Can You Wear Leggings Over 40, 50 or Beyond?

Hi Deborah,
I’m 54, and I wear skinny jeans but would like to try wearing leggings. Am I too old? Can you wear them year-round……
Confused in Cleveland

Hi Confused,

The short answer is, you’re never too old for leggings but, you’ll want to style them in a way that makes you look sophisticated, not silly. If you read my post on leggings vs. skinny jeans, you know that the main difference between the two is that leggings are not pants.  They’re lighter, thinner, and much more revealing, so it’s best to wear them with a long top.  You can wear them all year round. In the summer, some women prefer legging capris. Here are a few examples of leggings outfits you’ll love.

1. Leggings +  A Long Shirt or Blouse


black sheer button down blouse

The older I get, the more comfort matters. I’m not willing to settle for anything that doesn’t feel 100% soft and good on my body, which is why I’m a fan of leggings. But over 40, or 50, you’ll look best so long as you go the sophisticated route.

Here’s a basic style recipe for leggings that is classy and casual. Take a black pair of leggings and wear them with a gorgeous, silky blouse like this black roll tab tunic. Add some faux leather leggings, leopard print mules, and a tan crossbody bag, and you’ve got a great weekend look.

2. Leggings +  a  Tunic Sweater

Long Tops for Leggings - Light Blue Side Slit sweater


A long tunic sweater looks great paired with leggings, especially when it has cute side splits like this one. Add a backpack bag and your favorite slip-on sneakers, and you look casually chic. More cute fall tunics to wear with leggings here.


3. Leggings and Riding Boots

Long Tops for Leggings - leopard top top


I don’t know about you but once fall hits I want to wear boots. Tall leather or suede riding boots are the perfect footwear when wearing leggings over 50. They’re comfy, and they look sporty and youthful. All you need to add is a cozy, long top like this cute animal print one. Then, accessorize with a trendy and a touch of jewelry to look stylish and modern.

4. Leggings + a Sweater

Color Block Sweater Leather Booties

I had to throw in this last look because sweaters with leggings are easy, and such a classic. Who doesn’t love a big, cozy sweater like this color-blocked one above, with a skinny pair of leggings? This artsy looking color block sweater doesn’t need much else.  A bag and shoes and touch of jewelry, and you have a classy looking leggings outfit.


5.  Leggings and a Belted TunicLeggings - Black Belted Tunic


Most people don’t think of wearing a belt with leggings but a slim-fitting tunic with a belt can look very modern especially when you have an all black monochromatic look.


6.  Long V-Neck Top

Long tops for leggings - long burgundy V Neck tee

A v-neck is always flattering because it opens up the chest, elongating your figure. Add a pair of body-skimming leggings, and you are likely to gain a few inches visually! This gorgeous wine color gives this long top for leggings a luxurious, sophisticated look. Taupe suede boots also uplevel this look, and the cute print bag pulls all the colors together.


7.  A Creative Slant

Tops for leggings - Asymmetrical Black and Blue Floral

Some of the best modern tops for leggings have an artsy, asymmetrical cut. This gorgeous, bold floral top that drapes on an angle is sophisticated and dramatic paired with black. Studded booties and a bright blue toe, plus some very creative looking earrings say, Go bold or go home!


8.  Fabulous Florals

Long Top for Leggings - Teal asymmetrical floral print tunic

Florals are super popular and are another type of modern top to wear with leggings. A Fabulous Black and White on Teal Floral Tunic with the sheer 3/4 length sleeves is pretty but powerful. Teamed up with leggings, a beautiful bag, and some lovely loafers, this is a winning look for A dinner or casual get-togethers.


9.  The Classic Silky Blouse

Long silky blouses are trending with leggings. This roll-tab blouse has to be one of the most popular tops to wear with leggings. Why? It’s silky, soft, feminine, comfy, and it always looks classy. It’s got that effortless elegance look and feels to it that so many of us are after. What a great wardrobe staple!


The Last Word on Leggings

zebra striped leggings
These leggings are too flashy to be classy.

Remember, when I started by saying that you want to look sophisticated and not silly in leggings? Do you notice how I’ve stuck to basic black or dark brown leggings?

The most sophisticated leggings for women over 40 are either black, brown, or a dark solid color.  If you are out shopping and you come across something like these wild, patterned ones and think they look like a lot of fun, please stay away. These are more of a costume than a fashion look. Grown-up gals need to look classy, not flashy in leggings.

More of the best tops for leggings in this post.  Also find Holiday top for Leggings modeled by me, here.

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

Join the Conversation

96 thoughts on “Can You Wear Leggings Over 40, 50 or Beyond?

  1. I’m glad you talked about how to style leggings for more mature women. The other day, my mom asked me to go with her to run some errands. We ended up shopping for some clothes, and my mom mentioned she was thinking about getting a pair of leggings, but then she took them out of her shopping bag. I’m not sure why she didn’t get them, so maybe this article will help her. I appreciate your tips about how to match leggings with a long shirt.

  2. In my opinion age is just a number, It doesn’t matter if you are 18 or above 40, You can still wear whatever you want and stay happy in life no matter what, I love to wear leggings and I were them pretty frequently. It was a good blog.

  3. Hi Deborah, I read your blog post-Can you wear leggings. .. with interest. I’m in my 50s, I wear leggings and I’m the owner of a women’s active apparel line called Booty Shawl. Love that you’re giving women the confidence and the inspiration to dress up their leggings. I love your aesthetic.. I wanted to add one more to the mix. Booty Shawl is a fantastically flirty, incredibly functional, hip wrap designed to cover your bits and pieces over leggings, skinny jeans, yoga pants, swim suits and more. So you can polish your profile and refine your lines when you wear all your favorite short tops and sweaters. 3 of the 4 styles have pockets too. We’re made in the USA and employ women. Here’a link to our site for you and your readers to check out: Keep up the good work. Love your look and your empowering message to women.. Regards- Pattie Breen, Owner/Booty Shawl®


    At the beginning of this post you feature a long black shirt to fit over leggings and a long sweater with asymmetrical colours , beige and black.

