Let me be clear: I hate the word jeggings.
Usually it’s a crapshoot whether fashion portmanteaux stick or not. Remember when they were trying to make “shooties” happen? It failed, as well it should. However, it looks like we’re stuck with jeggings so we might as well deal.
Jeggings are leggings that are supposed to look like jeans. They are like skinny jeans on speed and as such should be approached with great fear and trembling. Also, it is important to remember that just as Tights Are Not Pants and Leggings Are Not Pants, Jeggings Are Not Pants. They are closer to pants than traditional leggings and tights, but just like making out with your third cousin is not technically as wrong as making out with your first cousin, it’s still something that’s best avoided, even in emergencies.
I have never been a fan of the skinny jean on big girls because it’s such a tricky look to deploy. Big girls, like Tolstoy’s unhappy families are all big (or unhappy) in different ways. Yet back in October my bff Meghan, who was also a plus-size model and is even more beautiful than I am (if you can imagine such a thing), was not just wearing but actively rocking jeggings. My tiny world was turned upside down.
I was tempted.
Finally, after serious and measured consideration –let it not be said that anyone, myself included, gets into my pants without effort– I caved. I’d just purchased two pair tall boots from DUO, the over-the-knee (though foldable for when the OTK look is out) Tulip in black suede and the possibly sold out Rochelle in a gorgeous cognac leather and I really did need an incredibly slim-cut jean to wear with them.
So on the advice of Meghan, I picked up a pair of the Lane Bryant knit jeggings. Rumor has it these are about to be discontinued in favor for jeggings without a functional fly so if you want a pair, get them with a quickness.
I hate saying this because I’m tall and have shapely legs and I feel like it’s saying “I can wear this, but you can’t.” But if you’re short and round, this might not be a great look for you. On the other hand, you’ve got miniskirts and the adorable thing going on, plus you get all the tall guys so you’re just gotta let us have this one.
On the bright side –I’m talking to you, apples– if you ARE reasonably tall and have reasonably shapely legs, it doesn’t matter what you’ve got going on up top, you can rock the jegging and look great doing it.
The trick is careful shoe selection.
Obviously a tall boot is ideal. It’s up to you whether you like the scrunched boot look. I don’t care for it myself but I’ve seen it used to great effect on girls who are more apple than pear, and girls who are short-waisted but whose legs go for miles.
I’m quite tall and I do have rockin’ pins –thank genetics and going to college on the side of a mountain– but they’re not overly long. Scrunch boots visually shorten the leg and thus are not for me, see also: cowboy boots or any boot that ends mid-calf. What you want in a boot, and I am going to say this with a completely straight face, is a nice long substantial shaft that stays up for as long as you need it.
If you’re not going to wear boots with your jeggings, your best bet is a pair of aggressively modern, visually heavy heels.
Yeah, you pretty much gotta. And not low ones either. Flat boots look good –though not pancake flat– but jeggings or skinny jeans with flats are best left to the willowy girls. This is the time to bust out your five inchers with all the buckles and ties.
And yet you don’t want to go with pumps or anything too traditionally pretty because they can go Peg Bundy on you in the blink of an eye.
Booties are a matter of preference. I don’t like them. They’re 80’s in a bad way, and unless your to do list looks like this:
–Writhe suggestively on Whitesnake’s car
I happen to think they’re best avoided.
The point is, you need to make sure you have enough visual weight at the bottom of your outfit to anchor the look.
Which brings us to what’s going on up top. Tunic tops, fitted but not clingy, are the way to go. You want something that covers at least most of your backside –not because your badonka isn’t currently donking, it’s just a proportion thing– and has enough visual distraction to draw the eye upward. The idea of jeggings is to create a long, lean silhouette, and that’s hard to do where there’s no place to rest the eye.
This colorblock sweater —on HUGE sale at Saks— does just the trick, and as you can see, your eyes are drawn first to the sweater, and then to the shoes while the jeggings just create a long, smooth line.