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The Year’s Coolest Leg Warmers
Posted by LT Staff | December 3, 2010
Paul Smith
Betsey Johnson
Bella Legs
Leg Avenue
Rag & Bone
Marc Jacobs

These days everything old is new again, especially if it’s 1980s-old. And nothing says ’80s like leg warmers, those durable, dependable essentials that kept you from freezing on campus and made you look like Jane Fonda in the gym.

Well, Jane’s back with another workout video (okay, it’s a DVD), and Barbie stole scenes in Toy Story 3 in her kid-friendly striped leggings. No doubt about it, leg warmers are back in a big way.

Most of us don’t have an old pair kicking around from two decades ago (although you’ll likely find a few mismatched singles at the bottom of your closet).

Thankfully, however, a new generation of fashion designers are turning leg warmers into fashion statements. Finally, a trendy item that will keep us warm and cozy!

We’ve selected a sample of this season’s hottest leg warmers in all price ranges. You’ll thank us the next time you’re standing in a lineup outside a club at 11 p.m. wondering why all those shivering idiots left the house in nothing more than a lace mesh minidress!

Shopping Tips

  • You can find leg warmers in a variety of styles: stirrup, flared over-the-boot, or standard tube style.
  • Most leg warmers are one-size-fits all, but some classic brands come in extra-long lengths. If you’re buying a packaged item, make sure to check the length so you don’t end up with something intended for Heidi Klum.
  • There’s a wider variety of fabrics available than ever before. Wool is the gold standard if warmth is your main concern, but remember what wool smells like when it’s wet. Acrylic blends provide more options for designers, but sacrifice warmth. And don’t overlook microfleece options — today’s microfiber fabrics are become style staples.
  • Finally, don’t buy yoga or dance leggings if you’re looking for something to keep you toasty outdoors. Dance-oriented leg warmers look fabulous but they can be tough to get over your jeans or into your boots and, generally, make a lousy outdoor style choice (and yes, we’re looking at you, American Apparel).

Our current faves are listed below; compare with the photos above.

Neon Fairisle Leg Warmers by Paul Smith, $227 (top row left)
The most pricey of the bunch, these Paul Smith gems are 100% wool knit with a slouchy shape. Alert Santa now.

Betsey Johnson Buttons Up! Legwarmer
Urban Outfitters, $30 (top center)
Soft acrylic with heart-shaped buttons down the side. Wear over boots or tuck in.

Bella Legs Velvet Pink
Bella Legs, $150 (top right)
Life is too short to deny yourself at least one pair of this L.A. brand’s incredible leg warmers. The velvet model comes in black too.

Keyhole Corset Laced Leg Warmers
Leg Avenue, $10 (bottom left)
A calf-flattering cutout highlights these 14″ cuffed leggings made with an acrylic/spandex blend. Not a great choice for climbing through snowbanks, but if there’s such a thing as formalwear leg warmers, this is it.

Shoreditch Leg Warmers
Rag & Bone, $150 (bottom center)
All you need to know about this beautiful set can be found in these two words: 100% cashmere.

Buzzy Fair Isle Sweater Leg Warmers
Marc by Marc Jacobs, $128 (bottom right)
Another sweater-like option. Ribbed wool in a 19″ uncuffed style. Comes in two base colors – Kahlua (pictured) and Marine Blue.

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