Catch me on any given day outside the office, and more likely than not I'm wearing leggings. When I'm on that fashion clock, it's all kick flares, statement coats, and funky (in an office-appropriate way) dresses, but once I'm on my own time, I'm committed to the easy dressing/easy living combination that a great pair of leggings affords me. I've worn and worked out in more than I can count (think hundreds), but there's something special in the sauce at Outdoor Voices, which makes what I'd consider the best compression leggings in the game. (I'm so into them that I'm actually an unpaid brand ambassador, which basically means that I post pictures of myself in them on Instagram.)
Come Saturday, I depart my pint-size Manhattan apartment, power-walk to a yoga class at Sky Ting, pop by Whole Foods, and grab a cold-brew from my favorite coffee joint in a colorful style by the Texas-based brand. There's not a second thought to be had. If compression leggings are a new product to you, I think OV's founder, Tyler Haney, describes them best. "Clothing that's compressive will give you a held-in feeling, like a hug for your whole body," she told me via email.
Most athletic brands offer their own take on compression material, but Outdoor Voices has differentiated itself with its own proprietary fabric, Textured Compression, "a sturdy, matte fabric that's sweat wicking and super flattering," Haney said. "After I graduated from Parsons, I moved to L.A. so I could be closer to the mills I was using to develop the first products. I spent a lot of time working hands-on with the first partners."
Personally, I'd describe the material as heavier than your standard stretchy legging material, with more of a marled texture as well. "I wanted a material that was universally flattering, durable, and versatile enough for a wide range of activities," said Haney. "Textured Compression is super supportive during activity. It keeps everything in place while still allowing for flexible movement in any direction."
As a New York resident, I have a drawer full of plain black leggings, but chalk it up to the California transplant still buried deep within me: I can appreciate leggings that manage to not only hold me in but also do so with a splash of color. "With Textured Compression, I wanted to bring a lot of material texture to the surface, which helps hide imperfections and sweat, and creates a softer hand feel and aesthetic," Haney noted. "Everything else in the market was shiny black or neon, so it was really about creating a better option for people (like me!) who didn't relate to that ultra-competitive mentality or look."
Since Haney first launched the brand, she's recruited a devoted gang of loyal recreationists, myself included, who have turned the brand's compression leggings into a weekend uniform. Read on to shop some of the best leggings yourself.