Popular legwear stretches to include styles for more age groups

BY LINDA MILLER Modified: September 28, 2009 at 4:19 pm •  Published: September 27, 2009
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photo - Oklahoman graphics
Oklahoman graphics
It’s easy to believe that leggings are more popular than ever for fall. Magazines tout them as a must-have, and stores can’t unpack them fast enough.

But what’s all this talk about a woman in her 50s as well as a college student being able to embrace the look?

"There are so many different styles that any age is able to wear them,” said Brook Balentine, a buyer for Cayman’s Clothiers in Norman. "They’re just going to wear them differently.”

Younger women may choose to pair leopard leggings with a tunic and over-the-knee boots. Women with more life experience or thighs that aren’t model-thin will like the look of dark leggings with a knee-length cardigan or dress.

Balentine said many leggings can be flattering to your legs, and they look good with ballet flats or any style boots. Yes, even booties. To elongate or make your legs appear thinner, match leggings to the color of your boots.

If you’re still apprehensive about slipping into something so skin-tight, reach for a thicker style or one that has a bit of compression or control. It will offer more substance and almost looks like a skinny pant or jean, Balentine said.

Leggings have been a recurring fashion trend since the 1960s. A few years ago, teens and young women jumped feet first into leggings, and they haven’t quit.

What’s different this season is the step toward leggings with patterns, leatherlike fabrics, zippers, rips, lace, even denim.

Basic black or brown still offers the most versatility, but details and patterns add more interest and newness. Consider liquid leggings with a back zipper for a rocker look. Black sequin for the holidays.