Help me find the best leggings?
October 10, 2014 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm shopping for the best. leggings. ever. Help me find them?

Female. 30s. Slender, but with hips and some junk in the trunk. Average height. In search of black leggings to wear this fall and winter under dresses and skirts and/or as pants (with boots). Must be work appropriate (business casual office). Must NOT be transparent in any way. Willing to pay if they're amazing.

Where can I find the perfect leggings? What material do I want? Cotton/spandex? Ponte? Wool? Something else? I love my winter workout leggings, but those seems too shiny for every day wear (they scream "athletic wear!"). I kind of hate tights in general. Do cotton leggings sag and pill? Are wool leggings itchy and clingy? Is ponte too thick to wear under a skirt or dress? Please bestow all of your legging advice upon me!
posted by geeky to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I like the Land's end starfish leggings. My only gripe with them is that they have a seam on each side of the leg. But they are completely opaque and have not pilled with more than a couple years wear.
posted by sulaine at 8:01 AM on October 10, 2014

I have only tried the tights and not the leggings, but Wolford is pretty broadly accepted as The Last Word in leg-coverin'.

I drunkenly fell down on a sidewalk wearing a pair of their tights and it didn't damage them at all. It was incredible. When I got them as a gift I was like "you paid HOW FUCKING MUCH for TIGHTS?" And now, when these wear out, I will probably buy more. They're just that good.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:03 AM on October 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Uniqlo has what they call leggings pants in a variety of fabrics. My experience with them is that they'd be a bit bulky to wear under a skirt or dress, and so I have thinner leggings for that purpose, for which transparency is not a concern.
posted by needled at 8:05 AM on October 10, 2014 [3 favorites]

Uniqlo leggings are cheap and good quality.
posted by k8t at 8:26 AM on October 10, 2014

These leggings from Black Milk are the most opaque and long lasting black leggings I have ever found. They are $35, I have 3 pairs and they have lasted me 3 years with no signs of wear.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 8:42 AM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cotton/spandex leggings won't sag or pill. (Polyester will, but ponte is a thicker polyester knit and might not.) I'd take a look at Danskin, they're pretty nice and won't be see-through. (Got mine for cheap at a Marshall's.) I have Smartwool leggings too and they're great under clothes, not itchy, but they are definitely tights, not pants.
posted by clavicle at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2014

I actually really like the No Nonsense leggings you can get at CVS or Walgreens or those places. They're cheap and good quality. (And they run slightly large, just FYI.)
posted by holborne at 9:22 AM on October 10, 2014

Ya gotta do Hue leggings. A little pricier but great quality, no pilling, they hold their color and they're a bit thicker than your run of the mill cheap Target leggings.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:15 AM on October 10, 2014

I love my Zella 'Live In' leggings; they're on the athletic wear spectrum but have a more matte finish than other workout gear.

I also really like my Roots leggings. I've had them for a few years now, and they're still in great shape.
posted by lakemarie at 10:30 AM on October 10, 2014

If you can ignore the awful brand name, Yummie leggings are amazing. A lot of them are control-top and thus a little tight but not all, and if you size slightly up they are great. They are the only leggings I will wear with anything short. You can often get them for 40% off or whatever on Nordstrom or Nordstrom rack websites.
posted by celtalitha at 10:59 AM on October 10, 2014

P.S. I'm 5'8" and 120 lbs and a small is snug on me, so they do run small.
posted by celtalitha at 11:01 AM on October 10, 2014

+1 Hue. They will not sag or pill or be transparent. You can usually get a good deal on them by buying older styles on eBay.

I have wool leggings (from LL Bean) -- they're not itchy. I usually wear them over a pair of thin cotton ones, though, because those two layers make me crazy-warm in the winter.
posted by kmennie at 11:33 AM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've got some leggings from Athleta (the Chaturanga tights) that are great. They're made for yoga, so thick enough to be worn alone, but are thin and snug enough that they work great under skirts. The ones I've got are heathered and somewhat shiny, but they also come in plain black that's weirdly and magically non-shiny.

Also I just like Athleta because they actually use athletes as models in their catalogs.
posted by duien at 3:52 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

I bought a pair of Club Monaco black viscose leggings about 5 years ago and they have done me so well. They were $90 at the time, but they are still in great shape!
posted by gillianr at 9:32 PM on October 10, 2014

Ponte is too thick to wear under a dress, but is the only appropriate thickness of pant to wear to work in the leggings world, imo. What you want are two different things, defined by their difference-- leggings for under skirts should be thin, because they are like tights. Leggings to wear with boots should be thick, because they are like pants.
posted by jojobobo at 9:36 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Jcrew and uniqlo are my go-to for great leggings
posted by raw sugar at 11:05 PM on October 10, 2014

My winter staple is Anthropologie's fleece-lined leggings. They are soft and comfy and look just like tights. (They've had more options in past years, including footed ones; maybe they'll have some more later in the year?)

Perfect for chilly days when I need to look nice.
posted by rubyshoes at 2:05 PM on October 11, 2014

I'm plus size, so my options are more limited than yours, leading to decreased pickiness, but I love J. Jill leggings. Totally soft, opaque, and a nice high rise (which helps with the junk). They're only $39 or so. Worth a shot for sure!
posted by kostia at 2:26 PM on October 11, 2014

American Apparel leggings are quite nice, and they have (or at least had) lined winter-weight ones that are pretty warm
posted by shrieking violet at 2:39 AM on October 12, 2014

Response by poster: Thank you for all of the great recommendations! I'm going to try a bunch of them and see what floats my boat.

@jojobobo I came to the same conclusion while reading through the answers here, so chances are I'll end up with more than one pair of leggings.

@dulen I had been eying those tights and I love Athleta too, but I was worried about the shiny-factor so I appreciate the specific recommendation!
posted by geeky at 3:40 PM on October 13, 2014

Response by poster: Update: Tried the leggings from Land's End. They're decent, especially for the price. Definitely not 100% opaque, though. At least not on me.

But the ones I bought and loooooooooooove and find every excuse to wear and never ever want to take off? Athleta's Charturanga tights. They seem to be at least 98% opaque (depending on color) but I always wear them with something long enough to cover my assets anyway. They're great under dresses, skirts, etc. They double as workout gear for my yoga too, so I feel OK about the somewhat steep price.

I'll probably try some Hue leggings at some point too, but I have what I need for now.
posted by geeky at 8:17 AM on February 4, 2015

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