When people go back to work, they won't want to return to the office wear of the Before Times. So sporty clothing brands are pivoting to productive comfort.
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Absolutely every woman needs a good pair of black leggings in her closet — after all,...Absolutely every woman needs a good pair of black leggings in her closet — after all, what other piece in your wardrobe is as versatile? The best black leggings can be worn under a dress, with a sweater, to the gym, or on a plane. ADAY makes our favorite black leggings, but 2XU, Tommy John, Spanx, Girlfriend Collective, Uniqlo, and Athleta also make great ones. It seems like there's always a different color trying to be the new black, but try as stylists might, no shade of ochre or crimson or teal will ever truly replace black. Even if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there's no way to imitate the sleek, simple, timeless aesthetic of the queen of all colors. And that's particularly the case when it comes to your favorite pair of leggings. While you may occasionally want to spice up your leggings collection with some grays or blues or, yes, perhaps even hot pink, it seems difficult to imagine a world in which black leggings don't reign supreme. When it comes to picking a great pair of black leggings, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. First and foremost, durability ought to sit at top of your list of priorities. A good pair of black leggings will be worn several times a month (if not week), and as such, will need to be able to stand up to both daily wear and tear as well as several cycles in the washing machine. You'll also want to ensure that your leggings are easy to care for and won't lose their color. Nothing is sadder than a formerly black pair of leggings, so you'll want to find tights that can maintain their color. And finally, the price point should be taken into consideration. While great leggings don't have to cost an arm and a leg, you may be willing to pay a bit more for black leggings that will last you more than a few months at a time. Here are the best black leggings you can buy: Best black leggings overall: ADAY Leggings Best black exercise leggings: 2XU Best black lounge leggings: Tommy John Best black shaping leggings: Spanx Leggings Best size-inclusive black leggings: Girlfriend Collective Leggings Best affordable black leggings: Uniqlo Leggings Best black leggings for petite women: Athleta Leggings The best black leggings overall ADAY has a wide range of leggings that are great under skirts and dresses or as a standalone pair of pants. ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's leggings. I've always been a fan of the Throw & Roll leggings. Most of ADAY's leggings are made of a material that is quick-drying, sweating-wicking, and sunscreen- and oil-resistant. Plus, they have an elastic waistband that's comfortable yet snug, so they always stay in place. The leggings also have pockets so you can store your phone, cards, and other small necessities. While many leggings are, at their core, gym clothes that just so happen to look good as streetwear, too, ADAY takes the opposite approach. These leggings are first and foremost meant to make you look absolutely excellent, and just so happen to be extremely comfortable and versatile as well. ADAY leggings still aren't necessarily cheap at $125, but that's more in line with high-end athleisure lines like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty who will charge similar prices for workout-only gear. —Lulu Chang Pros: Durable, incredibly comfortable, extremely form-flattering, warm for winter months Cons: Expensive The best black exercise leggings 2XU makes smart workout leggings that feel like a thin second-skin for maximum breathability and minimal interference. 2XU is the performance athletic wear brand founded by former professional triathlete Jamie Hunt, and it's well-known for its quality and tech. The company says its clothes are proven by independent, scientific research to deliver real physiological benefits to athletes. (2XU is tested using the Salzmann pressure measurement device to ensure the right pressure is achieved in compression and the Instron tensile strength tenser to measure strength and resistance.) Either way you slice it, you'll see plenty of professional athletes decked out in the gear — from the NBA to the US Navy SEALs. 2XU uses a proprietary PWX compression fabric. It's flexible, incredibly lightweight, and durable so you can put it through plenty of tough workouts. The company also uses graduated compression, so your waistband will lay flat without causing discomfort, and targeted compression works to increase blood flow, reduce blood lactate, and increase lymphatic drainage to help you be more efficient in the workout and during recovery. I've worn dozens of workout leggings over the last six years as a runner and over the last three as a product reviewer. 