Holy Grails: Leggings

I get a lot of questions about my favorite activewear brands. Particularly, leggings. So for today I have compiled a list of my favorite brands, and my favorite styles offered by each brand. Obviously everyone is different in terms of their body type, and the type of leggings they’re looking for, so here’s an idea about my expectations.

I am a pear-shaped human being, so I am looking for leggings that are not see-through. In addition, I need my leggings to be sturdy for workouts, and for everyday use. Based on this criteria, I am more than willing to pay a little bit more in order to have leggings that are sturdy and last for YEARS. Please also keep in mind that exercise is a part of my everyday routine and so I do spend more money on workout clothes than I do some of my workwear.

The leggings I am going to mention have been collected over years, and I am in no way implying that you NEED to have this many leggings, or that there are not other brands that are equally as good– I just tend to stick with brands when I find a pair I love. With that out of the way, let’s begin!

 

1. Lululemon

I know you’re all rolling your eyes that Lululemon is the first on my list, but hear me out. I bought my first pair in 2015 when I was doing my yoga teacher training, and they have held up VERY well. I have absolutely worn them to death, as they were once one of like, 3 pairs of leggings I had (while I was going through YTT and wearing leggings nonstop). I like Lulu leggings because they are thick and durable. I like that they suck everything in without being constricting or looking shiny on the legs. They really are the best quality leggings I’ve found. I would highly recommend them if you’re looking to buy a staple pair of black leggings that will last and will be appropriate for workouts and for everyday use. Please note though, nothing from Lululemon does well in the dryer. If it goes in the dryer, it still lasts, but the compression quality of the fabric gets diminished.

My Favorite Styles

Wunder Under ($98): This is their classic style. Great to wear as pants for everyday or workouts. Nice, thick material that is not see-through and has amazing moisture-wicking qualities.

Wunder Under High Rise ($98): Same deal as the Wunder Under’s, only high waisted. I like these for workouts when I’m just wearing a sports bra, or when I go to bars and want stretchy pants instead of jeans.

Wunder Under High Rise 7/8 ($98): This is getting redundant isn’t it…. These are my favorite ones though! They are high waisted, but are ankle length, which I find to be very flattering on my short legs!

All the Right Places ($128): These are kind of an oddball because the material is thinner. I love that the waist is still high waisted on these, and that there are pockets. I like these a lot for running when it’s hot outside.

2. Athleta

Athleta is a brand that I can really get behind. They advertise fit women of all sizes, carry a wide variety of sizes (XS-2X), and the quality is amazing. They also have the best athleisure wear in my opinion. Their athleisure line is unparalleled and some of the pieces can literally be worn to work. I honestly don’t have too much to say about Athleta except that it is a great alternative to Lululemon, with wider sizes, in a SLIGHTLY lower price range. Again, these are not great if put through the dryer.

Favorite Styles

Salutation ($79): These are my favorite Athleta leggings, and it’s very bizarre. They are much thinner than the material I normally like, but they are still supportive. The 7/8 length is perfect for my short legs, and these come in a variety of colors.

High Rise Chaturanga ($74): These are similar to the Wunder Unders, but the material is a bit less stretchy so I usually find myself reaching for my Lulus over these. However, they come in some really nice colors and are a good staple.

3. Zella (Nordstrom)

Zella ticks 9/10 Lululemon quality boxes, while being a fraction of the price of Lululemon. Zella is #3 on this list because their sizing isn’t as finite as Lulu’s is (XS-2X vs 0-12) and is a bit unpredictable if you’re in between sizes. However, they offer Plus Sizes, which Lululemon unfortunately does not offer (pls fix this it’s 2018). In addition to the XS-2X sizing, there are just not quite as many options, and I find that the fabric doesn’t quite have the magical Lulu “spring” to it. They fall behind Athleta because Athleta’s quality is just a smidge better. All in all though, these are GREAT leggings that have lasted just as well as my Lululemon ones. I only have one favorite style for these, as I haven’t really explored the others yet, but soon!

Favorite Styles

Live In ($54– Updated Style): These are the equivalents to the Wunder Unders. They’re great and handle the accidental run through the dryer better than Wunder Unders can. I will say that these tend to hang on to fuzzies more than Lulu/Athleta leggings, but pill less.

4. Nux

Nux is a smaller brand that isn’t quite as hyped up as the other three. This brand has become my go-to for seamless leggings. I have multiple pairs of the same style (in a PATTERN, which shows how great they are) and I LOVE them. They’re not “wear around” type leggings, but they’re amazing for yoga and for lounging around the house. This brand also has some really unique patterns on their leggings, which may not be for everyone, but I find to be very flattering on my legs. These are another no-dryer brand with a fairly high price tag.

Favorite Styles

McKenzie ($88): These are the seamless, midrise leggings of my dreams. They offer just enough compression, with thick fabric, while still being breathable and easy to move in. I am definitely going to explore more styles from this brand in the future.

5. Alo

I really debated putting Alo on this list at all, because of the current Instagram/legal drama that is going on involving the brand and its affiliates. If you want more information, read this article. I am truly disappointed by Alo’s business practices and the way they have handled the situation. If they were a “normal” company I may understand more, but as a company that promotes the ideas of yoga, they should hold themselves to a higher ethical standard than the average clothing company (this is not to say that more companies should take a more ethical stance). However, their clothing is such great quality that I felt I needed to include it. As far as price is concerned, their pricing is similar to Lululemon.

Favorite Styles

High Waisted Airbrush ($82): I have these in a blue color, and I have to say.. They suck everything in and fit me PERFECTLY. I was hesitant for a long time to buy Alo, thinking it was just a hyped up Instagram brand, but the clothing is really high quality and there are so many amazing colors.

High Waisted Moto ($114): These are the ultimate “athleisure” leggings. They look like moto-style pants and can be worn as workout gear, or disguised as “real clothes.” I prefer the high waisted style as Alo’s low rise leggings are a bit too low for me.

 

I hope this post was informative for those of you who are in the market for some new workout gear. All of the brands mentioned do a really great job for all sorts of exercise, in a variety of different climates (even for outdoor summer runs). Happy shopping!

 

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