The 6 Best Types of Leggings That You Can Wear as Pants


One of the hottest debates in the fashion world pertains to whether you can wear leggings as pants. One camp deems leggings to be most appropriate for long tops, tunics, and dresses, while the other argues that they can be worn like jeans or slacks. While it’s certainly true that leggings look good with longer tops, there’s no reason why they can’t be styled like regular pants. They can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the event or activity. It doesn’t hurt that they have more stretch and are easier to put on than pants, too.

Want to know how to carry a pair of leggings with the same confidence and sophistication as with a good pair of pants? Start by shopping for pairs that are durable and opaque enough for the occasion. Next, choose leggings that are made out of a similar fabric or made in the same style as your favorite pairs of pants. Make sure that they fit well, as the right fit makes all the difference.   

Once you know where to buy leggings that you can wear as pants, you can rock a variety of outfits, from a sporty-chic get-up to a smart-casual ensemble that’s perfect for a night out. Below are six types of leggings that are great substitutes for pants. Stock your wardrobe with one of these versatile pairs!

Denim Leggings

You probably consider your jeans the “workhorses” of your wardrobe. But if you’d like a pair of bottoms that are lighter and softer on your legs, you can easily switch out your denim jeans for a pair of denim leggings. They’ll be just as adaptable as your jeans, but will be even easier to pull on. Plus, they take less time to launder than a pair of actual denim pants. Consider buying denim leggings for everyday wear, as well as for travel.

Ponte Leggings

Ponte leggings are sometimes referred to as the “millionaire’s leggings.” Given how much elegance they’ll add to an outfit, it isn’t hard to see why. Their double-knit construction affords them a premium look and feel. Both dark-colored and light-colored Ponte leggings can serve as excellent substitutes for slacks and will add extra sophistication to your smart-casual outfit.

Twill Leggings

Another great alternative to a pair of regular pants, especially for formal events, is a pair of twill leggings. These leggings showcase a twill weave, which is the diagonal rib pattern you often see in men’s chinos. The twill pattern will add a touch of refinement, which will definitely go well with your favorite office wear. Pair twill leggings with a blazer, a crisp shirt, and a pair of smart-looking sandals or heels to look effortlessly professional.

Faux Leather Leggings

If you’d love to incorporate more leather into your outfits, but are discouraged by the cost and the high-maintenance upkeep of the material, you can try faux leather instead. Faux leather will look especially flattering on a pair of leggings and, unlike real leather, will be a breeze to wash and maintain. Consider purchasing a pair for your next night out at the bar. With a pair of smooth and stain-resistant faux leather leggings, you won’t hold back and will surely have a good time.

Capri Leggings

If you’re the type who likes to wear sneakers or canvas slip-ons while you’re out, maybe your go-to pair of pants is your set of Capris. For days that your Capri pants are in the wash—or days that you’d like to feel extra laid-back—you can wear a pair of Capri leggings instead. These calf-length leggings will flatter the slimmest parts of your legs and will help you achieve a sporty and casual look. Go ahead and slip these on for your next coffee run or shopping trip.

Animal Print Leggings

Who says animal prints are out of style? Zebra stripes, leopard spots, and snakeskin can add some interesting texture to your outfit. Don’t be afraid to bring out a little bit of your wild side with animal print leggings. They’ll look awesome when styled up with solid-colored sleeveless tops or polo shirts. Don’t forget to put on some statement jewelry to finish the look.

Some Last Tips on Styling Your Leggings

Based on what you’ve read above, it’s pretty clear that leggings are viable substitutes for pants. But here are some additional tips for styling them that will add even more flair to your outfits:

  • Pay as much attention to the cut, length, and fit of your top as you would to your leggings. Choose tops that can cover most of your backside without hanging too loosely over your bottoms.

  • If you want to switch pants out for leggings, opt for leggings that are thicker and opaquer. That way, they will look more like pants and less like tights.

  • Feel free to experiment with new colors, fabrics, and styles. Since leggings are quite easy to shop for, you can get several pairs and try out different looks. See what happens when you go a little bit outside of your comfort zone!

Now that you know how to wear leggings like pants, maybe it’s time to shop for a pair or two. Which style of leggings are you most excited to try on?

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.