How to Wear Leg Warmers With High Heels

Written by pamela ann ludwig
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Legwarmers were once only used to keep dancers warm in the practice studio. In the 1980s this functional accessory moved to the fashion world and by early 2010 we were back again. Wearing them with high-heeled shoes can jazz up an outfit and add versatility to your wardrobe.To keep this combination looking fresh and fashionable, add your own personal style to create a look updated for the new millennium.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Stick to one pair at a time; gone are the days when it was fashionable to layer three pairs of neon legwarmers over leggings and high heels. This combination is dramatic enough; be sure not to overwhelm your look.

  2. 2

    Experiment with length--you can choose shorter legwarmers (ankle warmers), thigh high legwarmers or ones that go to just below the knee. Different lengths of legwarmers complement different types of heels. The website Sock Dreams has photos of legwarmer and high heel combinations that you can use for inspiration. Find a link in References.

  3. 3

    Try stirrup legwarmers. If yours don't have stirrups, cut a small hole in the back of the legwarmer for the high heel to slip through. If you choose to forgo the stirrup look on some days, bunch up the bottoms of the legwarmers around the ankles to hide the hole.

  4. 4

    Keep the legwarmer palette and prints sophisticated-- high heels are a mature, sophisticated fashion accessory, so your legwarmers should be as well. Multicoloured stripes can be difficult to coordinate with, but black and white stripes can go well with heels. Don't mix and match prints. If you are wearing leopard-print heels, stick to black legwarmers; if you want to wear striped legwarmers, choose a solid coloured shoe.

  5. 5

    Wear legwarmers with high-heeled boots, too, under certain conditions. When wearing heeled ankle boots, wear the legwarmers directly on the leg, tucked into the boot. With taller boots, wear a short legwarmer over the boot so the top of the boot is visible. Stirrup legwarmers complement tall, high-heeled boots and can add a bit of frivolity to a severe style such as high-heeled, thigh high boots.

  6. 6

    Let your own style show through your fashion choices. See what kind of legwarmer length and colour combinations work with your proportions--no one rule of fashion will apply to everyone.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase legwarmers online, from dance supply stores, or knit your own. See "resources" below for free knitting patterns available online.

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