Can You Wear Leggings Over 40, 50 or Beyond?

Hi Deborah,
I’m 54. I would like to wear leggings. Am I too old?……
Confused in Cleveland

Hi Confused,
Your question does not have a  “one size fits all” answer.  The short answer is, you’re never too old for leggings but, you must style them in a way that makes you look sophisticated, not silly.

Here are some great examples.



1. Leggings +  A Shirt or long Blouse

You can’t go wrong with this basic style recipe for leggings that is classy and casual. Take a black pair of leggings and add a pretty blouse.  Then throw on a poncho to look modern and cool.



green turtleneck leggings


2. Leggings + Turtleneck Sweater

Leggings are a great way to transition from summer to fall. Throw on a cozy sweater. Some cropped boots, and some jewelry and you have a very wearable weekend look.

blue tunic and leggings

3. Leggings +  Tunic

A long tunic top or dress that that’s on the short side looks really great paired with leggings.


leggings new 2

4. Leather Leggings + Jacket

You’re not too old for leggings if you go this sophisticated route. Pair black leather leggings with a black turtleneck and pair with a white or cream jacket. Black with white is always chic. You’ll look grown up but slightly edgy in this combo of leather and ladylike.

How to wear leggings over 40, 50 and beyond - look sophisticated

These zebra stripe leggings are too crazy to be classy.

One more note… Remember when I started off by saying you want to look sophisticated and not silly in leggings?



Do you notice how we have stuck to basic black leggings?

I suggest you stick to solid dark colors.  If you are out looking for leggings, and you come across something like these wild patterned ones and think they look pretty fun, please stay away. These are more of a costume than a fashion look. Glam Gals need to look classy, not flashy in leggings.

And for those of you wondering can you wear leggings when you are plus size, the answer is yes!


More From Fabulous After 40

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  1. Sheila MacDonald says:

    As my mother used to say: “Mutton dressed as lamb!”

  2. Deborah. I will wear leggings as I find them very comfortable. I have now been more braver and wear them on those Sunday drives and to walking parks, I still will wear my athletic tights , but I find leggings very sexy to wear out, mardi gra in Nee Orleans is a great place to wear them too, and I enjoy the looks from ladies of all ages that take that sneak peek below my waistline.

  3. LOVE, love the striped leggings! Paired with black top and black flats this is fabulous !
    I can see where someone over 50 May not want to wear bright neon patterned leggings- though I am still convinced a bold enough woman can even pull that off.
    I am petite but have awesome legs. I also say several inches above the knee is also fine , especially for petites!

  4. Loretta Falconer says:

    This is great news! I am 50 and have leggings but have been reluctant to wear them out. I have a nice pair of black fabric with faux leather side panels I have been dying to wear out. Now that I know solids are ok, I will wear them. I will also keep my Aztec print leggings for lounging around the house.

  5. Leggings are definitely a lifesaver for travelling–something breathable and wrinkle-free are usually my top priorities! I absolutely adore this blog and have found it so helpful in packing for my trips. I hope you come out with more interesting posts.

    • HI Eva, You’re right about leggings and travel. They are so comfy on airplanes and they roll up so nicely when you want to tuck them into your suitcase. Thanks for the great feedback and please let me know what else you’d like me to write about. Cheers, Deborah

  6. I love the idea of wearing leather leggings, these are such great ideas. You’re so right about patterned leggings. My biggest fashion disaster involved a pair of leopard print leggings – what was I thinking?!

  7. Linda Fravel says:

    Believe it or not, I am having trouble finding long tops to wear with leggings. I am petite…5 ft.,1 1/2 inches and 118 lbs..wear Petite 6 jeans and petite tops..either small or medium. Any suggestions?

    • Sharon Yarbrough says:

      I found tunics in petite sizes through the Woman Within catalog. Their shirts and sweaters are mostly longer too.

    • Claire Ewing says:

      As a petite myself, Linda, and having turned 50 this year, I love the tunic look too! I have had a lot of good luck finding tunics or sleeveless dresses at consignment stores/thrift stores like Goodwill. Sometimes I have to hem them because of the height issue, but because I find them way less than retail, I still get a great bargain even if I have to pay for the hemming. Several of my “tunics” are updated 80s wool dresses. I have my seamstress on speed dial :)

  8. ALL ages can look great in Leggings.
    Ive seen 70 year old women wear them so chic with boots and a long sweater. And Ive seen them on a 2 year old.

    TImeless AGELESS

  9. Where can I find this long top as pictured? The color is perfect! Please get back to me. Thank you. Styled by Khadiga Mofeed.

  10. Novale Jones says:

    I want to know if I am too old (44) to be wearing yoga pants in public (like grocery shopping, not out to dinner) and even the ones that are one color with built in little skirt on top?

