I Used to Avoid Leggings—Now, I Can't Stop Thinking About These 5 Styles

Nothing style-related has undergone a reinvention quite like leggings. Just a few short years ago, many would have shuddered at the thought of leaving the house in leggings, that is unless the destination was either the gym or the school gates at 8.28am. Okay, so I'm being overly exaggeratory, but it's true for me at least; I just wouldn't have had the confidence to do so. And that's quite sad. 


(Image credit: @simplytandya)

However, in recent years, leggings have become a lot more commonplace outside of athleisure and have morphed into something quite chic indeed. The more I've seen people styling theirs with blazers and jumpers, and finishing with sleek boots or loafers or trending trainers, the more I've come around to wearing them as I do my jeans. Be it for brunch dates, coffee runs, trips to the shops, or even low-key dinners out, leggings are no longer off limits (albeit my own self-imposed limits) for me. 

This new-found liberation means I've become something of a legging fanatic. My collection is small, but I'm always on the look-out for elevated options to add to it. Comfort is still a key priority, but why can't I have it all and look chic in the process? It might sound like too much to ask but, in actual fact, I've found five fresh leggings trends for 2023 that fulfil my requirements. In fact, I've already purchased a pair—here's looking at you, COS—which I've hardly taken off since they arrived.

Of course, our classic leggings will forever be a hard-working staple in our wardrobes, but if you're looking for new ways to wear them, go right ahead and scroll below. 

1. Zip-Hem Leggings


(Image credit: @taniceelizabeth)

Style Notes: If you're loyal to your classic black leggings, then why not ease yourself into the current trends with a pair with a zip hemline. You can keep them closed should you wish but, when you find the perfect shoe pairing to try the split look with, you can open them right on up. 


2. Brown Leggings


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: Brown is one of the biggest colour trends of the season, so I knew it wouldn't be long until it made its way onto leggings. What I didn't expect, however, was just how chic it would look. 


3. Cropped Leggings


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: Now here's a leggings trend I didn't see making a comeback. A large part of my teens saw me wearing miniskirts with cropped, pedal pusher-style leggings underneath. Now, I keep seeing fashion types wearing leggings that hit just below the knee, albeit more chicly than I did in 2006. 


4. Flared Leggings


(Image credit: @ali_tate_cutler)

Style Notes: As wide-leg silhouettes have become increasing popular where trousers and jeans are concerned, it should come as no surprise that leggings are also being given the wide-leg treatment. While the tops of the leggings still fit closely to the body, the legs themselves are cut straighter than normal, which creates a flared effect. Kendall Jenner has already pledged her allegiance to them; will you? 


5. Leather Leggings


(Image credit: @simplytandya)

Style Notes: Make no mistake, Y2K-style leather leggings are slowly creeping their way onto the scene once more. Hailey Bieber recently wore a pair and, now that I've clocked on, I keep seeing them on social media, too. Real or faux, there's an option out there for you. 


Next Up: & Other Stories' Sell-Out Cardigan Is Back in a Chic New Colourway

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.