11 Types Of Leggings To Know

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The leggings have made a roaring come-back since their 80s days, and for a good reason! Not only are they versatile, but their stretch makes them super comfortable. This is why women everywhere have a stock of leggings in their dresser drawers. They’re snug enough for a long day at the office or a night out on the town. They’re even great for an afternoon at the park playing with the kids.

But with this clothing article’s return, there have been several new styles added to their repertoire. It’s important to know about each style, how they’re made and how they fit, to determine which is best for your body type and your wardrobe. In this article, we have composed a list of eleven types of leggings:

  1. Mid-calf
  2. Knee-length
  3. Ankle-length
  4. Stirrup
  5. Athletic
  6. Jeggings
  7. Leather
  8. Fleece-lined
  9. Knit
  10. Zip-hem
  11. Flare

Looking for the best leggings can be overwhelming. So in this article, we’ve researched and discussed each type to help you. Keep reading to learn more about leggings so you can start shopping!

Close up females hand holding and touching a black jersey fabric legging, 11 Types Of Leggings To Know

11 Types Of Leggings To Know – By Material And Design

1. Mid-calf

Capri leggings hit at mid-calf, or just above the ankle. This pant length tends to be best for taller body types, as they can have a shortening effect. However, the petite crowd can remedy this with a few tricks, like pairing with shoes of the same color or heels.

This type of legging is also great to have if you live in a warm climate. Not only do they bare more skin than their ankle-length counterparts, but they also pair wonderfully with a breezy tunic or dress.

Athletic young woman doing squats with weights.

2. Knee-length

These leggings hit at or just below the knee. They pair well cotton t-shirts, knotted blouses, and many other styles. Still, it’s important to note that your top should come no lower than your hip line as this legging length can look awkward with tunics, for example. Where the hem falls can also cause your bottom half to look shorter, so wear heels or platform shoes with them when you can.

3. Ankle-length

These leggings are a treasure because they look fabulous on just about any body type. They sit just above the ankle, making your leg look longer. If the correct size is bought, they leave no pleats about your knees or thighs, and this creates a smooth, slimming look. What’s not to love?

To make these even more appealing, they can be worn with just about any blouse or dress. One of our favorite styles is the effortless look of ankle-length leggings with a white t-shirt and jean jacket.

4. Stirrup

Stirrup leggings are another iconic style we recognize from the 80s –but did you know they were actually coined during the World War I era as women began joining in on the hunting sports. Now, these beauties are growing in popularity once again.

These leggings have a strip of material that fits comfortably in the arch of your foot. These can be quite the streetwise swell to your wardrobe. Even a detail this small can have passersby turning heads.

5. Athletic

Athletic leggings differ from their counterparts in that they are crafted with dry-fit, breathable material. They also come in every variety of length and fit, from ribbed knee-length to full-length flair. Most important to keep in mind as you shop for athletic leggings is to purchase the correct sizing and fit for your workout.

You may feel more comfortable in a more relaxed fit for an exercise regime consisting of yoga and tai chi, for example. And if you enjoy something with higher impact, such as HIIT, you may reach for leggings that are tapered and higher-waisted to ensure that they stay in place throughout your workout.

Sporty young woman working out at the summer beach

6. Jeggings

Jeggings are our favorite illusion. They have the look of denim, with a lot more give and comfort. These are made with thicker material than most other leggings so that they better replicate the look of true jeans. No, you don’t have to worry about panty lines with these bad boys.

They’re super comfortable and super versatile. Wear just as you would a pair of jeans. Dress them up with a shimmery black blouse and heels, or dress them down with a statement t-shirt and pair of sneakers. The possibilities are endless!

Studio shot of an unidentifiable young woman trying on a pair of high heels against a blue background

7. Leather

Leather leggings may sound a bit frightening to those with more subtle tastes, but we’re here to encourage you to give these a chance. Crafted from faux leather, a pair of these can give more shine, more edge, or a little of both to your outfit. Layer with oversized sweaters or flannel to offset the edgy look, or keep in line with the rocker style by pairing these with combat boots and a utility jacket.

Check out these leather leggings on Amazon.

8. Fleece-lined

These leggings are blissfully warm and soft, perfect for days when you have to venture out into the snow or evenings spent in front of the fireplace. The exterior of these leggings may be faux wool or cable knit, while the lining is fleece. Keep in mind, they are thicker than other leggings and may make for a more bulky look.

Pair with boots and more warm layers for a cozy, casual look. You can also wear these as thermal underwear for hikes, hunting, and outdoor chores.

9. Knit

These leggings are made to look as if they have been hand-knitted, with many seams running all the way from the hip to the ankle. They are a style worn predominantly with fall and winter clothing, created with warmth in mind. This is another article of clothing you could possibly use as thermal underwear. We think they look very sweet beneath shorter, flared skirts and sweater dresses.

Take a look at these knit leggings on Amazon.

10. Zip-hem

These leggings are detailed with a zipper at the ankle. They create a flare at your ankle, showing just a bit more skin than other ankle-length pants. That being said, you can leave them closed or unzipped depending on what you will be styling them with for that day.

These definitely don’t fall into the cutesy category. This small detail gives an outfit that sharp, voguish feel that you crave. We think these look great with sleek, simple tops, jackets, and heels.

11. Flare

If you’ve been paying any attention to the fashion world, you must know that palazzo pants and bell-bottom jeans are making a sudden come-back since their brief resurgence in the early 2000s, and leggings are not missing out on this flare trend. Flared leggings may also be called yoga pants, though they’re certainly not exclusively for yoga.

These leggings fit snugly to your bum and thighs before flaring outward at your calves and ankles. This draws attention to your hips and accentuates your curves. This style pairs well with sneakers, flats, and sandals. They are great for running errands and more informal meet-ups.

Check out these flared leggings on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Group of women wearing leggings

There are so many different types of leggings to choose from, so we hope this article has given you some guidance as you go out on your next shopping spree. As you browse, some things to keep in mind are your body type, the climate you live in, and what type of outings you will be wearing your leggings for. You may also want to familiarize yourself with what’s already in your closet to see which styles of leggings will go best with what you already have.

Want to read more before you shop? If you live in a cool weather climate, you may want to learn how to style your leggings with winter boots. Take a gander at our posts “Do Black Leggings Go With Brown Boots?” or “Should Boots Match Leggings? (And Should You Tuck Leggings In?)”

Or maybe you want to know more about styling your leggings for the office. We have you covered there, too. Read our post, “What Tops To Wear With Leggings (Including For Work).”

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