Let's Talk About Leggings—Here's What to Wear With Them for Autumn 2022

Everyone has different priorities when it comes time to get dressed—for some, it's all about ease. For others, looking good tops the list, whatever the cost. There are occasions where it's understandable to sacrifice practicality for style, but personally, I know that if I’m uncomfortable, it really doesn’t matter how head-turning my outfit is. My focus will rest on the hemline that keeps creeping up, or my pinky toe being steadily squished by the too-tight pair of heels. Even if I look outwardly on-point, the minor annoyance that lost to my vanity will be what I remember most.

If you similarly put comfort first, you probably own at least one pair of leggings. The WFH surge of 2020 saw most people give in to their unparalleled softness and ease. I know I was reaching for my H&M pair on an almost-daily basis.

But now that fashion has gone back to normal—or settled into a ‘new normal’, at least—the question arises: how can we hold onto our beloved leggings? This vital item deserves a spot in your everyday clothes roster, so I've turned my attention to outfit options for the here and now. With colder weather around the corner, we also have to factor cover-ups into the mix; thankfully, leggings lend themselves well to layered looks. Scroll on to see some of the best autumn-appropriate outfits styled around simple black leggings.

1. Button-Down Shirt + Pumps


(Image credit: @chrissyford)

Style Notes: A button-down shirt is timeless, and 2022 has seen it become the go-to cover-up over vest tops and racerbacks. Add leggings and ballet pumps and you've got yourself a super comfy, effortless outfit.

Shop the look:

2. Trench Coat + Trainers


(Image credit: @_jessicaskye)

Style Notes: Trench coats are ideal for autumn layering. Whether you're walking the dog or meeting your friends for lunch, a longline design and chunky kicks will make you feel suitably casual but stylishly put-together.

Shop the look:

3. Oversized Jumper + Loafers


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Style Notes: Striped knitwear is everywhere, so why not lean into the cosy styling and pair yours with some stirrup leggings? A pair of thick-soled loafers will smarten up the ensemble.

4. Layered Skirt + Heels


(Image credit: @mariaalia)

Style Notes: There's quite a lot going on in this outfit, but that's what makes it interesting. Play around with proportions and layer a skirt or dress over your leggings to make them night-out appropriate.

5. Shearling Jacket + Uggs


(Image credit: @joannacoops)

Style Notes: On those chilly autumn days, choose ultra-snug items. If you're on the fence about UGGs, this outfit would also work with a pair of Birkenstock clogs.

6. Knee-High Boots + Boxy Blazer


(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

Style Notes: It's a known fact that blazers elevate every item—and leggings are no exception. Tuck them into sleek knee-high boots and finish off the outfit with gold-toned accessories.

Next up, the biggest autumn/winter 2022 fashion trends to know.

Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.