Is it ok to wear leggings as pants?

Is It Ok To Wear Leggings As Pants?

To be frank, if you’re not wearing leggings as pants, you’re doing everything wrong. I don’t blame you for asking “are leggings pants?” This has been debated online since leggings became insanely popular and people starting wearing them all of the time. Why? Because leggings are so damn comfortable! This fact, for some reason, upsets people who insist that women go through life in a mild state of discomfort all of the time. Those on the “leggings are not pants! 😤 ” side of the debate say that wearing leggings outside of the gym is lazy and messy. This kind of social shaming is enough to scare some women off even considering wearing leggings as pants.

Personally, I find the whole “leggings aren’t pants” argument a little suspect. God forbid a woman would want to be comfortable and move through her day unbothered by the incessant nagging of non-stretch fabric and digging seams. Perhaps the notion of her having this freedom is a little threatening? Perhaps this gives her more opportunity to come up with brilliant ideas instead of being constantly distracted by what she is wearing. She could be so focused now that she is unfettered by stiff clothes that she doesn’t actually want to wear. 

This debate is also suspiciously similar to one from the 19th century about whether women should be allowed to wear pants at all. That’s right, it used to be socially not cool for women to wear anything but uncomfortably bulky dresses. 

Women in large dresses discussing how uncomfortable they are because they are not wearing leggings
“Oh yes, this dress is so practical for hard physical labour. It’s not bulky and uncomfortable at all.” – Said no women never.

Can you imagine trying to do anything wearing that? Men were like: “Pants are for men. It’s not appropriate for women to wear pants! What in god’s name will happen if women are too comfortable in their clothes?? The world will definitely explode.” 

Do you know what women did? They just went ahead and wore pants anyway because they’re way more comfortable. In the process, they accomplished more, advanced feminism and casually changed social norms forever.

Historic photo of women wearing pants because they want to
Go girls!

Stop trying to keep a good woman down!

Debating whether or not leggings are pants is like debating if boots are shoes. Clearly, boots are shoes, just as leggings objectively fall into the category of pants. As much as this doesn’t sit well with some people, it is simply a fact. 

So, the real question isn’t whether or not leggings are pants. What is really being debated is whether leggings are appropriate to wear in certain contexts. Obviously, you can wear them working out or in the comfort of your own home. But can you wear them to work, grocery shopping, or to meet friends for dinner? Will I be judged for wearing leggings to a restaurant or on a date? These are more questions about shame, embarrassment and judgement.

Let’s dive a little deeper 

“Can I wear leggings as pants?” is just a surface level question. Underneath are the real questions: “Will I be judged if I wear leggings in certain situations? Will I offend someone? Will they think less of me?” My response is that people probably aren’t looking at you at all. Unless you’re wearing daffy duck leggings. Then they’re probably looking at you. But again, if daffy duck leggings make you happy, do you care?

Here is how to wear leggings all of the time without fear

If you want to wear leggings all of the time, it’s a matter of styling them for the situation, usually with some cute layering. Here are some common life situations, and ways to style leggings so that no one will bat an eye at the fact that you are wearing leggings as pants.

Errands around town

How to wear leggings every day
High waisted leggings with a t-shirt, jean jacket and ankle boots for a casual day look.

Meeting the girls for lunch

How to wear leggings out to lunch with the girls
Pair leggings with a cute chunky sweater and black ankle boots for a cute outfit to meet the girls in.

Hot date

How to wear leggings on a hot date
Pair leather-look leggings with a feminine top, pretty blazer and heels for a gorgeous date look.


How to style leggings for the office
Pair black leggings with an oversized blazer for a chic work look.

The Final Verdict

Yes! You can wear leggings as pants. You can wear them as a bandana if you want. You’re a grown woman. You can make your own decisions and wear whatever the hell you want. That’s the beauty of being an adult. If you love how you look and feel in leggings, screw anyone else’s opinion on the matter.

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