Best Long Shirts to Wear With Leggings that Don’t Look Frumpy

I like leggings because they are comfy and versatile, but I’m a stickler for styling them properly. Since leggings are lighter and thinner than skinny jeans and pants, they’re more revealing. That’s why it’s good to have a few long tops in your wardrobe to wear with them.

The best long tops to wear with leggings cover your bum and crotch, but not all are created equal. Some can make you look frumpy. For example,

Picture of long tops to avoid.

 Avoid Long Tops to Wear with Leggings that have:

  • childish novelty prints
  • patchwork – busy mismatched patterns and prints
  • a loud mix of colors
  • too many details/focal points
  • awkward hemlines that are cut up in the middle or are extended on the sides
  • are made of cheap, rough fabric
  • hit below the knee drowning your frame
  • baggy tops – oversize is a look. The wrong size is baggy.


The Best Tops to Wear with Leggings

The best long tops for leggings have clean, simple lines with minimal pattern and detail. You wear the top. The top doesn’t wear you. This is how you look modern, youthful, and sophisticated. The most popular styles of long tops for leggings are:


Long pInk shirt with blue capris leggings

shirt | leggings

1. Long Shirts and Blouses are Classic

A long crisp shirt is the easiest way to make leggings look chic. White always looks classy with black leggings, or you can try something more colorful like this pretty pink shirt to wear with leggings.  It’s casual but polished and the three-quarter-length sleeves give it a sporty, youthful vibe.  Pop the collar, add some long or capris leggings, sneakers, and a soft, leather bag, and you have a smart everyday look.

There are also a lot of long blouses to wear with leggings to choose from, which look really nice. I like wearing this long patterned blouse, belted, with faux leather leggings. Soft, silky blouses give leggings a very elegant look.



long peach sweatshirt tunic with white leggings

peach sweatshirt | white leggings

2. Tunic Sweatshirts are Trending!

Soft, comfy loungewear clothing is very popular at the moment, so you’ll notice a lot of the tunics to wear with leggings are actually sweatshirts. This peach one is a little different with the crisscross hem and lower crew neckline. I love it paired with white leggings and this fabulous tote which ties the whole look together. Pop on some cute knotted sandals and these stylish textured Huggie earrings for a relaxed weekend look.





black tunic top black leggings

long black top | capris leggings


3. Dressy Tops to Wear with Leggings

Want to look less casual and more classy in leggings? Wear a dressy black top. A long black top with black leggings creates a monochromatic look that is elegant, slimming and chic.  The key is to find a top that has a small detail, and or some texture to bring your all-black outfit to life. For example, I love this long, black A-line top with peek-a-boo sleeves.

The sheer cutouts on this dressy top make these leggings outfit much more interesting. Add some fab accessories, and it’s out the door you go for the evening!

You’ll find some of the best dressy tops to wear with leggings at Christmas. They are perfect for holiday parties and drop-ins.


green and black graphic tunic top with black faux leather legggings

green tunic | faux leather leggings


4. Artsy (not Crafty) Long Tunics To Wear with Leggings are In Style

Some of the best tunic tops for leggings have an artsy look and feel. For example, this bold, graphic print tunic in green and black will give you a  modern creative look. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but in general, stay away from anything so artsy that is looks crafty or homemade.  A long tunic with too many colors, patterns, prints, and detail can look wild, busy, and tacky!


long red cowl neck sweater with leather leggings

long sweater (similar)| faux leather leggings


5. Long Sweaters For Winter Look Great

A cowl neck tunic sweater is one of the best long line tops to wear with legging in winter. They naturally lend themselves to leggings, creating a comfy, cozy look. I love this gorgeous red one, with these sexy faux leather leggings. Add a chic crossbody bag and some sleek camel suede mules, and you have a vibrant vibrant weekend look!

There are also plenty of winter tunics to wear with leggings that look great. For example, in the fall and winter, I like to wear this chic gray tunic layered with a turtleneck over gray leggings. I also love wearing this wooly crew neck tunic sweater with leggings and sneakers.


long purple tshirt

long tee

6.  Don’t Forget about Long Tees for Summer

What do you wear with leggings in spring or summer? A long Tee is a good idea. Whether it’s plain, striped, floral, or graphic, a long tee keeps you cool but covered.




