Which Leggings Are the Most Flattering?

Real Simple answers your questions.

Photo by   Mackenzie Stroh

Q: Which leggings are the most flattering for me?

A: Basic black leggings are always a body-friendly bet, but here are some other things to keep in mind.

Color. Dark shades, like plum, chocolate, and charcoal, can be just as slenderizing and sophisticated as black but are a little more fun and unexpected, says Sharon Haver of FocusOnStyle.com. Fortunately, colored leggings aren’t hard to find. American Apparel offers a rainbow of colors, including particularly slimming brown, navy, asphalt, and eggplant ($26 each, americanapparel.net). And when putting your outfit together, remember to keep it tonal. Colors that blend will elongate the body best.

Texture. Generally speaking, textured leggings―raised patterns, chunky knits, or rips―add bulk to the legs. And while denim leggings are trendy right now, few people can pull them off.

Length. Most leggings hit mid-calf (think Capri length) or an inch or so above the ankle. The latter tends to be the most forgiving. If you prefer Capris, make sure the leggings don’t stop at the widest part of the calf and instead stop where the leg starts to narrow. An exception to this rule: Those with wide ankles should try a just-below-the-knee style to distract from their ankles’ width.

Finally, check out these specific product recommendations that address other fit-picky issues.

If you’re tall, try: Athleta Finesse leggings (29-inch inseam), $30 to $42, athleta.com.

If you’re petite, try: New York & Company Comfortzone Basic leggings (24-inch inseam), $10, nyandcompany.com.

If you’re plus size, try: Danskin Supplex leggings (in sizes 2X to 4X), $42, danskin.com.