Minimalist Wardrobe: Leggings

For a few years now, I’ve been inching closer and closer towards a uniform. I’ve experimented with styles, and pondered the versatility of various tops, bottoms, dresses, etc. I’ve pared down to One Shoe, One Coat, and One Handbag.

Well, as of late, I’ve taken another leap forward in this initiative—I believe I am down to One Bottom. To be honest, this happened by accident; one of the unintended consequences of my Eating Less experiment is that most of my clothes no longer fit. And just when I nailed down a great capsule wardrobe—argh!

Pants (trousers for my UK readers) have been a particular problem. While a slightly-large top can still be wearable, saggy baggy bottoms just look bad. For that reason, I’ve grown quite fond of leggings; they’re the only bottoms that have stayed with me through thick(er) and thin.

I’ve worn black leggings every day for the last five months. (They’ve even replaced my beloved yoga pants.) I think that qualifies as a uniform, yes?

They’re actually ideal for my rainy climate; I can’t believe it took me three years to discover this. Every winter, I’ve struggled with pants; they drag through puddles and look weird with my boots. My leggings, on the other hand, work perfectly well with both boots and ballet flats.

I also like how they don’t have zippers, buttons, or belt loops that cause weird lumps and bumps under my tops. It makes for a smoother, sleeker silhouette.

Let’s see, what else…. They don’t wrinkle, they pack like a dream, they don’t need hemming, and they let me wear cute mini dresses without baring too much leg. :) They’re so comfortable, I even wear them to bed.

What started out as laziness (I didn’t feel like shopping for new pants) has grown into a full-blown leggings love affair.

And really, I should have remembered this. I’ve come full circle back to my UK days, when I wore a dress with leggings or tights every day (like in this post from 2011). I’m not sure why I expanded my wardrobe when I stopped living out of a suitcase, but I’m excited to re-adopt the uniform of my nomadic years.

Of course, leggings require a top that covers your bum, but that’s perfectly in line with my uniform goals. On that note, if anyone can recommend some lovely tunic tops or short dresses, please share. I see leggings worn with a lot of loose and flowy shirts, but I’d love to find something more fitted.

I’m not sure where leggings puts me on the fashionista spectrum—probably clear off of it. But Audrey Hepburn (my fave style icon) wore them fabulously in Funny Face, and I’ve pinned some other chic outfits to my Pinterest board. I’m curious: do any of you swear by leggings, for fashion, comfort, minimalism, or other reasons?

In fact, let’s open up this discussion to all things uniform: let us know in the Comments if you have a favorite style (bottom, top, dress, etc) that you could (or do) wear everyday!

102 comments to Minimalist Wardrobe: Leggings

  • Karen (Scotland)

    Love them.
    I had an umbilical hernia after having babies and leggings were the only thing that didn’t cause me agony so I started wearing them then.
    I wear them with tunics, long jumpers, and I have some pretty wrapover utility belt/skirt things when I want a no bag day (love me a pocket!)
    I often wear cropped leggings under summer floaty/stretchy dresses for a bit of modesty/support.
    I see them as really thick tights and definitely not as an alternative to trousers, and perfect as part of a simple ‘uniform’.
    Karen (Scotland)

  • Crystal

    What I like about leggings is that they encourage me to stretch. If Im wearing a long or short skirt its unlikely I will sit on the floor and stretch. In leggings I can do a few minutes of stretching everyday and also they are great for going to the gym and cleaning the house in to. Easy to dress up and down with a change of top.
    Crystal (Australia)

  • MelD

    I completely agree with Karen, and wear some most days with a dress or tunic, and lately, with a bibbed corduroy skirt. Boots and ballerinas are par for the course (if my calves were less chunky, I’d wear them with ankle boots, too). At home I’ll also wear them with a long t or jumper, though i certainly don’t have the figure to wear them as trousers (I wear pull on skinnies for that). Since I don’t necessarily aspire to “one”, I have different coloured leggings but black, navy and grey are definitely most versatile (and burgundy!). Capri length in summer. Perfect for versatility, packing, quick dry… and oh so comfy for getting on the floor with grandchildren lol.
    I get my tunics and dresses mainly from Gudrun Sjoden, a Swedish compamy that also sells in the US, or from one of two mail order catalogues that have a lot of organic products but I think only for German-speaking countries (Waschbär and Deerberg).

