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Office fashion: jeggings Add to ...

The fashion world loves a good buzzword almost as much as a killer heel (see greige, skort and recessionista). But every so often, one will come along that's more cringe-worthy than cute.

Take jeggings, a portmanteau marrying jeans with leggings and, quite frankly, one that the world would probably be better off without. The good news is that the neologism is far worse than the actual item, as long as certain considerations are applied.

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Banana Republic top, $95 through www.bananarepublic.com. Smythe blazer, $525, Joe’s jegging, $128, Modern Vintage shoes, $250 at Holt Renfrew (www.holtrenfrew.com).

A jean that takes on the properties of a legging will offer far better stretch and comfort. Conversely, a legging that takes on the properties of a jean will look less like you've just stepped out of a Pilates class. This very flexibility makes jeggings infinitely wearable, but their tightness can also work against those attempting to incorporate them into their office attire.

Now, tightness isn't a science. Appearance aside, a piece of clothing either feels too tight or it doesn't. Because jeggings need to be tight - there's no such thing as a "relaxed fit" jegging - they will hug your thighs and bum. It goes without saying that you can't see your bum the way others can. And if someone (male or female) is following you down a corridor and you give them the opportunity, they will probably stare. So don't let them.

Don a blazer or a tunic or, better yet, a blazer over a tunic. With jeggings, volume, structure and length are your friends, ensuring that the overall statement is work-appropriate.

When shopping for jeggings - J. Brand, Citizens of Humanity and Joe's are currently popular - opt for dark indigo or black (and absolutely no acid wash). As with regular jeans, you will want to avoid any excessive "whiskering" (forced crease marks). You'll find that the leg length seems designed for the fictional Na'vi people in Avatar. While you shouldn't let this daunt you, neither should you leave the legs as is: Get them shortened.

Which brings us to footwear. This is not the time to dash out the door in a pair of sneakers or flip-flops. Keep the outfit sharp with a pair of pumps or formal flats (translation: no rubber soles).

If you're sitting at a desk most of the day, of course, people may not even notice your outfit below the waist. And if someone does ask about your new purchase, do everyone a favour and resist the urge to use the dreaded j-word. "Pants" may not sound as trendy, but will do just fine.

Follow on Twitter: @amyverner

 

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