Cheap Leggings? A Few Ideas to Keep Your Bum Covered


We are getting into the car.  It’s date night!  “Nice tights” says Mike.  What?  Tights?  “No honey,” I correct him.  “These are leggings.”

Mike looks confused.  “They are?  Hunh.  They look like tights.”

“I’m not wearing a skirt” I point out.  “So these are leggings.  Which are pants.”

“Ok” he says, agreeably.  “But they’re kinda like tights since they’re so sheer, right?”

I freeze.  Sheer?  Does he know what that word means?  I mean, this IS the man who repeatedly confuses dresses with skirts.

I narrow my eyes at him.  “Can you…expand on that?”

He absentmindedly fumbles with the keys.  “Uhhh…they look silky and thin?  Like tights?”

“I forgot something inside” I tell him.  “Be right back.”

Mike groans.  “Babe, what did you forget?”

Apparently, I forgot my pants.


THESE ARE “PANTS”  bumcoveragerequired


I do own thicker leggings.  The J.Crew pixie pant-type things that are thick enough to show some bum.  And my faux-leather leggings…yeah, I’m not as careful with bum coverage in those, either. But for whatever reason (in the above case, I LOVE the pattern)…I do find myself reaching for my cheapie black leggings from time-to-time.  They’re easy, they’re comfy, and sometimes, heck, they’re the only thing clean.

Here are a few styling tricks I’ve been using when I really (really, REALLY) need to keep my bum covered.

1.  Wear a Long, Lightweight Jacket As A Blazer (Roll Sleeves)


People keep blazers on in restaurants, right?  Why not these?  I’m talking lightweight parkas, trench coats, etc.  The key to making them look like they’re part of your outfit, I think, is to roll the sleeves.  No one will realize the real purpose.  [wink, wink]



shirt:  Madewell sweatshirt (size M – it runs really small)

jacket: old….try this one…or this perfect trench (on sale!)

leggings: from my sister…try this floral pair or this baroque print

shoes: old Nine West…try this Via Spiga pair

clutch: vintage

hair:  real


2.  Tie One On



The whole shirt-permanently-tied-around-the-waist might only be considered a trend in fashion blogger circles, but HEY.  It works really well for bum-coverage.

As a bonus, you can strategically blouse your tee for pooch-hiding purposes.



tee:  Madewell varsity striped tee (size S)

shirt (around waist):  old J.Crew….this year’s version

jacket: old sweatshirt moto….similar (on sale!)

leggings: cheap F21

shoes: old Dolce Vita…similar

bag: Moop paperback

scarf (on head):  sold out J.Crew…also coveting this one

 3.  Use A Scarf?



I have not totally decided on this one.  Perhaps just chalk it up to a real good try?

BUT…I remember liking this outfit at the time.  I felt all cute and creative.  Red flag!!  Whenever I get too creative with my outfits, I find myself fighting an urge to don a flowered hat, jangly bracelets, and call myself an art teacher.

Better with a jacket?  IDK.



sweatshirt:  old F21…similar

jacket: old sweatshirt moto….similar (on sale!)

leggings: cheap F21

shoes: Hunter rainboots, navy

bag:  Makr Farm Ruck Sack

socks:  Lands’ End…similar

hair:  Henry Margu wig


4.  Use An Indecently Short Mini (or a really long tee)

Remember the skirt I was wearing when I accidentally televised my nether regions to everyone at the Franklin Institute’s Spy Exhibit?  Yes?  Well.  This length is perfect for leggings.



sweater: Vince

skirt: vintage…same idea

leggings: cheap F21

shoes: Sorel ’88 Boot

bag:  Makr Farm Ruck Sack

hair:  this crazy thing + a Patagonia beanie


I also like the idea to use a really loooong layering shirt.  Husk UK does it best:


Right???  I love this whole outfit.  The base layer is just a really long tank…and I’m searching LIKE CRAZY to find one that doesn’t require $20 shipping from Europe.  Cause that’s just silly.  Although….that sweater is a perfect low v-neck…and its really drapey…and I love the armwarmers, too….GAH!!

I also came across this little number from Victoria’s Secret, of all places.


Anyone tried their “touch of cashmere” line?  I typically like more than a touch.  But that outfit is seriously cozy and cute.

Of course, you could always wear your cheapy leggings with shorts, skirts, dresses, etc.  But I thought that was stating the obvious and wanted to be more creative.

