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It's the easiest way to make this comfy staple look elevated.

By Samantha Sutton
Nov 25, 2020 @ 9:46 am
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Stirrup Leggings
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Annabel's

Plenty of people will argue that leggings can't pass as pants, but if you're a fan of both fashion and comfort, it's highly possible that you'd beg to differ. We've learned over the years that items such as blazers and oversized sweaters can turn these form-fitting bottoms into full, enviable looks. And, there's also the old stirrup trick, which Victoria Beckham sneakily taught us a few short years ago.

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Annabel's

That's right: stirrup leggings are the way cooler sibling of that old, basic black pair, and that tiny bottom detail somehow makes all the difference. When Beckham originally broke these babies out, slipping the stirrup both over and into her shoe on various occasions, our first thought was "fancy" (closely followed by "'80s," since this is truly a throwback trend). Styled with a structured blazer and heels, it looked less like loungewear and more like an actual pair of pants. Then, slowly but surely, the world began to catch on. Katie Holmes stepped out her own sleek version last year, and InStyle editors discovered a must-have pair on Amazon, which magically stayed put when tucked into winter boots.

Now, stirrup leggings are catching on big time in the fashion world. They've been on the runway, worked into street style looks, and captured on Instagram. Some are calling them the next big trend (probably because comfy clothes reign supreme in a pandemic), but we know the truth: VB was ahead of the game, and we've been waiting for this craze to really catch on.

Ahead, see a few ways to work stirrup leggings into your outfits, then shop a pair for yourself to help amp up your wardrobe.

Stirrup Leggings Are On the Rise

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Peter White/Getty Images

They popped up on fall/winter 2020 runways, including Jacquemus' menswear show, and major brands such as Gucci, Pyer Moss, and (of course) Victoria Beckham make their own must-have versions.

This Tiny Detail Transforms Leggings Into Something Fancy

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Even if your pick isn't designer (such as Zara's $26 pair), when styled with an all-black or one-color look, they come across as elevated, rather than casual.

You Can Style Them With Loafers

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

If heels aren't your thing, these bottoms look great with flats, too. Stirrup leggings will get a preppy twist from a pair of loafers, while sneakers make them seem more athleisure. You'll likely be surprised just how versatile a simple black pair — such as Universal Standard's stirrup leggings or Plush's fleece-lined option — can be.

Dare to Work in Some Straps

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Slip them into Mary Janes to create an eye-catching combination, and dare yourself to incorporate white stirrups, too, such as P.E. Nation's logo-printed pair, for even more fun.

Neutrals Will Stand Out When Mixed With Colorful Items

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Pulled over bright shoes, you'll add some extra pop to your look. And, yes, the same look can be achieved with actual, structured stirrup Isabel Marant pants, too.

Or, Invest in Something a Bit Bolder

Stirrup Leggings
Credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

A metallic choice from Paco Rabanne, a creased red Moncler Grenoble pair, or even a gray option from Ami Amalia will add interest to any otherwise simple outfit.