When shopping for any type of clothing, there are many factors to take into consideration. Is it your personal style? Do you like the fabric? Does it go along with your color preferences? Does it fit right or is it sloppy and improperly fitted? Leggings, like jeans or any other pant, look most flattering and are the most comfortable when they are the right size. So just how do you find the right length of leggings to match your height, leg length, and body shape? Below we have created a simple guide to help you find the right leggings that will serve to flatter your body type.
Leggings or jeggings are made out of several different materials, and two popular legging categories include compression leggings and athleisure leggings. What’s the difference? Compression leggings are great for highly athletic women who engage in intense cardio exercises like kickboxing and long-distance running. Because they are compression leggings, they are tighter than regular leggings, but may actually improve athletic performance and help leg muscles recover more quickly.
An alternative to compression leggings would be athleisure leggings, which have some compression but not as much and are ideal for lounging around the house all day, going for a light walk, or practicing yoga. Of course, outside of leggings designed for more athletic activities, there are many constructed with different fabrics that aren’t intended for sport. Instead, they’re meant to be worn as casual loungewear for women to sport around the house. Once you know what type of leggings you want to acquire — or if you know you want one of each style — you can begin determining the right lengths for your unique height, leg length, and body shape.
With athletic leggings or non-athletic leggings, you want to determine whether or not they are the right length, but that is only one part of the equation. You also want to know that they fit right around the waist and other parts of your body in a flattering and comfortable way. Leggings are designed to be more snug than any other bottoms and should feel snug around the thighs, calves, and buttocks.
With that said, they shouldn’t feel too tight and they definitely shouldn’t be uncomfortable. If they are, you will likely need a larger size or will need to shop for leggings constructed with higher quality material. The top part of the leggings should never be loose; it should fit comfortably around the waist and hips. If, when pulling on the leggings, you find the material to be too stretched out or distorted, they are likely too small.
If you are shopping online and are unable to try on leggings in store before buying them, use a size chart to figure out your measurements. Measure your waist, hips, and inseam to accurately gauge your size before buying any leggings. It would also help to take into account your height and weight, as these things will also play a role in determining what size leggings you need. If you can shop in the store for leggings, work with a sales associate or bring a friend to help you figure out the right legging size and what looks best on you.
Once you have the basics out of the way and know how to take your measurements correctly to ensure you get properly fitted leggings, you can get to the fun part: figuring out what legging styles you love best. Generally, athletic leggings and non-athletic leggings come in three different lengths: capri length, full length, and ? length. Like regular capri pants, capri leggings end at the mid-calf. They are a great option to wear when you want more breathability than regular leggings or pants have to offer, but you don't want to wear shorts.
Full length leggings are as long as they sound: they extend to the bottom of your leg and make for great cool-weather attire. Finally, the ? length refers to any leggings that stop just above the ankle. Like women's jeans and other pants, leggings also come in a couple of different rise varieties, with the two most popular options being mid-rise (starting just below the belly button) or high-rise (which start at or even slightly above the belly button).
Another factor to take into consideration when figuring out the legging style you like best is the fabric. Is comfort the top priority for you? Then cotton is the way to go. Cotton leggings are not made for working out, but are great for wearing around the house on your day off. And if you do hit up the gym, shop for leggings made of synthetic materials like spandex or nylon.
With these tips in mind, you're sure to feel more confident about finding the right legging length and style to fit your needs.