Leggings are back – here’s how to wear them in 2021

The noughties staple has had a much-needed update.
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No, you haven’t entered a time machine and found yourself back in 2008; leggings are back on the agenda in 2021.

As slouchy jeans and loungewear are trending hard right now, it’s clear that we’re favouring comfort as the pandemic continues – and people still can’t get enough of the trusty legging.

If the noughties look of check skirts over black leggings aren’t your thing, fear not; they’ve had a much-needed update since then. Whether it’s added details, busy patterns, a slit hem or the introduction of the luxe knitted version, they’ve become far more interesting.

READ MORE: Struggling to get back to the gym? These colourful summer leggings will change your mind

It all began with Marine Serre’s (now sold out) eponymous half-moon printed leggings, roll necks and bodysuits, seen on fashion icon Beyoncé. The brand inspired a trend of second skin garments (tight-fitting roll neck tops are one of SS21’s key trends), sparking the return of leggings. Not to mention the pandemic, of course.

While a future of extravagant and colourful fashion is definitely on the horizon, we’ll be doing it in comfort. Paperbag and cargo pants have also been trending, while slouchy denim is being favoured over restrictive skinny jeans.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite legging looks from our Instagram feed, with influencers showing us how to wear the trend and dress leggings up. And if patterns aren’t your thing, read about how to update your black leggings this year here instead or see these summer-ready pastel leggings perfect for the gym.

READ MORE: 6 ways to update black leggings in 2021

As seen on…

We all want to be comfy all the time at the moment, but some of us also want to dress to make an impact.

Leggings don’t have to be dull, as proven by Nnena (above). These zebra-print leggings look incredible with her block colour puffer coat and are anything but boring.

For those not convinced, animal print isn’t going anywhere – designers Versace, Alaïa and Burberry are selling varieties of these leggings now, while there were countless different iterations of animal print on the AW20 catwalks.

If you’re keen on black leggings but want to update them, opt for PU leggings.

YSL and Balmain offered latex versions, but who can forget Kim Kardashian attempting to put on her pair for Fashion Week? We’d rather avoid the pain and go for something a little easier to get on.

After Beyoncé, Kylie Jenner and Adele were spotted in Marine Serre, the brand’s instantly recognisable half-moon print started popping up everywhere.

Their leggings, which come in a variety of colour ways and retail at £300, have now sold out – but if you’re desperate to get model Megan Adelaide Vega’s look [above], they’re still available on resell sites such as Lyst.

As far as we can tell, there isn’t a trend Emili Sindlev can’t pull off.

The stylist and influencer clashes her wavy-printed leggings with a baggy check shirt, accessorising the look with a crochet hat and heels.

Megan Ellaby is the queen of colour – and this look proves that.

The fashion blogger wears a pair of floral leggings from Only with a Monki shirt, statement jacket from Essentiel Antwerp and gorgeous Marc Jacobs pillow bag, giving us a lesson on how to make patterned leggings look cool.

READ MORE: Nicki Minaj causes 4,900% spike in pink Crocs sales

For those who favour an understated look over maximalism, follow Tiffany Tsu’s lead and try a pair of black split-hem leggings.

MyTheresa’s Fashion Buying Director opted for this YSL pair, but New Look have a similar pair for just £15.99. Add volume with a puffer jacket and heels.

We can’t get enough of Danielle’s leopard-print leggings.

The style blogger clashed her prints by teaming them with a houndstooth sweater vest layered over a lilac roll-neck.

She topped off the look with a pair of riding boots, perfect for jumping in puddles.

If patterned leggings feel a little too brave, why not try statement tights instead?

Buy now

Stirrup leggings monki

Stirrup Leggings, £25, Monki – buy now

La Doublej floral print leggings

Floral Print Leggings, £130, La Doublej – buy now

Slit hem leggings - Mango

Slit Hem Leggings, £19.99, Mango – buy now

Imitation leather leggings H&M

Imitation Leather Leggings, now £10, H&M – buy now

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Leggings, £15, Monki – buy now

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Leggings, £20, Weekday – buy now

ASOS DESIGN curve tie dye co-ord in washed mint

Tie Dye Leggings, now £11.70, ASOS – buy sizes 16-30 here, and 4-18 here


Strappy Leggings, £19.99, Zara – buy now

Mint Velvet Leopard Print Leggings, Grey/Multi

Leggings, £29, Mint Velvet – buy now

Image 0 of STRETCH LEGGINGS from Zara

Stretch Leggings, £19.99, Zara – buy now

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Jacquard Leggings, £19.99, Zara – buy now

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