Welp, we’ve officially hit that point in the pandemic when we differentiate between our leggings and our nice, stylish leggings. Or is that just me?
Answer: No way that’s just me.
You all went kind of wild for our team’s recos for of our favorite sweatpants and leggings back when All This first kicked in. But now that I’ve been working from home for a full six months, I have to upgrade — just a little — or I’m going to start slinking back into a very bad place.
It’s more than retail therapy. For me, making that change from summer casual to fall style has always been an important marker, like a delineation between SUMMER, WHOO! and “time to get serious.” So I’m doing what every reasonable work-at-home woman would do in the same situation, and that’s add to my leggings collection without apology.
So take a look at a few of my favorite options and see what works for you.
Comfort + Style? Who says we can’t have it all.
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Related: Our favorite Patagonia jackets for fall 2020
A simple way to upgrade to stylish leggings this year is to look for animal prints. I absolutely loooove the Python-Print Soft Denim Leggings I bought from Hue months ago — but I can only find them on Zappos right now in limited sizes. (Sorry, Mediums. Though if you’re S, L, XL the price is awesome!) So soft and comfy, they’re easily four-season pants.
Alternatively, these newer Hue Leopard Ponte Leggings are fun, with that v-slit capri ankle that makes them more pant-like on the bottom. But they’re not just fin — they have pockets! Real working pockets!
Not feeling the leopard but like the idea? Florals are still in, and Hue’s Autumn Floral High-Waist Denim Leggings may be more your speed. In this case, the pocket are in the back, but that helps them look more like pants, if you’re daring enough to go with a top that doesn’t fully cover your bum. I also like their Floral Denim Skimmer Leggings in more of a grey-toned pattern that will take you nicely into winter.
Related: Fur-trimmed booties for fall and winter: 5 of my favorite ways to get your tootsies up to trend
After years of Kristen raving about them, I finally splurged on a pair of the uber-popular Spanx faux leather leggings. No complaints, I love them! Just a few things to know, though: First, they’re leggings, not pants in any way. So no pockets, no grommets, no fake zipper placket. Second, they’re very shiny, definitely more than real leather, but not in a bad way. And third, well, Spanx. So they’ll hold you in. Which is what in part makes them my “wear-out-of-the-house” stylish leggings. (They also come in petite and plus sizes, which is fantastic.)
Note: For a bargain version, Nordstrom sells their own brand of BP Faux Leather Leggings at about half the price. I was excited until I read the reviews and…well, caveat emptor.
Want the leather look but not quite feeling the whole Spanx thing in post-pandemic America? I hear you. I just found these Leatherette Leggings from Hue which not only skip the squeeze, but they actually look like real pants. And I love that they ring in under 50 bucks. In fact, I think I’m going to add to cart right now, because they’ll be amazing with sneakers or boots. I don’t have too many opportunities these days to wear cute kitten-heel mules TBH.
Related: Long belted shirtdresses: 5 favorites you’ll want to live in this fall and winter.
I keep hearing good things about the affordable brand Baman’s, which has a shop on Amazon. Their Bootcut Pull-On Dress Pants are kind of a misnomer because uh…they’re leggings. With a straight leg, not a boot cut, making them pretty flattering on everyone. They even have belt loops (sneaky!) and two front pockets, so you can definitely pass them off as pants. The black and navy are great of course, but I like this heather gray.
If you’ve ever owned a pair of Wolford stockings, you know that they’re worth every penny. Although…you will spend a whole lot of pennies. I’m currently coveting the super stylish Wolford Velour Leggings right now; a texture like velour is such an easy way to upgrade your leggings from cotton or Lycra-Spandex. However I admit I look nothing at all like the model wearing them and am not 24 years old, which means I would be wearing them with a long tunic or cardigan, and definitely not a tube top. Don’t want to scare the children.
Wolford leggings can be expensive, even on sale — though if you want a deal, check out the prices on the Cloud and Office Grey shades here. Sweet.
Why yes, those are authentic Burberry Check Leggings, for the kinds of shoppers who don’t bother looking at price tags. Are you among them? Wear them in good health, my friend.