    Is it possible for you to advise me on where to purchase them ?

    In another post on leggings you have a long white shirt, which I would also like to source.



  5. Thanks a lot Deborah Boland for sharing this tips with us! I want to buy sweaters with leggings for my daughter. I hope it’s o.k. to wear it and feel comfortable. Could you tell me where I find these?

  6. Really nice post, you’re right after 40 and 50 many ladies hesitate wearing leggings and other similar shorts, but your suggested products and tips will surely help many

  7. Thanks Deborah ,

    You just gave me an idea what should I purchase for my wife.. Being a men its always difficult to choose clothing for ladies..

    Now, I can get something for wive with a reason.. lol

  8. What about if you are short? I was always told its best not to wear riding boots with leggings when your short because it just makes you look shorter. I am 5/1 and 150. so I don’t think this would work for me?

    1. As long as the boots are not clunky and they do not have a lot of leather or metal falderal on them, I think the high boots should be just fine for you.

    2. I buy the invisible heels to slip in flat boots. They work great & you are never that short with them on. I am 5’0″

  9. I like the idea of leggings for wearing with boots, because there is no extra bulk to make the boots uncomfortable. I also like the black boots with black leggings to create onle long uninterrupted line. My issue is finding tunic tops long enough to cover my behind. I am not particularly tall 5’7″, however I am long bodied. I always have to size up 1 piece bathing suits: I was never able to wear rompers/jumpsuits back in the 80s when they were in style. If I size up tunics, they are just obviously too big up top to get the long length I need.

    1. Sometimes I will search for sweater dresses and look at the ones that are above the knee. These can make nice long tunics if they are constructed as one long line (no waist seam) and are the same color as the leggings. Also, tabard style tunics tend to run longer and offer the added advantage of wardrobe flexibility by allowing you to add your own turtleneck, tee, or funnel neck underneath, or wearing sleeveless if your arms are nice or if you want to add a longer cardigan/duster.

  10. Loved this post and your wonderful suggestions on different ways to wear leggings. My personal favorite is with riding boots. Chic and comfy. Also love a nice pair of leather (faux) especially with a strapy sandal for evening wear.

  11. I think its classier looking if your leggings aren’t tight around your knees. When they’re tight, I think they look like workout wear. I don’t wear yoga pants or patterned tights outside the house either.

  12. Hi Deborah,

    So glad I ran into you. I am 60 and wear leggings all the time. As long as I wear a tunic or just about anything that covers my derriere I do feel comfortable with that. A pair of booties with that in the winter and I’m always good to go. I love wearing my thick lined leggings in the winter.

    I was giving leggings a second thought but because of this article I feel so much better.

    Many thanks,


  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

    1. I am a petite woman ;who is often mistaken for a much younger age. I am actually in my 60’s. I say go for it. I have patterned, solid and faux leather ones. Just get a great tunic top and some jazzy jewelry. You are still young at 50. I have some aztec leggings that I just love.

  16. 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.

    1. 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

  17. 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?!

  18. 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?

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

    2. 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 :)

    3. We are about the same size – I have found great petite tunics, long sweaters and blouses at J.Jill. They offer most everything in petite sizes – including a variety of leggings. If you don’t have a local store, check out their website.

  19. 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

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

    1. Please don’t let others dictate what you wear! You are your own best critic. I am 68 and wear wildly patterned leggings…casual. only with overdized top. I get compliments regularly. Cover your butt and have fun!!

        1. I like the look of those striped leggings with black flats and a solid black top. I think it can look very classy, so it depends on what you like. I think we should always be experimenting and choosing those things that make us feel the best.

  23. 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.

    1. Cynthia, you are 100% right. What you wear has nothing to do with age. I have yet to go to a store and see an age sign replace a size sign. As long as you feel comfortable in your own skin, it does not matter what other people think. Don’t dress to please people, dress to please self. If you see yourself as classy, you will dress classy.

  24. 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.

    1. 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.”

  25. 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!

  26. 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

    1. 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.

    2. There is a difference between sprayed-on skin tight leggings straining at the seams and appropriately sized fitted leggings with a equally well-sized top that generously covers the derriere. The mistake lies in too-short tops & WAY too tight leggings; which we all too often see.

      1. Wearing ill fitted clothing is not “dressing to please men.” My point was not to embarrass oneself in public with exposure of figure flaws which rise to a level that compels observers with cell phone cameras to ridicule your posterior on the ‘net as “Walmartian.” Check the mirror before you leave the house. Just sayin.

  27. 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 .

  28. I’m a leggings-with-boots kind of girl. They are 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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!!

    1. 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!!

  31. 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.

  32. 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…

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

  36. 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!

    1. 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!

  37. 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.”?

    1. Hi Kelly,
      YES!!! Thanks so much for your honest comments and I love chatting about this with you! Yes, I have some wow women in leggings and I will try to find some photos. We should do a poll and ask some men about how they feel about leggings! I agree that many women do want to dress for men..this could be a fashion turn off. Thanks for all your questions and input!

  38. 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.

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Did you manage to go to the link where I have some pictures of real women in leggings? I understand many women not wanting to wear this look, but many still can at any age.
      I 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!

  39. 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.

    1. 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!!!

  40. 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!

    1. 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!

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