ABOVE: // Leggings by Hylete.com
As a trainer, I spend most days in leggings.
Usually, this involves two different pairs between my workouts and my work day.
This means I that I shop for leggings for multiple purposes and seem to be on the never ending search for the ultimate pair. I am also frugal so it takes me a long while to finally concede to spend the money a good pair of leggings requires.
I guess this is why I am always on a quest to find that long undiscovered bargain pair of stellar leggings. It never pans out, though, and I always end up back shopping at my favorite store.
In my closet you will find a wide variety of brands. I have bought and worn leggings from a slew of places including Costco, Target, Old Navy, JC Penny, Lulu Lemon, Hylete, Athleta, Amazon, and even Groupon, so I will share my opinion on them all.
We will start with my least favorite and work our way to my favorite.
For reference, I am 5’7 and a curvy, muscular size 6. While some of these brands are not great for me, it doesn’t mean they won’t be right for other body types, workout and lifestyles.
Groupon: I have tried leggings from a Groupon deal a few different times and I always end up sending them back. They make the models look perfect in them in the pictures, but I have always found the material to either be too thin or the fit to be odd. Most often the brand has been Marika. Not to say they won’t ever offer a brand that would be ideal, but I haven’t found them on Groupon yet.
Old Navy and Target: I love the look of some of the styles that Old Navy and Target carry and have worn their leggings for both working out and working in (training others), but I am usually disappointed about how poorly they hold up after washing.
Costco: I have purchased the Kirkland brand of leggings from Costco on multiple occasions with high hopes. $19.99 is worth a shot! What I have found, however, is that they never seem to hold up in the wash and I end up keeping them in my drawer to wear only when I am by myself doing a workout at home. The see-through effect is never OK.
JC Penny: I have gotten several pairs of leggings from JC Penny over the years and they do hold up well. They have some cute styles but I don’t love the material to work out in. They may have different ones but my experience with them is that they slide down a lot and I have to pull them up frequently. I am, however, comfortable wearing these leggings to work in and have a few pairs in my closet that I have owned for several years.
Lulu Lemon: I have owned a couple of pairs of Lulu’s previously and the material is top notch. However, for my figure, Lulu is not the answer. I have always felt that I was too curvy for their cut and have to go to a much larger size to even get them to fit. This being said, it has been a
couple of years since I have worn them so they may now have more options for my body type.
Hylete: I have two pairs of Hylete in my closet. I have one pair that I like (the Nimbus) and one
pair (the Motiv) that I am not comfortable in. The Motiv is a “second skin” fit and, for me, it’s a little too revealing. The Nimbus polyester/Spandex material is more my speed, but both pairs have a cut that is short waisted. I am not a fan of how low they ride because I feel like I have a muffin top when I wear them. I will wear these to work in with the right shirt but do not feel comfortable working out in them. The Hylete quality is top notch so I think they would work well for the right figure.
Amazon: You may not know this but Amazon has created their own brand of fitness apparel.
The line is called Core 10. I read about it somewhere and decided to give it a shot. At about $50-$60 a pair, I thought these might be a happy medium between cheap leggings and the high-dollar ones that I prefer. I was right … sort of. I do like that you can basically create your own pair of leggings, choosing your length and waist height as well as what you will be wearing them for. I also like that I was able to get the Capri leggings at a deep discount this winter because most everyone was ordering the long leggings. The material is nice and thick and no see through so I can work out in them. As impressed as I was with them, though, I can’t justify buying those when I can spend $20 more and get my favorites that I always come back to which is …
ATHLETA: I discovered Athleta several years ago when given a gift card for my birthday. It’s one of those things where you almost wish you had never discovered them. I have tried many times to find leggings that I love as much as I love every pair of my Athleta’s but I always end up right back there. The sizing and cut is consistent and exactly right for me. I can order online and they will fit every time across different styles. The material is of the highest quality and is very flattering for my curves. I don’t find myself pulling at my Athleta’s and can wear them to workout in or to work in. The prints and colors are great and I am always confident and comfortable in this brand. Some of my favorite Athleta styles are the All In Tight, The Contender Tight, The Challenge Tight, and a couple of the different Hybrid Tights (which I can even wear out to a nice dinner!). Hands down Athleta has my heart.
It used to be that I would wear cheap leggings to work out in and save my higher-dollar favorites
to wear during my work day. Recently, though, I decided that was ridiculous. If you are distracted by discomfort or being self-conscious during your workout, then it’s not worth the savings. My closet has been getting an overhaul and I am throwing out anything that doesn’t make me feel like I can be my best all the time. #beyourbest #feelyourbest