life·9 min read

Our Favorite Leggings to Work Out, Lounge, and Live In

best leggings to live and work out in
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Girlfriend Collective
Aug 2, 2022

This post was originally published in August 2021 and has been updated.

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Finding the right leggings can be tricky, especially when shopping online before trying them on. You want a pair that feels supportive when you work out, with a waistband that’s compressive but comfortable. Throw pockets into the mix and — chef’s kiss — you’ve got the trifecta. 

We consulted Skimm HQ’rs to provide you with the best options available. The result? Lots of recs with options for lounging, working out, and running errands. We also made sure to ask about pilling and washing, because if a pair can’t make it through several laundry cycles, they’re not worth your hard-earned cash. Kiss your sweats goodbye in three...two...one...

Compressive leggings that are environmentally friendly…

Made from 25 recycled water bottles, these leggings are great for high-impact workouts like running, biking or weightlifting. You’ll be able to squat in this pair without the fear of any see-through moments. To make sure they live their best life, wash 'em on cold with like colors. Once they’re really worn out, you can recycle them with the ReGirlfriend program. ($78, Girlfriend Collective)

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Buttery-soft, restriction-free ones for workouts…

Got a training sesh coming up? No sweat (literally). These high-waisted ones come in a ton of colors (and fit styles) and feel like a second skin. They have a slight compression to keep you secure while you lift. And the wide waistband adds extra comfort and support. Plus, they have three different pockets, so you can easily slip in your essentials while on the go. Psst…these work for days on the couch too. ($21.99+, Amazon)

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A Beyond Yoga pair that can resist pet hair and nails…

That may sound too good to be true, but believe us, it’s not. One Skimm HQ’r has worn these for a while and says hair rolls right off. These leggings are also wear-tested so you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck. They won’t stretch out or pill after a few washes. ($99, Beyond Yoga)

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A pair that’s ideal for lounging…

Need something ultra-soft to wear on your next flight? These fit the bill. They’re made from a heavyweight recycled jersey material that makes them ideal for those days when being comfy is a non-negotiable. Operation cozy, here you come. ($78, Girlfriend Collective)

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A pair with pockets that are versatile and warm…

They're perfect for lounging, working out, and yoga. One Skimm HQ’r even uses them as a base layer when skiing. They’ve got a good amount of stretch, but still keep their shape. Plus, if you want something with sweat absorption, these leggings have you covered. They’re made of moisture-wicking fabric that’ll keep things breathable and comfy all the way through. Psst: Looking for bike shorts? These have their own version you’ll wanna add to cart too. ($21.98+, Amazon)

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A seamless, ribbed pair that come in fun colors…

These leggings are ultra-comfy and perfect for running errands thanks to its seam-free construction and super-soft fabric. Choose between green apple or a chic terracotta shade and you’ll be ready to take ’em from the couch to your afternoon walk. Multipurpose clothing for the win. ($39+, Outdoor Voices)

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Lululemon leggings that are incredibly popular for a reason…

Designed for low-impact workouts, the Align leggings are so buttery soft you may even forget you have them on. You won’t want to immediately take them off once you’re done working up a sweat. Trust. Psst...when we asked Skimm HQ, this pair won out as the crowd fave. Now it’s time for you to find out why. ($98+, Lululemon)

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And a more affordable pair that’s equally soft if you’re looking to save some cash…

Meant to be restriction-free, this lightweight pair is basically the less costly version of the Align. Customers rave about the fit and design, saying that they’re just as comfy. They’re high-waisted with an inner pocket for valuables and come in a whopping 45 colors. ($23.99+, Amazon)

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A classic, high-waisted pair that won’t fall down…

The worst feeling? Constantly having to hike up your leggings during a workout. These leggings have you covered. They hit at the perfect spot and will definitely stay in place. Plus, the fabric is lightweight and will keep you cool. Gonna need every color. ($39+, Nordstrom)

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A faux-leather pair that double as pants during the colder months…

Because why wear jeans if you don’t have to? Pair these Spanx ones with an oversized sweater and you’ll have the perfect cold-weather outfit. ($98, Nordstrom)

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Capri leggings with full-sized pockets for your phone or wallet…

One Skimm HQ’r highly recommends this pair for its fabric, fit, and pocket size (obviously). Convenience is key when you’re heading out on a run and you don’t wanna carry your phone in your hand the entire time. Exercise = made easy, courtesy us. ($23.99+, Amazon)

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Super popular flare leggings you can wear from your couch to brunch…

With a relaxed fit, you’ll never wanna take these off. They’ve got the ultimate transitional look — you can dress them up for a meal with your girls or pair them with a tee for a chill day at home. With the flattering crossover top and buttery-soft feel, it’s no shocker why HQ’rs are obsessed with these. ($34.96, Aerie)

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A breathable pair with a ton of support for studio workouts…

They’ve got a waistband pocket that’ll fit your smartphone, are made with buttery-soft fabric, and will pull moisture away from the body. So you can sweat without feeling damp. They’re also quick-drying, so if you’re heading somewhere after the gym, you won’t feel icky if you don’t have time to change. ($89, Athleta)

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