For quite some time now, leggings have reached a level of ubiquity on par with blue jeans and, in fact, even outsell their denim counterpart as the go-to bottoms for casual style. As the athleisure trend exploded and the selection of leggings to choose from reached equally dizzying arrays of variety, the importance of certain factors when determining which pair are right for you has remained the same. When shopping for leggings, or any bottoms used for exercise or in an active setting, it is vital to consider fabric quality, functional details, and waistband comfort and fit. You also want to ensure you’re investing in pieces that provide full coverage and provide practical value for the price you’re paying. We’ve highlighted the following five tips, as outlined by our design team, to help you make informed decisions when shopping for leggings.
Tip #1: Identify Key Fabric Quality Indicators
When choosing the best fabric for leggings, remember the acronym SCAR: Stretch, Compression, Airy, Retention. Look for these keywords in the product details and technical aspects of the legging:
- 4-way stretch gives you a snug fit for all-day comfort that moves with you, not against.
- Lightweight compression supports and shapes your legs
- Moisture-wicking keeps you dry by pulling sweat away from skin
- Shape retention is vital as you want your leggings to bounce back to their original shape after each wash cycle
- Ventilation such as mesh inserts or laser-cut perforation promotes airflow to help you cool down
Tip #2: Try The “Bend Over Test” To Ensure Transparency Isn’t An Issue
We’ve all been there: You’re in the middle of a yoga or fitness class when you look up to see more of the person in front of you than you’d like. Their leggings, even though they appear to fit quite well, are failing terribly. Coverage is integral to a great pair of leggings and goes hand in hand with fabric quality.
The best way to determine if your leggings will keep your assets private is to conduct the ‘Bend Over’ test, completed by reaching for your toes in front of a mirror to check if the leggings are see-through or not. If, on the other hand, you’re shopping online, that won’t be an option. As a workaround, try to find leggings with a gusset or, less attractively put, a crotch panel, which guarantees coverage.
Tip #3: Seek Out Functional Details
When you’re giving it your all, reaching for new heights of athletic achievement or constantly on the go as part of a busy lifestyle, you want to know you’ve got what you need close by and at hand with intelligent storage solutions. You also don’t want to worry about caring for your garments with overly complicated laundry requirements.
Look for the following when choosing your next pair of leggings:
- Concealed, interior waistband pocket for keys, lip balm, or gym membership card
- Multiple pocket options like fitted, side pockets for electronics
- High-waisted coverage and figure sculpting
- Machine washable/dryable leggings for easy care
Tip #4: Waistband Fit and Comfort
As an essential factor, all on its own, waistband construction and its rise are crucial points to consider when purchasing leggings. As many may have discovered the hard way, low-rise is not an ideal choice due to its tendency to move and reveal parts of our bodies we’d much rather keep concealed. On the other hand, high-rise styles are a better option, but only if they remain securely in place and don’t move during activity. You may also want to consider the availability of concealed waistband pockets to carry a gym card, phone, or other essentials you’d prefer to keep on your person when you’re out for a run or engaged in a high-intensity class at the gym.
Tip #5: What Does the Price Really Mean?
A higher price does not always translate to better quality. Exorbitantly priced leggings won’t provide you with any secret benefits a moderately priced pair would; conversely, ridiculously cheap leggings are at that price point for a reason: the manufacturer has sacrificed quality and their lifecycle will be somewhat abbreviated, indeed.
Try to find affordable leggings that retain the features and benefits found in the rest of this guide.
We hope using this guide will help you understand how to choose leggings and give you the tools to find high-quality leggings that reflect the way you live—for work, rest, travel, and play—with intelligent design and technical fabrics.
Shop our extensive collection to find the highest-quality leggings with thoughtful details, perfect fit, and stellar style.