White Leggings ~ The Right Way to Wear Them

My reader jane wanted to know,  Can you wear white leggings? This is the photo she sent.

White leggings are hard to pull off…

The answer is yes, you can wear white leggings, but they are trickier to pull off. Why?

    • They are lighter and thinner. You have to be careful they are not see-through.
    • White is not as slimming as black, so if you are bottom-heavy, I would avoid them.
    • They’re very seasonal. White only looks good in hot weather.


The problem here isn’t Jane’s white leggings. It’s her top. Although Jane has a terrific figure, this top worn with these white leggings makes it look like she forgot her pants.

The light blue, ruched top barely grazes her bottom. It’s a little short for her leggings as well as too form-fitting across her hips and behind. This top would work better with skinny white jeans that would be thicker and heavier and balance things out.

White leggings for women
White leggings for women can work if you wear a long flowy top.

This flowy blue tunic worn by 40+ blogger Shellie Bowdoin of  The Fab Journey works better with white leggings. Why?

  1.  It’s longer at the back and completely covers her bottom.
  2. It’s looser around the waist and hips, and it flows down and outward more like a dress than a top. There’s movement.
  3. You get that lovely full over narrow silhouette that is so flattering too.
white legging outfits
This white, legging outfit looks fresh and sophisticated.

Here’s another great look at Shellie. A long tunic over leggings lets the leggings peek out from underneath. Remember, leggings are an accessory, not the main attraction. Leggings are not pants; they’re a layering piece.

White capri leggings
White Capri leggings look cute with a long boho tunic.

Some women prefer Capri leggings, especially in summer. Here’s a gal I met at a conference wearing white Capri leggings with a long, straight tunic. This is classic leggings look.

Often you’ll find dresses that seem too short to wear over 40, but they can work well as long tops worn over leggings.

What do you think of the photo my reader Jane sent in? Is her light blue top o.k. With those white leggings, or does she need a longer top like these other gals? I’d love to know.

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23 thoughts on “White Leggings ~ The Right Way to Wear Them

  1. Just right! All of it.

    Dear Deborah

    My hips are very narrow, so my legs are spikes. I am tall and have bigger shoulders, and I am nearly 70. Do you think I can wear your style, the leggings, or shall I stick with straight denim, thicker material, and a loose top?

    1. Hi Tineke,
      It sounds like you have an inverted triangle shape. You are broad across the top like a swimmer with narrow hips and thin legs. You can wear leggings, but they will emphasize your slender legs. If you go that route, you can improve the look by wearing a V-neck top to open up your chest and make it seem less broad. You are right, that your best look is straight-leg jeans or wide legs, but not a loose top. If it is open and big, it will make you look more blocky on top. Wear a scoop or v-neck that skims your body but is not tight and shows off your waist. Here is some info about the inverted triangle here:

  2. Hi, could you tell me where I could purchase the black & white tunic & heart tassel necklace or something similar?

    Thank you!

  3. What brand of white leggings would you recommend? Some thicker ones seem too heavy, IMHO, for a more fitted top. I would wear them with an extended knee tunic.

    1. Hi Susie, If you want a thick legging, look for a Ponte knit. I have several pairs, and I have had them for years. They are super comfy, keep their shape, and stay up. Look for them at any major department store or chain.

  4. Hi, I just found your site and YT channel today. I will hit 40 in a few months. While I am a professional woman, I work from home. Sometimes I only get dressed to go to church on Sunday. Additional twists: I am plus-sized (and not ashamed) and a minister. Soooo…HELP! I love leggings but prefer the Ponte knit or other substantial fabrics. Tell me how one pulls off a print in a legging or slim pants/jeans. BTW…you should do a particular version of a show like ‘What Not To Wear. If you are up for the challenge, I am willing to be your first style challenge. It would be a challenge…lol!

  5. I just came across this article, and I have to say I beg to differ from some of the comments here. Although this gal has a nice figure, thin white leggings are frankly never a good look, and these, in particular, look far too much like some surgical stockings! And unless that top is a little longer than it looks in the picture, I can’t imagine what this looks like from the front in the crotch department; waaaay, information is my guess! Sure it may be relaxed and comfortable, and sure, she has nice legs, but does that mean it looks stylish or classy? Nope, sorry, not IMHO!

  6. It just looks like she forgot to put on her skirt.

    This topic is getting more and more involved because there are more versions of this type of fashion now-

    Leggings (a type of stocking)
    Jeggings ( a cross between leggings and jeans)
    Skinny jeans

    She could wear the top with skinny jeans – the more daring could wear it with jeggings (probably not the over 40 unless they added a jacket or long cardi). Nobody should wear just leggings.
    And a top.

  7. Too teen-looking. I also agree that it is way too short for leggings. My big pet peeve is seeing leggings worn like regular pants with too short of tops. Mid-thigh looks best for tops over leggings on anybody.

  8. I think the outfit is fine as it is. She’s got the figure for it, and the top is not too tight; it covers her butt. Any shorter, and it would be too fast, but as it is, it works unless you’re super conservative or over 60.

  9. If the lady wearing the outfit is comfortable enough to leave the house in it and likes how it looks, that’s enough for me. In today’s economy, it’s too expensive to always be “in” style, and I am never in class. I wear what fits and looks good. I am not skinny enough to wear that outfit, but it looks good on the one wearing it.

    I like to wear black leggings, 3/4 ones with short skirts and sandals, and don’t care what others things, black and snug fitting leggings hide so many sins.

  10. I sent this picture last Summer! I just came across it. Thanks for using it as an example.

    I want to THANK YOU, ladies, very much for the compliments.

  11. WOW!!! This woman could go anywhere in this outfit. It fits. It flatters. It works. It looks like she owns it. It does not look as if she is trying to look 20-something.

  12. The first thing that hits me is, WOWZA! This woman is hot(!) and takes good care of herself.

    But I might cringe a little even if this outfit was on a teen; I guess I’m somewhat more conservative.

    The top is super cute – I’m sorry that it is now December, and I missed this one! – but I would pair it with form-fitting denim, maybe even white denim capris. Something that would still show off her figure but have a little more heft. As long as the bottom of the legs were closer to her body, I think the shoes would look good if her pants had a little flair, then a shoe with a little more substance, like a ballet flat or even going super casual with little white Ked’s.

    I loved this article and am thoroughly enjoying your site!

    Jolee is amazing! I can only hope to look that good at 60!

  13. She could wear another layer, such as a sheer dress over that, gathered at the waist. The dress hem could go to mid thigh. She could wear a high heel pump with it to elongate her leg even more, and add a tailored jacket over the blue top. Some ankle boots would be decent with those leggings.

    1. Hi Jillian… Your suggestions are all good, however if you start adding all those layers and high heels, you are going to dress it up too much. Those leggings are super casual (because they are white)… and so is the top. I think she was trying to be comfortable and cool. (sleeveless top and flat sandals)
      Your suggestion would work great for a night out on the town..and except then, we would opt for darker leggings with an outfit like that.

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