  • Sue

    I LOVE sleeping in leggings, I completely stopped wearing pajama pants. I hate it when loose pajama pants ride up the legs in bed, with leggings this can’t happen!
    Since I like wearing fitted T-Shirts, they don’t really work for my day wardrobe, except for short dresses and skirts I wouldn’t otherwise wear.
    My kid wears leggings every day, I guess when you’re 5 that’s ok!

  • Erin

    I have been wearing leggings for years. I’m a senior and don’t want to flash a lot I Of leg or anything else. In the very cold weather I put a pair of fitted knit pants over them for cold/wind protection. Paired with a dress, skirt or long top it makes all my clothes into “yoga “ clothes, meaning I can do some stretching at any time of the day.

  • I’ve been a walking-length shorts woman every day every summer for years, and a jeans woman in the winter, but my 2 pairs of jeans are finally nearing the end of their life. My body seems to be undergoing ever more changes as I age (sigh), so I don’t think a new pair of jeans would be a good investment. The forgiving nature of leggings, however, puts them at the top of my practicality list! And you’re right, Audrey Hepburn looked great in them (and you did, too, in your 2011 photo!).

  • CA

    Love this! Ibex used to make some lovely wool tops that would work well – but alas, they are shutting their doors. There are some “running” “dresses” that also might work well – Nu Mu I think is the brand?

    How have the one pair of shoes been holding up? I’m closer than ever (I have been wearing flats from Soft Star – Made in Oregon!) – but my operating room time (medical student) means I will definitely not be dropping down to only one pair anytime soon. I am working towards the right number for me!

  • Amanda

    Yes to leggings! I live in mine as well. They’re so much more comfortable (and flattering), that it makes it hard to want to wear anything else. I especially love the Pact Organic ones…affordable, ethical, and long-wearing.

  • I love leggings too! It can be difficult to find long tops to wear with them, so last year I got inspired to open my own online boutique. I am always on the lookout for longer length styles. I hope you don’t mind the self promotion, but when I opened my email to this post this morning, I just had to agree and share! :)

    By the way, what brand of flats do you prefer? I’m a teacher, so I’m on my feel all day.

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for years! Thank you for the inspiration to live more simply.

  • Bette

    I love the long, slim look leggings provide, and the fact that there’s no hardware is a plus for comfort. I have never liked tight things around my waist, even when I was at my slimmest, and jeans with their zippers and buttons are the worst.

    Can we expand this discussion to ask readers what their favorite brand of leggings is? I’m looking for some that aren’t tight at the waist but don’t slide down — I’m 5’8″ and about 180 lbs — an XL in US sizes, and apple shaped, which makes it difficult.

  • Ellen T

    I am also on the bandwagon, along with a comment from “CA” that leggings, long or Capri-length, are perfect when layered with a Nuu Muu. Look these up, they’re marvelous! They wear like iron, come in a variety of colors, and can be worn in cold weather with added layers. Comfortable, attractive, last for years, versatile (dress up or down, business to exercise); what’s not to love?!

  • Janice

    I just ordered two tunic dresses from Zulily! One is navy and the other a plum. They have pockets, 3/4 sleeves and a scoop neck. They are by 42POPS and only cost $13.79 each.
    I love your leggings! Where did you purchase those? Thanks!

    • miss minimalist

      They’re Gap Pure Body. I think they might be intended as “loungewear” (they’re not very thick), but I wear them everywhere.

  • I love leggings. I agree that they are so much more versatile than other types of pants. As far as being a fashionista goes… I read a book by Tom Hodgkinson and he said something to the effect that fashion is for people who want to look like everyone else and style is unique to the individual. He made this reference when talking about shopping at thrift stores instead of ‘off the rack’ type shopping.

  • Janice

    Bette, I have tried leggings from different companies. My favorite is the Faded Glory brand (Walmart.) Well made! I go up a size and they look great year after year. I do wash in cold water and hang to dry.
    Another brand is the Lou and Grey from Ann Taylor Loft.

    • AB

      Yes I do like the Lou and grey brand as well. I like that they have a strong tummy band compared to other leggings that feel like PJs. It helps me to not overeat since I’m more aware of my midsection. Lularoe leggings tend to cling on to cotton dresses. Though they are nice for cooler weather. Not ideal for warm weather.

