How to Wear Compression Tights & Leggings with Confidence

The benefits of compression tights and leggings to your blood circulation and the overall comfort and wellbeing of your lower limbs cannot be underestimated. Thanks to compression wear, blood is pushed back up to the heart, avoiding the formation of blood clots or more serious conditions. Moreover, compression tights prevent swelling and fatigue in the lower legs and they can be a great recovery tool for runners and athletes in general.

However, you may feel self-conscious about wearing compression leggings in public, given the tight fit. We’re here to tell you that this doesn’t need to be the case! You can wear compression garments with confidence with some clever styling tips that will have your legs feel lighter and happier every day. 

Read on to find out the best ways to make compression tights part of your wardrobe and of cute outfits that you’ll be confident wearing in any setting. 

compression socks and compression tights

How to Wear Compression Tights Every Day

Compression is all about providing a gentle pressure (graduated, i.e. stronger at the ankle and lighter as you move up the leg) to your limbs. This helps keep them lighter and fresher, avoiding the swelling that occurs often when we don’t move for long periods of time (e.g. during a long flight). 

However, this pressure means a tight fit that may not naturally fit (pun intended!) with the rest of your wardrobe. So, to make sure you can put on compression tights for everyday wear as often as you’d like, here are some quick tips on upgrading your looks without too much change:

  • Wear muted, basic colors at first. By choosing black tights at the start, you’ll feel less obvious and “loud” wearing compression tights. Navy blue is also a great option. These colors are discreet and they also pair easily with most tops or shoes you are likely to already have in your closet.
  • Choose loose-fitting tops. There’s a huge range of looser fitting tops that you can wear with your compression leggings to feel comfortable and at ease. You don’t need to wear all form-fitting clothes - in fact, the contrast between leggings and a loose-fitting top looks good and feels good, too.
  • Go for comfortable shoes. You could go for the Sandy from Grease look and wear stilettos with your compression tights, but we imagine you’re looking for a more relaxed approach while you get the benefits of compression! By pairing your outfit with a trusted pair of sneakers, you can spend all day in your compression tights feeling fabulous. For the office or a more formal setting, opt for stylish ballet flats that go with pretty much anything.
  • Layers are key. If you feel too self-conscious about your look despite wearing a looser top, then you can always resort to more layers for a stylish everyday outfit that’s even more relaxed. Add a cardigan or a trench coat or oversized jacket to complete your outfit. It's an effortless style without sacrificing comfort.
  • Accessorize. Finally, scarves and statement necklaces are a great way to improve your look and take the focus off the leggings. They dress up an office or going out attire and could even be a talking point when you meet your friends. 

How to Wear Compression Tights at the Office

For those of us who have to stand or sit all day at our workplace, compression leggings can make a huge difference in fighting fatigue and discomfort. But, at first glance, compression garments don’t feel appropriate for an office setting.

Actually, there are ways to pair compression tights with office wear, so that you can benefit from the pressure applied to your limbs even when you’re at work. And, thanks to the variety in styles and designs, you can wear compression tights in almost any setting and all year round (for example, open toed compression stockings can be great for warm weather or summer formal wear with sandals). 

First of all, choose the right style of compression garment for your office. If you’re in a particularly formal setting, we advise wearing black compression tights under a skirt suit for the least obvious yet effective results. In more laid back settings, you can wear compression leggings with stylish loose-fitting tops without looking out of place.

Compression stockings or tights can be worn under skirts, dresses and tunics, so they can pair up with lots of outfit options at work. Remember to go for either black or navy blue so that you have a wide range of color choices in the tops you wear them with. You can also go for skin colored compression stockings under a skirt or dress - they’ll look just like regular stockings. 

Wearing Compression Tights for Running, Sports, and Working Out

If you’re looking for a way to keep your legs fresher and more supported during your workouts, compression tights are a must-have. They pair with any athletic top, whether you want to go for a looser fit or a tighter T-shirt. You’ll also find a wide range of compression shorts for athletic activities, not to mention some great compression socks for virtually any type of outdoor or indoor pursuit. 

After your workouts, your muscles will thank you for wearing compression leggings to help them recover quicker. The gentle massage from the pressure on your legs, combined with boosted blood flow to the muscles, can help with recovery and also prevent the onset of DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). For your post-workout lounging, you can wear any type, style or color of compression stockings, leggings or tights, with an oversized T-shirt or hoodie to relax in. 

