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What's Trending with Tara: Printed Leggings

Karsten Staiger

My post-Thanksgiving indulgence guilt definitely hit a high point this week. With even more holiday celebrations around the corner, I felt a pang to take action before it was too late. I decided to hit the gym, hard, and knew the best way to motivate myself was by looking cute doing so—because nothing kills my mojo more than wearing plain workout clothes! Since starting my day off in the same tired black spandex was squashing my exercise ambition, I set out to find a new look. (Check out these 7 Cute Workout Leggings We Love.)

Luckily these past few months have seen a surge in bold, bright, and funky spandex from nearly every activewear brand imaginable. I was hesitant at first; printed spandex can go very wrong if you're not mindful that you're wearing skintight bottoms. But when styled correctly, these fashion-meets-gym bottoms offer just the right amount of flair for your derriere, legs, and overall gym (or street!) look. They also gave me much-needed workout motivation. (If spandex isn't your thing, see how these 10 Fitness Fabrics can make or break your workout.)

From animal prints to geometric and galaxy patterns, printed spandex pants can actually complement your body if you know which pattern to choose. Choosing a pattern is personal, so make sure you try before you buy! Because every woman is shaped differently, even the slightest variation in patterns and color can accentuate or minimize the curves of your legs and size of your butt. If you have a curvy figure, it's best to avoid horizontal stripes as they can make your bottom appear wider. Instead, opt for leggings with a vertical pattern that draw the eye up and down. (But if you want your butt and legs to appear more shapely, look for horizontal patterns.) Make your thighs appear more narrow by finding pants with a color-blocked pattern that features darker color concentration on the inner or outer thighs. If you have shorter legs, any pattern that creates a lengthening illusion will do wonders for your height. And if you have long, lean legs, anything goes, really.

When rocking my funky spandex, I typically throw on a simple, solid tank and balance my bold bottom half with just a splash of color in a fun sports bra. And now that it’s cold, I’ve been playing up the pops of color with gloves, hats, and other outerwear. No more morbid black spandex—now you can bring your A game to the gym and shine bright during workouts with pants that pack a major punch. Check out some of my favorite printed leggings and outfits below to get the look for yourself!

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Come back next week to get style tips for ankle booties, faux fur, and more. Tag your own Instagram posts with @tarabryanstyle for a chance to be featured on my blog!

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