This is our latest in an occasional series on weekend clothes with a specific personality — see all the posts in the series here. Today: the best leggings!
I think 2020 may have officially become the year of the jogger (or maybe the Zoom-shirt-and-PJ combo?), but leggings are definitely up there, too — so today we’re rounding up the best leggings for weekends, working out, and working from home. (The three Ws?)
In the past, we’ve looked at the best athleisure brands that are worth the splurge and the best leggings to wear with skirts, and we’ve also discussed whether you can wear leggings to work.
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The Best Leggings of 2020
We recently included Zella in our list of the best athleisure brands that are worth the splurge — plus, they’re one of Kat’s frequently recommended brands, and their leggings often show up in our monthly posts of readers’ most-bought items.
As for me, on Black Friday (or thereabouts), I took advantage of the big Zella sales at Nordstrom (it’s one of their house brands) and bought these high-waist crop leggings for workouts. I love them — they’re so comfortable, and they fit really well. Unfortunately, they’re almost sold out — but the pictured leggings ($59) are the most popular Zella style: their live-in high-waist leggings, available in sizes XXS–XXL.
Note: As of 12/15, some sizes & colors will arrive before Christmas.
Girlfriend Collective is a great brand to support! Their sustainable, ethically made clothing is made from 100% post-consumer water bottles and is available in sizes XXS–6XL. They also upcycle used pieces (with a customer incentive of $15 off a future purchase).
This extremely popular high-rise style (3,000+ reviews!) comes in nine colors and two inseam lengths and is $78. (I wish every brand offered more than one length!) And they have two pockets big enough for a phone, keys, and so on. They are machine washable/dry flat.
These bestsellers from reader-favorite brand Under Armour come in four colors and three lengths (25″, 27″, and 29″) in sizes XS–XXL. I love the light purple — pictured is the “baroque green.” The fabric is lightweight and breathable and is designed to wick sweat away and dry fast — it also contains anti-microbial/anti-odor technology. The leggings have one pocket (big enough for a phone), and they are machine washable/tumble dry.
They are $70 at Under Armour’s own website and are available in a very broad size range of $39.99–$121.97 at Amazon (with six colors available).
Note: Order from UA by 12/16 at 1:00 p.m. ET for delivery by Christmas Eve.
I’d never heard of the popular brand Outdoor Voices until last year, when my husband bought me a sports bra (which I love!) — and I didn’t know about the company’s focus on sustainability until I just saw the detailed info on their website. (For example, they’re reducing their use of conventional fabrics and incorporating sustainable design in their new stores.)
The bestselling Flex 7/8 Legging ($82), which comes in the pictured leopard print as well as three solid colors, is made from their TechSweat™ fabric, which is designed to be lightweight and breathable. Sizes are XXS–XXXL, and the leggings are machine washable/tumble dry. (Readers: Do you prefer solids or fun prints when it comes to leggings?)
Note: Order by the end of today (12/15) for guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve.
Looking for something warmer — perfect for lounging around and running errands rather than doing double-duty as a workout legging? We’ve recommended the brand Plush in the past — and not only do they make fleece-lined leggings that are excellent for wintertime, but also fleece-lined joggers, tights, track pants, and more — including maternity sizes. (The whole brand was based on that very concept, actually.) Yay for a world of fleece!
This high-waisted matte-spandex pair — a nice option if you’re looking for something very stretchy but not shiny — is available at Zappos for $79, marked down from $84. They’re machine washable/tumble dry, and the waistband can be folded down or left up.
If you prefer ponte for leggings rather than sportier and/or ultra-stretchy fabrics, these high-rise ponte leggings from Halogen are a good bet — they’re very well reviewed and are 40% off right now, bringing the price down to only $29.40!
Reviewers note that the fabric is thick and opaque and that these can be dressed up or down. They have a wide elastic band at the top for comfort and are machine washable/dry flat. The leggings are available in sizes XS–XXL in straight sizes (but alas, all petite sizes have sold out).
What are your favorite leggings for relaxing at home, running errands, and … actually running? What style of leggings do you prefer, and what are your favorite types for different seasons?
Stock photo at top via Stencil.
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Weekend Tuesday — I like how you roll.
Hate: 100% nylon leggings. Maybe these are for summer? I am afraid my dog would shred in a bout of joy. Not warm.
Love: Athleta fleece leggings. Sturdy enough to stand up to joyful dog. Warm. I wear a S (lots of junk in the trunk, especially now).
Also good: Old Navy CozeCore, but they run small. Not as fleecey as Athleta, but cheap and a bit thicker. Dog has not destroyed yet.
I love the Athleta fleece (polartec) leggings. So expensive, but so comfortable and warm.