  • A few weeks ago I read in one of your old posts about wearing dresses with leggings (and a cardigan for warmth) and I thought it was a brilliant advice. I deceided to buy some versatile dresses and an extra pair of plain leggings that can be worn in winter and summer too and I love it. I live in rural Norway and cute pants are always getting wet in the snow or on the grass and forest floor around our house. And I was tired of my practical skinny pants. So now everyday I feel feminine and comfy. Thanks a lot, and glad to read that you found your own advice handy too ;)

    • miss minimalist

      So glad to hear that! I know, too funny that I forgot my own advice. In some ways, I think I’m just regaining my balance after the crazy infant/toddler/preschool years. :)

  • Yes! I have grown to love leggings in the last two years. They let me wear cute dresses and tunics and not show lots of leg. They feel amazing when I wear them and so comfortable. I almost feel guilty for getting to wear something to comfortable every day of the week! I do have leggings envy though…I can’t seem to find a pair that fits just right and keep seeing women wearing leggings that fit perfectly! I’m short (5’4″) and keep finding leggings that are way too long in the leg so they bunch up. It’s okay under boots but I’d love to find some to wear with ballet flats.

    My latest uniform has been one similar to yours: leggings, a tunic or dress, and a cardigan for warmth.

    • miss minimalist

      Yay, we’re uniform buddies! Wish I had a leggings recommendation for you, but mine (okay for me at 5’7″) would definitely bunch on anyone shorter. Hopefully someone will chime in with a good option!

    • Kerri

      Hi, I’m 5’3 & have the same problem. I’ve read from a petite site that these works for petite women as they have a 24 inch inseam. I’ve wishlisted them, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I do have the long, regular version of the same brand of leggings, and they have held up well for the past 3 years.

    • Teri

      Ella, I have forever solved the dilemma of pants that are too long: Get them hemmed! Seems like a huge deal, but once I actually started getting my pants hemmed, I never worry about length anymore; if I find a pair of pants that fit well in the waist and hips then I can have them shortened, easily. There are many dry cleaners that do basic alterations. I actually go to a tailor, and the price for hemming a pair of pants is $16 USD. My husband takes his pants to a tailor near his office downtown, and they charge $14 USD. Such a bargain in my book, to have clothes fit well, not just in the waist and hips. I figure the cost as part of my clothing budget. Best of luck!

      • Mike

        When I (infrequently) go shopping for men’s pants or suits nowadays, I look for pants that fit in the waist (and a coat that fits my torso). It’s far easier to have pants professionally hemmed than to alter the fit of a suit coat, of the waistband of trousers, as it’s a much more involved job.

    • I’m 5’4″ and found the Liz Claiborne Secretly Slender ankle leggings at JC Pennys to fit perfectly. The picture online looks like they bunch up at the bottom but they do not. Regular (not petite). They are so slimming and more pant-like. For thinner leggings, I like the Vera Wang at Kohls. Hope that helps!

    • MJ

      Eileen Fisher makes petite leggings! I’m 5’3” and there’s no bunching. They are pricey for leggings, but they’re really well made and last a long time (like, years), especially if you don’t put them in the dryer.

  • Shimmertree

    Audrey Hepburn’s black dance outfit in Funny Face is a turtle neck with what’s called “cigarette pants,” not leggings. For example:
    Unless you’re referring to a different outfit?

    • miss minimalist

      Oops, you’re right! Now you have me wondering just when leggings hit the fashion scene…

      • Amanda

        I think they’d still be considered leggings nowadays. Edie Sedgwick also popularized them by going out in her ballet leggings with an oversized top (simply because she was too lazy to change after dance class).

      • MelD

        They were popular as home/loungewear with a T here in Switzerland in the 70s altho actually used for “keep fit” and sportswear at school, before becoming fashionable in the 80s and more colours available! I guess they started out in ballet in the 50/60s as jersey and synthetics developed for the mass markets. Even when they’ve not been fashionable, you’ve always been able to get them here, even in the textile dept of supermarkets. Meanwhile also in excellent organic and fairtrade quality cotton that wear for years.

  • I LOVE leggings. They’re so comfortable and make you look feminine at the same time. I don’t like showing my legs, so I love wearing them under my tunics and short dresses. It’s actually kind of a uniform for me too, although I still wear trousers, they are skinny jeans very similar to leggings. But if we lose or gain weight, leggings will always make us look good and comfortable.

