Leg Warmers Are Back! Here’s How To Style This Spring Trend

From Chanel to Miu Miu and Maison Margiela, designers are bringing back lighthearted, ballet-inspired accessories like leg warmers. Here’s everything you need to know about the trend and how I styled my own pair.

This isn’t particularly a news flash, but the ballet aesthetic has been having a moment lately. Ballet flats, leotards, tulle skirts, leg warmers – I’ve been seeing ballet-inspired looks all over the runways. MM6 Maison Margiela, for example, tapped into the “dancer mid-practice” aesthetic with its spring-summer 2023 collection, which was chock-full of ripped tops, time-worn shrugs, detached knit sleeves, and leotards worn unsnapped. It was as if these models had just left a seven-hour rehearsal. Most notably, Miu Miu propelled the trend forward with its satin ballet pumps, rendered in the daintiest of pinks and worn with slouchy socks. 

I’ll admit: I didn’t slide into the balletcore era right away. A part of me was expecting it to be a momentary fad – a fleeting micro-trend that we’d forget about once we remembered the real struggles of wearing ballet flats. Nightmare! Sore soles, flimsy support, and squished toes do not bona fide trends make. But there I was in Copenhagen at the Stine Goya spring-summer 2023 show, watching models glide down the runway wearing chunky leg warmers over heels. I realized: Ballet core is well and alive and pirouetting enthusiastically across fashion wardrobes of the style set. So, I thought: Why not give it a whirl? 

It started with the leg warmers – two pairs of ribbed footless ballet socks that I scooped up on Amazon for $11.99. Then the rest of the outfit slowly came together. First, the dress – a funky piece from South Korean label, TheOpen Product. Helmed by sisters Boyoung and Jiyoung Kim, TheOpen Product’s aesthetic is made for the rebellious woman who lives on her own terms. “Many of us tend to dress the way society expects us to, especially in Korea,” the sisters told Hypebae back in 2021. “We designed our clothes with the hope that people could confidently wear what they truly want and to try out new outfits without feeling excluded.” 

Though it looks like a skirt-top combo, the dress features an asymmetrical jersey bottom and a mesh top. And yes, it’s fairly see-through, but the transparency is well-placed and not too noticeable. It was a bit – dare I say? – nippy that afternoon, so I threw on a cropped jacket by Seoul-based womenswear label, Blossom. Known for its muted colors, elevated basics, and military-style outerwear, the brand is perfect for those who gravitate toward more streamlined and effortless silhouettes. (Note: the particular jacket I’m wearing is sold out, but I’ve included a very similar alternative.)

Next, I whipped out my $11.99 Amazon socks and wore them with my favorite Angelo Figus leather mules (you’ll see me wearing those all the time). The cutouts of the shoes with the cutouts of the socks clicked together like some sort of a fashion puzzle. It just worked. The whole thing. To finish off the look, I paired the outfit with my trusty Staud moon bag – another tried-and-true piece I almost never let go of. If this bag were a book, it would be battered and dog-eared to death. Luckily, this baby can withstand just about anything. 

So, there you have it! My attempt at ballet – minus the actual “ballet” part. To sum, I wanted this look to lightly graze on a trend that isn’t necessarily my go-to aesthetic. I wanted to put my own, erm, spin on it. Because ultimately, trends are meant to be chic styling cues; what you do with them is totally up to you! 

Shop My Look

Want to play around with leg warmers? Take some cues from my look by shopping some of the pieces below.

LA-based journalist and blogger sharing her deep-seated, honest love for fashion and travel. Check in every week for new stories of exploration and roundups!

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