On that note:  Art class starts at 10.  Bring extra glue sticks.




  1. I’m kind of digging that scarf/skirt thing. It definitely has the whole “just left yoga class” kind of vibe, which is basically what I’m willing people to think any time I go out in “athletic” looking garb 😉

  2. that intro made me laugh out loud! I had to read it to my hub too since he’s often telling me he can see my underwear through my pants (when we’re at home, thank goodness!)

  3. Crap! I totally ordered that Madewell sweatshirt last time you posted it and didn’t size up. :/
    You recommend going up one or two sizes?

  4. a) You’re looking amazing as ever!
    b) So I’m way short (5 foot and one half of an inch) and I totally use an Old Navy basic tank as a long base layer to cover my bum. Like in the second to last pic. I think they’re something nuts like, 2 for $10. I had no idea I was so on trend! Look at me 🙂

  5. BLESS YOU SHANA. I have been wearing leggings more this year than in the past but have struggled to a) make sure butt is covered and b) get creative with the styling.
    I think you pull off the scarf look (I’m quite sure that I can’t rock it haha but I will try it at home and see).

  6. I am tall – 5’10” – and have such trouble finding long enough shirts! They may be long enough on shorter friends but on me they don’t come close to covering my bum. Arg! I need to make a trip to F21 I guess…

  7. I use the super long cami from H&M. They’re like $5 and I find I can wear a variety of drapey tees, button downs or sweaters over them. I just buy a couple of sizes up.

  8. That Hush outfit is cozy fall Sunday perfection. I don’t have legs for leggings but that might just convert me….
    Old Navy Tamis – don’t let the online pics fool you. The regular would absolutely be long enough for you, S. They are almost long enough for me at 5′ 7, but with a long torso and larger chest…no. The talls, however, are plennnnty long – bum and thigh coverage.
    I ordered a touch of cashmere sweater from VS last year. Meh. Soft but verrrrrry light. Back it went.
    As always, you look great! The first outfit is just. so. friggin. cool. AND you make that wiglet look FAB – which I couldn’t believe after clicking through. (That blue hat – what on EARTH?!!!?) Is there anything you can’t rock!?!? Good thoughts, Mama. Good thoughts!

  9. I think you should guinea pig it up with that VS sweater – it would be perfect if it was fabulous. Maggie from above (!!!), please elaborate on “light”. If you can figure out a way to recreate that UK outfit, please let me know. I love everything about it too. I also adore your “hair” credits and I wish I could hug you! xo.

  10. I love it! My family has gotten into the “do males know the difference between a dress/skirt” at family gatherings (and most don’t) and had discussions about how short is a dress until it is a skirt. My favorite, by far, is the short mini/long tee outfit. Looks great!

  11. Hi! JCrew Factory has this nifty cozy pocket sweater that covers the bum! I’m short, but I’m pretty sure even on tall people it covers the bum. And Pockets! Gray, green, reddish, something else I think. Lemme find the link:
    It’s not cashmere, but it’s really nice feeling, at least for me. Got the grey one, thinking about green! Though I’ve really taken to heart your (very true) warning about duplicates. I guess what I’m saying is…this long-over-leggings feels just right right now for me, and I want more options for the look, so thanks for the suggestions!

  12. For long tanks, I pull out my maternity ones from old navy. SUPER bum coverage. I put those under any length top, and can wear my leggings as pants.

  13. I was coveting the kiss of cashmere line for a while and gave in to a couple sweater dresses and the ribbed leggings… and the “perfect sweats” (okay I got a little addicted). Everything fits true to size and similar to the look in the picture (meaning if you wear a large do not order an xl for slouch… trust me). The ribbed leggings stretch out and get baggy in the knees (I had high hopes, they are so thick and cozy). Haven’t tried the sweats (though they are thin…)
    I too need to find a nice long tank. I remember my sister raving over buckle’s tanks…

  14. Where does one find a good source of cheap, fitted minis for legging wearing? I just bought my first pair of leggings, and I’m wondering exactly what to do with them. (Yes, I’d become a unstylish mommy cliche.)

  15. Also! I’m 5’10” with a long torso (no boobs though) and get really decent hip coverage from Old Navy tanks, as others have said. And I buy in store, so I’m not even getting the talls. I bet their tall tanks would do the trick for you, if they didn’t end up too low in the cleavage area.

