Leggings are everyone’s favorite comfy pants. We would wear them all the time if we could because they are so comfortable and versatile. But with that being said, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not leggings are business casual.
Some workplaces allow leggings to be worn to work and some do not. If your workplace does allow leggings, what you wear with them determines whether or not they can be considered business casual. It also depends on the style of the particular leggings that you wear.
So if you are allowed to wear leggings to the office, how can you make sure that they are business casual? What can you style them with, and what styles of leggings are appropriate for work? What should you avoid when wearing leggings at work? I’ll give you the style tips you need to know in this article.
Are Leggings Business Casual?Ultimately, whether or not leggings are business casual just depends on the company you work for. Some companies are more lenient than others, while some don’t consider leggings to be professional attire.
But, it can also depend on your particular role at work. For example, if you’re someone who has to do a lot of interacting with the public, you might not get away with wearing leggings. But if you stay in your office all day, leggings may be acceptable.
Before you wear leggings to work, the biggest thing is to be aware of your company’s dress code policies. Even if a workplace does allow leggings, they probably have rules in place regarding what style and color leggings you can wear or what you can wear them with.
Some places may only allow leggings to be worn on special occasions. For example, leggings may be acceptable for Casual Friday but not for the other days of the week. Companies often have holiday parties as well, at which they may allow leggings to be worn as long as you follow certain rules.
It’s also important to note that even if your company does allow leggings but doesn’t have specific rules for how you wear them, that doesn’t automatically mean that leggings are business casual. There are certain types of tops, shoes, and accessories that you can wear with leggings to make them business casual.
Is It OK to Wear Leggings As Pants?Leggings are technically pants, but they aren’t considered trousers, nor are they considered professional attire. With that being said, leggings are acceptable to wear as pants in certain settings.
For example, when wearing leggings to the gym or exercising, it is acceptable to wear leggings as pants. But if you’re going to work, wearing leggings as pants is probably not appropriate and isn’t considered business casual.
When wearing leggings as pants, the most important is the type of top you pair with it. Tops should be longer than a top you would normally wear. At the very least, wear a longer sweater or cardigan if you don’t wear a long top.
Can You Wear a Dress With Leggings?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to wear a dress with leggings. One of the original purposes of leggings was to wear under dresses, especially when it is colder outside. Leggings are especially common to wear under dresses when a dress is shorter in length.
Depending on the style of dress you wear, wearing a dress with leggings can be considered business casual. It is appropriate for the workplace and wearing leggings under a dress is considered to be acceptable according to many dress codes, even if you can’t wear leggings under any other circumstance.
How To Style Leggings for Work
If you’re allowed to wear leggings to work, there are some guidelines that you can follow to ensure that your look remains business casual. Here are some general rules to follow when choosing leggings for work.
- Solid, neutral colors such as black, gray, and brown are the best choices. They can work with any outfit and won’t be distracting.
- If you aren’t wearing leggings underneath a dress, make sure that you wear a longer blouse or tunic top.
- If your dress is sleeveless, it can look weird with leggings underneath. Wear a blazer or cardigan over the dress to tie the look together.
- Make sure that your shoes and accessories are workplace-appropriate. Boots or ballet flats look great with leggings, and you can accessorize them with a scarf or a long necklace.
- Well-kept hair is just as important in the workplace as your clothing. You can dress up leggings by curling your hair or wearing it in a professional up-do
Here are some outfit ideas if you need them.
- Black leggings – white blouse – long cardigan – printed flats – minimal jewelry
- Black leggings – white tunic – blazer – ankle booties – statement necklace
- Black leggings – plaid top – cardigan – ankle booties that match the cardigan
- Neutral, microsuede leggings – long, flowy blouse – bright-colored flats – statement earrings
- Neutral leggings – long-sleeved, flowy dress – knee-high boots – statement jewelry
How Not to Wear Leggings in the Workplace
There can be a fine line between what is and isn’t appropriate when wearing leggings at work. But, here are some things that you should avoid when wearing leggings as business casual attire.
- Don’t wear crop tops or other short tops. Those are fine for wearing to the gym, but they aren’t appropriate in the workplace.
- Avoid wearing t-shirts, even long ones. But especially avoid t-shirts that have a distressed look or are otherwise worn out. It’s okay to wear those for running errands, but it can look lazy in a work environment.
- Choose your leggings carefully. Don’t wear leggings that are distressed or see-through. Brighter colors and prints may or may not be accepted depending on your company policies regarding dress code.
- Know the difference between leggings, yoga pants, and tights. Yoga pants are designed to be worn to the gym. Tights can also be worn under dresses or skirts but are usually made with thinner material and are see-through.
- Avoid sneakers and tennis shoes unless it is okay for you to wear them to work on certain occasions or casual Friday. If you’re unsure, just ask.
Is It Appropriate to Wear Leggings to an Interview?If leggings are appropriate for work in certain instances, it is also okay to wear them to a job interview? Truthfully, probably not. Remember that job interviews are often the first impression of you that your future potential employer might see, so you want to make sure that impression is a good one.
I’m not saying that you can’t make a good impression if you wear leggings to an interview. But, unless you’ve done thorough research, you probably don’t know the company’s dress code policy. Some companies may view leggings as unprofessional, and even if you’re completely qualified for the job, you may come off as unprofessional by wearing them.
It’s best not to wear leggings if you don’t know the policy on leggings for the company you’re interviewing for. Instead, wear a nice pair of trousers or dress slacks. Blouses and blazers are safe bets, as are heels and flats. Save the leggings for after you’ve got the job and are more familiar with the company’s dress code.
Dresses to Wear With Leggings
Choosing the right dress to wear with leggings is important if you’re planning on wearing it to work. In general, shorter dresses need leggings underneath them, especially if you’re tall. Dresses may be shorter on tall people, so leggings may be necessary even if a shorter person wearing the same exact dress doesn’t need to wear leggings underneath.
When wearing a dress and leggings to work, the dress should also follow the guidelines for what’s appropriate to wear according to your company’s dress code policy.
In general, dresses worn with leggings should fit more loosely and should have sleeves. Dresses with medium length or long sleeves look best with leggings. Here are some examples.
Examples of Workplace Appropriate Leggings
Leggings can be business casual if your company allows them and you wear them the right way. When wearing leggings to work, the safest bet is to wear a neutral color underneath a dress or tunic top. Pairing the right shoes and accessories with leggings can also help dress them up. If you found this article helpful, share it with others and leave a comment. Thanks for reading!