OP on this post:
In Old Navy, the CozeCore ones are very snug in a M; my Athleta size is a S. I think it’s just these leggings though — Old Navy S tops usually work for me.
I love old navy’s powder soft leggings for working out
I like the Old Navy CozeCore leggings too, and agree they run small. I usually wear a small petite and have a medium petite in these. They’re holding up well so far, though I wash them cold and hang to dry.
Best buy: uniqlo fleece lined leggings.
Anyone else with a very small waist-to-hip ratio constantly dealing with leggings falling down? Drop-crotch leggings are not a thing, for a reason.
PSA! I just discovered Old Navy’s mid-rise joggers, which have a drawstring waist but a leggings silhouette (i.e., they look fine with the same shirts and shoes I wore with leggings). They’re cheap and look like new out of the laundry. I think I’ve quit leggings forever!
I have that in pants of all sorts (pear4eva!), but not leggings. My leggings are 99% Athleta ones though (bought largely with rewards points).
Yes! I’m a pear and hate wearing pants for that reason but love leggings
I LOVE these. They’re supposedly Athleta dupes, but I wouldn’t know. Suuper soft and not too constricting. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z6CMXXT
My favorite leggings for not-working-out are Hue cotton leggings. They feel like a cottony hug to me and not at all restricting, the seams don’t bug me like other leggings’ seams so, and they are long enough for tall me.
Same. Wearing some now. And almost always available at Norstrom Rack at discount.
I love barre3 leggings — super soft and come in a wide range of colors. I think they are a partnership with BeyondYoga. Honestly my entire wardrobe has migrated to leggings at this point – I’ve worn “real pants” maybe 5 times during this pandemic, and I probably have bought a dozen pair of leggings since this all started, since going to workout classes (when that was permitted in my state; it is no longer) was about my only source of retail.
I’m an outlier on the Zella high waist leggings. I’m short and if they had another four inches for me to hike them up for just under the boobs to over them, they would be a strapless unitard. I hate that a crowd sourced favorite doesn’t work for me. Any recommendations for similar that is suited for short people?
How tall are you? Athleta makes a 7/8 length and often some petite bottoms (maybe not leggings). I like the Athleta-GapFit-Old Navy family b/c they have a lot of reviews per item and I can usually find something to work.
I just posted above about Old Navy leggings. They have pretty much every type you could imagine and most of them come in petite. I’ve been pretty happy with all of the ones I’ve bought from them.
I can’t speak to a Zella dupe, but I’m 5’2″ and I’ve replaced almost all of my leggings (except for my Girlfriend Collective pair!) with Aerie ones. They have “short” (and regular and long) lengths, and they’re perfect. The Real Me ones are my favorite, super lightweight and soft, I love them for workouts. They recently renamed/rebranded their leggings collection (now “OffLine”), but their WarmUp ones appear to be the soft and fleecy kind I bought a couple years ago (cozy and holding up great, I like them for lounging, not working out). I also just got a pair of The Hugger crackle leggings in the short size, and they fit great, feel just a little compression-y (like…a hug, honestly), and are soft and comfy. Their leggings are also almost always on sale – there’s a good deal happening right now!
I used to love Zella, but several years ago they switched to a cheaper fabric that bags and doesn’t stay up. I am long-waisted and still find the high-rise styles too high.
anon a mouse
I’m a big fan of the HoFi high waist workout leggings with pockets, which someone recommended here a few years back. My WFH wardrobe has slowly migrated to include these 3x a week. They stay up on me, whereas my spendy Zellas are always slowly sliding down (I’m an extreme pear).
I generally just buy my athletic leggings from Old Navy. I’m plus size, and they offer a great size range, and the price point is great too. I’ve had Nike ones as well and they were good but not worth the extra $$.
I have lounging ones from Talbots and Loft. The Loft ones are fine. The Talbots ones have an uncomfortable/itchy waistband. I generally revert to wearing my athletic ones for lounging, as they’re more comfortable.
I love 90 Degree by Reflex leggings. I’ve gotten them on Amazon but also found them at Marshall’s. They’re only about $20 per pair and they stay up and are thick and squat-proof. Love them!
A couple of weeks ago I saw the ColorfulKoala brand recommended here, after it was recommended on another blog (I don’t remember which one). I bought a pair that were a cheaper dupe, I hoped, of my favorite Zella leggings.
Did not love them. Wearing them for workouts at home, but they were super thin and fit weird.
I also tried these and found them to be fine, but not a perfect fit. I think the Aerie Real Me fabric is comparable but better. Thin and lightweight (if that’s what you’re going for! they do have different fabrics), more breathable, and more flattering.
I also like select Lou and Grey styles, but I won’t say which ones so I can still get them for myself!