    As for the fashion side, as I am a Fashion designer, I totally believe leggings can be very fashionable and most important, elegant. Audrey Hepburn was a perfect example of that. :)

  • DJ Compton

    I love the idea of leggings and wore them along with tunics when I was living in India. Definitely became my uniform and very appropriate for business. Since I’ve retired, I no longer carry a purse, so bottoms with deep front pockets are a must for me to carry my minimal wallet, car key, and tinted chapstick. I wish they made leggings with deep pockets in the front, similar to those hidden pockets (but much deeper) on running leggings. If they did, I would definitely switch. As to tunics, I wore Eileen Fisher…pricey, but high quality and easy to wash out in the sink and let air dry. Great for packing. I traveled with a small rolling bag (15″ tall) for years, then switched to a day pack. I could travel with a week’s worth of business clothes.

    • miss minimalist

      I know, just wonderful for travel. Would tunics with pockets work for you?

      • DJ Compton

        Tunics with pockets are a great idea. I’ll have to see if I can find some that would be large enough for the phone. I carry a small smart phone compared most people so it should be
        possible. I’m going to Japan for 10 days in May and would love to find a “uniform” that works with minimal effort.

  • Marilyn Hayes

    I went to a uniform 20+ years ago, out of desperation/frustration and fatigue — fashion fatigue, feminist fatigue, and chronic fatigue. Also an apple-shaped and chemically sensitive, my requirements are 100% cotton pants with elastic waist and pockets, tunic tops or T-shirt-something, w/ oversize men’s flannel shirts worn as a jacket, Birkenstocks with a back strap and socks – usually fun/silly. Maggie’s have the highest percentage of cotton I’ve found. Pants are mostly all black, some tops are also black, flannel shirts in black, charcoal, subtle herringbone patterns. Scarves most seasons, even at night, for cold neck.

    My job was on a university campus so this was acceptable attire. The pants, from Lands End online, are still available in 4 lengths, so wore cropped length in summer, $27 – $30. They never wear out. Can’t stand anything snug or restrictive, so these upper body items are all slightly loose – baggy. Now retired, and women’s clothing and jewelry has come a long way from the 50’s-60’s. Hated all the tight undergear and form-fitting clothes, not to mention high heels, that my father and brother somehow didn’t have to wear. Loved Audrey Hepburn – used to describe the haircut I wanted to beauticians as, “Like Audrey Hepburn.” Or, “Mia Farrow when she was with Frank” (Sinatra). Now they look at me blankly.

    • miss minimalist

      Thanks for sharing your uniform! Interesting that you adopted one out of fatigue–it really does make life so much easier, doesn’t it?

  • Margaret

    I live in dresses and leggings! And when I figured out that I could use leggings as pajama pants that wouldn’t ride up, that was a great day :)

  • Luciana

    I have realized that for the last year I have worn my black jeans every day-job. It matches all the tops and looks neatly dressed. I also wear leggings, but I haven’t thought, yet, of wearing them all days. Maybe I’ll have to find one with a specific fabric that fits my situation. It’s very inspiring your post about it!

  • Lana

    My uniform is a pair of stretchy pull-on jeggings in navy, black, and a dark denim wash. I wear them every day with a t-shirt. I also have black leggings that I will wear with long “big shirts” or tunics. Have not tried it with dresses yet but if I every see an appropriate one I might. I like leggings that are quality and thick enough that there is never any see-through. Here in Florida leggings can be a little bit too warm, even as capris. But if I am just lounging around I love them. I definitely think women are leaning towards more comfortable and practical clothing rather than the uncomfortable styles of the past. I am a senior and jeans with zippers and waistlines are no longer comfortable for me to wear. Many times the rise is too small as well so leggings and jeggings have a lot of flexibility with that. I love Audrey Hepburn, she was a class act.

    • miss minimalist

      Thanks for sharing! I was wondering how leggings might work in a warmer climate (I’m in a pretty mild one).

      • AB

        In warm climates, dresses are a must! But it’s awesome to be able to wear your fave dresses year round by adding leggings in the cooler months. And again…both boots and ballet flats help the transition!

