When working remotely, no one can tell you that you cannot wear loungewear (especially if there’s no way to know you’re wearing loungewear.)
However, when you’re in the office the general rule of professional work attire applies to everyone, and it is not always possible for everyone to dress casually all day long.
Work attire, such as power suits, blouses, and blazers, can make you feel professional, smart, and powerful, but sometimes all we want is to type away in our comfy clothes.
This is why the business casual look works for so many people, it’s a great balance between both comfort and professionalism!
However, there is some confusion as to what attire should fall under the ‘business casual’ label. A great example of this is leggings.
Leggings are a polarizing form of attire. Some people consider them to be perfectly suitable for professional settings, while others think they belong in the gym and the gym alone.
We’re here to give you all the information you need on wearing leggings as part of a business casual wardrobe, so read on for more!
What Are Leggings?
Leggings are a type of pants that are typically tight-fitting and come in various colors.
Leggings are often associated with yoga and fitness.
The term “legging” was coined in the early 1900s and refers to a pant made from two pieces of cloth sewn together at the sides instead of having separate legs.
They were originally worn by women who wanted to avoid showing their ankles.
Today, leggings have become a staple piece of clothing for many different types of people. There are even leggings designed specifically for men.
Why Wear Leggings?
There are several reasons why people choose to wear leggings. First, leggings provide a comfortable alternative to jeans or sweatpants.
They also offer an easy transition into other outfits since they don’t require any additional accessories.
In addition, leggings are versatile enough to be worn during the day and night. They can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Also, leggings are perfect for exercising because they allow your body to breathe without restricting movement.
In addition to being comfortable, they also provide support and coverage. The question is whether they are appropriate for business attire.
What Does “Business Casual” Mean?
The term “business casual” has been used in the workplace for years. It can be difficult to define what “business casual” means exactly.
Most people understand it as dressing professionally yet comfortably. This usually involves wearing slacks, button-down shirts, and blazers.
However, these items do not necessarily have to be purchased from a formal store. You can find everyday versions of these items online.
It is important to note that dressing in a business casual manner means different things for different workplaces, which is where leggings come into the equation.
Are Leggings Business Casual?
The answer depends on the kind of work you do and your company’s dress code policy.
In general, if you want to look professional, you need to be aware of what others consider business casual and follow the rules.
If you work at an office where everyone wears suits, it would be inappropriate to wear leggings.
However, if you work at a place where people wear jeans and t-shirts, or even a place with a more laid-back, business casual look then it might be okay to throw a pair of leggings on.
How To Style Leggings For Work
If your workplace permits you to wear leggings, then we have prepared some guidelines so that you can keep a business casual look! Check them out below:
- When it comes to the color of your leggings, it is best to wear neutral, solid colors like gray, black, or brown. These colors will not be distracting and can work with any outfit!
- You can choose to wear your leggings as the sole bottom layer, or you can choose to wear them underneath a dress. You may feel self-conscious about combining leggings and a dress without sleeves, but you can easily remedy this by adding a cardigan or a blazer. Not only may this make you feel more comfortable, but it will also tie the whole look together.
- Make sure the other aspects of your outfit are appropriate for the workplace! Wear the correct shoes and don’t go too overboard with the jewelry.
Work-Appropriate Outfit Ideas
We have compiled a list of work-appropriate outfit ideas, each one incorporating leggings. So, feel free to look here the next time you are stuck!
- Black leggings paired with a white shirt and a long cardigan. Combined with flats and a minimalistic jewelry look.
- Black leggings combined with a blazer and a white tunic. Finish the look with ankle boots and a bold, statement necklace.
- Pair black leggings with a plaid top and finish the look with a cardigan. Don’t forget to add some classic ankle boots to match!
- Try wearing some neutral leggings with a long blouse. You can even opt for a jumper for a cozy, cute look. Complete with flats and a lovely pair of bold, statement earrings.
- Neutral leggings with a flowy dress (either long-sleeved or add a blazer), some knee-high boots, and whatever statement jewelry you’d like!
How Not To Wear Leggings To Work
Now, while there may be specific situations where it would be acceptable to wear leggings to work, you must always wear the appropriate top layer to go with them.
We have compiled a list many would consider inappropriate attire to wear with leggings in the workplace:
- Avoid wearing crop tops with your leggings in the workplace.
- Where possible, it is best to avoid wearing t-shirts and long sleeve tops with your leggings. This is not a good look in a work environment.
- When it comes to leggings themselves, make sure that they are not see-through or distressed. It is also a good idea to check with your company’s dress code to ensure that bright, or even non-neutral colors are acceptable in line with the dress code.
