Many of us have a corner of our closet that features a thick stack of folded black leggings. Black leggings for running errands. Black leggings for working out. Black leggings for doing nothing at all. In fact,
plus size leggings are actually one of the few types of clothing that's fairly easy to find when it comes to extended sizing. Whether you're looking for leggings for exercise, the office, or date night, it's almost as easy to find plus size options as straight size. This, sadly, is a rarity for plus size shoppers, but it presents a different type of dilemma: How the heck are you supposed to know which pair is the best?
After crowdsourcing to figure out what some of the most popular brands are for plus size leggings, I called in a handful of them to wear myself and figure out what's so great about each and every pair. While not every pair was interchangeable (some were more formal, while others were clearly made for exercise), clear personal favorites certainly rose above the rest. No matter what your legging style is, there's definitely something for you out there. If you are looking for a starting point, this list should help. Here are nine of the best plus size leggings and what I thought of all of them.
Eloquii Essential Leggings
These leggings grew on me after a wear or two. When I first tried them on, they weren't quite as stretchy as I'm used to — they're 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex. However, they started to become more comfortable as time went on and it was nice to have an option that was somewhere in between a more pant-like legging and a workout legging. Buy these if: You are looking for leggings made of mostly cotton that you can wear while lounging around the house, running errands, or going somewhere casual.
Universal Standard Mesh Side Panel Leggings
These are hands down some of my favorite
workout leggings that exist, and the mesh side panel is a fun detail. The best part of these leggings, though, is that they do not fall down. The waistband stays at, well, your waist instead of slowly slipping down throughout the day or during a workout. They're an investment, but worth it for that factor alone in my opinion. Buy these if: You're looking for a pair of workout or athleisure leggings that you can wear for hours on end without them slipping down. These leggings were my favorite find of this whole experiment. They're the perfect blend of being perfect for working out and even better for everyday, casual wear. The classic black color is great, but Girlfriend also offers a variety of other colors for the leggings (I tried the red ochre and couldn't get enough of it). As an eco-friendly bonus, these are made partially from recycled water bottles. Buy these if: You're looking for an eco-friendly pair of leggings with a decent amount of stretch to them that you can wear at home, at the gym, or hanging out with friends at brunch.
Lola Getts Hi-Rise Legging
I was excited to try out
Lola Getts, an indie plus size brand that was new to me, for this story. I was pleasantly surprised with these leggings in the end. They were more workout leggings than anything else, but I enjoyed wearing them around the house too. The quick-dry fabric was an added bonus. Buy these if: You're looking for compression leggings that feature quick-dry fabric that's perfect for gym trips.
Torrid Premium Knit Leggings
these leggings very similar to the Eloquii pair. I wish they had a bit more stretch, but they also got more comfortable as time went on. These do have spandex in them, but they also are enough like real pants that they'd probably be OK in a casual office environment, or on a date. Buy these if: You're looking for casual, comfortable, affordable leggings to wear to everyday errands and not the gym.
Aerie Play Real Me High Waisted 7/8 Leggings
These leggings came recommended by many people, so I had to give them a go. I love a slightly-above-ankle length legging, so I appreciated that aspect of them. These would be my go-to yoga leggings if I were a person who regularly went to yoga. They're soft and look amazing on. The only downside I noted is that the waist band tends to move down after lots of walking or running. Sizing down could solve that problem, though. Buy these if: You love yoga, or are just a sucker for a super, super soft pair of leggings to wear around the house.
Most of us have probably owned a pair of
Old Navy leggings at one point or another. The brand is size inclusive and affordable, making it pretty difficult to resist. These particular leggings include piping down the side that makes them look way more pant than legging, and that's the point. I would feel totally comfortable wearing these to a casual office with a sweater. Buy these if: You're looking for a pair of leggings to wear to a casual workplace, or a pair you want to dress up for date night. These are also great if you're looking for leggings with a thicker type of material that still features a bit of spandex.
If you are looking for a pair of work "pants" that feel
exactly like leggings, these are your best bet. They also offer a super thick waist band, which is a little strange to get used to but also makes them feel like, well, fancy leggings. I wouldn't wear these to sleep in or work out in, but I would certainly wear these to an important meeting. Buy these if: You're looking for a pair of leggings to wear to work that, well, no one will think are leggings.
LOFT Plus Leggings In Seamed Ponte
This pair of leggings from LOFT are perfect for the workplace. They have a raised seam down the front of the leggings, making them that much more pant-like. The only negative about these is they were a tad bit short for me (I'm 6 feet tall), but they were very comfortable regardless. Plus, these are only 4 percent spandex as well, making them that much more pant-like than other pairs I tried. Buy these if: You are looking for a pair of leggings to wear to work, or you like the look of a raised seam.