Don’t judge, but some could call me a legging aficionado. There are two types of leggings, if you ask me. There are athletic leggings and athleisure leggings. My closet is stuffed to the brim with both. I probably wear leggings five to six days a week. With that being said, I have tried my fair share of leggings. I’ve bought all price points, all fabrics, etc. I like it when they have a slightly higher rise and wide waistband — not only does this make them more comfortable IMO, but also more flattering. I also like them NOT TO PILL. Is that so much to ask?! Lastly, they need to not be see-through! Obviously. Always remember to try bending over in them to make sure they truly pass the test.
If you’re like me and overwhelmed with which pair of black leggings to buy, here are my thoughts on the most popular styles I’ve tried.
To start, I think this is a great price-point for a legging that feels more luxurious. (Not to mention they go on sale quite often at Nordstrom!) They are great quality and most importantly, DON’T PILL! Seriously, this is my biggest problem. My thicker thighs are always causing this to happen to my favorite pairs. The Zella Live In Leggings come sizes XXS to XXL. I found they run very true to size, I wear size XL in these. They also have a maternity version which were my favorite maternity leggings by far while I was pregnant. I ordered my regular size XL in those as well, and still wear them! That’s a win!
It took me awhile to be willing to spend $98 on a pair of leggings. However, I had friends who were completely obsessed so I decided to treat myself and buy a pair of the coveted Align Pants. I went with the 25″ length because I have stumpy legs, (you laugh, it’s true) but they also come in a cropped 21″ length, as well as a full length 28″. These run a little big I think, I am usually a size 16 but I wear the 12’s comfortably. Good thing I guess, since LuluLemon only goes up to a size 14. **(Edit: when I first published I stated I wore a size 14 but I was incorrect. I own 3 pairs all size 12. Sorry about the confusion!) I want to start by saying I LOVE the feel of these. They are, by far, the best on the skin out of this entire roundup. I also always get compliments on the booty when wearing. HOWEVER, I have a big flaw with them. They pill like crazy. Before the haters jump on me, yes, I wash them inside out with like fabrics. I have even tried not drying them at all. They still pill. But because I’m psycho, I continue to buy them. It’s a love hate relationship I guess. You can see in the cover image above I have on the Aligns in “Formation Camo Deep Coal Multi.”
Obsessed. Basically the easiest way to put it. I purchased two pairs of leggings from Aerie on Cyber Monday. You couldn’t beat that price and I had read about them from just about every blogger and influencer. I snagged a pair of the Aerie Move and a pair of the Aerie Chill. The Aerie Chills are a great fabric and feel for around the house. They’re more of a cotton blend than spandex. The Aerie Move are probably the best Lulu dupes I’ve found. And for that price!! I bought size XXL in these, which is plenty comfortable but I could’ve gotten away with the XL too I think. I have washed them multiple times with little to no pilling.
I had been on the hunt for a foolproof pair of leather leggings for awhile now. They instantly up the feel of any outfit and can be a real staple in your wardrobe! In case you live under a rock, Spanx now has an entire line of leggings, jeggings, and more. If I’m rocking leather leggings, it’s going to be by Spanx to make sure they suck it all in and don’t show any unwanted cellulite. (Just speaking the truth here.)
Out of all of the leather leggings out there, I liked the look of Spanx’s the best. They’re slightly matte and don’t come off with that icky yucky shine look, plus have a thick waistline. Two cons I need to point out. First of all, these run extremely small. I’m usually somewhere between an XXL and 1X. (Yes, these are different. 1X-3X are women’s sizes and run BIGGER then your usual S-XXL.) So, with that being said I ordered my usual 1X size. Nope, those suckers weren’t even going over my thighs. Since I had no idea how Spanx sizes ran, I decided I would return in person so I could try them on. I ended up having to take a 3X. This hurts my soul a little bit, but they look better and feel better too. The other con is that I found them to roll down a little bit when I sit. This seems to be a common thought from the reviews I’ve read. They are a bit pricey at $98 (Nordstrom has a dupe for $49 if you can’t commit) but like I said before, I will only trust Spanx when it comes to rocking leather pants. There’s also a killer quilted moto version which I was tempted to buy too.
I was on the hunt for a pair of athleisure leggings to wear during the fourth trimester and stumbled across a pair of these in a GAP store. What I mean by “athleisure leggings” is that they are mostly cotton, not too constricting, and basically just comfortable. These fit the bill so I was excited to try them out. They are a great price point at only $24. I wear a size XL in these, so they seem to run true to size. Although I should say I wore the crap out of them, only two months later they are completely wrecked… pills everywhere, stretched out, just yucky. Probably going to trash these and maybe grab a replacement pair. Nordstrom also has a comparable pair for only $19 that I am going to give a whirl…
Bad. Not impressed. Not sure how else to put it… I think GAP must have recently changed their fabrication or something. I still have a pair of GAPFit leggings from circa 2013 that I still wear and love dearly. However, I have tried and tried to go back to GAP but all of their leggings since then have done nothing but disappoint. They are so constricting, a weird rise that they call is “high rise” but TBH came up midway to the unflattering roll point. (Ladies, you know what I mean? The part where you don’t want ANYTHING?) They also run small. I found I was always sizing up. Lastly, that price! At $55 and up I’d rather pick up more Zella’s or splurge and get the LuluLemon’s. Huge disappointment.
I sincerely hope this post helps a sister out! Are there any other brands I haven’t tried? Forgot to mention? Please, let me know! I am always on the hunt for the best black leggings on the market. Check out some of our past guides and reviews from the archives, too!