Aside from being the stretchy pants I wore to exercise, leggings weren't something that I gave much thought to. It wasn't until I started frequenting Pilates classes more often that I realized my collection of years-old and slightly stretched-out leggings didn't quite feel adequate enough for the job. After seeing another celebrity street style look featuring leggings, I realized that it was time to put some of the best-selling pairs to the test and find the right pair of leggings for any activity. My journey gave me a newfound knowledge of what makes a successful pair of leggings (not all activewear leggings are the same ), and it led me to a couple of pairs that check all the boxes for me.
Without further ado, read on to get my honest opinions on the leggings I tested and would recommend to anyone along with some other stellar picks. I'd like to apologize for my pants in advance because I'll be wearing these leggings as much as I can.
Fit: True to size—if you're on the shorter side, they may be a tad long, but a quick fold fixed that for me.
Fabric: 88% polyester, 12% spandex
Comfort: Although flexible, the fabric is still on the firmer side.
I always see Zella's leggings recommended when scrolling through Nordstrom's site, so I was thoroughly interested to see how they actually ended up holding up. I've tried a lot of workout leggings in the past, but this pair from Zella has turned out to be my new favorite. They're fitting and sturdy but don't feel me leaving constricted. These are your best bet for more vigorous workouts.
Fit: True to size—the fabric is very stretchy, so consider sizing down if you're between sizes.
Fabric: 88% nylon, 12% elastane
Comfort: The fit is stretchy and comfortable, making it perfect for everyday wear. The fabric is extremely soft and weightless. It's stretchy without stretching out.
To those who say leggings aren't pants, I challenge them to try out these leggings from Aerie. I can wear them with anything from sweatshirts to button-downs and still feel a little bit more put-together than if I were to wear sweatpants or workout leggings.
Fit: True to size.
Fabric: 63% nylon, 37% spandex
Comfort: Incredibly soft, stretchy, and breathable—ideal for stretching, yoga, and Pilates.
Nike has always been my go-to brand for sportswear, but this was my first experience with its pieces designated for yoga. Right after trying them on, they felt incredibly comfortable and breathable, making them fit for both yoga and even running errands.
Fit: I'd recommend sizing up for the most comfortable fit.
Fabric: 66% viscose, 30% polyester, 4% elastane
Comfort: Thick and durable but also comfortable, these are a great option for those seeking comfort without sacrificing style.
Who said you can't have comfort and style? These Mango leggings can go with everything from sweaters and coats to blazers and jackets. The stirrup detail adds a nice touch to simple shoes like ballet flats.
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