6 Pairs of "Fancy" Leggings Everyone's Wearing as Pants

Lauren Eggertsen
·4 min read

Ah, the classic leggings-as-pants debate. I don't want to get into it with you, but I personally am not a huge fan of the idea of wearing plain black leggings that you also wear to the gym as real pants. If you enjoy the idea, then I salute you—it's just something I don't exercise in my own life. However, as of late, I've been spotting editors and influencers alike wearing a handful of legging styles that are still leggings in nature, but that you could never wear to the gym. I was intrigued. Would I finally be able to put a cease and desist order on my long-standing legging-and-pant debate?

I decided to look into the styles I had been seeing on the streets, and what I discovered pleased me. I am proud to introduce to you today "fancy" leggings. There are six styles I have been taking note of that even I am planning on adding to my pant collection due to their sleek nature. When it comes to the popular new legging trends ahead, each has some sort of detail that clearly identifies them as pants, not gym clothes. Go on and scroll down to see what I mean, and shop some of the best versions on the market for yourself below.

Split Hems

Split-hem leggings are the chicest of the bunch if you ask me. That slight flare at the bottom makes you feel like you're wearing "normal" trousers as opposed to a plain black pair of workout leggings.

Shop the trend:

Wardrobe.NYC Release 05 Leggings ($450)

Zara Ottoman Leggings ($30)

Verdusa Casual Split Hem Elastic High Waist Skinny Leggings ($19)

Norma Kamali Spat Stretch-Jersey Flared Leggings ($135)

Pedal Pushers

Believe it or not, pedal pushers have pushed their way back into the world and, soon, into your closets. Thanks to some of the most prominent trendsetters like Emili Sindlev, we already have a few styling ideas to get us going.

Shop the trend:

Khaite The Jane Legging ($760)

Styland Cropped Leggings ($142)

Miu Miu Lace-Detail Cropped Leggings ($880)

Susana Monaco Pedal Pusher Pant in Black ($65)

Faux Leather

Faux-leather leggings are nothing new, but thanks to recent street style proof, it's clear that they are now top of mind for many. Style them with big blazers, chunky shoes, and edgy accessories for a look that will read more leather and less leggings.

Shop the trend:

Commando Perfect Control Faux Leather Legging ($98)

Spanx Faux Stretch-Leather Leggings ($98)

Topshop Faux Leather Leggings ($32)

Simply Be High Waisted Faux Leather Leggings in Black ($35)


Once you get over the fact that this woman is wearing not one but two Chanel bags, you will notice that you're kind of really into the way she styled her stirrup leggings with a low heel and a sleek blazer. Take her advice and buy one of the pairs below.

Shop the trend:

Leset Rio Stretch-Ponte Stirrup Leggings ($150)

Low Classic Low Classic High-Waist Stirrup Leggings - Farfetch ($90)

SweatyRocks Leggings Crisscross Stirrup Tights ($15)

Ami Amalia Knitted Merino Wool Leggings ($209)


Printed leggings finally feel fresh again, and the street style crowd has already taken a major liking to the loud iterations. From leopard print to obscure stripes, we have a feeling bold limbs are in your future.

Shop the trend:

Baum und Pferdgarten Baum Und Pferdgarten Tiger Print Leggings - Farfetch ($99)

Marine Serre Geometric Moon Print Leggings ($396)

Jil Sander Diagonal Stripe Print Leggings ($650)

La Doublej Floral-Print Leggings ($180)

Zip Hems

Similar to the split-hem trend, zip-hem leggings are trending in the same vein. The detail, although subtle, once again makes the leggings look more like an intentional decision as opposed to trying to make your workout pants work as real pants.

Shop the trend:

H&M Leggings With High Waist ($18)

Off-White Zipped-Cuff Logo Leggings ($560)

Wardrobe.NYC Zip-Detailed Stretch-Jersey Leggings ($400)

Moncler High-Waisted Leggings ($375)

This post was previously published and has since been updated.

Next up, discover the new "ugly" trend everyone will be wearing in 2021.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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