  16. I love J Crew’s merino boyfriend cardis for butt coverage (sized up a M provides great butt coverage for this petite gal) but am having trouble finding good long sleeve tees to go under that cover the crotch. My old Michael Stars Maternity Ts from my first pregnancy 4 years ago did the trick for a loooong time, but have given up the ghost, and the newer version aren’t as long. I have a couple Bordeaux brand V necks from Anthro that work, but have a curved hem and I prefer a standard straight hem. Please post your butt covering faves when you find them. Meanwhile am going to try tiny skirts!
    – A

  17. I love the legging + long sweater thing, but it’s tricky when nursing. I find that a really long button-down cardigan (with a pull-down long-sleeved tee underneath) does the trick. Target maternity tanks are really long — get a larger size and layer it.
    By the way, I want half of this stuff now! Shopping enabler!!!!

  18. Sorry if this is duplicate comment but I don’t think my first one went through…
    Your posts are always as timely as ever and this one is no exception. I have just been getting more into leggings lately and have been searching for various bum coverage options. I am 5’3″ so I have gotten a few tall tees from Gap and ON (luckily I am also a notorious sleeve-roller)
    A great find that I think you’ll also like is this skirt from Free People, different colors can also be found at Shopbop and Piperlime. Very cute and versatile – with or without leggings!

  19. My husband still thinks the difference between leggings and tights is tights have feet and leggings don’t. Footless tights really confuse him.

  20. Target Juniors section brought awesome long tanks in for Fall, and again Winter (called The Long Tank, lol). Even though they’re juniors they cover your bum completely, and I’m 5’9″. Plus they’re $8 and come in a ton of colours.

  21. Sidenote – but man your kids are just adorable. They often look so poignant in your shots… and always very close to and touching you. So sweet.

  22. I just want to tell you how awesome you are, you look fantastic and I love your sense of style even for old people like me. Hugs

  23. Terri it wasn’t the light (drapey) I had hoped for. It was (wonder if it will make it through a week of leaf jumping, jungle gym climbing and scratchy infant nails without pills, snags or holes) light. But I’m dying to see that Hush look recreated…

  24. I’ve solved my cheapy legging problem with better leggings…I had bunches of target/f21/whoever leggings and they all get thin and weird. And then I did some googling and found Danskin Supplex 1562 legging. $40 is steep, but I can wear and wear and wear the same pair with no sheerness, no baggy knee, and fading. So I bit the bullet and have two pairs and I’m swear I’m never going back!!!

  25. First of all, you look fabulous, as always. Secondly, your boys have the most amazing hair. And, finally, check out these cheapo tanks from The Buckle (of all places), in large, for great layering: . They’re like mini-tank dresses. Oh, and did you see these leggings at Alternative Apparel: . OMG, they’ve added new patterns. Off to find my credit card.

  26. Love these ideas! I’ve been trying to figure out how to wear my leggings everyday… So comfy! But, yeah, bum coverage necessary. I had my eye on the f21 tunic camis and even some $20 one that I found on Pinterest, when I came across a great deal/option. I can’t believe I’m suggesting this because I totally made fun of the commercials, but I bought Trendy Top. They are very reminiscent of a Bella Band, but totally work if you pull it over your bum. A box was in the clearance bin for $5 at my local Rite Aid, I had to give ’em a try. Glad I did! Love the blog and your sweet n’ stylish self! Found you 2 yrs. ago when I was researching the best rain boots and it’s been my favorite blog since.

  27. You look effin’ AH-MAH-ZING! In all of the looks! Good golly girl!
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on recreating that Hush look- or on using a short skirt over leggins for those of us that might be a bit poochier WITH generous hips. That is my conundrum.
    Thanks for all you do- you are a rock star!!!! xo

  28. Also wanted to add that I love all your new options for leggings. The most toddler friendly pant!! I actually just ordered those Nine West Thomasa boots and I am in love!!

  29. Call me crazy but the Liz Lang maternity tank tops at Target are basically just really stretchy, long tank tops. I bet they would work really well for that one look! And I have found that they hold up really well over time. 🙂

  30. I second this. I wore one during a post partum workout and liked it so much, I continue to buy them.
    Looks just like a micro mini under a drapey or boxy tee. Over leggings of course!

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