  • Margaret

    I’ve had a uniform for years. My wardrobe is not tiny but it fits in my half of the closet and is easy to manage. I have included the quantities of each piece that I have. I only wash once a week at a laundromat so I have enough of everything to go 7 days between washes. I am a large woman. Sizes are inconsistent between brands and the uniform helps with that, too. I previously worked in industrial areas doing IT so had to wear close-toed shoes always and as I’ve gotten older they became orthopedic shoes — sigh. I wear black jeans in winter (3) or black cargo pants in summer (3) ( both are Gloria Vanderbilt), black socks (10), black shoes (1 pair), black cotton bras or cotton undershirts (10), and flannel shirts (2) for casual jackets either black or grey. Men’s polo shirts are my bit of color and that is where I splurge (32), they fit me better than women’s polo shirts. If I need to go formal I exchange the polo shirt for a black turtle neck (1) with a dressy black and white jacket (1). The only decision I have to make is what shirt to wear and if the event is formal. I like earrings but got tired of changing them every day so 20 years ago I got rainbow titanium body earring loops for my ears and they are in permanently. My pants have enough pockets that I don’t carry a purse and since my phone has an ereader I’ve always got books and audiobooks with me. This simple uniform has served me well for the past two decades.

    • miss minimalist

      Love hearing about your uniform, and that it fits in half your closet! One of the best parts about having a small wardrobe is no worries about closet space.

  • Thank you for all your great articles. I loved your last post on the minimalist diet as I’ve been working on the same thing over the past several months and I’ve had similar results! Eating only 2/3 of a ‘normal’ portion has really made a difference and it isn’t all that difficult. Along with minimalism, I’ve been striving for a ‘plastic free’ diet, which is no foods wrapped in plastic. This eliminates all processed foods and has forced me to learn a lot more about cooking fresh. It does take more time, but I’m loving it.

    I have a slim figure, and I finally lost the extra 5 pounds I’ve been hauling around since my youngest was born. I’ve only recently started wearing leggings more often, and I struggle with what to wear on top. Not quite comfortable with showing full leg, but not wanting baggy sweaters either. I’ve researched some cowl neck tunic sweaters that might work well, and one of my good friends is the owner of Nuu-Muu, so I agree with the previous comments on those dresses. I look forward to seeing what other resources your readers suggest!

  • miss minimalist

    Glad to hear the minimalist diet is working for you, too! I like the addition of no foods wrapped in plastic.

    I’m happy to discover Nuu-Muu, and also hoping for some more reader suggestions!

  • I love leggings and recently got a great pair with snowmen on them for winter because they are lined on the inside and are great on those below 0 days. I normally wear skinny jeans because I dont have to really worry about if what top I am wearing covers my bum and other bits due to being a substitute teacher.

  • Jess

    The older I get the more I seem to hate pants. I have two pair of black Vertex Leggings from IceBreaker, 100% merino wool, and they are excellent. Breath, but keep me warm, perfect for the majority of the year. Shop the off season (summer) and you can get them 1/2 off or better. My first pair lasted 5 years of consistent use, and finally a small inner-thigh rip, but still a good backup. I don’t enjoy cotton leggings, I feel like they need a washing after a wear or two, but these are my go-to.

  • Tina

    I gained a lot of weight since I retired in 2002. I just lost 25 pounds and need to lose another 20 pounds. I am putting off buying new clothes as long as possible. Luckily I have always had a small wardrobe of 2-3 pairs of slacks and 6 tops. My kids have been giving me things they find or don’t want and I’ve passed the top big things on to a friend.I even have a smaller winter coat because someone gave me one years ago and I keep it here in case my sister would visit from LA in the winter.

  • Have you seen Eileen Fisher’s skirted leggings? I just love them.

  • Suzi

    American Giant legging are great. Made in the USA and are a more substantial fabric than many leggings. They call them “the pant” but really they are leggings. Also have a cropped version. American Giant cost more than others but are worth every penny. If I want a lightweight version I wear footless tights. I can find them at Target and they only cost about $5.

  • Barb

    I love Sabuku brand tunics from an artist in Tucson. The knit fabrics are high quality and don’t stretch or fade. I am 5’4″ and the shirts with the 3/4 sleeve hit well below my hips. They are very flattering shirts to wear with leggings or skinny jeans. The illustrations in the link look just like a regular t-shirt length but look at the photos of real women wearing them and you’ll get a better sense of the true length. The art work is mostly of a southwest flavor but I love them and have more colors and prints than a true minimalist should! 🙄

