how to wear black leggings

12 Best Outfit Ideas for How to Wear Black Leggings

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Classic black leggings are as versatile as they are comfortable! They are a go-to wardrobe staple for everyday wear. If you’ve always considered them a casual piece to be worn at home, this post will change your mind. I’ve been wearing them everywhere lately! 

Black leggings outfits offer a comfortable choice that can still feel sophisticated, whether traveling, running errands, having lunch with a friend, or going to a casual workday at the office.

Pairing your leggings with structured tailored pieces like a button-down shirt and sweater or a blazer creates a chic, refined look. And the right footwear, like loafers or ballet flats, can drastically elevate your look.

The best black leggings hold their shape well, are opaque, and are free of pilling. Leggings that are full length and stop at your ankle rather than higher up on your calf give a more formal feel and extend the leg line. If faux leather leggings feel like you, they elevate your look even more. 

What do black leggings look good with?

Black leggings look good with oversized pieces like a sweater, button-down, cardigan, or sweatshirt. Adding layers like a trench coat, quilted coat, or long statement coat elevates your look. Sneakers or Birkenstock clogs create a laid-back look, while loafers, ballet flats, ankle boots, or Mary Jane’s create a more elevated feel. 

There are so many easy ways to style them every day and even for a casual workplace. 

In this blog post, I’m here to be your style guide. I’ll share style tips and 12 outfit ideas to inspire you to wear your favorite leggings in new ways. 

Ready to look at some outfit ideas? Let’s dive in!

12 black leggings outfit ideas

1. A white button-down shirt, cap-toe ballet flats, and a trench coat

This is such a stylish leggings outfit that feels effortless to throw on. If you think making a pair of black leggings look refined is impossible, this outfit will change your mind. I wore this to a doctor’s appointment to be comfortable and put together.

First things first, when picking pieces to feel comfortable wearing leggings out of the house, the shirt ideally needs to cover my backside in the rear and my crotch in the front. This classic, trendy, oversized white button-down shirt is a bit longer in the back, easily covering my rear. A khaki classic style trench coat is tailored and sharp paired with black cap-toe flats. A black tote bag is a great laid-back everyday bag for carrying everything you need. Oversized dangling pearl earrings add to the upscale look.

A white button-down shirt, cap-toe ballet flats, and a trench coat

Leggings | Similar Trench Coat | Similar Flats | Bag | Button Down

2. A white button-down shirt, long sweater vest, and black loafers

Here’s a preppy look, thanks to the white oversized sweater vest layered over an oversized white button-down blouse. This is the same button-down from the last look. Black patent leather loafers are super comfortable and add shine and a workplace-ready vibe with a pair of leggings. Black and white always look chic together.

A white button-down, long sweater vest, black loafers

Leggings | Loafers | Bag Button Down | Similar Sweater Vest

3. A white button-down shirt, long pullover sweater, quilted barn jacket, and black loafers

This outfit captures the essence of my personal style. It has a casual upscale feel thanks to the button-down shirt. The long pullover sweater in camel has a rich feel. And the quilted barn jacket from J.Crew gives all the equestrian vibes that I love. Shiny patent leather loafers offer a fun business look. I chose an elevated structured rectangular crossbody bag rather than a casual, soft, draping tote bag.

A white button-down, long pullover sweater, quilted barn jacket, and black loafers

Leggings | Coat | Loafers  | Similar Bag | Button Down

4. A striped button-down shirt, duster cardigan, and cap-toe ballet flats

A long cardigan is an easy pick with leggings. I’m short-waisted, so this striped navy button-down just meets my criteria of coming down below the crotch. The long duster cardigan gives coverage in the rear, which makes me comfortable wearing this out in public. Ground a khaki duster cardigan with similar color cap toe flats. The contrast of khaki and black creates such a rich feel. The structured rectangular crossbody elevates the look.

A striped button-down, duster cardigan, and cap-toe ballet flats

Leggings | Similar Cardigan | Similar Flats | Similar Bag | Button Down

5. A white button-down shirt, a gray v-neck sweater, and ballet flats

The color combination here is so good! Gray will be everywhere in the coming year. Here, I love the contrast of a crisp white button-down shirt under a relaxed-fit gray v-neck sweater with a pop of cognac brown from the crossbody bag and ballet flats. Dangly pearl earrings draw the eye up to my face and stand out in contrast to my dark hair while giving an elevated vibe.

A white button-down shirt, a gray v-neck sweater, and ballet flats

Leggings  | Flats | Bag | Button Down | Sweater

6. A white button-down shirt, checked blazer, black loafers, and a gray v-neck sweater

This is such a great outfit that’s perfect for a casual workplace. I picked up this black and white checked blazer in the after-holiday sales and love it so much. I’m geeking out over the elbow patches, which, unfortunately, you can’t see here. I’m layering my favorite white button-down under it, then tying a gray v-neck sweater around my neck for another element of interest. The black shiny loafers are perfect for the office. 

