• Leggings in Loud Prints Are a Hit and More Flattering Than Most Women Expect


    The era of simple, black leggings or yoga pants as the universal workout bottoms appears to be over. Instead, yoga classes, boutique fitness studios and running trails are filled with Spandex leggings in look-at-me prints, often from brands that aren’t exactly household names. Devotees swear the patterned leggings are more flattering—and just more fun—than their drab brethren.

    Not everyone wants to highlight their thighs with an explosion of color. “I hate patterned leggings” and “patterned leggings are ugly” posts abound on social media. “I’m just the type of person that likes black or gray or navy,” says Melissa who practices yoga and lifts weights. Patterned leggings, she says, “draw too much attention when you’re in the gym. They’re just too loud.”

    Many printed leggings “have horrible hanger appeal,” Bandier owner Jennifer Bandier acknowledges. “But I always say to people, ‘Those leggings don’t look like they’re anything, and then you put them on and you’re like, Oh my God, I look like a supermodel,’ ” she says.

    The busier the print, the more flattering it is, because the eye follows its movement, proponents say. “Prints hide everything and enhance all the right parts.” A high-quality fabric keeps a print from looking stretched on larger parts of the leg. What to wear with patterned leggings can vary. Some women wear a simple fitted tank top or loose sleeveless T-shirt. Some wear only a matching sports bra. For more coverage, tie a sweatshirt around your waist.

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