How to Wear Leggings: The New Dos and Don'ts

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Elite Images/Backgrid

Real talk: We're halfway through 2018, and at this point in time, "what to wear with leggings" has been discussed to death. But this is not just a story about styling them. This is a story about legging trends, finding the best fit, how to care for them, shopping mistakes, and the most popular styles. And we didn't just make this information up. We tapped an expert in the field: Danny Harris, the co-founder and CEO of Alo.

You're probably aware that Alo has long been a celebrity favorite for the coolest athleisure (it was founded way back in 2007), and the brand continues to set trends in the marketplace. I, for one, can't remember the last time I didn't see multiple people wearing Alo in a workout class. So let's just say that we were more than a little curious to hear from Harris about what the new dos and don'ts of wearing leggings in 2018 are.

Read on for all the intriguing insight straight from the source.

Do you have any tips for finding the best fit?

Look for seamless styles that are designed to hug the body all the way around or lightweight styles with a second-skin fit, like our popular Airlift Leggings. It's important to know which waists and lengths work best for you. High waists and extreme high waists offer more coverage and shaping, and capris and 7/8 lengths are great options for petites.

We wear-test all our styles to achieve a perfect fit, which we note in all our product descriptions, along with fit and fabrication details, so you can shop smart and purchase confidently.

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Which Alo legging style do you have trouble keeping in stock?

Our patented Moto is a longtime favorite among all yogis, and every time we restock, it sells out so quickly! It's made from our signature lifting, sculpting Airbrush fabric, which has four-way stretch and features contouring panels that work so well from studio to street. We have a high-waist and an extreme high-waist version and also offer an array of season-right colors so moto fans can keep things fresh.

We launched our velvety-soft High-Waist Lounge Leggings this spring, and it's one of our most quickly selling styles. It's made from our brushed Alosoft fabric, which has four-way stretch and holds up in yoga but also feels cozy enough to live in. It's the best of both worlds!

What are the latest fabric innovations on the market?

Performance fabrics that fit like a second skin, move with you in practice, and also feel incredible on are the latest innovations on the market right now.

Our ultralightweight Airlift fabric, designed for hot yoga and hard practices, is extremely popular for us. It's a micro-performance, double-knit fabric that has a second-skin fit and feel, four-way stretch, and moisture-wicking properties so you can practice comfortably and confidently. It also lifts and smooths for a really seamless look.

Our seamless fabric is really special because it's engineered to maximize comfort and breathability, lay flat on the body, and offer a smoother look. We use a special circular loom to achieve a no-seam construction, which allows the clothing to move with you in a really effortless way.

Alosoft is our brushed, luxe performance jersey and the fabric behind our popular Lounge Bra and Legging. It's velvety-soft and seriously cozy, but it also has four-way stretch and moisture-wicking technology so you can easily wear it to yoga.

Airbrush is our signature legging fabric and a go-to for every kind of practice. It has a four-way stretch that moves with you. It lifts, sculpts, contours, and smooths, and it's moisture-wicking and antimicrobial, so you know it's working with you, even when you're on your 20th chaturanga.

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What's the biggest legging shopping mistake?

Legging quality matters so much. With lower-end leggings, the fit suffers and you lose the lifting and sculpting benefits that come with exceptional fit and fabric. They also don't last. It's a common mistake and one that motivates us to educate our customer about the importance of high-quality fabrics, great construction, and uncompromising fit. Investing in great leggings means you won't have to sacrifice fit, feel, or performance and you also won't need to replace them as often. It's actually the more cost-effective choice in the long run!

What are the color/print trends that are bubbling up?

Soft pastels, fabric and color-blocking, and text graphics are all huge right now. Colorful yoga leggings might not sound super wearable, but subtle shades like our mint green and smoky quartz look so pretty on and add just the right amount of color. Special techniques, treatments, and details like shine, graphic bonding, and tactile surfaces reinvent the plain black legging and make a major statement. They feel very modern and also act as a vehicle for self-expression.

Styles like our Reform Leggings, High-Waist Moonlit Runner Leggings, and High-Waist Airlift Leggings in Graphic are great examples of this.

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In general, what mistakes do people make when washing and caring for leggings?

So often people will just throw their leggings in the wash with their other clothes without looking at the care tags inside the garments. It's important to know what temperature to set, as well as what not to wash with them. For example, you shouldn't stick them in with towels because they'll probably pick up all those small fibers, which can be difficult to remove. Fabric softener is also a no-no because it creates a barrier between the detergent and the leggings, making the washing process less effective in the long run.

What's the single most popular legging style right now?

We've seen so much love for our 7/8 legging length. It hits just above the ankle, so it looks great paired with your favorite sneakers, and it's the number one choice for petites because it fits a shorter figure perfectly. We're currently working on expanding our 7/8 selection, which we're really excited about, so stay tuned!

Leggings that can be worn from studio to street are also incredibly popular right now. Our patented Moto Legging is a major favorite for its performance-enhancing properties—four-way stretch, wicking, antimicrobial—and its forward, off-duty details like matte, shine, and mesh paneling. We see people wearing it to practice and also dressing it up with a cute top for dinner or drinks. Pregnant yogis also love it for when they want to prioritize style without sacrificing comfort.

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Are there any legging trends that people are skipping for now?

It seems like people are more experimental these days, and there's so much acceptance around personal style and positive body images. People want to show their personalities and love for activities in ways we haven't seen before.

We've seen customers really gravitating toward high-waist leggings because they give that off-duty look and offer hold-you-in shaping around the mid-section.

Is there anything that people have stopped wearing with leggings?

We've definitely come a long way from the '90s when everyone was layering thin leggings under dresses and skirts or the early 2000s when leggings and Uggs were everywhere. Today, leggings are part of this major athleisure trend that's been dominating the runways and the streets season after season. They're not just worn for warmth anymore, and they no longer take the backseat in an outfit. Now leggings are the focal point, and with so many new fabrics, colors, designs, and details available, they're also a great way to express oneself. We see people planning their outfits around leggings and adding other pieces and accessories to highlight like longline bras, cropped sweatshirts, slides, and baseball caps.

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