  11. Barbara Ritthaler says:

    Honestly, I think wearing leggings (and not only after 40) strictly depends on the size of your butt.

  12. I actually saw a 50ish man wearing black leggings and dark brown riding boots. He had a thin build and it actually looked very nice. Just the fact, he had the confidence to wear this was kinda sexy. Nothing else about him or his clothes were feminine.

  13. I was going to try patterned leggings, not as bold as what is shown…but have changed my mind – thanks!

  14. Cynthia Anne says:

    It’s fun and interesting to read everyone’s comments on whether (or not) women over 40 should/can wear leggings. I’m in my late 50s and totally agree with Deborah: It’s all a matter of personal style — and what looks good on each woman.

    Frankly, it’s not about “age,” in my view. A lot of women in our culture are overweight, and wear things that don’t look great on them. So be it. While I’m at it, I’ve seen LOTS of young, overweight women wearing short skirts that DON’T flatter their figures, and it has nothing to do with age. I’ve seen slim, trim women in their 50s and 60s who look MORE fantastic than younger women in leggings.

  15. I’m 59 years old, 5’1 and 110 lbs, I’ve been wearing leggins for a while now, until the other day, a friend of mine that is very heavy saw me in my leggings and her expression was OMG you look so skinny!
    Now I’m kinda feeling a little bit uncomfortable while I’m wearing them.
    May I have your opinion?
    I forgot to mentioned, i always wear them with a long shirt, or tunic.

    • I’ll be 66 in a few months and thin and my legs are thin and there is no fat or flab the kind you see hanging from the lower thigh to below the knee. I have athletic looking legs from running track years ago and now ballroom dancing. I am thinking more and more of wearing leggings and a tunic and I bet you looked better than your heavier friend who probably had flab hanging from her lower thigh to below her knee. Don’t pay attention to “haters.”

  16. I was looking for photos about how to wear tunics with leggings when I found your site. Can you give me some tips?

  17. karen thompson says:

    I love the leggings in the photo, but I guess I am too old (52) for that look (sigh). I do wear solid color leggings and they look great with the right outfit – at any age!

  18. Christopher says:

    I know this will draw a lot of heat, but leggings rarely look right with an outfit if worn as pants. They just look lazy and not age appropriate. If your top is almost skirt length and you have higher boots on it does a nice job of tying the outfit together but when they are used with flats, heels, etc…. its just not a good idea. It shows off to much and is unflattering on 98% percent of the people I see in them. Ladies take note, guys like a well fitted pair of pants or slacks way more than skin tight solid color leggings.

    Thank you and stay gorgeous

    • I think a long tunic with leggings and flats looks casual chic. Leggings are great for all sizes and all women in any age group. Solid legging / designer leggings seem to be increasing in popularity with women worldwide.

  19. It’s my 65th birthday today and i wore a pair of black leggings at work together with a blue tunic dress everyone commented on how nice i looked , i was very careful though as i had put on a pair of white knickers before i decided what to wear and forgot to change them .

  20. I’m a leggings-with-boots kind of girl. Comfortable yet dressy at the same time.

    But I’ll leave the ones with prints to the younger ladies. I don’t need to break up a nice line down the body that I get with the black ones.

  21. Leggings look great with a long-enough top or dress on just about everyone, every age. For the over 40 (okay over 50) crowd, now we don’t have to worry about our dented-up legs showing (All those skinned knees and boo-boos from our youth don’t look that good at this time of life). Nylons are completely not an option, so hooray for leggings!

  22. I’m 46 and just bought a great pair if knee high black boots that i want to wear with black leggings, but i’m having mixed emotions about it because of my age, HELP!!

    • Hi Kelly,
      You should be fine as long as you put them with the right outfits. I have several articles on this topic, just look up knee high boots on myr search bar and follow the tips!
      Good luck!!

  23. magdalene says:

    I find leggings to be a godsend. I never liked the look of tights for myself, too covered up, and pantyhose are so old-fashioned and stuffy. Bare legs is no longer an option. Leggings… the perfect edgy alternative, flattering, can be well done. I wear mine with a shortish shift dress (sleeves, of course). The dress is black and white (black at the hem). With black leggings and a pair of black heels, it’s an easy outfit that gets compliments from men and women. And I believe it’s age appropriate. I’m 58.

  24. i wear cognac colored corduroy leggings with cream lacey tunic top with skinny belt(s)..and top it with a leather moto jacket…I’m 46 years old 5 feet and 100 lbs…

  25. Unless you have a body like Elle Macpherson (or similar) then I would say, don’t even go there. I’ve seen 40+ legs stuffed into leggings and it resembled a sack of rabbits trying to fight their way out of sausage skin (with all the lumps and bumps) ;-)

    I didn’t do it in the 80’s when I had the body for it. They just always seemed to make my leg look shorter. I agree with the comments that they can cut your leg off.

