This Is How to Wear Leggings as Pants in 2023 and Still Look Relevant

If you're still trying to break the habit of wearing leggings all day every day, you're not alone. Between 2020 and 2022, leggings were basically the only type of pants in existence. And, it's kind of bittersweet to end a two-year streak of wearing elastic waistbands. 

So why bother? There are plenty of ways to wear leggings as pants that don't feel or look super dated. The key is, of course, letting other parts of the outfit do the heavy style lifting. For example, we love the look of leggings with an oversize blazer—a combo we would never have tried if not for endless Zoom meetings—which can look more playful with the right shoes and accessories and less like you just threw this jacket on to look professional. 

Or perhaps you've doubled down on neutral shades and matching sets and are looking for a way to wear them that does not include denim. In that case, we suggest moving beyond your basic black leggings for something a bit more intentional, like a soft brown or heather gray. 

Lest we forget, leggings are a great way to put the focus on tall socks with logos or interesting details and can easily be styled with a variety of shoes from slingbacks to ballet slippers. With that in mind, we've pulled key pieces from seven outfits with leggings that will let you keep wearing the beloved stretch pants into 2023 and beyond. Get ready—your go-to leggings are about to have a glow-up.

Shop Outfits With Leggings


1. Blazers Mean Business
(Image credit: @nlmarilyn)

A lush, oversize blazer with slingback heels and an eye-catching accessory take leggings from obvious to intentional.


2. Neutral Know-How
(Image credit: @mia_juel)

Have a gorgeous, long camel coat? Let it be the star of the outfit by sticking to similarly colored neutrals from head to toe. BTW, brown leggings are seriously underappreciated. 


3. Color Story
(Image credit: @millakuoksa)

If you prefer to stick with the most basic of basics (black leggings, sporty sneakers, and a T-shirt or turtleneck), we get it. Pair those staples with brightly colored outerwear or accessories to add a pop of playfulness to any leggings outfit. 


4. Play With Proportions
(Image credit: @anoukyve)

Leggings tend to have a pretty snug fit, so a boxy oversize sweater is an easy and comfortable way to counter them. Grab your go-to tote and simple flats, and you're good to go.


5. Interesting Elements
(Image credit: @annaaborisovna)

Ever tried stirrup leggings? They're fun to wear over shoes with heels and tend to look more elevated than similar ankle-length designs. Pair them with a riding jacket for a nod to equestrian style or stick with accessories that also function as conversation starters. 


6. Gray All Day
(Image credit: @honeybelleworld)

If the day calls for something simple, we love wearing leggings with a cozy sweater and sneakers. Keep the look current by wearing similarly colored tops and bottoms, like the deep grays seen above. 


7. Back to Black
(Image credit: @modedamour)

Remember what we just shared about coordinating colors? It doesn't get easier than black on black. High-waist leggings and a cozy cropped sweater help break up the monochrome look, but a chunky sweater works too. Keep it going from head to toe with thick black socks and perhaps a slouchy beanie for the ultimate tribute to timeless black leggings. 

Next, My "Real Life" Style Is Casual—4 Items I'm Adding to My Closet for the New Year

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.