her leggings because they were so thin. i could tell it was pretty awkward for the people sitting behind her standing on the train and trying to look away. at this point i have to figure that is what she wanted and give her props for being confident.

  • Reply sophie April 9, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    I think these are stunning!! and I love the mini me look!! great photos! love the print!

  • Reply Loren April 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    I love these leggings! I know that the solid colored ones are cheap, but I have a hard time finding patterned ones that I like.
    My rules for leggings are similar to yours. I check for ‘no panty line’ and have a ‘not at work’ rule. (They are pretty conservative in my office) Also usually not with heels, I just think it looks weird on me.

  • Reply Kelli Ward April 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    not at work is probably a safe bet for most workplaces. you should make some up! there are so many fun prints out there for knits now.

  • Reply oona balloona April 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    FULL support of leggings as pants. truly, i only hate khakis.

  • Reply threadtension April 9, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    The Espresso leggings by Cake! They are AWESOME…you do a connect-the-dots sort of thing to make them truly customized, including the rise and the length. I love mine and I wear them constantly. I am totally pro-leggings!

    • Reply lindseykelly April 11, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      just bought the pattern! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply M. Inez April 9, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    I have taken to wearing yoga pants out and about as they are just so comfortable. Leggings seem like the next logical step LOL. I plan to make my own so thanks for the tutorial/pattern roundup.

  • Reply Clio April 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    I’m on board with your guidelines. A tunic length top (ie covering the bum and crotch) and opacity are my two guidelines. I think they are not pants, but that’s totally ok anyway. I haven’t sewn my own because they really are so cheap to buy.

  • Reply Crab and Bee April 9, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Oh my gosh, you two are the cutest! I also used a pair of RTW leggings to make a pattern. I’m still on the fence as to whether it’s worth sewing them or not – I’ve made two printed pairs that I like pretty well, but I default to my one pair of black RTW leggings that were expensive but durable. One of my rules concerning leggings (for comfort more than style) is a really wide elastic waistband. I hate elastic digging into my waist!

  • Reply liza jane April 9, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    I think it all rests on the thickness of the fabric. The fabric has to be pretty beefy for me to consider wearing leggings. That being said, I do wear leggings! I couldn’t have done without them while and right after being pregnant. I have a nice striped knit that I want to make leggings out of right now, so thanks for all the links.

  • Reply Amy April 9, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Cute leggings! I love leggings for an easy weekend alternative especially having to dress up for work during the week. I would definitely have used leggings to help get over the outfit hurdles during pregnancy and post baby. My daughter loves it when we both wear skinny jeans or leggings.

  • Reply April 9, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    These are so cute!! Such a shame the fabric is a bit dodgy. I haven’t worn tights as pants for a long time (think high school paired with high tops, surf brand t-shirt and loads of hairspray) but I’ve been looking into it beause I have a few overisized button ups and sweaters I want to make. Thanks for the links.

  • Reply dkswife April 10, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    I do not care that people wear them out and about as pants, but we have some where I work who wear them as pants, and that is just not cool in our corporate work environment.

  • Reply David April 10, 2014 at 6:32 AM

    Looks so good!
    I’d loved it, thaks :]

  • Reply Nettie April 10, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    So cute!!! Look at mini, Kelli!

    I am firmly in the leggings camp. BUT I always make sure they’re opaque.
    And now that I’ve made my own in ponte and the girls with fun a ITY print, I can see that I’ll be making more in the future.

  • Reply sallie oleta barbee April 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Definitely in the leggings as pants camp!! Love this print, and your mini-me is absolutely adorable!

  • Reply Kelly D. April 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Cute!! I love the matching 🙂

  • Reply Fabric Tragic April 10, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Haha! My husband regularly rants about young women wearing leggings as pants! He even suggested that once a week he takes over my blog and posts a regular rant about it! I say yes for exercise or home wear, definitely not if they are see through or if your purchased them in the hosiery department! I like your idea of 2 pairs. I personally would rather wear something a bit heavier like a ponte knit rather than a t-shirt weight to avoid visual torture to the general public. Or I just put a mini on! Your matching pattern pair are very cute!

  • Reply Jill April 11, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    For sure in the leggings as pants party, too! I’ve used the Jalie 2920 leggings pattern 5 times now I think. They are pretty straightforward with sizing from kids to adult nested. They are truly the only comfortable thing since having my baby. I live in them! But nothing makes me shake my head like a pair of flesh colored leggings. Come on people, haha!

  • Reply April 11, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    I love the matching look – so cute!!
    My legging rule is “just because you can get it on doesn’t mean it fits” I am so sick of people wearing leggings that are way too small, obviously because they have stretched so far they are see through!

  • Reply Katy Patzel April 11, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Pro leggings over here!

  • Reply Danica April 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Those leggings are so cute! Nice job. Yes, I also approve of leggings as pants, with your rules in mind as well. One must also consider one’s figure – don’t dress in the style if it is not flattering, no matter how trendy. Skinny jeans (to me) are just thicker leggings.

  • Reply Stephanie May 9, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    You are both so adorable! I’ve only worn leggings under short dresses, and I love your rules! Lately I’ve been trying to find leggings in my daughter’s size and they seem to be sold out everywhere in her size, so I will be making her some leggins soon. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply susana Galli July 18, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Yoga pants look like leggings, are pricier but thicker therefore you know that nothing is showing…

  • Reply Emerald August 3, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    I wear leggings as pants all of the time! I think that those who say they aren’t probably have seen some very bad examples. As long as you wear the thicker ones, have a shape (but not too much of one), and don’t have muffin top with them, then you’re probably ok.

    They are a really quick sew too, and depending on the fabric you choose, they can be higher quality than in store. I love sewing them because of the variety I can have. #Leggingsarepantsclub, Lol!

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