New Castle News

September 19, 2012

Sarah Stright on Fashion: Go ahead and rock the leggings-sweater look — just be careful

Sarah Stright
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — After seeing this outfit I wore on my personal style blog, Coming Unstitched, I was asked the following question:

Q: I love the leggings, sweater and riding boots look for fall, but I am a size 14/16. Is this look still appropriate and flattering for me?

A: Yes! You just have to choose the proportions well, just as anyone would. Leggings, especially in a dark color, are great for slimming legs.  However, when choosing a sweater, be a little more cautious. Select a non-bulky (and non-voluminous) sweater — otherwise it will just add visual weight to your upper body. The sweater does not need to be clingy, but just make sure it hangs well on you.

In addition, make sure it covers your private areas — this is very important for EVERYONE! (Leggings are not pants, so please do not treat them as such.) If you are planning to wear your sweater and leggings with tall riding boots, be sure there is a visual distance between the end of your sweater and the top of your boots. If there is very minimal leggings showing, the overall look will make you appear shorter and wider.

If you are not wearing tall boots, be sure that your leggings stop at a flattering place on your leg (which will vary depending on your height) so that your legs appear longer.

Keep these ideas in mind when choosing your outfit and you can rock this comfy look all season long. (Look to the right for a great examples I've found of girls wearing this look.)

Q: What are some easy looks that will take me from the office out to dinner?

A: For both men and women the answer is simple: layers. When heading to work, start off with basic pieces. For women, a simple shift dress (black is the easiest color) and for men, a simple dress shirt and trousers. Add in work-appropriate pieces such as a blazer, office appropriate shoes, and easy jewelry and accessories.

For after work, the easiest thing to do is remove some layers and switch out your accessories. For women, remove the blazer and add bright accessories like red shoes and a statement necklace. For men, remove the blazer and roll up the sleeves on your dress shirt (switch up your shoes for something more comfortable, if necessary).

Just by switching your accessories, you can give a standard piece (like the shift dress) a completely different feel that will make it appropriate for all aspects of your life. (Look to the right for a visual example of day to night looks.)

(Have a fashion question? I'd LOVE to help you! Email me at