How to Wear Leggings as Pants and Not Get Camel Toe

Three tips to look good in leggings
Publish date:
October 20, 2014
leggings, camel toe, workout clothes

Why is it that whenever I’m trying on a pair of pants, I have to choose between looking like I have a dick or a camel toe? I usually refrain from speaking for all women, but you probably hate pants as much as I do. Yes I know -- feminists fought for my right to wear pants...I shouldn’t conform to the sartorial standards dictated by ceiling blah, blah, blah. It’s not that I think women should or should not wear “slacks” (forgive me for using such a heinous, antiquated word), but they just make your legs, butts and crotches look so freaking weird. Oh, and don’t get me started on the whole waistband-gap-because-your-butt-is-a-planet-and-your-waist-is-disproportionately-smaller ordeal.

This being said, you know what item of clothing never uncomfortably squeezes my reproductive organs? What piece in my closet never bunches or sags? What holds me tight and comforts me on rainy days and still loves me when I’m bloated and on my period? Black leggings. Go ahead, I will allow you a moment to ridicule my “basic” status; I like pumpkin-scented things too.

Probably every female (or male -- hey, I don’t know your style) can unanimously agree that even the cheapest pair of black leggings feels like a slice of heaven. I know there’s this universal, unspoken agreement that leggings are not pants, BUT THEY ARE PANTS. If they are worn on your legs and appropriately mask your goodies, they are pants. If you can’t tell, I’m very passionate about this subject. THEY ARE PANTS!!!! OK, let me stop. Listen, when worn strategically leggings can be flattering, versatile and chic. Yes, I said chic.

Allow me to explain the three rules to wearing leggings as pants:

1. The Thicker the Better: The fabric of your leggings should be completely opaque, matte and thick enough to conceal your underwear. Please use good judgment here. Your leggings should not be see-through, and if you are trying to pull off tights as leggings just know I will be sitting at my desk shaking my head for all of eternity.

2. Crack is Wack: No one should be able to see your Grand Canyon or secret garden. If the fabric of your leggings is thick enough (see rule No. 1), it should stretch across your happy bits without settling into your crevices.

3. Wear a Thong: I beg you.

Now for the demonstration...

As you can see, I generally wear tops that reach the mid-butt/equator region. This is the most flattering length and prevents the sight of any accidental wedgies (or front wedgies ...*shivers*). The exception to this rule is my favorite, albeit riskiest, outfit choice: high-waisted leggings. I fully recognize that this look is not for everyone -- I once dated a guy who asked why I'd pulled my pants up to my chest after hysterically laughing for 20 minutes -- and that it may not flatter every body type. That’s OK though, because you can always pull out your trusty black tube skirt if you still want some high-waisted action.

For the record, I wear the black leather jacket + T-shirt + slouchy hat + leggings + boots combination constantly. It’s comfortable but still looks put-together. Also, can’t you just picture wearing the third look while drinking some apple cider at a football game before going pumpkin picking? I can...sigh.

Here are some brands of leggings that I love:

These are my high-waisted leggings of choice because they wash so well. I’ve worn my pair over and over again for nine months and the color hasn’t faded yet

Workout leggings are actually meant to be pants, so they perfectly fit the rules.

Victoria's Secret makes most comfortable leggings I’ve come across, but please beware of pilling. The affordable price comes in handy because you may need to replace these more often.

I hope these tips settle the leggings-as-pants debate and help you pull off this look. I’m no prophet, but I will gladly accept any high praise (or gifts) for changing your lives.

P.S. If you have any suggestions for amazing legging brands and styles, let us know!

Follow Courtney on Twitter.