The Resurrected ‘80s Trend We *Really* Didn't See Coming

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Plenty of throwback trends have been enjoying comebacks in recent years—‘90s baguette bags, ‘80s hair scrunchies, all Y2K styles—but there is one new revival we have to admit we never saw coming: stirrup leggings. Yup, this ‘80s staple has been slowly popping up all over TikTok and Instagram, and we’ve found ourselves adding multiple pairs to cart when shopping. But how can we make a look so inherently tied to Jane Fonda’s workout tapes feel fresh for 2022? Here are five styling tricks to try ASAP (plus one to avoid at all costs) for a cool, fashion forward take on beloved ‘80s stirrup leggings.

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how to wear stirrup leggings sweatshirt
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1. with A Trendy Sweater For The Weekend

Opt for a sweater that feels more polished than your usual sweatshirt, like a polo collar pullover or half-zip with flared sleeves, to keep things comfy but not too casual. As for shoes, kitten or block heels can amp up the posh vibes, but our go-to will always be plain white kicks. Stick to sneakers that are on the simpler side—no chunky soles, little to no color—for a fresh, modern look.

Shop similar styles: Good American Essential Stirrup Leggings ($69; $42); Banana Republic Half-Zip Sweater ($130); Nine West Arlene Heels ($89)

how to wear stirrup leggings blazer
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2. with A Longline Blazer For The Office

For a day full of meetings, try a blazer that comes down far enough to cover your hips to help your leggings feel more like regular work pants. Plain black versions will look most professional, but we suggest wearing them with a blazer in a contrasting color or pattern to avoid looking like an amorphous blob. As for shoes, plain black pumps will help to elongate your legs, while white or other pale hues can add a more fashion-forward finish to your ensemble.

Shop similar styles: ALO High-Waist Stirrup Leggings ($108); H&M Double-Breasted Blazer ($35); Vince Camuto Cadie Heels ($99)

how to wear stirrup leggings stripe sweater
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3. with A Striped Sweater And Loafers

You can never go wrong pairing leggings with an oversize knit and flats, but this specific duo—a striped sweater and loafers—is particularly trendy for 2022, especially if you opt for shoes with a more exaggerated lug sole. Look for a sweater that hits just below the hips to give you some coverage in the back (both crew and V necks work well). If you want to add a little high-fashion spin, slip on a pair of bright white ankle socks under your leggings as a nod to Kristen Stewart’s Oscars ensemble.

Shop similar styles: Everlane Perform 24/7 Stirrup Legging ($78; $58); MOTHER The Biggie Sweater ($375; $188); Vagabond Alex W Loafers ($175)

how to wear stirrup leggings cropped jacket
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

4. with A Matching T-shirt And Cropped Jacket

If you really want to keep things simple, pair your leggings with a matching tee that you can either French tuck or tuck in all the way around. Then add a jacket that hits right at the top of your hips to best highlight your curves. Wearing one hue from the top down will help you to appear longer and leaner, even if you opt for sneakers over heels at the bottom.

Shop similar styles: Paco Rabanne Logo Leggings ($198); Open Edit Faux-Leather Jacket ($89); TenTree TreeBlend T-Shirt ($35); J.Crew Collette Heels ($228; $169)

how to wear stirrup leggings t shirt
Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images

5. looped Over Your Heels

Perhaps our favorite 2022 styling hack for stirrup leggings is to loop them over a pair of heels as an unexpected layered look. This is an especially fun trick to try with backless styles or anything that doesn’t have an ankle strap and might even make those stiletto mules you’ve been eying a little easier to walk in (since the heel won’t slap into your foot with every step). You can definitely do this with matching black pumps, but it’s more fun to try a contrasting color to make it very obvious what you’re up to.

Shop similar styles: Leset Rio Stirrup Leggings ($150); La Ligne Tommy T-Shirt ($95); Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag ($798); Raye Abie Heels ($168)

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Streetstyleshooters/Getty Images

6. don’t: Mix ‘80s Leggings With An ‘80s Top

Stirrup leggings? Cool. Strong shoulder tops and blazers? Also cool. Put them together and what do you get? A great Halloween costume that is entirely too much for your regular day-to-day. (Especially if you add in a wide belt. *Shudders*) Instead of overdoing it with multiple ‘80s styles in one ensemble, pair your Working Girl inspired blazer or blouse with jeans or a slip skirt and stick with the above outfit formulas for your stirrup leggings.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...