  • Rebecca | Seven2Seven8

    I have several pair, but largely lounge/sleep in them. I would wear them in lieu of tights while pregnant (especially as the belly grew and hemlines inched northward). As an almost-40 professional, I struggle with them as a formal or stand-alone bottom. When I was first pregnant with my twins (now 2.5), I snagged a pair of Gap Maternity ponte pants that were perfection. They have been worn to DEATH after a subsequent pregnancy (and having been used to begin with) but I’m so eager to find a pair that works for short-inseamed petites. Everlane and Brass Clothing have some, and I may try some of those. I really liked that these were fitted but not skin-tight, snug, but with just a hit of gap at the ankle (so they read as pants vs leggings) and much thicker and more structured than, say, my MLM-brand leggings (which, while soft, are neither super flattering nor holding anything in after 3 kids in two years…)

  • Paula

    I’m 59, I’ve worn leggings and jeggings (denim leggings) for years. I even have fleece lined leggings for Winter (long tall sally). I have cropped ruched leggings for Summer, I also roll up my ankle length ones for the cropped look. Hue does all types of leggings, they are lovely.

    Over the years I’ve bought tunic length tops from various online sites, I have several from Chicos. Tunics and short dresses from J Jill. Soft Surroundings do gorgeous tops especially soft Winter wear.
    I buy from Long Tall Sally although I’m only 5ft 7in, I do have stupidly long arms which LTS caters to, a Tee shirt from them is a long tunic on me….bonus!

  • I literally wear them everyday in the winter with a sweater dress. There is nothing worse than jeans on a cold winter day against bare skin. They get crunchy, and I can’t stand it. I’m thinking of replacing my jeans altogether. I’ve never liked them. I like dresses and skirts, but I always feel like I need them for the sake of fashion. What to do?

  • Edie

    Any Canadian readers? I bought black leggings from Mountain Equipment Coop for about $45 and have been wearing them nearly every day with one of several different tunics, two cardigans, and either tall boots or Blundstones. So comfortable!

  • Adri

    I’m a stay at home mom and spend most of the week in workout clothes (they’re comfortable and I’m already dressed when I find time to exercise). I like to buy basic black or grey workout leggings and wear them for exercise and casual attire. I also wear my workout capri leggings in the winter with long socks and boots and no one can tell they’re capris. I like to get as much versatility out of my wardrobe as possbile. :)

  • Raven

    Where so you like to purchase your leggings from? I’ve tried ones from Old Navy, but they had a tendency to fall off. Would prefer some that were over the belly button, which unfortunately the company a previous poster mentioned didn’t have. Thanks for the help!

  • MJ

    I must weigh in, as leggings are part of my uniform too! Every workday (and often weekends too) I can be found in Eileen Fisher leggings and a sleeveless, knee-length knit dress. (She is pricey, yes; but well made and the pieces last a long time.) Cropped leggings and just the dress in summer; in other seasons, full-length leggings, silk long-sleeve tee under and sweater over, as befitting the weather. All black, with different colored sweaters and scarves for interest. Black Aurora Shoe Co. chinese shoes (so comfy! And made in the US!) or attractive waterproof ankle boots for winter. This uniform has been a blessing, as I have a five-month old baby and not an ounce of brain to spare for decisions about what to wear. I can dress the dresses up or down, throw a scarf over the sweater as my jewelry, and feel good about myself. Plus leggings are warmer than tights in the winter, and don’t constrict you. Win win!

  • Heather

    I wear knee length dresses (think mostly black, sheath style, summer dresses for off days because I can wear them 9-10 months of the year here), boots of all heights or ballet flats, leather jackets or a crisp tailored jacket and jeans and plain t shirts. Seriously, minus the work out clothes and pair of sneakers, 1 fuzyy Northface jacket, 1 winter jacket, a bathing suit, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 button down denim shirt for throwing over whatever and 1 pair of fip flops, this is what I wear all the time. I just mix and match as I go and have less clothes than I ever needed. For the firt time in my adult life, all I own fits into 1 closet section. I eliminated things like sweaters (I feel too confined), long skirts (they make me look short), heels (I had knee surgery and I refuse to hurt my body and feet anymore), pants and button downs (Tired of tucking them in and pants not fitting me right, riding up or down, having to decide what works with what, ironing all of it) and most accessories (too fussy for me). I own my wedding ring, a nice watch, 3 bracelets, 2 sets of stud earrings and 2 necklaces. I am a teacher and getting dressed in the morning is easy peasy. I also feel dressed appropriately. I teach Middle School and feel it’s important to set a standard without being too over dressed. My boots at some edge to my dresses. My colors are mostly black with some purple/pink/red mixed in there. I know this doesn’t sound minimalist, but it’s darn close and I love it, with all the options I have. I just went and counted and clothing wise, I have around 60 pieces all together. That is not bad for year round wear for all situations.

