Whenever I stop and think about leggings, flashbacks from my high school wardrobe full of ankle-grazing, jersey leggings paired with Nike socks and Birkenstock sandals flood my brain. But recently, after seeing the way that fashion's finest have elevated the once über-casual silhouette, I've begun to rethink my former distaste for the style. In fact, I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that leggings might actually be cool again, especially the pairs I've spotted in 2022.
From split-hem styles paired with skinny-heeled boots to stirrup alternatives strapped to loafers, today's legging trends aren't even comparable to the ones we all frequented back in the mid-2010s. And to prove it to you, I rounded up all of the most impressive styles on the market right now. After a few scrolls, I think you'll come to agree with me that leggings are worthy of a second chance.
1. Split-Hem Leggings
One of my biggest qualms with the way leggings were worn back in the '10s was that they never looked quite right with heels—only sneakers or boots. With the buzzy split-hem look, though, there's no awkward space between the bottom of your leggings and the beginning of your shoes.
2. Neutral Leggings
Black leggings are great and all, but you can only have so many pairs before they start to feel boring and redundant. That's where a neutral brown or tan pair comes in. They're equally versatile and comfy but won't look like every other pair of leggings in the world.
3. Stirrup Leggings
Once used for strictly practical purposes, stirrup leggings have recently become a favourite among the fashion crowd, with many securing the loops around luxury heels or with lug-soled loafers.
4. Belted Leggings
Another fashion-favourite legging trend? Belted styles, which were really perfected by Istanbul-based brand Cult Form. The key to this style is an extra-high-waist silhouette, secured at the top with a belt that elevates your leggings with one easy clasp.
5. Short Leggings
When the warm weather hits, nothing is quite as easy or stylish as a pair of bike shorts, be they paired with a matching workout top and sneakers or an oversized blazer and knee-high boots. (I'm biased toward the latter, but to each their own.)
IMO, the fewer pieces I have to put on to make a 10/10 outfit, the better. So it's no wonder that I've fallen fast and hard for the legging-bodysuit trend, which needs nothing but knee-high boots or heels and a shacket or a blazer to take it from workout piece to event-ready ensemble.
7. Leather Leggings
Once my least-favourite style of leggings, leather leggings are now at the top of my to-buy list. There's just something so luxurious about the way that the style is being dressed up in 2022 that I can't get out of my head.