2XU leggings are the best intersection of fit, comfort, breathability, flexibility, and durability that I've encountered. I swear by the company's MCS Run Compression Tights (from $118.68) for their anatomical compression mapping. The MCS tights are sports-specific, so this pair has strategic internal compression that targets your calves and quads to reduce muscle fatigue as you run. For cross-training, check out this pair (from $104.13). In the past, there have been complaints that 2XU tights could be see-through. In response, the company added extra paneling in strategic places for greater security. I never experienced an issue in the older iteration, nor in the next generation. The leggings typically come in dark colors and patterns and range in size from XXS to XXL. If you're curious about sizing, check out the sizing chart offered on products on Amazon, and if between sizes, size up for a physical activity and down for recovery use. Paying upwards of $100 isn't ideal for exercise leggings, but if you're looking for the best option overall, that would be these. If you have the budget, they'll perform better than their competitors and stay fresh for longer than an inferior pair. Otherwise, look into Girlfriend Collective's LITE leggings for flattering, under-$80 leggings that are nearly as breathable as 2XU for less money and the added perk of sustainable materials. —Mara Leighton Pros: Graduated compression, extremely breathable, flexible, durable Cons: Expensive, complaints of sheerness The best black lounge leggings Tommy John makes the best loungewear available online, and their Go Anywhere leggings are soft, versatile, flattering, and extremely comfortable. Tommy John, the startup that makes the best loungewear overall on the internet unsurprisingly makes its most comfortable lounge leggings as well. Tommy John has expanded from being a cult-favorite men's underwear label to include women's offerings (courtesy of customers lobbying for it on the brand's Facebook page) and loungewear. We've been fans of most of what they've made: both the men's and women's underwear as well as its loungewear. Its singular pair of leggings are extremely comfortable, flattering, and versatile. There are no side seams, so there's minimal opportunity for chafing, and the midrise waistband is double layered for extra support and noticeable but unobtrusive compression. The four-way stretch material bends with you, and the dark black has outlasted quite a few washes thus far. The midrise and slight compression is also pretty figure-flattering. You can pick them up in black and in sizes 0-14. Despite being cozy enough to warrant the crown for the best black leggings for lounging, they're flattering and luxe-looking enough to be a good choice for activities outside the house. So, if you're planning on wearing leggings on the plane and on a trip, skip doubling up and just buy these. If a cozy pair of leggings that you can wear just as easily on an airplane or apple picking is worth $78 to you, you won't be disappointed. And if you are disappointed, you can return or exchange them within 30 days of delivery. —Mara Leighton Pros: Comfortable, versatile, stretchy, no side seams, double layer waistband, mild compression Cons: The material will likely be too thick for cardio exercise The best black shaping leggings Black leggings are already slimming, but with Spanx black leggings, you'll be able to look your absolute best. Spanx leggings are always high on Business Insider's list of favorites, and its black offerings are certainly no exception to the rule. I'm a huge fan of the brand's Faux Leather leggings, and so is the Insider Picks team. My Spanx leggings are a frequent flier throughout the year, but I've never had issues with these leggings thinning out or otherwise ripping. They hold up extremely well season after season, and while you may think that faux leather is exclusively a fall or winter look, they're surprisingly useful for a night out on the town no matter what the temperature may be outside. I love that the faux leather design comes with Spanx's signature Power Waistband, which means that it hugs you in all the right places, but won't suck you in to an uncomfortable degree. Of course, if faux leather isn't your cup of tea, Spanx has plenty of other black leggings for you to choose from as well. The Every Wear leggings are also a fan favorite, utilizing Spanx performance fabric and thinfused shaping technology for a waistband-free design. Plus, these leggings are breathable and feature an antimicrobial finish for all-day performance wear perfect for long travel days. —Lulu Chang Pros: Extremely flattering, super opaque and slimming, durable and long-lasting Cons: Some women report that Spanx are a bit constricting The best size-inclusive black leggings You'll look good and feel good for the planet once you don a pair of Girlfriend Collective's black leggings. Wearing black makes you look good, and wearing black leggings from Girlfriend Collective can be good for the planet, too. Girlfriend Collective's leggings are made from 25% recycled water bottles, and while that doesn't sound all that comfortable, you'll be shocked by just how dreamy these bottoms really are. The company also offers a more inclusive sizing than many competitors. You can shop sizes XXS (000) to 3xL (24), and typically three inseams (28.5-inches, 23 3/4-inches, or 19.5-inches). The company uses a compression-esque fabric that is well-suited for workouts or for everyday wear, and the leggings are actually surprisingly warm. That makes them fantastic options for standalone wear to the office or to a night out, even if temperatures are falling. Thanks for the soft material, you'll be more than happy to wear these black leggings all the livelong day. If you're not looking for warmth or compression, the company's Girlfriend Collective's LITE leggings are also an exceptional option for their breathability, stretch, price, and color options. They're the pair you'd want to take into hot yoga, and they're made from recycled fishing nets. While you may expect such a pair of leggings to set you back an arm and a leg, Girlfriend Collective is actually quite reasonable when it comes to pricing. Remember, this is the company that once gave its leggings away for free (you just had to pay for shipping). Today, they'll cost you just a bit more, but not a ton — you can get a pair of full-length tights for $68. The full-length