11 Ways To Style Black Plus Size Leggings All Winter Long — PHOTOS
I work remotely from a home office or a coffee shop, so black plus size leggings are a huge part of my outfit repertoire. Sure, it's amazing to be able to wear a cozy pair of leggings with a sweatshirt, unburdened by the typical office dress code. But as most of you likely know, the winter can feel absurdly long and oppressive; and sometimes, dressing up beyond the "hoodie and leggings" uniform can seriously help improve your mood.
In order to build an entire outfit from a foundation pair of black leggings, you've got to start by keeping a couple of things in mind. First of all, you'll need to track down a few pairs of high-quality leggings that won't succumb to the winter winds and will keep your gams feeling toasty. I recommend starting with the cozy knit leggings from Old Navy, or the impossibly warm fleece-lined leggings from Lane Bryant. Once you have your leggings in hand, you have to remind yourself that a pair of black leggings isn't just for a casual outfit: They can be dressed up as far as your imagination will allow. Here are some of my favorite ways to wear them when the temperatures drop.
1. Layered Up With Duck Boots
When the snow really starts coming down, there's nothing easier and warmer to style on your lower half than a thick pair of black leggings and a rugged set of classic duck boots. If it's cold, wet, and snowy outside, I actually prefer wearing leggings to jeans. If the snow is high enough to get into your boots, thick knit leggings dry much faster than denim.
2. Paired With A Badass Leather And Boots
If I had to choose one winter uniform, it would be my leather jacket, a pair of thick leggings, and a rugged lace-up boot. The look is effortless, warm, and not quite as outdoorsy as a parka and snow boots. In other words, you can tromp around your snow-covered town in this outfit during the day, and then head out for a few tough girl cocktails at night.
3. Dressed Up With A Wintry Floral
Because leggings under a floral dress isn't just a springtime look. Choose a rich floral in wintry colors, and swap the springtime flats or sandals for a pair of ankle boots. Top the whole look off with a thick cardigan or jacket, and you've just taken your boring black leggings to the next level.
4. Minimal And Chic With An Oversized Blouse
Another way to dress up casual black leggings is to wear an oversized blouse in a silky fabric, which takes an otherwise laid-back leggings look to a place where you could even wear it to the office. Top it all off with a gray blazer and simple accessories, and your minimal winter leggings look is good to go.
5. Styled With A Cold Weather Kimono
Kimonos are generally thought of as a spring and summer look (as I styled mine in the photo above), but it can also translate to colder months. The often generous cut of this silhouette means you can also find it in straight sizes, which gives you plenty of options. Find a thicker, knit kimono or cocoon sweater to style with your leggings, and you'll be cozy and fashionable until the snow starts to melt.
6. Layered Under A Cozy Sweater Dress
Because of the notion that they "add bulk," sweater dresses are often thought of as "breaking the rules" when it comes to dressing the plus size body. However, I've found that a thick knit dress looks adorable when paired with cozy leggings and a pair of sneakers, "added bulk" be damned. After all, fashion rules are meant to be broken, and as long as you love what you're wearing, you're going to look like a million bucks.
7. Covered Up With A Throwback Pair Of Socks
Remember when you were a kid and used to wear cute little ruffled socks over your tights? Well, I recommend paying homage to that throwback look by wearing a pair of socks over your leggings. It's a great way to keep your ankles warm while wearing leggings, and it also lets you get away with wearing cute oxfords instead of boots in the dead of winter.
8. Set Against A "No-No" Color Combination
We've been told endlessly that blue and black (as well as brown and black) don't "go" together, but that would mean that one of my favorite winter hues (navy) could never be worn with my beloved black leggings. Of course, rules like this only exist so we can destroy them, and wearing a pair of black leggings with a navy dress is one of my standbys this season.
9. Worn As Pants Under An Overcoat
I'm definitely not one of those people who follows the "don't wear leggings as pants" rule, and if you're into the look, I say go for it. However, when it's cold outside, sometimes leggings simply don't keep enough breeze off your legs to be comfortable. By pairing them with a billowy wool overcoat, you protect your legs, dress up your leggings, and you get to stay chic and warm while sticking to clothing that provides the utmost comfort.
10. Under A Knit Maxi
Just because you're wearing a cozy maxi skirt doesn't mean those winter winds don't blow up the hem and freeze your buns off. Wearing a pair of black leggings underneath a long skirt is an easy solution, and often more comfortable than an itchy pair of tights or nylons.
11. Jazzed Up With A Bold Statement Coat
Black leggings often get classified in the "lazy" or "casual" realm of dressing, and it simply doesn't have to be true. Sure, they're easy to pull on with a hoodie when you're having an off day, but they can just as easily be dressed up for work or paired with a bold overall look that's more life-affirming than lazy. One of my favorite ways to take black leggings up a notch during the winter is to get a little festive with what I wear up top, such as a bold statement coat in a fantastic color.
Equipped with the right tools, there is absolutely no reason why your plus size black leggings have to be anything but fabulous this season. With a few different style solutions, you can use your leggings as a starting point to get creative, keep comfort in mind, and look absolutely ravishing all winter long.
Want to learn how you can style your leggings with an incredible blanket scarf? Check out Bustle's YouTube page for more fashion tips you can use during the upcoming cold months!
Images: Amanda Richards; Courtesy Brands