  • Muntaha

    My five year old daughter refuses to wear anything other than black leggings (with a cute top). She adopted a uniform long before me! Such a proud moment for a minimalist mom!

  • I wear leggings most days, and my one pair of jeans are really jeggings, so they pull on and have no buttons. Have you heard of Girlfriend Collective? I bought a pair of leggings when their company was in beta, and I’ve worn them at least three or four days per week for a year, and they have not stretch or warped at all! Plus, they’re made from recycled water bottles which is really cool!

  • Lelia Maria

    You have no idea how HAPPY your posts make me feel!

  • Linnea

    I have come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much only comfortable in dresses, so I have 5 at the moment (any more and I get overwhelmed) which I pare with my one pair of leggings or tights and a cardigan (I have three). I love my uniform and I always feel well-dressed :)

  • Audrey

    Marc O’Polo do some amazing dresses that are like tunics, with actual pockets! I have one in grey and one in green and am barely wearing anything else to work these days. Comfy & practical. Check them out!

  • Amanda

    Im a college professor and required to wear business casual in my department. My M-F uniform consists of 3 pairs of dress pants, 1 skirt, 7 shells, and 6 cardigans/blazers that I mix and match. My weekend/break uniform consists of leggings and a tunic if I need to look dressy, or leggings and a tee shirt if I’m just being lazy. Cropped leggings for summer. I’m 5’2 and curvy, and I love Torrid for leggings. With sales, I pay less than $15 per pair, and they have lasted over a year at this point.

  • Jessie

    So happy to find so many kindred spirits. I seriously was living in leggings and then I got a corporate-ish onsite job and bemoaned the fact that I would have to change my uniform…but guess what, I am sitting at my desk in leggings (Zella black high waist cotton) and a long-sleeve above-the-knee cranberry swing dress (Old Navy) and people actually think I am dressed up. A friend swears by White House Black Market tunics (cut close to the body and with many great patterns) with leggings and I have worn this outfit to extremely formal events. Footwear is easy–sneakers, boots, flats, OR heels work!

  • Mike

    As a guy, I don’t wear leggings; I wear longjohns ;)

    I kid. They’re the same damn thing. I don’t wear them often, and never as outerwear. I use them only as an inner layer on the bitterly-cold days of deep winter. My regular uniform for the office is men’s dress pants, cotton t-shirt, and button-down dress shirt. That basic set is the same year-round, and I bike to work, in any weather. In winter, I wear my Bean Boots instead of dress shoes, a short or long wool coat, and gloves/hat/earmuffs. In summer, I roll up my sleeves and unbutton a couple of buttons, which is a big advantage over polo shrts. Undoing some buttons gives me a bit more ventilation while biking, but I can easily re-do them when I get to the office. I now have 6 pairs of dress pants (4 black, 1 gray, 1 brown), about 15 long-sleeve dress shirts of various colors, and a lot – probably too many – of t-shirts.

    Anyways, back to leggings, err.. longjohns. I have two pairs that, like I said, only see action on the days of frigid weather. I bought them years ago at REI and they’re made in the USA. They have, and will continue to, serve me well. I also use them as an inner layer under pajamas. I wouldn’t be caught dead in them as outerwear ;)

  • Robin Clouse

    I too love the skirted Eileen Fisher leggings! Another thing I recently found that has been a wardrobe game-changer for me has been the swing tunics by Agnes & Dora. They are adorable, they have roomy pockets, and they are outrageously comfortable. They come in cap sleeve, short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve and some long sleeve mock turtleneck styles. Because they keep making this particular cut/style in a variety of patterns, I can order it and know exactly how it will fit. I was able to clear out about 75% of my closet when I found these. I can pair them with leggings, jeans, or wear them as a dress (and yes, they cover the backside nicely!) Agnes & Dora also make all sorts of leggings too. I order my stuff from and the rep (Tammy) is awesome. She helps with sizing, ideas of how to mix and match things you already own, or she can acquire inventory if you are looking for certain styles/colors. She has a shipment of swing tunics coming in next week, so I can’t wait to add to my collection. My closet is the one area of my life that I was having trouble minimizing, and finding these tunics and leggings has totally simplified my wardrobe!

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