A white button-down shirt, checked blazer, black loafers, and a gray v-neck sweater

Leggings | Similar Blazer | Loafers  | Bag Button Down | Sweater

7. A white button-down shirt, pink blazer, and black mules

Zuzu is saying cheese here. What can I say, she wants to be in pictures! This pink double-breasted blazer has a silhouette similar to an oversized blazer without adding bulk to the shoulders. It was a surprise win from the post-holiday sales. I’m working on adding color to my wardrobe and love the pop of pink it brings. The contrasting black buttons tie in perfectly with black leggings and mules. These flat black suede bow mules from Amazon are similar to a pair that J.Crew Factory sells. But they’re more affordable. They elevate this look along with the rectangular crossbody bag.

A white button-down shirt, pink blazer, and black mules

Leggings | Similar Flats | Similar Bag | Button Down Shirt

8. A black shirt dress and Mary Jane flats

I love watching home design shows, and I saw the host of The Established Home wearing this dress with leggings and black combat boots. She’s in Michigan, so the boots perfectly matched the cold weather. I had it on my list to try a shirt dress with leggings, and I loved seeing her interpretation of the look. These black flat pointy-toe Mary Janes extend the leg line and add a fun touch to the look.

A black shirt dress and Mary Jane flats

Leggings | Shirtdress (sold out) | Flats |  Similar Bag 

9. A white button-down shirt, oversized black sweater, and Mary Jane flats

This is such a cute outfit! Layer a white button-down long shirt under a relaxed-fit textured black crewneck sweater to create the perfect rich, relaxed, elevated look. The black pointy-toe Mary Jane flats are such a good choice here. They’re feminine, playful, classic, but modern and sophisticated with a quirky vibe. I love them here.

A white button-down shirt, oversized black sweater, and Mary Jane flats

Leggings | Similar Sweater | Similar Bag | Button Down

10. A black sweater, quilted coat, and black sneakers

This is the kind of outfit we probably imagine when we think of wearing leggings as athleisure. I’m pairing that black crewneck long sweater from above with a quilted olive green jacket.  I would like it even more with a white crewneck tee layered under the black sweater to add a contrasting pop of crisp white at the neckline and wrists. The sweater is a bit shorter, so I like another layer over top of it. This quilted jacket is perfect. You could add an oversized denim jacket instead if that feels more your style. Black New Balance sneakers bring sporty comfort. I’m carrying a tote bag to carry all my stuff, but a belt bag would work here, too.

A black sweater, quilted coat, and black sneakers

Leggings | Similar SweaterSneakers | Bag Similar Coat

11. A white button-down shirt, gray v-neck sweater, black trench coat, and Birkenstock clogs

I think of this outfit as the perfect travel day outfit. The leggings are super comfy, and the crewneck shirt and v-neck sweater give an elevated look. The white crewneck looks crisp next to gray, adding a third color to the outfit. An outfit full of neutral colors is so chic. For traveling, an oversized sweatshirt would be a great idea, too. This sweater is a little shorter, so I like wearing a long coat over it for more coverage. Wear whatever coat you bring for your trip so you don’t have to pack it. This trench coat is the perfect travel coat for layering and dressing up or down for transitional weather.

A white button-down shirt, grey v-neck sweater, black trench coat, and Birkenstock clogs

Leggings | Similar Trench Coat | Similar Clogs | Bag Button Down | Sweater

You can carry a tote bag to stash all your stuff in. A belt bag is also a great thing to put your wallet, phone, and travel documents in so they’re in easy reach. Birkenstock clogs are, without a doubt, the right shoes for traveling. They easily slip on and off through security checkpoints and feel like you’re wearing slippers. I played with wearing black scrunched crew socks here, and while that works for a laid-back look, I like showing a little bit of ankle, which keeps the ankles looking slim rather than bulky. 

12. A relaxed-fit turtleneck sweater and black ankle boots

I played with several styles of ankle boots with leggings; certainly, you can wear Chelsea or knee-high boots. But since I’m 5’6″ and wear a size 12 jeans, I want to keep my legs looking nice and long. Pointy-toe block-heel sock boots are a great way to do that. The block heel gives them enough presence to balance my wider hips. Up top, you may notice I’ve layered a white tee with long sleeves under the sweater for a pop of white at the wrists. And I’m matching my bag to the brown on the block heel to bring in another color. 

A relaxed-fit turtleneck sweater and black ankle boots

Leggings | SweaterSimilar Ankle BootsBag 

Whether traveling, running errands, going to lunch with a friend, or heading into the office for a casual workday, black leggings are a great, comfortable option that can also feel elevated. Wear them in a way that feels like you.

how to wear black leggings

Hi, Friend. I'm Marya. I'm so glad you're here!

I’m here to help women feel good inside and out through approachable everyday style inspiration and encouragement for midlife. Once upon a time, I worked as a therapist and coach. Now, I’m a holistic style blogger studying style coaching! Be So You celebrates leaning into who we were meant to be! 

Read about my  journey to self-discovery at 40. Follow me on Instagram here and Pinterest here. Send me a quick question through my contact page here.  

Fit Note: I’m midsized at 5’6″, 160 pounds, with size 12 jeans.

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