The Elevated Everyday Potential of Leggings

The sleek bottoms are surprisingly sophisticated.

A graphic of how to wear leggings in 2023, featuring models from Isabel Marant, Miu Miu, and Ferragamo
(Image credit: Future)

Ask any fashion buff, and they'll tell you where they were and what they were doing when Miu Miu's Fall/Winter 2023 runway went live. (My tale is, sadly, uneventful: I was at the laundromat, perusing Vogue Runway in-between washes.) The show was a watershed moment in wonderfully weird style—a rallying cry for the most insufferable girl you know to become that much more annoying (c'est moi!): Models with mussed-up hair wore crystallized panties, tights tucked into cardigans, and leggings paired with peacoats layered over hoodies over crewnecks over tees. The latter styling set my brain particularly aflame. "This," I said to myself while retrieving my load of whites, "is how to wear leggings in 2023."

The quadruple layers, the mish-mash of athleisure and prep—Miu Miu's leggings outfit is elevated and eccentric, luxe yet lived-in. It's what I wear on emergency grocery store runs when I realize I'm out of oat milk. It's an honest representation of a slice of life—and it's quintessential Miuccia Prada: insouciant, eclectic, and cool. 

Moreover, Miu Miu wasn't alone in celebrating the ease of the errand-running staple. In Maximilian Davis' second collection as Ferragamo's creative-in-chief, leggings were plentiful: lycra-like bottoms were teamed with cropped puff-sleeved jackets, while other models wore stretchy stirrup styles under midi dresses as a post-Pilates, pre-brunch suggestion. Ready-to-wear shows from Saint Laurent and Schiaparelli up-styled leggings with luxury-leaning separates, including silky blouses, fine knits, and supersized shawls. One leggings-clad model at Schiap even walked with a bouquet tucked into her leather tote bag as if she was fresh from a visit to her neighborhood florist.

These legging looks from fall's showings don't reinvent the wheel by any means, but that's the beauty of them: they're elevated iterations of outfits you already wear. They scratch that specific itch in your brain that comes from relating to a runway moment—when an ensemble is so easy to imagine, you realize, "Oh, I actually can wear that!" In fact, a few of the season's stylings might already exist in your weekend rotation (don't we all reach for leggings and a sweatshirt on lazy Sundays?). But in case you're looking for more athleisure-adjacent ideas to add to your inspiration bank, find a round-up of the best leggings outfits for fall 2023 (and beyond) below.

How to Wear Leggings in 2023

The Universal Weekend Uniform

model wears gray leggings, navy peacoat, hoodie, crewneck, and a tee in Miu Miu Fall 2023

(Image credit: Miu Miu)

Here it is in all its glory: the incendiary outfit from Miu Miu that doesn't shy away from the easy, everyday appeal of leggings but rather highlights it. The secret sauce to the look lies in its strategic layering: a white T-shirt, crewneck sweater, and gray zip-up hoodie that all lie underneath a powerful pea coat. 

Back to Business

model wears black leggings with a silk blouse in Saint Laurent fall winter 2023

(Image credit: Saint Laurent)

A silk blouse will never let you down. Notice how the sharp-shouldered blouse on Saint Laurent's runway leveled up the leggings, infusing high-power sophistication and refinement into what would otherwise be a relatively basic look. To ensure optimal sartorial success when you replicate the combination, add in a fine leather belt and power pumps—like Manolo Blahnik's signature BB pump.

The Magic of Monochrome

Model wears white leggings and jacket in Ferragamo fall winter 2023

(Image credit: Ferragamo)

An outfit in the same head-to-toe hue will consistently, without fail, deliver an impact. Ferragamo called on cream and showcased just how striking the subtle neutral can be by teaming off-white leggings with a matching cropped jacket and peep-toe mules. As for how to create the look yourself, well, that's quite simple: choose a color and commit.

Call On a Classic Cardigan

model wearing black leggings and a white jacket in Schiaparelli fall winter 2023

(Image credit: Schiaparelli)

Schiaparelli's FW23 show (the Italian label's first-ever ready-to-wear runway!) presented its signature surrealism as accessible, not avant-garde. This leggings outfit consisting of a black turtleneck, quilted cardigan with gold hardware, and a structured leather tote was a particular standout. You likely already have a few, if not all, of the necessary pieces in your closet.

A Residual Party Spirit

model wears crystal leggings, a black top, and coat at Gucci's fall winter 2023 show

(Image credit: Gucci)

Admittedly more maximalist-leaning than the others on this list, this Gucci leggings outfit tells a clear story: It's Saturday morning, but Friday night's party spirit prevails, leading to a combination of crystal-embellished leggings, a sheer sweater, fur coat, and heels. The outfit bottles a late-night attitude and serves it during the early-morning hours.

Ready to Work, Not Work Out

Model wears studded leggings with a white blouse in Alaïa Fall 2023 runway show

(Image credit: Alaïa)

Leave it to Alaïa to make a pairing as simple as leggings and a blouse feel like an exquisite workwear idea. It's understated in its ingredients—you can easily recreate it yourself with the below pieces—but yields an effect that's far more intriguing and elegant than meets the eye.

Casual Yet Corporate-Approved

Model wears gray leggings, blazer, and a cowl neck top in Blumarine fall/winter 2023

(Image credit: Blumarine)

Behold the chic potential of a groutfit, as exhibited at Blumarine. Featuring dark gray leggings with a coordinating cowl-neck top and boxy blazer, this relaxed yet office-appropriate look offers easy professionalism. Replicate the outfit yourself with sooty separates and top it off with pointed-toe silver shoes for a metallic punch.

Lean Into Leather

model wears red leggings with a red leather jacket in Isabel Marant fall winter 2023

(Image credit: Isabel Marant)

When in doubt, call on the outfit-completing capacity of a leather jacket. As seen on Isabel Marant's runway, a bright biker style levels up any outfit with its inherent edge. Slip into a turtleneck sweater and kitten-heeled mules, and you're good to go.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, where she writes deep-dive trend reports, zeitgeisty fashion featurettes on what style tastemakers are wearing, long-form profiles on emerging designers and the names to know, and human interest vignette-style round-ups. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, where she wrote shopping e-commerce guides and seasonal trend reports, assisted with the market for fashion photo shoots, and assigned and edited fashion celebrity news.

Emma also wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center and launched her own magazine, Childs Play Magazine, in 2015 as a creative pastime. When she's not waxing poetic about niche fashion topics, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking banana bread in her tiny NYC kitchen.