This time around, leggings are an important layering piece for the fall season. And if you ever doubted that fashion trends repeat themselves...

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This time around, leggings are an important layering piece for the fall season. And if you ever doubted that fashion trends repeat themselves, think again.

When the fall 2006 collections were paraded down the runway last February, one designer after another put leggings on their willowy models. After a week of shows, fashion writers observed the many times they had jotted “leggings” in the margins of the run-of-show sheets. Designers paired leggings with ballet flats, ankle boots, tall boots and, yes, high heels.

It’s true when you first see a trend, even if it’s a return appearance, you might say, “Nope, that won’t happen.” But as with many trends, as you see leggings more and more — which, by the way, you will — opinions can move from “no way” to “well, sometimes it works,” to “maybe I want some” to “I want that look.”

First, remember that you should wear leggings for fall as a layering piece. Watch for them with oversized sweaters, knit dresses, empire-waist tops, wrap dresses, short skirts and extra-long shirts.

“I started wearing tights last January when I went on a cruise in Mexico,” said Alyssa Collins, a 21-year-old who works in the shoe department at Dillard’s Towne East in Wichita, Kan. “People sort of looked at me funny, like ‘What is she wearing?’ Now I’m seeing leggings everywhere, and they’ll really catch on this winter,” she said.

Local retailers have tights and leggings in, or are expecting shipments soon.

“I think they add a little flair to anyone’s layering for fall, and leggings can work for any body type as long as you wear it with the right top,” said Genevieve Gordon of Brick’s in Wichita.

The basic black legging will be the favorite, but some have ruche or lace on the hem. Some have a pattern, and others have a bit of embellishment, such as embroidery on the side.

Colors other than black include brown, gray and camel, but shoppers also can find colors such as burgundy and navy.

Lengths vary from just below the knee to the ankle length, with midcalf length being the most popular.