I’m Curvy – Can Curvy Girls Wear Leggings?

If you could imagine for a minute that today’s fashion tip was a featured spot on Sesame Street, then it could easily be called “Can Curvy Girls Wear Leggings?”. And the star of the featured spot would probably be none other than the infamous, curvy Miss Piggy!

You would then hear a cheery voice go on to say, “And it’s brought to you by the letters ‘S’ and ‘T’; ‘S’ for sophisticated and ‘T’ for tops.

Then you’d probably see Miss Piggy appear on the screen, in all her glory, sporting her favourite leggings. Feeling ‘sophisticated’ and confident that she’s paired them with the right ‘top’!

Oh Miss Piggy….we sure do love you but the look you’re rockin’? It’s not the best ‘legging look’ for us curvy women!

So what is the best ‘legging look’ for us curvy women?

Can leggings be worn by curvy women?

Yes absolutely, curvy women can wear leggings; they just need to understand and know how to wear them and what to wear them with.

Remember – leggings are not a substitute for pants. They are an accessory that you wear under long tops or short dresses.

tumblr lvhf9iOcSu1qgbaad How to Wear Plus Size Leggings (Without Looking Ridiculous){photo via thebudgetfashionista.com}

Leggings can cover up a lot of ‘sins’ (i.e. cellulite, blemishes, veins, scars etc.)
And when worn in dark colours, such as black, they can “visually” lengthen your legs. Pair them with heels or wedges and your legs will appear even longer and leaner! Now how great is that?

But all those amazing benefits from leggings can quickly disappear if curvy women don’t wear leggings the right way and with the right, age appropriate, top pieces. Some women who are a slim, straight build can get away with wearing slightly shorter tops but us curvy women, we look best when we wear our leggings underneath longer tops, tunics, jackets or short dresses. Wearing longer tops that cover our rear, and hit below the hips will always be a safe styling choice.

It’s definitely more difficult for we curvy girls to pull off the ‘short top look’ or the ‘super-short top look’ like Miss Piggy is sporting above! It can tend to make our look appear more tacky or even a little trashy! Sorry Miss Piggy…

So when wearing leggings, always remember these two words: sophisticated and tops.

You always want to be sophisticated; whether the occasion is casual or dressy. You always want to wear the right, age appropriate tops!

Doing leggings right! – Wear them with a long anorak jacket layered over a long tunic top for a sophisticated look.

So there you have it. Do you think that you as a curvy girl can wear leggings?

Let’s chit chat…

59 responses to “I’m Curvy – Can Curvy Girls Wear Leggings?

  1. what do you think of curvy women wearing print leggings (such as leopard)? I think it works if the top is longish & monochromatic; preferably dark (black).
    what do you think?

    • Hi Bobby,
      Not such a big fan of curvy women wearing pattern leggings…
      but if they do, then they need to style them flawlessly…
      long tops are always key.
      Thanks for the chit chat!

  2. can i wear leggings at my company’s dinner and dance?

    • No, leggings are definitley not the thing to wear to company’s dinner + dance…
      a nice pantsuit with heels and statement jewellery could work…
      but why not wear a ‘cocktail dress’?
      Or your favourite little black dress (LBD)?
      When in doubt remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
      Thanks for the question and chit chat!

  3. Is there a brand you can recommend that suits curvy girls best? All the leggings I’ve seen look like they are made for stick people.

  4. what about light colors like pink and blue with a dark shirt?

    • Hi Tori,
      If you’re a curvy girl who is bigger on the bottom than the top, then staying away from light coloured leggings (any colour) would be strongly recommended.
      pink + blue leggings can also look very “lounge/pyjama” like…
      not sophisticated + chic…
      and remember, you always want to be sophisticated-whether the occasion is casual or dressy.
      Great to chit chat!

  5. what would you recommend for dancing? I’m not really a fan of shorts for dancing and leggings seem to be the only option.

  6. Honor fennelly

    Size 10-12 here… Can I wear black leggings and a floaty, pale green shirt with long sleeves and it comes down just an inch below my tail bone? You said leggings arent substitutes for trousers but I always wear them with tips that are longer than the average t-shirt :s

    • Hello Honor,
      When it comes to styling leggings always think of them as “layering pieces”…
      “sophisticated” layering pieces (not pants)…
      and the best way to keep your leggings looking sophisticated is by wearing them underneath a tunic, short dress, longer top or longer jacket…
      at least upper to midthigh in length.
      Hope this helps. :)
      Thanks for the chit chat!

  7. Pingback: Top 5 reasons to wear leggings with a long top or skirt « All is Fabulous !

  8. Inconclusive :-/

    What if curvy girls wear the new printed leggings in a darker colour such as a dark purple or navy blue? Slimming, sophisticated and fashionable? Or just plain trashy?

    • Good question but remember…
      print and pattern will bring more emphasis to legs + their shape.
      Is this what a curvy girl wants?
      Maybe better to opt for a printed wide-leg pant that will flatter, than a printed legging.
      Great chit chat!