7. Maxi Tunics are Dressy

A flowy maxi tunic with sexy side slits is another fabulous top to pair with leggings. This long, sophisticated, semi-sheer tunic is a great layering piece over a tank and leggings. Wear it with black pumps for a special night out, or by day with flat, strappy sandals. And that’s how you wear long tops with leggings in 2023.

For more ideas for what to wear with leggings, see below.

shop long tops



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37 thoughts on “Best Long Shirts to Wear With Leggings that Don’t Look Frumpy

  1. Hi, thanks for all the great tips. I am a more considerable lady who needs something that looks good and hides, or shall I say, camouflages all of my curves. I love leggings. I would love some tips on what would work for a plus-size woman. Thank you.

  2. I love tunics and leggings. I love how you show us clothes that are not expensive as well. I like that you coordinate things.

    Thank you

  3. Although I love your site with ideas, why do you use size zero models to show the clothing? Plus-size clothing should be on plus-size models!!!!

    1. Hi Diana, Thanks for writing. I understand your frustration. Here’s the problem. I show clothing from various stores and do not control the stores’ models. I would like to see more mature models, plus-size models, etc., but I have to use their chosen models to show the clothes. If there is a particular store that uses plus-size models and you like the dresses, please let me know, and I can see about featuring them. All the best! Cheers, Deborah

  4. I love this article; it covered much-needed topics .. good work– good
    Good info.
    Could you keep it coming? Thank you

  5. I love leggings. I have a pair of black ones and a pair of brown ones. They are heavy knit, hold their shape (never bag at the knee or in the back, no matter how many hours I wear them), and are warm. I treat them like tights – if my top isn’t long enough to wear over socks, it isn’t long enough for my leggings.

    I like them to come to the top of my foot, and I wear them with boots – ankle, to the knee, or over the knee. I would never want the skin to show between a shoe and a legging. I do not wear them when it gets warm. I also have two pairs of denim leggings, and I love those, but I apply the same rule as knit leggings. They look good with a more casual top. I am only five ′ tall, and one trick I have learned is to wear black boots with black leggings and brown boots with brown leggings. This way, I get a longer leg line even if the shoes are short.

  6. I finally bought some thick dark leggings last fall and several long sweaters. I wore them once, and that was that! I’m pear-shaped, so all the sweaters and tops that are long either fit in the shoulders, bust, neck, etc., but span my hips (tighter). They are huge if I purchase items to fit my hips/thighs. Plus, having a horizontal line going across my thighs isn’t flattering. I like the look of leggings; I wouldn’t say I like how I look in the outfits. Now I have a bunch of new sweaters I don’t want to wear, and it’s too late to return them. What’s a pear supposed to do? I’m 67, 5’4”, and usually, in a shorter top, I wear a small.

    1. Hi Wanda, I’m sorry you have been having so much trouble wearing leggings. You should still be able to pull off this look with these tips. Make sure you wear something long enough to cover your crotch and ends below the widest part of your hips so you don’t look broad across the hips. An asymmetrical tunic can help soften that harsh line too.
      It sounds like you also need a top fitted correctly on the shoulder and a little flower at the bottom that you have been wearing. Think tops with a bit of swing. Next, layer your top with a jacket or shirt to add volume up top. Make sure this layering piece nips in at the waist to give you shape. Regarding your leggings, ensure to avoid showing skin where the leggings end at the ankles, so you create a long dark line and look taller. Finish the look with a chunky heeled bootie to balance out your hips. Finally, you will also want to draw the eye towards your upper body by wearing an eye-catching necklace and earrings. A v-neck or scoop neck helps with this too. If you don’t like the look, don’t sweat it. You have to feel good in what you wear because clothing confidence is everything. Try something else. All the best, Deborah

    2. Wanda, you may want to try a wrap-style or kimono cardigan with a tie waist. I am a pear also and find that wrap cardigans offer a little more fabric around the hips. I can wear a pretty blouse, and the cardigan keeps my backside covered. Pair it with a cute necklace, and you’re good to go!

  7. I’m 55 and love my leggings. I can’t wear them because I can’t find shirts to match. Nine pairs of wild colors need long solid shirts because I wouldn’t say I like to show my butt or bra straps. What and where can I find them?

  8. I am a slim petite 60-year young lady, & I find it difficult to get nice fashionable clothes as I’m small; I do like leggings & nice tops, but I want them to be 3-quarter sleeved, and I would love to see more for petite ladies.

