Professional dress codes can hinder both comfort and self-expression. With many women returning to the office after months of wearing loungewear at home, the question arises: can you wear leggings for work?
The answer is a resounding yes—with the right pair, leggings can be the perfect way to subvert the status quo and get the best of both worlds.
When you're lost in a sea of gray suits and pencil skirts, athleisure leggings offer a much-needed breath of fresh air, especially statement-making pieces like those featured in Zoelle's latest collection. High-quality business casual leggings are versatile enough to take you from the conference room to the cocktail hour without having to sacrifice comfort for style.
Here are a few modern rules to keep in mind if you're considering adding this soon-to-be favorite staple to your workwear wardrobe.
How to Style Leggings for Work
Leggings are one of the most multifunctional items a woman can wear. They give you the freedom to move and breathe while still looking polished and put together. But walking the fine line of business casual is no easy feat. How do you style leggings for work in a fashionable and presentable way?
1. Wear a loose-fitting top
Pair your leggings with a loose-fitting top to strike the perfect balance between comfort and style. Because athleisure leggings are still considered to be pretty casual, you'll want to pair them with a professional top to avoid looking too relaxed. Crop and tighter tops are best avoided in a professional setting.
Instead, look for a blouse or a tunic that falls somewhere between the hip and the knee. You can also pair a tighter top with an oversized blazer, cardigan, or button-down shirt. Playing with a variety of lengths and textures is a great way to add interest to your outfit and make it unique to you.
2. Watch the length
The difference between leggings that were made solely for the gym and leggings that can be worn as pants is the length. When you're choosing leggings for work, make sure to select a pair that falls at or below the ankle. This will ensure that your leggings look more like pants and less like workout gear.
3. Opt for quality
Business casual leggings are a wardrobe investment, so it's essential to choose a pair that is well-made and will last.
When you're shopping, look for pairs with a high waistband and high-performance fabric. These details will help your leggings hold their shape throughout the day and give you a smooth, flattering silhouette.
Zoelle develops its fabrics with a double-layer and a four-way stretch to ensure that they are comfortable and durable. Each print comes in three contour-flattering cuts that highlight your best features without sacrificing comfort.
4. Tie it all together with a blazer
A blazer adds a touch of professionalism that can pull the entire look together. It's also a great way to add a pop of color or pattern to your outfit. If you're wearing solid-colored athleisure leggings, consider choosing a printed blazer or one with interesting details.
Plus, blazers are great outerwear options for transitioning between seasons. In the colder months, you can layer a blazer over a sweater or turtleneck. And in the spring and summer, pairing it with a simple tank or blouse can help you stay cool.
5. Focus on Footwear
The right shoes can make or break whether you can wear your leggings for work. High-quality athleisure leggings pair impeccably with heels and heeled boots. The added height will help to lengthen your silhouette and make your leggings look more like pants.
If you're not a fan of heels, don't worry. You can also style business casual leggings with flats; just make sure they are clean and sleek. Ballet flats, mules, and loafers are all great choices. Sneakers and tennis shoes can be tricky, so avoid any pairs that are overly casual or sports-oriented.
Not sure what shoes to wear? Take a cue from the leggings themselves. If they're printed or patterned, choose a solid-colored shoe in a complementary hue. Solid-colored leggings, on the other hand, give you more leeway to experiment with different patterns, textures, and materials in your footwear.
6. Accessorize strategically
Accessories are the perfect way to add a touch of personal style to designer athleisure wear without coloring outside the lines of your company's dress code.
When you're accessorizing leggings for work, pick a pair of statement earrings or a bold necklace. You can also add a pop of color with a scarf or some chic glasses. Keep in mind that less is more when it comes to accessorizing leggings for work. You don't want your outfit to look too busy or cluttered.
7. Play with layers
Layers are a great way to add interest to any outfit, and leggings are no exception. Whether you go for a classic look like a loose button-down underneath a sweater vest or something more unique like a cropped blazer over a printed tank, layering is a fun way to experiment with style (without being called into HR).
8. Ditch the basic black
Black leggings have become so enmeshed with loungewear that it's hard to shake the association. Designer women’s athleisure brands like Zoelle have given leggings a serious style makeover with progressive, tattoo-inspired prints that have transformed the traditional compression pant into a fashion-forward workwear staple.
Printed leggings are a great way to add some personality to your outfit without compromising on style. So ditch the basic black leggings and opt for a pair that's unique and eye-catching. You'll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Find Athleisure Leggings for Work at Zoelle
Athleisure leggings are no longer just for the gym. With the right styling, they can easily be transformed into fashionable and professional attire.
Zoelle is the premier place to find business casual leggings that are both stylish and appropriate for the office. Creative Director Zoe Chen’s new 2022 SS Mystic Realm Athleisure Collection combines high performance and high fashion by opting for progressive designs and undeniably chic silhouettes.
In other words, you'll find no basic black leggings here.
Zoelle’s "superior curve" fabric beautifully hugs your natural shape while providing a comfortable, breathable fit. The result is a pair of buttery soft athleisure designer leggings that you'll want to live in, whether you're working from home or the office.
If you're looking for leggings that will help you make a style statement at work, look no further than Zoelle. Click here to browse the latest collection.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are leggings appropriate for work?
Yes—but only if they're worn the right way. When selecting leggings for work, make sure to choose a pair that falls at or below the ankle. This will ensure that your leggings look more like pants and less like workout gear.
It also helps to pair leggings with a longer top, like a tunic or a sweater. This will help to create the illusion of a more traditional pant silhouette.
What are the Best leggings to wear to the office?
High-quality designer athleisure leggings—like those from Zoelle's 2022 SS Mystic Realm Athleisure Collection—are the best leggings to wear to the office.
Zoelle's leggings are made from a breathable, high-performance fabric that will keep you comfortable all day long. With the bold, modern designs, you'll be the talk of every water cooler conversation.
Can leggings be business casual?
Yes—leggings can definitely be business casual. The key is to choose leggings that are made from high-quality fabric and go beyond the lounge-wear classic look of basic black.
Leggings can easily be transformed into professional athleisure designer attire by pairing them with the right top, shoes, and accessories.
What do you wear over leggings at work?
When styling leggings for work, you'll want to pair them with a longer, looser top and structured heels for a refined look. Stay away from crop tops or tighter blouses, as they can appear inappropriate and overly casual. Oversized blazers and button-ups are also great for layering over leggings.
What should you not wear with leggings?
There are a few things you'll want to avoid pairing with leggings if you want to look business casual. Steer clear of loungewear tops, like t-shirts or hoodies, as well as overly tight or revealing blouses.
Tennis shoes and sandals will really dress down your look. So if you're trying to be professional, opt for a pair of mules, loafers, flats, or heeled boots instead.
And finally, avoid leggings that are too sheer or have holes in them. See-through leggings will always come off as unprofessional—no matter how you style them.
How do I Make My Leggings not Look Basic?
While leggings are a staple in women’s athleisure designer fashion, they don't have to look basic. There are a few things you can do to make your leggings stand out.
First, choose leggings with interesting designs or prints, like the tattoo-inspired leggings from Zoelle's 2022 Mystic Realm Athleisure Collection. Then, you can elevate your look by pairing them with a unique, trendy top like an oversized button-up or a boyfriend tee and a blazer.
By following these tips, you can make sure your leggings always look chic—even when you're wearing them to work.