  9. I went to the website you recommended, and they were very pricey! Is there a different brand you recommend for the curvy girl on a budget?

  10. I am a little bit baffled, why on earth should a woman have to hide her figure underneath a long, baggy top just because she is larger? I’ll rock my leggings and show off my bum and thighs while I’m at it, thank you ;)
    Being bigger is nothing to be ashamed about, stop judging other women negatively because they’re comfortable with their own bodies! Just because you want to hide yours doesn’t mean all of us do! ;)

    ps. Hiding your figure under baggy, ill-fitting clothing is almost never flattering!

    • Hello and thank you so much for your comment…
      we agree, women should never hide in their clothes and that is not what this post is about…
      but instead it’s about helping women make the best choices when it comes to styling…
      styling leggings.

      At Fashion Assist we believe that the best styling choices for women when wearing leggings are:
      #1 don’t substitute leggings for pants and don’t wear them as pants, no matter your size or shape.
      #2 wear leggings in a manner that moves you forward and helps you look your best.
      #3 wear leggings with longer tops (which certainly can be fitted but not tight) because this is what suits ALL women and will help them look + feel their best.

      Another post you may want to check out is: How to Wear Plus Size Leggings (Without Looking Ridiculous)

      Good to chit chat!

      PS At Fashion Assist we love teaching women how to dress their best and believe 100% you need to respect yourself and your body with your choice of clothing; not hide.

  11. I think women have enough sense to dress themselves thank you ;)

    • Seriously, seriously Raa, you think just because we’re “women” we “all” have enough sense to dress ourselves???!!! The way I see it, some of us do and some of us don’t. You may have been given the “style gene” but other women are lacking it in a big-big way!!! Just go to any office, grocery store or coffee shop, open your eyes and you’ll see what I mean. Believe me, there are plenty of women out there that could benefit from some good styling advice and this blog!

  12. Great post & great tips. Appreciate the suggestions you make to help us women make better “styling” choices for ourselves; ones that will help us look & feel better in our clothes. Thank you Lady J :)

  13. Most of this advice seems targeted to make fat women look as much like thin women as possible? There ARE plus size women who are fine with their body types and weight…

    • Hello and thank you for your comment…
      it’s unfortunate that you felt that most of the advice on this post was written to “make fat women look as much like thin women as possible”…
      that was never the intent, on the contrary, it was written for “curvy” women (“curvy” is a body type) and curvy women come in all sizes from 00 to 24.
      The advice was written to help these women with this specific body type to look + feel their best when wearing leggings–end of story.
      Hope this helps.
      Good to chit chat!
      PS See response to Allie’s comment on May 14, 2013 for more insight on what this post is “truly” about ;)

  14. Hi,
    I was wondering what your opinion is about jean leggings. I love the idea of jeggings but I don’t know if they would work?

  15. I love that last outfit… White flowy top white jacket light jeans brown sandals. Please tell me where to buy, esp the tops!!!!!!!!!

  16. Ok here it goes ,
    I’m not very good with fashion I’ve been very curious about leggings really afraid to try them . I know they are different types , brands categories of leggings so right for me .
    I don’t wear heels mostly tennis shoes when it’s warmer I will wear flip flops I do have black boots there not uggs . I am about 162 pounds I have a booty , chubby belly .. need some fashion advice and what to look for to buy

    • Hello Leah,
      It’s so great that you’re curious about styling leggings and looking for some “good” styling ideas!
      I wrote this post in 2011 and over the past three years the quality of leggings (those meant for everyday wear and not for exercise) has improved…
      today you can find legging options that are made from more thicker and supportive fabrics.

      #1 – So first thing is to purchase a great pair of quality leggings (also known as jeggings) in a thicker more supportive fabric and probably in black.
      #2 – Pair it with a great top, maybe a longer button front shirt and add a nice pair of sneakers–not ones that are worn and tired looking.
      #3 – Layer the shirt with a nice fitted blazer of fun little jacket.
      #4 – Accessorize with a cool bag and add your favourite jewellery.

      I also would suggest that you find some fashion-forward style blogs by women you can relate to and gather styling inspiration and ideas from them….
      because the wonderful thing about style is that it’s something you can pick up again, if you lost touch with it or learn!!

      Here’s a blog post you may want to check out: http://www.shirleyswardrobe.com/2012/12/not-so-little-black-dress.html
      If you enter “leggings” in the Search box on her “Home Page”, you’ll find even more styling ideas :)

      Here’s another legging post by another blogger: http://www.shapelychicsheri.com/2013/12/Plus-Size-Holiday-Outfit-Ideas.html#uds-search-results
      again you could swap out the heels for a chic pair of white sneakers ;)

      And you should check out one of my most recent posts called “the chic sneaker”…
      there you will find more pictures of girls wearing leggings with sneakers ;)
      So wonderful that you’re wanting to style yourself well and dress your best–keep at it!!
      Great chit chat!

