7 Clothing Brands That Sell the Best Quality Leggings
Stylists have well-made options for working out, lounging, and hitting the town.
Leggings are one of the most difficult items to shop for. Aside from the fit and feel, you have to worry about the dreaded see-through factor—especially if you're planning to do any sort of workout in them. You might be wondering what brands are worth investing in, or perhaps you're looking for a retailer that sells quality leggings at affordable prices. According to fashion and fitness experts, there are select brands that meet these criteria, with options for both working out and working from home.
"Leggings have become the default grab-and-go basic for most," Elizabeth Kosich, a New York City-based certified image stylist and founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling, says. "Easy to wash, wear, and pair, they are the de rigueur wardrobe workhorse for just about every American woman. However, pieces in constant rotation need constant refreshing, especially when leggings can become pilled, misshapen, and tired within a single season. It's also smart to stock up on multiples for multiple occasions so you feel polished and appropriate no matter the setting."
Given there are so many factors to consider, we turned to experts about the best clothing brands for leggings. Read on to find out which seven retailers sell leggings that stand out from the crowd.
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Athleta, Gap's athleisure brand, was one of the top brands recommended by experts. According to Angela Foster, petite style coach, Athleta's leggings can't be beaten in terms of quality.
"They last forever and ever and are reasonably priced, making them a super smart investment," she says. According to Athleta's website, regularly priced, full-length leggings start at around $89, but you can always shop for discounted leggings in the sale section.
"Clients love the Salutation style because of the slim outside pockets and the comfortable compression," Foster explains, adding that they're just tight enough to smooth you out without feeling too snug.
"While they currently only offer high-waisted and ultra high-waisted [in the Salutation style], the super wide waistband is very flattering and makes your butt look great," Foster adds.
You don't have to sacrifice quality just because you're trying to save a few bucks, which is where Colorfulkoala comes in. Foster notes that these leggings have a wide and slimming waistband and a yoke detail (a V-shape on the back) that will give your booty a little lift.
"They come in tons of colors and patterns, which can make them a fun addition to your legging line-up," Foster adds. As a bonus, they start at just $20, and you can purchase them from Colorfulkoala's website or take advantage of two-day shipping via Amazon Prime.
However, if you're looking for leggings to wear during a high-intensity workout, these might not be your best bet, as they are "on the thinner side," according to Foster.
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Kosich's top recommendation is Commando, especially if you're in the market for something with a bit more pizazz. According to the stylist, the brand has "fashion's best-in-class options" in terms of faux leather leggings.
"Try sleek, solid black for a timeless look that gets you from fall to spring," Kosich recommends. "Consider a second pair with texture (croc!) or pattern (python!) to add splash and spice to your wardrobe."
Commando is also a go-to for faux patent leather leggings, in case you want a bit of shine. "Commando has the best selection of patent leather basics with non-squeak and control top features," Kosich says. "Pair with heels, an oversized graphic tee, and cropped faux fur jacket for a fierce, on-trend vibe. Or, for a more grounded look, try embellished ballerina flats, oversized cashmere turtleneck, and a menswear-inspired overcoat."
On Commando's website, regularly-priced leggings start at $108.
It's probably not surprising to see Lululemon on this list—many of us know the signature, stylized logo when we see it and recognize the brand's trendsetting looks (i.e. the famous "belt bag" everyone's been carrying around). But Lululemon is also renowned in terms of quality, even offering a Quality Promise for its activewear products. So, if you want to invest in athleisure—and leggings, in particular—you can't really go wrong with Lululemon.
"Their leggings are made from high-quality materials that are designed to last, and they offer a wide range of styles and sizes to suit any body type," Tonya McIntosh, founder and chief editor of TGFFitness, tells Best Life. "The company also offers a variety of features, such as moisture-wicking technology and pockets for storing small items."
However, do note that these leggings are on the pricier side, starting around $90 and going up from there.
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If you believe that quality is synonymous with sustainability, check out the leggings lineup from Girlfriend Collective
This brand takes environmental friendliness to a whole new level, as all of its clothing—and even packaging—is made from recycled materials like water bottles, fishing nets, and fabric scraps. When it comes to leggings, these are a bit more affordable than the likes of Lululemon, with individual pairs selling for under $100.
According to Foster, Girlfriend Collective stands out as it offers quality mid-rise leggings, which can be harder to find. "This fit is more flattering on the mid-section (hip, waist, stomach, thighs) and avoids the long, flat butt conundrum that frequently happens with high-rise," she explains.
This brand is also size-inclusive—offering sizes between XXS and 6XL—and if you're on the shorter side, they have options for you as well.
"Women with shorter legs who struggle to find leggings that aren't too long will love their compression leggings, which are available in a petite-friendly 24-inch inseam. No alterations required," Foster says.
For many of us, we hear "Spanx" and we think of that tummy-tightening gear we slip on for big events. But did you know the brand sells top-notch leggings?
"Spanx has award-winning leggings (for real!) that are worth the investment," Kosich says. In 2020, style website LTK named Spanx's original leggings the "Most Loved Fashion Item."
In addition to offering different styles, including jeggings and business casual leggings (who knew?), Spanx touts itself as "a brand for women by women." As such, these leggings are equal parts comfy and flattering—and each pair has that signature "magic" control-top feature Spanx fans know and love. The shapewear leggings go for around $100, depending on the style and fit you're looking for.
Per Kosich's recommendation, try out Spanx's velvet legging for something super stylish. "Pair with an oversized, menswear-inspired blazer, long white tee, pumps, and statement pendant necklace for a pitch-perfect, high-low outfit that's dressy yet not fussy," she says.
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Rounding out this list of quality leggings is another sustainable brand: Summersalt.
"This brand hasn't sacrificed fashion for environmental friendliness," Foster says. For her clients, Summersalt's brushed leggings are a "fan favorite."
"They're made from recycled bottles, are butter soft, and completely opaque," she explains. Much like Colorfulkoala, a pair of leggings from Summersalt won't break the bank either. According to the brand's website, which is known for its quality swimwear, the full-length brushed leggings retail for approximately $80.