  26. I’ve worn leggings for years, but only for warmth under pants or longer skirts. I did wear them with short dresses, like JoJami does in her photo, about 10 years ago (wow, I can’t believe it’s been that long). When it’s cool enough to wear leggings here, it’s really winter time. Otherwise, it’s way too warm them.

    Hue has some very cute leggings/jeggings in corduroy-like stretchy fabric in fun colors like teal, olive, and camel (and of course, black) that I saw at Nordstrom. I bought brown and olive to wear under skirts and with boots.

  27. Dianne M. Daniels says:

    I like the new leggings – no more shiny spandex! I also like the theory of a Jegging (jean-legging) but haven’t found any that fit me quite yet – I’m nearly 6 feet tall and mostly leg, so that’s a bit of a challenge.

    I do have some black leggings that I wear with boots (short or tall) and a longer sweater – like one of the looks on your page. I find that they look best on a toned leg – a woman who works out regularly usually has beautiful shape to her legs and that makes a legging more attractive.

    The wild patterns are just not me – I prefer to show off my ‘wild side’ with jewelry or color!

  28. Great to see the posts, thanks for visiting my blog–visuals always help!

  29. Thanks! I guess I need to look for tights to wear with this outfit! Leggings don’t usually have feet! heehee! ♥

  30. I wouldn’t wear these leggings at any age! heehee! But I’m glad to have the info on leggings. I have a straight black skirt that I want to wear my boots with and I guess I need leggings so that my knees will be covered. Any ideas on this? I’ll go look at your link, too! Thanks!

    • Hi Lavender Dreams,
      Yes, when wearing a skirt and boots it will usually look best when you pair them with dark opaque tights or leggings. This is going to be especially popular this fall.
      We are already seeing ads for a lot patterned hose, too! Beware of the hose with vertical stripes. If you have thin legs you will be fine, however anyone with curvy legs will probably not be happy when they try to wear them. The stripes will mold to the contour of the leg and you could end up looking like you are wearing a road map of the tour de France!

  31. I did look at the other photos but leggings still just make me cringe. I agree, I’m glad too that we don’t all have the same taste. I just figured this site is a place to post your true opinions so there it went! And maybe many do not dress for the opposite sex, but I have to wonder, have you ever met a man who said “Wow, I really love to see a woman in leggings.”?

    • Hi Kelly,
      YES!!! Thanks so much for your honest comments and we love chatting about this with you! Yes, we have some some wow women in leggings and we will try to find some photos.. we have also seen some, ” Oh No.. why did you wear this”. We should do a poll and ask some men about how they feel about leggings! We agree many women do want to dress for men..this could be a fashion turn off… we need to get more info on this! How fun!!! Thanks for all your questions and input!

  32. Check out what a REAL 50+ year old looks like in jeggings and shooties, and see what you think! I think it was successful!

  33. Leggings? A big NOT for me. Are they really fashionable for anyone over say 24 – – – ever? I’m sorry to be so critical but the ones in this photo look like something a clown would wear. Seriously.

    • Hi Kelly,
      Did you manage to go to the link where we have some pictures of real women in leggings? We understand many women not wanting to wear this look, but many still can at any age.
      We like the darker and solid colors best, however this fall we are going to be seeing lots of textures and colors that will be fun too! Thanks goodness we all don’t wear the same thing or have the same style..the world would surely be a boring place!

  34. Oh how funny. I just bought some today! I’m pairing them with a nice just above the knee tunic type dress and ballet flats. I feel pretty good about the look.

    • HI Stacey,
      Great to hear your tying this! Sounds like you have the right combo going… One great thing about leggings is, there are so many short dresses out there for the younger set, that we can add a pair of legging to and feel good about going out. Why miss out just because our legs might be showing a little age or we just want to look age appropriate. With leggings we can have it all!!!

  35. Not a look for me.

    If it’s cool enough I think I need my legs covered up, why would I leave my feet bare?

    It cuts my legs off and makes me look shorter than I already am.
    It makes me think of ballet dancers, a lovely thought, but I’m 40+ and never was a ballet dancer anyway….

    I have seen this look well done by women my age but they won’t have to worry about competition from me!

    • Hi Ginger,
      You have a great point about it “cutting your leg off”… It does have the potential to do that! I love that you appreciate the look, but don’t want to join in!!! Good for you for sticking with your gut and doing what you feel is right for you!!!

      One note… don’t forget you can still wear leggings with tall or short boots. If you were to try the tall boots and leggings look, it can actually really be quite flattering on most and actually elongate your leg, hide thick ankles and with the thigh high boot, it would even cover any thickness of knees!