option is extra-high rise, and comes with flattering seam details that you won't want to cover up with a dress or a long skirt (though you could if you wanted to). Plus, these leggings are super supportive and feature four-way stretch, so you couldn't possibly be more comfortable. —Lulu Chang Pros: Ethically and sustainably made; affordable; long-lasting; versatile; LITE version is very breathable Cons: Because of the relatively thick material, some may find the classic leggings a bit too warm The best affordable black leggings Even if you've sworn off fast fashion, the black leggings at Uniqlo are exactly what you need to stock up on in your closet. You don't need to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks, and no one knows this better than Uniqlo (or Uniqlo's shoppers, to be more precise). When I know I should be wearing pants but don't want to be wearing pants, I always turn to their black Ultra Stretch Print Leggings Pants. Thanks to the ultra-stretchy material and DRY technology, these "pants" feel like leggings, or rather, these leggings look like pants. Sleek, stylish, and supremely comfortable thanks to two-way stretch and moderately thick construction, these are my go-to leggings for just about any occasion. Thanks to the addition of a waist button (which doesn't actually serve any functional purpose), these leggings look more like real pants than most of the other leggings in your closet. Plus, the form-fitting skinny cut creates feminine, flattering lines, and the striped pattern is ultra slimming. I prefer these leggings in black, but you could also get them in off-white. Uniqlo also has a wide range of other black leggings to choose from, like the Airism Soft legging. More of your standard legging offering, these quick-drying leggings are thick enough to be worn on their own, with a matte surface that makes them look a bit more elevated than your typical gym wear. Of course, the real winning attribute of Uniqlo leggings lies in its price point. Both pairs of tights will cost you just $20 each, which means you could get both (or multiple pairs of both!) without feeling any kind of financial guilt. —Lulu Chang Pros: Leggings that look like pants, super affordable, extremely comfortable Cons: Some customers have remarked on sizing issues The best black leggings for petite women Athleta's leggings come in a wide range of styles, most of which come in petite lengths. If you're a petite woman, finding leggings that are the right length can be challenging. Athleta is one of our favorite brands that sells a variety of leggings in petite and 7/8 lengths. Whether you want black leggings with zippered pockets, ones with mesh inserts, or cute cropped ones, Athleta has a pair for you. Several members of the Insider Picks team tested out the 7/8 Contender tights, which come with two zippered pockets on the sides and an adjustable drawstring waistband on the interior. We really liked the soft, thick material and found the zippered pockets to be super handy for carrying our phones, keys, credit cards, and any other small essentials we needed. I personally love my pair for travel because of the great pockets. Depending on which pair you get, Athleta's leggings can transition easily from workout gear to a great pair of pants for running errands or going out. Athleta is also a B-Corp that's invested in improving production standards, so some of its leggings are certified Fair Trade or made from sustainable materials. —Malarie Gokey Pros: Comfortable, come in petite lengths, variety of styles, some have pockets, some fair trade options Cons: Pricey
Leggings may not be pants, but that doesn't mean that you can't wear them to work....Leggings may not be pants, but that doesn't mean that you can't wear them to work. The tights of today have come a long way since, say, 2010. In fact, there are now a number of companies making leggings that look a whole lot like pants — minus the discomfort, annoying buttons, and general constriction. The best leggings for the office can keep you comfortable and chic all day long, and we love ADAY's leggings best of all. Who says going to work has to be like going to purgatory? At least, insofar as your wardrobe is concerned — as for the content of your work itself, that's a totally different story. In fact, I submit to you that the right pair of leggings are the perfect bottoms for days when you just can't bring yourself to pull on slacks, a skirt, or a dress. I'm not suggesting that you run around in sheer pantyhose-esque leggings for all to see, but as it turns out, the tights of today have come a long way since, say, 2010. There are now a number of companies making leggings that look a whole lot like pants — minus the discomfort, annoying buttons, and general constriction. When it comes to picking your favorite pair of work-appropriate leggings, you'll want to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, your leggings must be comfortable. If they're not, then you might as well just go back to your more quotidian wardrobe options. Luckily, most leggings these days are indeed extremely soft, breathable, and livable, which makes them an excellent alternative to anything else in your closet. Second, you'll want to be sure that the leggings are opaque and structured enough that you don't feel the need to constantly cover your rear. You know what I'm talking about — if you're wearing the wrong pair of tights, you're constantly pulling down your shirt or opting for boxier, looser tops that cover your derriere. But that, my friends, is no way to live. You'll also want to keep in mind the formality of your office. There are some tights that could get you near the business formal zone, but of