10 Ways to dress up leggings so everyone thinks they're 'real pants'

Nov 18, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Leggings are pretty awesome. You really can wear them just about anywhere by choosing pieces to dress them up (the office, holiday parties) or dress them down (farmers markets, your couch).

But dressing up leggings does take a little more effort — and it's easy to miss the mark. Can we all please agree on the following four rules? (I apologize in advance for all the exclamation points.)

Leggings etiquette:

  1. Hide your booty — no ifs, ands or butts about it!
  2. Burn all see-through leggings!
  3. Never ever buy, wear or borrow tan- or skin-colored leggings!

OK, now that that's settled, let's learn from the best. Here are 10 ways fashion bloggers dress up leggings and prove they are not just for days when you're too lazy to get ready.

More: All-male panel gives laughable rules for women wearing leggings

1. Wear them with a jacket

black leather leggings
Image: Style by Alina

Go from couch potato to catwalk queen in a matter of minutes by throwing on a blazer or coat. Make the jacket the centerpiece of your look by choosing a fun color, fabric, fit or pattern.

2. Layers (and leather) make everything better

plaid jacket and leggings
Image: Penny Pincher Fashion

Layers add interest to any outfit, and allow you to peel them off if you get hot. Button-downs and sweaters always pair nicely. Finish the look with a warm coat.

3. Literally, dress them up with a dress

dress and leggings
Image: AmberFillerup/Instagram

Not only are dresses and leggings fool-proof for the clumsy, they're also really comfortable, while still looking great. Don't forget to try skirts too!

4. It's all in the fabric

blue, patterned leggings
Image: Fashion Coolture

Keep in mind that leggings don't alway have to be black. To dress up your outfit, choose leggings in different colors, patterns or textures (like leather or jean).

5. Boots for the win

boots and leggings
Image: Southern Curls and Pearls

Boots and leggings are like the best friends of fashion. The color of the leggings can make your boots pop (or vice versa) and both items are fall and winter staples.

6. Wear them with heels

leggings, heels, hat and bag
Image: City Tonic

Heels can make any girl feel like going out, so throw on your favorite pair to immediately amp up the party-potential of your leggings outfit.

7. Belts (and coats) have all the power

leggings with belt and coat
Image: Shirley's Wardrobe

Belts really do have a lot of power. They cinch our waists, give us that hourglass figure and tie the whole look together.

More: 18 Cowl-neck sweater dresses to justify wearing more leggings

8. Scarves that pop

scarf with leggings
Image: The Freckled Fox

By adding a scarf, you can really change the intent your outfit. Whether they're cozy and cable-knit or bright and breezy, scarves will elevate your legging look.

9. Choose a beautiful bag

bag, heels and leggings
Image: The Corporate Catwalk

Another way to make your leggings outfit look dressier is to add a trendy bag. This shows that you're out on the town with a purpose, not just running last-minute errands (no matter what the truth is).

10. Don't go without jewelry

leggings and jewelry
Image: Sazan

Adding a little glitz to your look can really make your outfit shine. Chunky statement necklaces or glittery earrings will complete your look and will have you racing out the door to hit the party!

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