They are in all the fashion mags now. I bought a few this summer and was eager to give them a try at the first whisp of fall crispiness. Choosing my outfit the night before I thought my recently sewn navy pencil skirt would pair nicely with black leggings and a black ¾ sleeve fitted tee. I even had the requisite pair of perfect ballet flats. I did not want to be completely monochromatic but was too timid to venture into the more daring color combos.
Terrific in theory, but terrible in execution. The colors meshed nicely but I kept looking in the mirror. At 5’5” I rarely look short. Neither am I willowy. My legs are actually exactly half my height which puts me right in the middle of female leg length proportions. For several minutes I stared at myself trying to pinpoint what was wrong. I looked – dumpy.
Leggings are supposed to make me look sleek! Not dumpy. My husband stopped putting his shoes on for a moment and said, “The skirt needs to be shorter.” I must have given him a sharp glance telling him that he was being “oh so typical male.” But his expression was completely bereft of guile or double entendre. He said, “For real. It’s not right.”
I guess, after nearly a decade of marriage in which he has been asked to evaluate every practice muslin I make, he has gathered some fitting wisdom. My ego cannot withstand showing you a photo of how dreadful it looked on my own form. Instead I am going to show you some illustrations I did in Paint.
What I Originally Did
What I Should Have Done
I had the leggings on and I moved my skirt hem to several places on my leg to find the best spot. Alas, I have no skirt that is that hem length, but at least I know. Since everyone has an individual body type you can’t assume that the skirt lengths you see in the fashion mags will work on your legs, but you don’t have to cross leggings off your list.
This is just an example of my one leggings attempt. But I am undaunted. I have bought McCalls 6173 and I am searching out just the right weight knit, thicker than storebought, but thinner than Beefy-Tee. I also think I need to make up some cute three-inch-above–the-knee woolen skirts.
Though I will probably stick to a monochromatic look, leggings are much more versatile. Though skin-tight themselves, when worn with the right clothes, they can provide some extra modesty and warmth to a winter outfit. Fashion blogger, Sally McGraw of Already Pretty has provided a wonderful tutorial entitled How to Wear Leggings. I encourage you to check out her post and then have a general look-see around her wonderful website. A lot of great pics and wonderful advice about having fun with fashion, I make sure to regularly peek in at her daily posts.