course, you'll want to exercise caution and determine just what you can get away with. And finally, you'll want to keep price points in mind. While office-appropriate leggings may cost you a bit more than your run-of-the-mill leggings, they still shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. No matter which of our favorite office-appropriate leggings you choose, we're sure you'll love your new work apparel. Here are the best leggings for work you can buy: Best leggings for work overall: ADAY Best ethically made leggings for work: Everlane Best variety of leggings for work: Spanx Best petite-friendly leggings for work: Banana Republic Best size-inclusive leggings for work: Universal Standard Updated on 09/04/2019 by Mara Leighton: Updated prices, links, and formatting. Added option for petite-friendly leggings and size-inclusive leggings.The best leggings for work overall ADAY's leggings not only look great and feel comfortable, they also have pockets and other great little details. It is a universally accepted truth that pockets make clothes better, and ADAY understands this concept well. The only way to make work-appropriate leggings even more of a blessing is to give them pockets. And that's exactly what ADAY has done with its leggings. ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's leggings. You'll want to check out both the Crop & Roll and Throw & Roll options. Thanks to small details like gunmetal snaps, zippered pockets, and slit details at the ankle, these tights look too good for a workout (but would certainly stand up to one). While the Throw & Roll leggings actually have zippered pockets, which I frequently use to hold small things like keys, lip balm, and the like, the Crop & Roll leggings also have a discreet compartment large enough for your phone or perhaps a small wallet. While most tights don't have any space for pockets, ADAY somehow manages to incorporate this very necessary detail in a way that looks effortless and chic. It's also certainly the aspect of these tights that I appreciate the most. After all, how often do you get to pull your phone right out of your leggings? Both pairs of tights are made of material that is quick-drying, sweat-wicking, and sunscreen- and oil-resistant. Plus, they have an elastic waistband with an adjuster so that you can keep the tights tighter during a workout and looser during the workday. While many other work-appropriate leggings are, at their core, workout leggings that just so happen to be good work clothes, too, ADAY takes the opposite approach. The company has a wide range of tops, jackets, and even jumpsuits that pair nicely with its fabulous leggings. ADAY leggings aren't necessarily cheap (they start at $98, but our two favorites cost $125 each), but that price is more in line with high-end athleisure lines like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty that charge similar prices for workout-only gear. — Lulu Chang Pros: Leggings that are truly made for work, convenient pockets, little details add sophistication Cons: While less expensive than some other brands, ADAY leggings are still quite pricey Shop all of ADAY's leggings here The best ethically made leggings for work Everlane's pants are comfortable and stylish, plus, they offer transparent pricing and were made in ethical working conditions. Everlane clothes always look good, but more importantly, they make you feel good too. And we're not just talking about the brand's soft, durable construction — we're also referencing its ethical and transparent sourcing and production methods. When it comes to work-appropriate leggings, Everlane has quite a few options from which to choose. And it just so happens that two of my favorites are very much on sale right now. Take, for example, the Stretch Ponte Skinny Pant. They're in Everlane's "choose what you pay" section, and cost just $47. And they just might be the best $47 you've ever spent. The Ponte Pant definitely feels like a great pair of tights, but looks far more refined. As the name suggests, the final effect is of a slimming skinny pant, and the midweight ponte knit makes it appropriate all year round. It's also stretchy enough to keep you breathing, but fitted enough to hug you in all the right places. Thanks to an elastic waistband and a side zipper, these pants give you a flattering, elongating effect. I also love the Stretch Ponte Crop Pant, which closely resembles its skinny sibling, but has an even more flattering length for the more petite gals out there. And while cropped pants sometimes make me look like a truncated version of myself, these leggings somehow make my legs look just a bit longer. Plus, they're great for showing off your favorite pair of shoes. — Lulu Chang Pros: Affordable, comfortable, extremely easy to care for, ethical production processes Cons: When these on-sale items go away, you may have to wait a bit for new work-appropriate leggings from Everlane Shop Everlane's bottoms collection here The best variety of leggings for work You may not think that you can wear Spanx as pants, but the brand has come a long way to prove you wrong. Believe it or not, your favorite butt, thigh, and midsection shaping Spandex tights can now be worn to work. And before you try to tell me that you don't work at a tech startup and consequently couldn't possibly get away with wearing Spanx as pants, let me redirect you to the brand's new and improved offerings, which now far exceed expectations. The folks over at Who What Wear have been styling Spanx leggings as pants for quite some time, and although I was skeptical at first, I've since become a full-fledged Spanx convert. The real draw of Spanx, of course, is that they are absolutely