The important things to pay attention to when you choose compression tights for sports are fabric, sizing and care for your garments.

Choose the appropriate fabric for your activity

It’s important to make sure you won’t be too warm, too cold, or too sweaty during your workout! Compression tights made from fabrics meant to let your skin breathe, but also flexible enough to keep up with your body movements, are the best choice. Runners should pick Nylon or blends including Lycra, to give enough stretch while being lightweight and comfortable.

Make sure the size is right

To be at your best during a run, indoor workout, or bike ride, your compression tights need to fit well. Don’t go too low in size or you’ll feel constricted and uncomfortable. Similarly, if your leggings are too loose, you risk ruining your workout by constantly stopping to pull them up or adjust the fit.

Remember: for compression gear to work its magic, it needs to be tight, but not overly restrictive. Try your compression tights or leggings in store to make sure they fit just right. 

Care for your compression tights properly

One final element of making the most of compression garments is caring for them properly. This means washing them as per the label instructions, preferably after every workout. Don’t throw your compression leggings in the dryer: let them air dry to avoid stretching them so they’ll fit you just right for longer. 

Can You Wear Compression Tights When Traveling?

Travel is one of the most stressful experiences for your lower legs especially. Sitting still for hours can cause your legs to swell, your ankles to become painful, and generally a feeling of discomfort to settle in. Thanks to compression tights, however, none of these side effects need to be your problem!

Wear compression tights on long flights to ensure your legs don’t swell up and you arrive at your destination fresh and ready for action. For maximum comfort and style, pair them with an oversized shirt or T-shirt dress and add on a cardigan to keep warm on the plane. A big scarf is also a great accessory that will pair up nicely with the whole ensemble.

And don’t forget to stick to comfortable footwear, or even take your shoes off during the flight if you can. 

compression tights with boots

How to Wear Compression Leggings and Tights for Special Occasions

You can dress up your leggings or tights on special occasions quite easily. In fact, a pair of good quality, opaque leggings in versatile black can be a staple for a stylish outfit on a night out. Simply add a flowy, longer top in your favorite color over the top, a statement necklace, and a black leather jacket, and you’re all set!

If you prefer to wear a dress or skirt for a special occasion, then you can still wear skin colored footless or open-toed compression tights and pair them with a pair of beautiful sandals and a colorful top. 

Do you like the skinny jeans trend? Imagine your black or navy compression tights are jeans and think up ways to accessorize and include them in your special occasion outfit. Or, imagine your compression leggings are nothing more than a pair of stylish black tights that go under pretty much any dress, pairing beautifully with high heels or with elegant flats. 

Finally, remember that you can instantly glam up any outfit with the right accessories. These can include statement necklaces, bangles, scarves, long earrings, and more. A sparkly clutch instead of your handbag also brings the whole ensemble together beautifully. 

What to Wear Under Compression Tights and Leggings

Some sources suggest that you shouldn’t wear underwear under compression tights and leggings, but that all depends on your personal preference. For many athletes, wearing compression apparel without underwear can be more comfortable and reduces the risk of chafing from rubbing between materials.

However, in daily life, that’s less of a risk. Moreover, well-fitting compression leggings or tights will go on just fine on top of your underwear. If, however, you feel like there are too many layers or simply that it’s not comfortable to wear underwear, you’ll be perfectly safe to go without.

How Long Should You Wear Compression Tights?

Generally, it’s advised that you should wear your compression tights all day, but remove them at night. You can then wear a new pair in the morning! 

How to Find the Right Compression Tights for You

Whether you’re gearing up for a long flight or simply want to feel fresher and lighter on your feet while fighting swelling and discomfort, it’s easy to pair up compression tights or leggings with your favorite tops, accessories and shoes to create cute or professional looking outfits. Always make sure you start with the right size and compression levels for you, then go for a black or navy blue pair at the beginning to make it easy to combine colors and styles. 

Check out our catalog of compression legwear to get some inspiration. Once you’ve got used to wearing them, the sky’s the limit as to what combos you’ll be making up!


Compression tights


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Meet the team behind our blogs! We take great care in providing helpful and accurate information to our readers. Meet the people who make this blog great by clicking the link below!