  17. This post is great – very instructive with excellent photo examples. I’m slim but still have not been a fan of leggings. After looking at your pictures, I am willing to reconsider. Thanks also for joining my fun! Daily (as long as I’m not traveling) photos from my own true vintage closet. Hope you’ll enjoy..

    • Thank you so much and glad you enjoyed the post…
      leggings have come a long way in fabrication and style since I wrote this…
      so maybe there’s a stylish pair out there that will now entice…
      and you’ll give them a go!!
      Lovely chit chat!

      PS Totally adore the Easter Dance Party dress I spied in your vintage closet ;)

  18. I like leggings, and I think anyone can wear them fashionably. I think you were elegant with your post. I love the pics!!

    • Thank you so much and totally agree, leggings are great…
      and you definitely hit the nail on the head by saying…
      anyone can wear leggings as long as they do it “fashionably”!!~
      Enjoyable chit chat!

  19. I can see the point you are trying to make with this post, however I find it to be fundamentally flawed with the idea that a persons size can determine what and how they can wear. This post reinforces the idea that ‘curvy’ girls should be ashamed of their body and must wear longer tops to ‘hide’ their ‘curves’. Im sure this wasn’t your intention, but all in all, this isn’t a very body positive post.

    • Thank you for your comment and it’s unfortunate that you have found this post flawed…
      but it could be that your interpretation of this post and the word “curvy” is what’s flawed?
      At Fashion Assist “curvy” is a word used to define a body type and curvy women come in all sizes from 00 to 24—it’s not a word used to define size.
      And when we as women want to dress our best, our body types don’t have to stop us from wearing what we love but they can demand that we pay attention to certain styling aspects when dressing ourselves…
      so the tips in this post are general styling tips that when followed will help women of all sizes with the curvy body type to look + feel their best when wearing leggings–end of story.
      Good to chit chat!

  20. I find it kind of sad that fashion tips that are meant to help women to dress their shape and age appropriately are so often taken out of context or believed to be edicts that plus size or curvy women cannot or should not dress a particular way to “hide” their bodies. I’m a big girl and am not ashamed of my figure, but I also know that I need to dress for the size and shape that I AM, not the size and shape that I WANT to be or feel myself to be. I’m all for showing off my booty in a nice pair of jeans, but leggings? Nooo. Your advice is spot on. It’s not a matter of “hiding” my booty or my belly, it’s a matter of dressing stylishly and age appropriately and even occasion appropriately, and unless you’re in yoga or dance class, short tops with leggings of any type look pretty gauche. Some ladies need to just calm down.
    Thanks for the awesome post. Hopefully it will help some women to help themselves. :p

    • Hello Typhany, nice to meet you and thank you for your supportive comments…
      I’m glad that you find the advice spot on…
      helping women look + feel their best is always our goal…
      it was wonderful that you could recognize that!!~
      Appreciate the chit chat!

  21. Oh also, question. I can’t wear heels because my back is messed up so my dressy shoe of choice is generally a ballet flat (or nice sandals in the summer). A friend of mine pokes fun at me for wearing ballet flats with leggings and skinny jeans. I think they look fine but she insists I should be wearing boots. What do you think?

  22. Yes! Everyone can wear leggings. I personally love them because I don’t have to worry about a breeze blowing my dress and showing my underwear to the world!

  23. Great advice! Even skinny girls look ridiculous wearing leggings only! Long tops or short skirts are the only way to make leggings look great. Thanks for following my blog.

  24. Definitely a curvy woman needs a legging with a thick fabric which is naturally more forgiving and supportive. I know “CHIC iIlusions” on Amazo has just tnhe legging that makes me feel comfortable with my not so skinny body. They are high end but well worth the investment.

  25. Best article I’ve ever read!!

  26. What about leather or faux leather leggings on curvy girls? Yay or nay? Any recommendations?

  27. I think if people considered leggings to be thick tights, we wouldn’t have so many people wearing them as pants. THanks for the tips, well written and a very positive viewpoint.

  28. Thanks for all of the great input. Would love to know a reccomendation on a legging for plus size women. Thanks!!

  29. I recently bought my very first pair of leggings. I bought them at Torrid. I was nervous and didn’t think they would look good since I’m a plus size woman. The store employees helped me with the right fit. After trying on several pairs I found one I liked. It’s all black 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The side has a cute line going down it that is polyester. Here is the link with the exact pair. Please take a look.


    I chose a black sleeveless shirt with a top that goes around my neck. The shirt goes past my waist, so it fits your criteria there. Also, the front of the shirt has a partially scrunched up material so it slims my stomach area. The outfit as a whole gives me a longer leg and slimmer look. I’m 5’7 and 280lbs 26 years old. But most people would never guess I weigh that much. I’ve heard comments such as “I’m a solid big” or I “carry my weight well”. Basically, I just want your opinion on the look of the leggings. Thanks! Oh I should note that my look for this outfit is to go to the club. I have a platinum/silver type heel to wear with it.

  30. Great post. I Appreciate the suggestions you make to help us women make better “styling” choices for ourselves I love that last outfit ! ! ! !

  31. Amazing advice. Thank you!

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