Listen. I don’t care where you sit on the fashion spectrum, from hypebeast to VSCO girl to Proenza-hoe to “I haven’t changed out of this sleep t-shirt in two days”. Now is the time for all peoples, no matter their gender, size, nation or creed to embrace the one loungewear piece to rule them all: leggings.
Now is not the time to debate whether leggings are “real” “pants”. We are in a pandemic, there are bigger things to worry about than the ontological status of clothing. While some of use might find self-soothing benefit in getting dressed up for our Zoom-lectures, Syrup would like to make the case for being as kind and loose with yourself as you need during this time. Looseness, here being embodied by tight, but uber-stretchy clothing.
As connoisseurs of leggings, (or yoga pants, sports tights, skins or whatever else you wanna call them), we’ve road-tested many and saved even more to our IG wishlist folders. Our editor-in-chief Mahalia is a Nike fan, I have succumbed to the cult of Girlfriend Collective and Julian is eyeing up a pair from Adidas for his next pick. These are our picks for the best leggings, may they be a stretchy palliative in these taunt times.
So we’ve spoken before about the sportswear giants’ leggings. Nike makes some of the best leggings in the biz, favoured by both professional athletes and uh… professional meme makers. You can have a scroll thru their site for styles suited to various levels of athleticism (and in plus sizes too), but we’re really into the new Yoga Luxe Leggings, which feature some hectic R&D in the form of Nike’s new Inflanon fabric, which promises softness, stretchiness and sweat-wicking.
Shop the Yoga Luxe Leggings: $100 at Nike.
We’ve spoken before about how sustainability is unfortunately not something one can simply click and “add to cart.” When it comes to the world of leggings at least though, there are some options that are a bit friendlier to the planet. These IG-fave tights from Nimble use 6 post-consumer recycled plastic bottles in their creation, stopping them from ending up in a landfill. That’s a yeehaw. The tights themselves? The perfect blend of compression-but-comfortable and the high waist means nothing’s getting dug into weirdly.
Shop the High Rise Long Tight II: $99 at Nimble Activewear.
Girlfriend Collective’s offering claims to be the worlds best leggings, and look, from the pair that I blessedly managed to snag new-off-Depop, it’s not such a wild claim. Another susty-fashion fave of ours, the honeys at Girlfriend also use recycled materials in their leggings. These leggings are one of my most worn pair: they’re the highest waisted of the bunch, I enjoy the clean single-colour and patternless aesthetic and they feel supportive enough for a HIIT workout, but relaxed enough to wear all day on the couch playing video games. Plus, bc Girlfriend Collective is all about going deeper, the brand also sells a laundry bag that you can use with any polyester fabrics to help prevent microplastics ending up in our oceans—one of the problems w all poly fabrics, even the recycled ones.
Shop the Compressive High-Rise Legging: $105~ at Girlfriend Collective.
I resisted Lululemon leggings for SO LONG. And let me tell you right now, learn from me, don’t be like me, if you’re a yoga-hoe, just embrace it and get yourself a pair of these. Yes, these leggings are a little pricier, but they’re made by people who just get it. The fabric is so smooth, I feel like a lil baby seal when I’m moseying around my mat. Despite being super light, it’s robust enough that I feel comfy doing regular gym-styles training (including stuff that involved kneeling on the floor etc). And the side pockets? Blessed. The freedom of being able to go on a socially-distanced stroll with just a phone and card slipped next to my thighs? It’s the closest I get to the intoxicating freedom of being a cis white dude. The company also does some p cool stuff too, including making Syrup’s fave meditation teacher Manoj Dias their one and only global ambassador.
Shop the Fast and Free High-Rise Tight 28″: $139 at Lululemon.
For an everyday tights pick, we’re into the classics. These tights from Adidas are mostly cotton, making them ideal for walking from your kitchen to couch to some gentle dance moves in your backyard in the sun. The stripes also perform double duty: elevating these into something you probably could wear in an outfit that’s destined to live beyond the confines of the house and walking to the post office, and, making you go fast. Adidas also partner with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally, which we are v into.
Shop the Adicolour 3-Stripes Tights: $40 at Adidas.
As much as we’re into the Outdoor Voices range for #DoingThings, sometimes it’s also nice to #DoAbsoloutelyNothing in these ultra-soft leggings. A favourite among the IG fashion set, these leggings are heather-y, colour-blocked perfection. Made with sustainable fabrics, the tights are comfy enough to see you through a whole day of *thinking* about getting up to go for a run. And when we’re allowed outside again, these are gonna be our pick for hikes and aesthetically pleasing trips to the farmer’s market. The next thing on our wishlist: the dreamy matching sweatshirts and joggers.
Shop the 7/8 Springs Leggings: $132~ at Outdoor Voices.
Okay, I have saved a secret best for last. These Uniqlo AIRism leggings are not to be slept on. They’re honestly the best leggings you can buy at this price point and rival some of the above in terms of sweat-wicking and support. The waistband is also very thicc and flat, meaning you can also tuck the bottom edge of a t-shirt in without it looking weird and bunched up. They come in sizes from XXS to XXL, have on-trend colours that rotate out though the seasons (I’m glad I snagged a lavender pair but black is always a classic option) and are under $30!! Go get em, and get comfy.
Shop the AIRism Soft Leggings: $29.90 at Uniqlo.
Lead image via Instagram @girlfriend.