It's True: Everyone Is Wearing These Chic Shoes and Tops With Leggings This Summer

Historically, leggings have been something of an overlooked fashion item. The figure-hugging pants were long seen as only appropriate for gyms, or for teens who were styling them after school with Ugg boots and oversized sweatshirts. But over the past year, our editors have started to notice more and more of our favourite tastemakers taking full advantage of the sleek silhouette leggings provide. And now, they're a bonafide fashion essential.

For the minimalist, the legging is a dream item. It's a near-invisible piece that lends itself well to layering, with a more streamlined silhouette than the now-maligned skinny jean can ever provide. And thanks to this, the legging can be styled for almost any occassion—whether you're running weekend errands, dressing for evening drinks or heading to the gym.

@amandasorensonn wearing a leggings set with a bag

(Image credit: @amandasorensonn)

As we head into the warm months (finally), the legging options seem to extend. Yes, you can still wear your full length black pairs, making them evening-appropriate with a blazer and strappy heels, but you can also explore more cropped options. Consider embracing the 90s-revival with capri pant-style three quarter length leggings, or go full Hailey Bieber with a cycling shorts set, Dad sneaker and oversized sweatshirt casually thrown over your shoulders. Cool sunglasses are, of course, a must.

Whatever your legging preference and your personal style, there are plenty of tempting to looks to explore. Here are seven that prove this athletic style can, in fact, be incredibly elevated.

1. Cycling Shorts + Jumper + Trainers

@aimeesong wearing cycling shorts with a collared shirt and jumper

(Image credit: @aimeesong)

Style Notes: Perfect for those in between-temperature days, Aimee's seriously chic look is a a great lesson in how to layer with leggings. Balancing the cycling short—a great option for summer—with a collared shirt, jumper and New Balance trainers gives this outfit the ideal balance between polished and relaxed.

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2. Cropped Leggings + Blouse + Mules

@alicezielasko wearing cropped black leggings and a blouse

(Image credit: @alicezielasko)

Style Notes: Looking to embrace the capri pant trend? Use cropped leggings to create the 90s-inspired look, complete with Carrie Bradshaw-worthy heeled mules.

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3. Matching Set + Oversized Shirt + Sandals

@ aniyahmorinia wearing a matching short and bralette set with oversized shirt

(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Style Notes: This is the kind of easy everyday look I can see myself gravitating towards on those really hot summer days. Whether you're on holiday or meeting friends for late afternoon pub drinks, this outfit is irresistibly effortless. While the sandals elevate the outfit, you could easily swap them for white trainers to keep things casual.

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4. Leggings + Waistcoat

@cassklatzkow wearing a long waistcoat and black leggings

(Image credit: @cassklatzkow)

Style Notes: One of the key benefits of leggings is the streamlined silhouette they provide. Here, Cass proves how to take full advantage to create an understatedly cool evening look. The long waistcoat gives these athletic styles a tailored edge, and the statement earrings are a brilliant finishing touch.

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5. Split Hem Leggings + Shirt + Pumps

@chrissyford wearing split hem leggings and a shirt

(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Style Notes: Take your leggings into the office with this polished outfit. The split hem really makes these leggings look more fashion-forward, and balancing them with a classic Oxford shirt is a great way to make the look feel both classic and fresh.

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6. Leggings + Bandeau + Blazer

@rosiehw wearing leggings and a blazer

(Image credit: @rosiehw)

Style Notes: Want to take your leggings on a night out? Follow Rosie's example and create a sultry yet sophisticated monochromatic look with an oversized blazer and summer-appropriate bralette.

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7. Athletic Set

@amaka.hamelijnck wearing leggings and trainers

(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Style Notes: While you can dress up your leggings for so many occasions, the athletic look itself is still an effortlessly cool aesthetic that so many influencers lean into. The key is to find sleek, understated separates that don't instantly scream "gym time."

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Freelance Fashion Editor

Jess Kelham-Hohler is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist. She has been a contributor for Who What Wear UK since 2023. Currently based in London following six years in Washington D.C. and New York, she was previously the Digital Editor for Soho House & Co, an international group of private members’ clubs for creatives. She has interviewed a range of artists, creators and more, including Alighieri founder Rosh Mahtani, photographer Misan Harriman and fashion editor Lindsay Peoples Wagner. Today, she writes primarily about fashion, travel and culture for various publications, and has worked as a copywriter and content strategist for brands such as Belstaff, Olivela and Equinox.