Fashion Addicts Anonymous - Leggings

Worn well, they can make an outfit, worn for the sake of it, they can cheapen any look.

Feature by Anon | 12 Nov 2006

Having existed for years as the last fashion refuge of people who appear on Channel 5 during daytime, leggings have crawled off the couch and made their come-back. God help us all…

To help you avoid the inevitable disasters that will ensue this season, from fat ankles to Flashdance connotations, The Skinny has put blood, sweat and yes, tears, into bringing you the triple A guide to this season's 3/4 length look…

Experiment. They can be used to create several different looks; from adding a gamine touch to chunky knits, to dressing down a silk slip or adding the finishing touch to a vintage tunic. Ideal for showing off this season's ankle boots and long-standing layered look, the truly brave and perfectly built can attempt Annie Hall-style masculinity by pairing with an oversize shirt belted at the waist. Just make sure they are a part of the look and not thrown on as simply as regular tights. Worn well, they can make an outfit; worn for the sake of it, they can cheapen any look.

Thinking they go with everything, or that they are for everyone. Much like their antithesis this season, wide legged trousers, leggings may not be your friend. If you're short and carrying a few extra pounds, please, please use some sort of heel; the Toulouse Lautrec look flatters no one. This is also, paradoxically enough, a style that doesn't flatter stick insects; nothing will highlight puny pins more, so make sure you double up with long socks. And never, ever, twin with Chuck Taylors! I don't care how attached to indie shoe-wear you are, try it and you'll look like a female clown.

In H&M, tights start from around £3 and leggings around £7 - affordable and fun but might not last too many nights out. Topshop has a great selection with prices only slightly higher. For the more adventurous, and those of you contemplating the acid 80s colours that keep threatening the high-street, look to Applejack (downstairs in Flip) for alternative takes on the trend. If you're serious about this look however, and plan on using a pair to highlight the new Vivienne Westwood heels you just snapped up on mummy's gold card, then Miu Miu do a set for a snip at only £85… decadence in leggings, who'd have thought?