  9. I LOVE this site! My problem: I’m underweight, and it’s not a choice. (and no, I wouldn’t say I like it) I’m 45 yrs old, 5, 5, and 113 lbs- struggling to gain my 10 lbs back. I love ALL these styles, but because I’m small on top and thin, long shirts make me look like a stick. I wish you could come to my house and help me put clothing together – LOL. I’m not at all fashion-savvy but try…….

    I run a successful on-call babysitting service in Napa Valley and would like to look more professional at the Chamber events. Also, a little more put together in general… sigh…… Your suggestions are fantastic. You are an artist!!! I wish I had the knack!

  10. Hi Deborah, I Just wanted to thank you for such an excellent site. I have recently hit the 50 era and am happily on the shorter and thinner side of the scales. However, I have noticed an ugly tummy bulge and hot flashes. Leggings and tunics, dresses, menswear shirts, etc., are just the ticket for hiding all the fun my body is having with me. I recently purchased two very nice pairs of leggings/cigarette pants from Marshalls. One is made by Ivanna Trump (retail $168.00), and the other is Romeo & Juliet (retail $179.00). I stole them both at $16.00 each. The plus side is that they are very chic and have nice tummy tuckers.
    Keep up the fantastic work on your site. I am also back in the retail workforce and am constantly answering questions regarding what is appropriate attire for the cresting the hill chic.

    1. Hi Tammy, thank you for dropping by and for the lovely compliment. I find tunics are also g, especially when mummy is bugging me or I want to be comfy. I’m so glad you are enjoying the site, and it seems like we are on the same mission – to help women tweak their chic and not fall into a frumpy rut just because aging can make dressing a wee bit challenging. Cheers, Deborah

  11. Think I wrote you on this subject!? The problem is not the arse, but the crotch. Let’s be honest. That uncomfortable “checked out” feeling. We all know it: first men look at your eyes, then your “girls”, then your crotch. Ewwww. Makes me feel icky. So I am ever on the quest for the perfect long top to cover the FRONT.
    I like the dress idea, but every one I tried looks like — a dress on top of leggings. Screams “mismatch”! Although I like the one you found. Guess I haven’t gotten lucky yet.
    Not going for the turtleneck. Roast, roast, roast.
    Like the asymmetrical stuff, but don’t like it when they do the color blocking thing with it.

    1. Hi Kathy, one more point about the long top. A longer top over the leggings is also more flattering because of the proportions. If you had a top that ended at your waist, your body would be cut in half, which isn’t as positive as 2/3, 1/3 proportions. Cheers, Deborah

  12. I love some of the outfits you put together, and your page indicates we can “shop this look.” Do you give ideas for where you shop? I prefer to shop online.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Michelle,
      If you click the tiny photos of the products under the words shop the look, it takes you directly to the stores that sell these products to buy. Try it!

  13. Thanks for this post! I absolutely love leggings — they are cozy, comfortable, and slimming when worn with the right top. And you’re totally right about wearing dresses with them. I love the look of a short dress with leggings and booties or boots. I can’t wear a short dress otherwise (ugly knees) but the leggings disguise the problem.

    I see a lot of younger women wearing leggings as if they were pants — and regardless of the shape of the bottoms. Ugh. No matter how cute you think your butt is, leggings are NOT pants, ladies! That applies to all ages, in my book, unless you are a dancer on stage.

      1. Thank you for the video – that was fun! However, I do think that, as Deborah says, we can wear leggings if done appropriately with long tops and excellent footwear. Of course, they should be high quality too. Not the kind that is made from thin fabric and tends to pill or pluck easily. I wear a black pair of tall boots, a long blouse with a belt, and a cape when I go out.

  14. I am 33 and I love this website. I dont think that you have to put an age on this website. You should want to look classy and sophisticated at any age, and hit it right on! Go Deborah! and thanx a million for your help, I needed it!

    1. Hi G., Thanks for that lovely compliment. I appreciate it because I do put an emphasis on looking classy, rather than age-appropriate. I think when you dress in with elegance in mind, you will look fabulous no matter what your age. Glad to be of help! Cheers, Deborah

  15. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks here. It’s not the butt that needs to be covered in yoga pants or leggings/jeggings. It’s the front “nether” region. The reason these pants are being banned is cuz of the infamous “camel toe”. Now, they have taken to the hi/lo style, which means shorter up front, draping down in back. I think Deborah’s choices are better.

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