- As for shoes, you should try to avoid wearing tennis shoes, sneakers, or anything too casual unless the dress code specifically states they are acceptable.
Can You Wear Leggings To An Interview?
So, if a workplace permits you to wear leggings, then surely they wouldn’t mind if you wore leggings to your interview…right?
Well, no, not exactly.
It is good to look your best when attending job interviews because you want to give off a great first impression.
Now, that is not to say that wearing leggings automatically means you won’t make a good first impression, but unless you have done thorough research on the company and their dress code policies, then it is best to avoid wearing leggings for your interview.
It simply isn’t worth the risk.
After all, even if you are totally qualified for the job you’re interviewing for, making a good first impression is a huge factor in your success.
If you’re stuck for ideas for job interview outfits, then we recommend wearing dress slacks, a power suit, or a smart pair of trousers.
Pair any of these with a blouse and a blazer, and finish the look with smart, professional-looking heels or sensible flats.
If you are successful in your interview and your workplace permits you to wear leggings on the job, then you can go ahead and begin wearing them to work.
How To Wear Leggings Under A Dress
Many people wear leggings under dresses.
Sometimes, some people feel more comfortable wearing short dresses if they have leggings underneath, and this may be a good way to wear your favorite dress to work!
As always, it is good to check the company dress code policy before throwing this attire on.
If you are able to wear leggings under dresses for work, then we recommend loose-fitting dresses with sleeves or following our aforementioned tip of wearing a blazer with a sleeveless dress.
Wearing leggings under a dress is an easy way to add a little bit of comfort to your day at work without breaking the rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Leggings Be Worn As Pants?
Leggings are often worn as pants. You are likely to see leggings being worn as pants in the gym.
However, this is generally not recommended for the workplace unless you’re in certain settings, such as a casual Friday, or it is deemed appropriate by your specific workplace dress code.
If you do decide to wear your leggings as pants, then you will need to take extra care to ensure that they fit properly, are comfortable, and that you are wearing other work-appropriate clothes to make the whole look business casual.
What Are The Best Types Of Leggings For Work?
The best types of leggings for work vary depending on what type of work you do.
If you are working in a corporate office environment, then you’ll probably want something more formal than if you were working in a retail store.
The most important thing to consider when choosing which types of leggings to buy is whether you would like to wear them under a skirt or dress.
If you plan on wearing leggings under a skirt, then you should choose leggings that are longer than your skirt so that they don’t show through.
This is because if you try to wear leggings that are too long, then they will end up riding up over the top of your skirt or dress.
For those who prefer to wear leggings as pants instead of skirts, then you will want to choose leggings that fit well and are made from durable materials.
It’s also a good idea to avoid cotton leggings since they tend to get dirty very easily. Instead, opt for high-quality synthetic or spandex leggings.
What Is The Difference Between Jeans And Leggings?
Both are forms of clothing that cover the legs. However, they both come in different styles, colors, fits, and fabrics.
There are some styles of bottom attires that combine leggings and jeans, to form ‘jeggings.’
There are a few more differences between these two garments. First, leggings are usually tighter-fitting while jeans are typically looser.
Second, leggings are generally cheaper than jeans. Third, leggings can be worn under skirts and dresses whereas jeans cannot.
Fourth, leggings are often made out of nylon, polyester, spandex, and lycra while jeans are usually made out of denim or cotton.
Finally, leggings are sometimes referred to as yoga pants, workout pants, or athletic pants.
What Should You Not Wear As Part Of The “Business Casual” Look?
Leggings can come under the “business casual” label, but there are other garments that definitely do not.
You should definitely avoid wearing jeans (especially distressed or ripped jeans), flip-flops, old sneakers, t-shirts (particularly t-shirts with logos, words, or graphics,) and excessive jewelry in the workplace.
We all want to be comfortable at work, without sacrificing our professionalism in our attire.
Many people consider leggings to be the perfect balance between looking professional and feeling comfortable.
However, this varies from workplace to workplace, so you should always double-check with your workplace dress code policies before choosing to wear your favorite pair of leggings on the job.
Ideally, you should avoid wearing leggings to your interview, even if the company considers them to be business casual because you want to look as professional as possible in interviews to give off a great first impression.
Additionally, it is important to note that even if your workplace permits you to wear leggings, there are certain ways to do it and other ways that should be avoided.
For example, it is good to wear natural colored leggings and best to avoid colorful ones.
And, when it comes to outfits, there’s a right and a wrong, too.
It is a good idea to follow the outfit suggestions above to make sure you’re wearing leggings in the most business casual way you can in the workplace, so you can feel comfortable and not compromise on your professionalism.