Leggings have dominated activewear, as well as casual wear, for the past three decades. Before the dawn of the legging, people used to frequently exercise in satin shorts and leotards. Everything changed in the 1980s when tight Spandex and scrunchies became all the rage. Aerobics programs (think Jane Fonda) further helped boost this style to popularity.
The trend of the legging continued into the step classes of the 90s, the pilates and yoga classes of the early 2000s, up until –– well, it’s still going strong today! Now it’s 2022, and you’re looking for your very own pair of yoga leggings.
Today, we’re going to break down how to find the best pair for you!
Ask Yourself These Questions
The perfect pair of leggings will look a little different for every person. We all have our own wants, needs, and uses for our leggings. To get into the nitty-gritty, try to ask yourself these questions before buying.
Where Do I Want To Wear My Leggings?
The ultimate pair of leggings is, of course, versatile and suitable for more than one occasion. However, you may want to consider where you plan on wearing your leggings most frequently.
- At the Gym: If you’re planning on wearing your leggings to the gym, you want ones that stand up well to sweat and physical strain. Look for leggings that are durable and have moisture-wicking qualities. They should also be breathable.
- In Hot Weather: If you live in a particularly warm climate, consider shorter leggings or bike shorts.
- In Cold Weather: If you plan on wearing your yoga leggings in a cold environment, consider a fleece-lined pair specifically to keep you toasty.
- Out and About: If you plan on wearing your yoga leggings to more places than just yoga pants, consider what you need on your person. If you don’t carry a bag, consider leggings with pockets to store your phone, keys, or wallet. Leggings go beyond yoga; for example, lounging calls for yoga pants, as much as the abs sculpting class on Tuesdays.
- As a Base Layer: Leggings can serve as their own pants; however, they can also be worn under short dresses, long shirts, or even pants for extra warmth and coverage. If that’s the case, skinny leggings are your best bet.
What Kind of Fit Do I Prefer?
When it comes to leggings, there are three main types of fit:
- Tight: Tight, form-fitting leggings are trendy these days. These can slim the legs while bringing focus to the hips and bottom; they’re also ideal for layered looks.
- Straight: A straight pair of pants is flattering on anyone. Straight leggings are a good in-between if you don’t want to go for something too form-fitting or loose.
- Flare: Also known as bootleg leggings, some yoga pants flare from the knee down. These can help create visual interest and allow for some breeze around the legs.
What Length Do I Want My Leggings To Be?
These days, leggings are available in all kinds of different lengths. Take stock of what kind of pants you already own and what length will fit best with your lifestyle and activities.
Here are some legging lengths you are likely to find.
- ¾ Leggings: ¾ leggings end somewhere below your knee and over your ankle –– that is, ¾ of the way down your leg. These capri or midi-like leggings are very versatile for different weather. Capri leggings look best when paired with ankle socks.
- ⅞ Leggings: These ⅞ leggings are similar to full-length pants. These end right at the ankle and are perfect for a full coverage look.
- Extra Long: A lot of flare leggings fall into the extra long category. These go below your ankles and hit just above the ground. Make sure you check the product’s measurements or hit up a tailor to avoid them dragging on the ground.
Honorable Mentions — Snug Shorts:
- Boy Shorts: Boy shorts are the workout leggings option with less coverage and more booty. These are ideal for avoiding getting sweaty while showing off your gorgeous legs.
- Bike Shorts: Bike shorts tend to hit in the middle of the thigh or just above the knee. They’re a solid option for when you want short pants but wish to avoid chafing when walking, exercising, or biking. They also provide a bit more coverage.
What Will I Wear My Leggings With?
As a general rule of thumb, you really can’t go wrong with a plain black pair of leggings.
However, if you’re more inclined to splashes of colors, think of how you can play with prints and colors; we love a rainbow theme here at TomboyX. There are plenty of fun and funky leggings in all sorts of colors for you to choose from.
Whether it’s a bold stripe or a checkered pattern, try bringing a pop of color into your leggings. Not only can this help you express your personal style, but it can also emphasize parts of your figure for a fantastic look.
No matter what color you pick, try matching your leggings (or sweatpants or joggers) with your favorite sports bra or muscle tank top. The best yoga pants for you will align with or add to your existing wardrobe.
How To Find the Best Yoga Leggings
Now that you have gotten those questions out of the way, we can move into more general tips to keep in mind.
Choose the Right Material
Leggings should be comfortable, breathable, and, above all, flexible. Whether you opt for high-waisted leggings with a hoodie or boy shorts and a tie-dye tee, you want to check that your yoga attire meets all these needs.
The material your leggings are made of plays a huge role in that. When it comes to leggings, you can’t go wrong with recycled polyester. Polyester is popular in activewear because it holds its shape well and bounces back after stretching, allowing for movement. It’s also durable, sweat-wicking, and resilient.
Polyester also combines well with other materials, such as Spandex. Spandex lends it extra elasticity. A polyester-Spandex blend is moisture-wicking and relatively resistant to environmental factors, like mildew, making it great for everyday wear.
At TomboyX, our luxe leggings are OEKO-TEX certified. That means that every part of the buttery soft material has been tested for and found free of harmful substances. These tests are conducted by independent institutes and are based on strict global criteria.
Look for Pockets
Come on –– it’s 2022. Why would you settle for leggings without pockets? Pockets are more than just handy; pockets are part of the fight for gender equality. Pocket leggings are perfect for the yoga mat and breaking gender stereotypes.
At TomboyX, our leggings come with side pockets and a zip pocket in the center back waistband. That way, you will always have a place to store keys or your ID even when you don’t feel like carrying a bag.
Ditch the Front Rise Seam
Have you ever worn a pair of leggings and felt that it just felt –– well, a bit off in the crotch area? You can likely blame a front rise seam.
A lot of leggings come with this center crotch seam that can feel and look uncomfortable. At TomboyX, our leggings, bike shorts, and boy shorts are made without this seam for a smooth and sleek fit.
Try Out a Wide Waistband
Most leggings are either mid-rise or high-rise to achieve a smoothing effect that is flattering and secure. This looks best when it's paired with a wide waistband.
High-waisted yoga pants are hotter than ever (and not just in your hot yoga class). High-rise leggings are mimicking the resurgence of the mom jeans and a love of 90s fashion.
Try Them on — And Stretch
When it comes to leggings, you want them to conform to and contort to your body no matter what you do. After all, flexibility is one of the main draws of this garment. Because of this, it’s important to do a little fit test once you get your hands on a pair. You want a pair of yoga pants to be squat-proof but also smooth like a second skin.
Try bending over, spreading your legs, and doing some stretches to see if the leggings stay in place and don’t hold you back. This way, you can see if your leggings truly are the perfect fit.
We’ve gone over every aspect of your search for the perfect leggings. While this might seem like a lot of research, don’t worry –– when it comes down to it, it’s really quite simple.
With a quick search and these helpful tips, your next pair of leggings are almost in your closet, ready for the next yoga class on your schedule.