Sarah Asks: Tights are Not Pants

The next installment for Sarah Asks comes from my wonderful yoga instructor/Food-Life Balance blogging friend (you will see why her occupation is relevant later), who is seeking some guidance when it comes to leggings.
Q: Dear Classy Broad,
Please help me with how and when to wear leggings? Are they only appropriate with longer shirts, can you wear them with heels and boots? Any and all tips would be much appreciated.

Yours truly,
Lost with Leggings

A: This is a great question and while opinions may vary, mine is one I stand firm on. To quote my best friend, "Tights are not Pants".  Simply put and also very true. However, leggings are somehow stuck in between tights and pants.  So, here is the skinny on the comfy-yet-very-revealing leggings.
The evolution from tights to pants goes something like this:

That being said, this is also the order of how covered up you need to be for each. Any classy broad knows to never wear tights on their own. But add a bit more fabric and all of the sudden ladies everywhere are confused on how to wear their leggings. The most important thing to remember is that leggings, like tights, are not pants and thus should not be worn as such.
The most important factor when selecting what to pair on your upper half is its lentgh. Here is a good test: imagine yourself in a swimsuit. Now attempt to only buy tops which would cover your entire swimsuit bottoms, especially the front.  NO ONE needs to see where your inner thigh meets your lady business. I'll also remind you that the inquirer is a yoga instructor who has a rocking body. No exceptions. This rule extends to all body types.
Here are some  acceptable top options for leggings:
These are two great casual, daytime looks V-Neck Tunic Sweater, Gap; Always Shirting Pocket Tunic, Splendid

Tiered Lace Tunic Top, Ella Moss
** Online Shopping Hint: If you search the word "tunic" on your favorite sites, you'll be safe with the length. Store shopping is easier as you can try on the shirt to check the length.
Pairing a longer top or tank under a blazer makes leggings look more sophisticated while still making the overall look sexy.

Cozy up your look with a Chunky Cowl Neck Sweater. Need I point out the adorable ankle boot choice?  See more shoe ideas below. Cowl Pullover Tunic by Sanctuary
 Really, the key is layers. Just be sure that one layer covers the areas already discussed. You'll be surprised how many items you have already that might work: Sweater Dresses, Shirtdresses, Vests (for over a longer top), Lace and Crochet tops, Knit Mini Skirts, etc.
If, for some reason you're feeling especially great about yourself and want to show just how good your lower half looks, opt for jeggings with shirts or tops that are a bit shorter or less flowy than what you'd pair with leggings. The fact that jeggings have front and back pockets (or what appear to be) along with a front zipper makes them the slightest bit more appropriate. Like leggings, jeggings are made by nearly all designers and carried in many stores so anyone can find their right price-point.

Now on to the second part of this question: Shoes. You're in luck! I really think that leggings can be worn with nearly any shoe, it all depends on what look you've got in mind...


Boots of any Length or Color...

And don't forget, you can also add a layer between your leggings and boots. I love these legwarmers from Etsy Store Grace and Lace 

Don't forget to send me your questions at The Classy Broad.