leggings. They're not comfortable pants or tights-esque bottoms — they're just leggings. That means that by design, they're stretchy, form-flattering, and comfortable. Plus, because they're Spanx, they also help maintain your shape and help you live your best and most fabulous life. If you're working in a more casual office environment, I'm a huge fan of the brand's jeans-like leggings, which are available in petite, regular, and tall inseams. They're not made of denim (they're mostly cotton, with some polyester and Spandex for stretch), but they have an extremely convincing denim print that is flattering on just about any body. These jeans also have Spandex's patented Gut Check shaping technology to keep your midsection in check, and fully functional back pockets combine form with function. I'm also a huge fan of the brand's velvet leggings (sizes XS to 3X, equivalent to sizes 0 to 28). While you may raise your eyebrows at such a seemingly gaudy pair of bottoms, you'll be convinced otherwise once you don them yourself. Available in four elegant yet unique colors, these tights look beautiful paired with a chunky sweater or under a dress. They add just the right level of sophistication and intrigue, and believe me, no one will ever believe that they're Spanx. Of course, if you want to err on the side of caution, you could always go for the brand's seamless offerings, which prevent any embarrassing camel toe situations in the office. For the most daring of all among us, there's the faux leather look, which I've often paired with a simple black top for a sleek effect. All in all, Spanx's leggings are comfortable to wear, easy to care for, and best of all, appropriate for the workplace. — Lulu Chang Pros: Wide selection of styles and colors, great shaping technology, less expensive than some other brands, inclusive sizing Cons: Some women have found the shaping technology too constricting Shop Spanx's collection of leggings here The best petite-friendly leggings for work Banana Republic's petite leggings are fitted and structured like traditional workwear, and have slight compression for a sleek fit. Banana Republic is one of our team's go-to destinations for reliable petite work pants, and their Petite Devon Legging is a great example for why. The Petite Devon sits at the waist, runs fitted through the leg to the ankle, and is offered in three inseams that produce the effect of nicely tailored workwear. The three leg lengths are 26-inch petite, 28-inch regular, and 31-inch long. Petite sizes go from 00 up to 14. The bi-stretch material (a blend of cotton, rayon, and elastane) is machine-washable, stretchy even after multiple washes, and has a mild compression for a sculpting and smoothing look. It moves with your body throughout the day and offers targeted support in necessary areas. A hidden zipper keeps the look streamlined, and darts added in the back lend a figure-flattering fit. This option is on the expensive side at $89.50, but it's not unusual for high-quality workwear — especially if you'll be wearing them often and skipping the dry cleaner fees. It's also worth noting that some reviewers encountered quality issues with the zipper, though most people tipped their hat to fit, versatility, and comfort. Another benefit to shopping at a big store like Banana Republic is catching your favorite items on sale. While 40% off styles may be unlikely at smaller startups, it's commonplace here. If you shop strategically, it's more likely you can get a deal. — Mara Leighton Pros: Comfy "legging-fit" with the look of a work trouser, stretchy fabric that withstands multiple washes Cons: Slightly pricey, some reviewers noted quality issues with the zipper Shop Banana Republic's collection of leggings here The best size-inclusive leggings for work Universal Standard's sizing ranges from 4XS to 4XL, and the site's Fit Liberty policy states that if your size shifts, they'll replace the eligible clothes for free. Universal Standard was founded to address the fact that while 67% of the women in the U.S. reportedly wear a size 14 or higher, the options available on the market typically don't reflect that. The company's sizing options range from 4XS to 4XL (the equivalents of sizes 00 to 40). And to reflect their mission to provide all women with a shopping experience focused on style rather than size, the line spans basics, trendy pieces, workwear, and luxe staples like premium leather jackets. Universal Standard's Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are technically pants, but they have the feeling of leggings. The midweight ponte material is soft and designed to be pill-resistant, and they have a flattering high waist with a flat band that won't roll or twist. As the name suggests, there's also an out-of-the-way pocket and matte black zippers at the ankles for dressing them up or down. If you need a petite version, Universal Standard offers that too. The company also guarantees that if your size shifts up or down within a year of purchase, it will exchange any piece in its Fit Liberty collection for your new size, for free. The Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are included in the collection. In terms of cons, the Ponte Pants are available in only two colors (black and olive) though that tends to be the standard for work-adjacent leggings, and are recommended for hand wash and hang dry. At $80, they may also be a bit more expensive than you're hoping to spend, but the Fit Liberty policy does sweeten the deal a little bit. — Mara Leighton Pros: Wide selection of sizes, petite styles, generous fit policy Cons: Relatively more involved fabric care, slightly pricey Shop Universal Standard's collection of leggings here