Legging Fashion Tips For Women Over 40

Leggings are the perfect casual fashion for women over 40. They’re a weekend wardrobe staple or the perfect thing to wear if work from home or are just running errands. But how do you wear them without looking like they are left over from your 80′s wardrobe? Here are a few tips:


Legging Tip # 1 – Find the right Style for you

Ankle length flatters all

Many women wonder how to wear leggings as pants. The main thing you need to remember is that leggings are not pants. Think of them more as tights. They need to be thick and not shiny.  Sheer and shiny are hose and not leggings. The length of your legging can vary, but generally ankle length look best.  Capri length that end at the calf can make you look heavy if you are a gal who is short or has thick calves.

Flowing tops work well with leggings

Legging Tip # 2 – Choose carefully what you wear up Top. 
What you wear up top is key. Invest in long tops  that cover  your behind and go down as far as your thighs if you are heavy or wide there for the most tasteful look.  Since you are wearing skinny on the bottom, you can go wider up top to balance things out, meaning tops that drape and flow work really well.Here’s an example on the left. An empire waist top would be along the same line. Bonus: These kind of tops also hide any tummy bulge. A colorful tunic and leggings after 40 is also a fresh, relaxed look.Can you wear leggings with dresses? Absolutely! When you see that cute mini dress that’s too short to be chic, wear it with a pair of dark leggings to look modern and casual.

Dress too short? Pair it with leggings.

Legging Tip # 3 – Flats and wedges work best. 

What do you do when it comes to shoes? In general, flats work well over 40. Sure, heels can sometimes work, but a flashy high heeled shoe + leggings can  look tacky after 40. You don’t want to start looking like your teenage daughter on her way clubbing.  Wedges, ballet flats, or low heeled boots look best on mature gals and complement the relaxed feel of leggings.

Do you have a few legging fashion tips of your own or a photo or you in your favourite leggings. Please email us at [email protected] and we’d love to post it.

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Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. I’ve been debating leggings but I’m a tad “curvy” per say and not sure how well I’d rock em. Love that last outfit!

  2. I just wanted to bring up the following: I’m 5’4″, and am very small. Even though I am short-waisted, I do have a defined waist. I find that the tunics you show that are only 2″ above the knees make me look ridiculous and frumpy. I wear a tops advertised as tunic length or mini skirt length. I assure you that these lengths look great on my body type, and my bum is well covered. Also, these tunic/mini-dress lengths make my legs look much longer, and give my body a longer, lean look. I wear them with many styles of boots, but never wear a heel over 2 to 2-1/2″. I disagree with wearing flats with my body type. Flats look like the slippers my grandmother used to wear with her housedress. LOL. And, they make me look even shorter in the leg. I find that tights and booties of the same color with a little heel, elongate my legs. Please remember that we all have different body shapes, and not everyone looks good in the same thing. Perhaps you could feature a topic on wearing tights with different body types. Anyway, thanks for all the excellent advice that you ladies bring us in your FabAfter40 newsletters. You have become my “go to” website for beauty and style advice! :)

  3. Thanks for the info! Here’s a question, all of these pictures are women wearing Spring and Summer looking attire – what are your tips on tights/leggings for Winter wear? Specifically cable knit tights. Are they too young to pull off for over 40?

    • I wear heavy cable tights all winter, with boots with a little heel (less than 2 to 2-1/2″) or medium heeled shooties. I like the look and warmth of them. I don’t see why they can’t be worn by 40+ women. They look great with long, over the bum sweaters, and are warm too! I get compliments on this style all the time, so they must look good enough on me. I think if you dress with class, you won’t go wrong. It’s all about your body type, and accentuating your best features.

  4. Jackie dyer says:

    I have a black lace short dress. Tank style top that flows to a short flared skirt. Can I wear leggings under it? If so, what length, color, style should I wear?

  5. I think the blue top looks fabulous and slimming. Age appropriate. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

  6. Colleen Stadnick says:

    I just e-mailed some photos of me. Thanks!

  7. I’m 63 and haven’t worn leggings since the early 90′s but I’ve lost FIFTY LBS! I now wear a size 10, I’m 5’9″ and weigh 154. Can I still get away with them do y’all think?

    • Hi Colleen,
      Congratulations about the weight loss. It’s hard to tell from height and weight. It’s more about body shape and personality, but you probably can as long as you wear a long enough top to cover your hips and behind. Feel free to send me a photo.

  8. I’m 65 and I wear black leggings all the time. Key rule is to cover your behind and your crotch. A longer black tank is a good first layer over which you can wear a looser cardigan or a belted jacket, and of course tunics are terrific. Don’t limit yourself to flats; leggings also look great with mid heel wedges and kitten heel pumps — just don’t wear stockings or knee highs with them! The dressiest leggings have seams down the front, which help slim your legs. Zara makes really good, reasonably priced ones, and Lysee Leggings now has ponte knit ones with seams and a tummy control panel.

  9. Leslie Bonner says:

    Yes, I love leggings with dresses or tunic length tops. I do not wear high heels any more so definitely I’d wear them with low heels.

  10. I totally disagree on low heeled shoes. Low heeled shoes look terrible on most women with short legs. Choosing High heeled shoes carefully is the key, as in the choice of leggings. I prefer them in the ankle length with a matching shoe, boot (Short or Tall) in the same color family to lengthen the leg.

  11. Great tips for women over 40..well leggings suits every age girls and women..its just one should know how to carry oneself.One can look trendy at any age!

  12. I don’t agree with the “low-heeled shoes ” work best. Leggings usually shorten legs for those who are not blessed with skinny legs or long legs. Usually, leggings cut the legs over the ankles which makes some “un-blessed” legs even shorter. So the best option to wear leggings is to know your body…and not stick to rules such as “low-heeled shoes”. If you browse fashion sites and magazines, leggings actually look great in high heeled shoes.