It Turns Out These Are the Best Tops to Wear With Leggings

We could sing the praises of jeans, midi skirts and wide-leg trousers forever more, but some days (and moods) call for leggings, and nothing else will do. Design-wise, it doesn't get much simpler—boring, you might say—than black cotton leggings, yet few other items match the comfort and ease this wardrobe basic offers. 

This is exactly what we need when we're hanging around the house, walking the dog and running errands. But what happens when it's time to meet your friends for brunch or embark on an impromptu shopping trip? You want to maintain the level of comfort you've become accustomed to but also look put-together, right? Good news: It can be done with minimal effort.

The tricky part is selecting a top to style with your trusty leggings. If you go too far down the casual route, you're in danger of looking like you just rolled out of bed. But certain blouses and button-ups just feel too dressy to pull off with your glorified loungewear. So how does one strike the balance? After consulting the internet's best dressers, it seems like we've found the answer in these six tops to wear with leggings.

1. Oversized Shirt


(Image credit: @femmeblk)

Style Notes: A crisp white button-down will instantly make leggings look more outside-world appropriate without compromising on comfort. Play with proportions and balance out the oversized silhouette with flared leggings, like Lydia Tsegay did.

2. Sports Bra


(Image credit: @chloepierreldn)

Style Notes: Brands such as Girlfriend Collective create sports bras that look and feel great, and because of their longer length, you can style them as tops with leggings—and no, not just for the gym. A trench coat will really boost the pairing.

3. Boxy Blazer


(Image credit: @emmarosestyle)

Style Notes: A blazer is always a great idea. Smarten up your downtime separates with a structured jacket and then add a pair of chunky boots for good measure.

4. Slouchy Hoodie


(Image credit: @scoutthecity)

Style Notes: Achieve that cool-girl-on-the-go aesthetic with a super-soft hoodie and simple black leggings with a longline coat layered on top.

5. Neutral-Coloured Jumper or Cardigan


(Image credit: @smythsisters)

Style Notes: We're always looking for ways to incorporate cosy jumpers into our outfits. It doesn't get easier than this foolproof combination.

6. Tank-and-Shirt Combo


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: Ribbed tank tops made a splash over last year, and they're here to stay for the season ahead. Easy and effortless, this elevated basic perfectly matches leggings' energy.

Next Up, Forget Passing Trends—These 7 Shoe Styles Always Come Back Around

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.