How To Style A Comfy Pair Of Leg Warmers

We may be well into the 2020s, but when fashion trends are popular enough, they tend to have a way of entering our hearts again. This couldn't be truer for trends that rose to fame in one of the most fashion-forward decades to date: the hugely iconic '80s.

With '80s nostalgia becoming increasingly popular, it's hard to argue against the fact that we're all head over heels for this decade full of charm. There's a reason why "Stranger Things," a show known for its '80s references, is one of the most popular shows on Netflix (via Forbes). That nostalgia could also be why we're seeing so many '80s fashions being reinvented today. Per CNN, big-shouldered power suits, over-the-top makeup, and astronomical amounts of hairspray are all '80s fashion trends coming back with a modern spin.

Another '80s trend that's making waves in the fashion world are leg warmers. Inspired by the recent balletcore trend, leg warmers are becoming a staple accessory for many. With winter on its way, learning how to style this cozy accessory will help you keep yourself warm and fashionable during the upcoming chilly weather.

How leg warmers were styled during the '80s

There's a reason so many Halloween costumes feature leg warmers. They were one of the most emblematic pieces of 1980s fashion during that time. From Barbie to "Flashdance," people couldn't get enough of seeing and wearing this fun and versatile piece of clothing. Just as their name suggests, leg warmers were originally worn by dancers looking to keep their calves warm during a routine (per SportsRec). During the '80s, fashionable women wore colorful leg warmers as a way to add a bit of personality to boring jeans or a skirt.

Today we ditch the neon and stick to basic colors

The '80s were all about eye-catching patterns and bright, bold colors. However, today's leg warmers tend to be more subdued. Gone are the days of neon leg warmers that are the first thing to catch the eye. Modern leg warmers are more about complementing your outfit rather than overtaking it. Kazz, a fashion blogger and graphic designer, suggests buying leg warmers in less saturated colors as these are often the easiest to match with your clothes. It's about having a uniform look rather than a pop of color that could potentially date your outfit.

Add flair with folds

Modern leg warmers may not have as much "flavor" about them as they did in the '80s, but they're not meant to be boring. Instead, they are supposed to add depth or flair to an outfit. You don't have to buy the brightest or most intricate leg warmers to achieve this. All leg warmers tend to look plain if you don't know how to style them. A trick to give your leg warmers an interesting twist is to fold layers into them. This TikTok video by @awlilaa, which has garnered over 670,000 likes, shows you how to get perfect, fluffy folds easily.

Leggings make the perfect base

Sometimes, you just want to wear something more comfortable than a pair of scratchy jeans. That's where everyone's favorite clothing item, leggings, come in. Leggings are the perfect cozy bottom for when you want to brave cold weather but also feel comfortable. They're extremely versatile and look great with casual and business wear. Per Soxy, leggings are one of the most popular choices to pair leg warmers with during the fall and winter. Try pairing them with your favorite boots to complete your look.

Embrace your inner ballerina

As we round the corner into the new year, experts are keen on discovering which clothing choices will be in and which will be out. If you like all things soft and frilly, you'll be happy to know that Pinterest is predicting that airy styles will take center stage in 2023. Airy styles allude to the up-and-coming balletcore aesthetic. Per Vogue France, balletcore takes inspiration from dancewear worn by ballerinas. From frilly skirts to leg warmers, dancewear is predicted to make big waves next year. You can get ahead of the curve by styling your leg warmers to fit this trend — at least during warmer days.

Pair leg warmers with a skirt for a fun, flirty look

Just like leg warmers, skirts are also seeing a boost in popularity this year. Micro miniskirts took over this summer's hottest trends. Miniskirts were big in the 1960s, but it wasn't until the '80s that they made their way into mainstream fashion (via 80s Fashion). We're excited to see both miniskirts and leg warmers back in fashion. But could pairing a skirt and leg warmers be a bit too much? Never. In fact, as this Instagram post shows, the leg warmer and skirt combination makes for a vibrant, playful look.

Kick back in your sneakers

In an interview with British Vogue, New York fashion designer Lindsay Vrckovnik explained how she can't get enough of pairing sneakers with leg warmers. It's one of her favorite ways to style the cozy accessory. According to Vrckovnik, leg warmers have a way of looking dated if you don't pair them with the right outfit. Wearing something trendy and athletic, such as fluorescent yellow and sneakers, will guarantee your outfit turns heads for all the right reasons.

Ankle boots and leg warmers

Winter is a time for hot cocoa, sitting by the fireplace, and, of course, getting the chance to wear your favorite boots again. Boots are another item that go well with leg warmers. Both boots and leg warmers work great for keeping your bottom half toasty when it's cold, so that makes the combo convenient, too. As for which type of boots to wear, we're huge fans of pairing fuzzy ankle boots with leg warmers, like what was shared in this Instagram post by @dayour_official.

Aim for a Y2K aesthetic

If you've seen the movie "Mean Girls," you already know a lot of what you need to know about the Y2K fashion trend. Y2K or "The Year 2000" embraces all that made early 2000s fashion so iconic (via Y2K Outfits). These years were filled with T-shirts featuring '90s cartoon characters, chunky high heels, nose rings, tube tops, and boy bands. The early 2000s are remembered fondly for so many things, and that's why everyone's in love with Y2K. A big staple of the early 2000s were leg warmers. They were either paired with a preppy outfit or something more "emo," like these black-and-white leg warmers on Instagram.

Don't be afraid to express yourself

At the end of the day, your outfit should be an expression of who you are. So if you don't vibe with conventional fashion, you can always treat leg warmers like you do any piece of clothing and make it your own. For inspiration on that front, we turn to Doja Cat, a celeb who is known for blazing her own path when it comes to fashion. In an Instagram post, the singer shared a selfie in which she wore knee-high, faux fur leg warmers with a denim skirt and matching jacket.