The Best Brands for Every Type of Legging You Could Possibly Need


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Whether or not leggings are a particularly significant part of your wardrobe, you probably have some use for them—from grocery store runs to yoga to just lounging on the couch. Most of us who have ever put a pair of leggings on our bodies know the dreaded feeling of wearing the wrong pair of leggings for a particular activity. (And if you don't, imagine a very stretchy pair meant for lounging that doesn't stay up during a vigorous workout or a high-compression pair for workouts that you mistakenly wore on a long-haul flight.)

In general, certain brands do certain things better, and this applies to leggings too. Through lots of trial and error over the years, we think we've zeroed in on 12 brands that really excel in certain legging-related areas. Scroll on to find out why and shop some of their best pairs.

Leggings for Lounging: Alo Yoga

Alo Yoga's Lounge Leggings and Alosoft collection are so lightweight and buttery soft that it feels like you're wearing nothing. 

Leggings for Lounging: Lou & Grey

Everything Lou & Grey makes is ridiculously comfortable, so this should come as no surprise. We recommend stocking up because you'll want to wear them for all of your lounge sessions.

Leggings for Sweaty Workouts: Outdoor Voices

In addition to having great branding and lots of cheerful colors, Outdoor Voices has really perfected the whole sweat-wicking fabric thing. Its signature TechSweat fabric is extremely breathable and flexible, making it perfect for that HIIT class.

Leggings for Sweaty Workouts: Nike

Nike's activewear is highly functional and all of its leggings are designed for running and other high-sweat workouts. 

Leggings for Yoga: Lululemon

It's only natural that the brand that sparked the whole yoga-pants movements would still excel (shout-out to its Luon fabric). These days, you can find every type of legging you could wish for at Lululemon, and its prints and colorways just keep getting cooler.

Leggings for Yoga: Beyond Yoga

The name says it all, don't you think? It's rare to find leggings that are as soft as Beyond Yoga's while still providing compression. We're partial to the High-Waisted Space Dye Leggings.

Leggings for Summer: JoyLab

JoyLab's lightweight, flexible fabrics are perfect for even the hottest days. Trust us—you won't even feel them. Even better: The prices are incredibly reasonable, especially for the quality.

Leggings for Summer: Zella

This popular in-house Nordstrom brand wisely adds fresh, seasonal styles to its activewear lineup on a regular basis, and we're not just talking about the lightened-up fabrics—the latest colors and prints are very summer-friendly.

Leggings to Wear as Pants: H&M

H&M basically coined the term "treggings" and has continued to keep the trouser-legging hybrid trend going. (Act fast because they're constantly selling out.)

Leggings to Wear as Pants: Spanx

Spanx makes athletic leggings, but it's the heavier-weight, seamless styles that make a great swap for pants. Good to know, since leggings as pants are happening again.

Leggings That Are Bike Shorts:


Since bike shorts are basically above-the-knee leggings, they made it on the list. What we love most about Athleta's is that they come in a variety of different lengths to suit different heights and preferences.

Leggings That Are Bike Shorts: Good American

The phrase "where fashion meets function" may seem a little cliché, but in the case of Good American, it's very much accurate. As far as non-boring bike shorts that you can also wear to spin class (when that's a thing again) go, these are at the top of the heap. And major bonus points for offering inclusive sizing.

Next up, how to wear leggings in 2020.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.