The Definitive Guide to Choosing the Best Leggings

Nowadays, we work, workout, and go out in leggings. We officially live in them. Yet many of us are still on the hunt for the perfect pair. We’ve probably tried dozens of brands, styles, and fabrics, and still don’t have a go-to we can count on. Luckily, we’re in the leggings business, and know a thing or two about what’s important when deciding what leggings are right for you, your body type, and workout routine.

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Legging Lengths

Choosing the length of your leggings is largely based on how tall you are, and how hot you run. It’s up to you to choose which supersedes the other in terms of importance.

Full-Length Leggings
Full-length leggings are by far the most popular, chosen predominantly for the full coverage and lengthening effect. If your body runs cold or you live in a cold climate, you’ll want the warmth of a full-length legging. And they’re a real shin saver for all our weightlifters out there who deadlift.

7/8 Mid Length Leggings
What are 7/8 leggings, you may ask? Don’t worry—it’s not a math equation we’re asking you to solve. These leggings just have an inseam that’s ⅛ shorter than full-length leggings.

If you’re on the shorter side, a 7/8 legging might be exactly what you’re looking for, giving you full-length coverage. If you’re not short, but looking for a way to elongate your legs and give the illusion of more height, this is the length you want. By exposing your ankles, aka the thinnest part of your leg, your legs will appear longer. If you want to really lengthen your form, choose a high-rise ⅞ legging.

And if you’re considering this style purely for function, a ⅞ cut is great for floating through a yin yoga flow without having extra fabric bunch at your knees

Capri Leggings
Capri-length leggings typically cut right below your knees, at the shins. But choosing the right length requires identifying the thinnest part of your leg. Everyone is different—your narrow spot could be below the knee, the calf muscle, or just above the ankle. Wherever that spot is for you, that’s where you want the hem of your legging to hit for the most flattering fit.

Capris can be the best of both worlds for those in warmer climates—less revealing than shorts, but cooler than full-length leggings.

Legging Styles

The style of leggings you choose is less about what’s appealing to Gen Z and more about what looks good on your body type. Not to mention what’s required for a particular workout.

Fitted Leggings
A fully fitted legging is crucial for certain workouts. You don’t want loose fabric swishing about if you’re cycling, doing inversions in yoga, or needing all the aerodynamics in your favor to run an 8-minute mile.

Flare Leggings
For your life off the mat, you can choose a more flattering style that does a killer job balancing out curvy figures. Flare leggings are an innately casual addition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t test the waters in a yin yoga class or two.

Legging Waistband Construction

The next thing you want to factor in your leggings selection is the waistband construction. This is no dramatization—the right waistband can make or break your workout. Whether it’s so constraining your stomach hurts or so loose you have to keep pulling your leggings up.

Stretch Waistband
You’ll find this style of waistband on almost every pair of leggings you come across, cut from the same fabric as the legging itself with a wide, comfortable fit suitable for a broad range of activities, from barre to brunch.

Elastic Waistband
A stretch spandex waistband can provide some support, but if you’re worried about your tights staying put through explosive moments, an elastic waistband may be crucial for your leggings to stay in place.

Foldover Waistband
A foldover waistband isn’t just a blast from the past, it serves a functional purpose, allowing you to customize your coverage and comfort every time you stretch, twist, or bend.

Drawstring Waistband
Some runners may prefer a drawstring waistband that allows them to adjust tightness. For the same reason, an adjustable, drawstring waistband is the perfect choice for lounging around the house. No judgement.

Legging Rise Types

While millennials clench their high-rise leggings, never to return to a lower rise ever again, this is a healthy reminder that the rise of your leggings should be determined by the length of your torso, and what kind of coverage you need. Some people need more, some need less. Take what you need.

Mid Rise Leggings
Depending on the length of your torso, mid-rise leggings should sit at your belly button and have a wide, stretch waistband that still holds you in. If you’re doing light weights in the gym with little active movement, these are a great everyday go-to.

High Waisted Leggings
High-waisted leggings provide longer torsos excellent support and coverage around the waist and tush, and tend to stay put no matter how vigorous the workout is. A flattering pair of high-rise leggings can also look great with a sports bra top.

Ultra High Waisted Leggings
Ultra high-waisted leggings have an inch or two more coverage, sculpting your waist, hips, and stomach for a more flattering look.

Maternity Leggings
These bump-friendly leggings feature an extra-wide, supportive high-rise waistband so pregnant bellies feel covered, comfortable, and supported whether they’re working out or walking around the block.


Almost as important as the fit of the leggings is what you’re doing in them. Every activity, from running to HIIT, requires something different from a pair of leggings.

Yoga & Studio Leggings
A pair of leggings you’d wear to yoga or barre will often focus on softness and comfort. Our Seamless High-Waisted Leggings are cut from our most breathable seamless fabric and feel like you’re (almost) wearing nothing at all.

Running Leggings
A pair of leggings designed for running should have a sweat-wicking fabric and snug waistand. Our High-Waisted Motion365® Run 7/8 Leggings are cut in our most versatile fabric, designed with a mesh overlay for breathability (a runner’s dream!), and have a drawcord waist for no-slip wear.

Training Leggings
Strength training requires a pair of leggings that won’t dig in or fall down mid-circuit. Crafted from our most resilient, sweat-wicking nylon, our Anywhere High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings can take you from boot camp to barre class with ease.

Lounge Leggings
Debatably the most important piece in your wardrobe, these leggings need to be comfortable enough to live in. More comfy than any pair of old long johns, our Waffle High-Waisted Leggings will quickly become your new favorite pants.

Everyday Leggings
Like your loungers, these guys need to be comfy, but also exude athleisure lunch vibes. High waisted with a foldover waistband and adjustable drawcord, our Luxe Drawstring Leggings are made of soft terry fabric—great for everyday errands.

Legging Fabric & Compression

Fabletics’ signature fabrics provide 4-way stretch for complete mobility and moisture-releasing technology to help keep you dry. Each piece was designed to flatter the female form while offering maximum comfort, with flat-lock seams to prevent chafing, waistbands that sit high for confidence while stretching, and longer tops for a streamlined silhouette.

PowerHold® Fabric
Fabletics PowerHold® fabric provides the max compression and ultimate hold for the most flattering silhouette. We recommended this fabric for cross-training because of its moisture-wicking and UPF 50+ sun protection.

Motion365 Fabric
Fabletics Motion365 fabric is our most versatile fabric, designed to give you all the sculpting benefits of high compression with maximum breathability. This state-of-the-art fabric is crafted from resilient nylon that wicks away sweat and enables full range of motion—whether you’re at boot camp or barre class.

SculptKnit Fabric
Fabletics SculptKnit fabric provides medium compression, contouring and sculpting in all the right places. We recommend this fabric for training thanks to its moisture-wicking properties and strategically placed ventilation.

PureLuxe Fabric
Fabletics PureLuxe fabric provides medium-to-light compression. Its super-soft, buttery feel allows for total range of motion. We recommend this fabric for studio sessions because of its non-restrictive, barely there feel and moisture-wicking properties.

Seamless Fabric
Fabletics Seamless fabric provides light compression. Its second-skin feel is recommended for doing yoga and lounging about the house. It’s easy to move in, lightweight, and breathable.

Technical Features

When shopping for the best leggings, there are a few key features to look out for depending on what you’re doing in them.

External Pockets
These aren’t two-inch slits in the waistband, these are deep compartments on each side of the thigh, large enough to hold your iPhone, wallet, keys, or an entire granola bar. An essential feature for an athleisurely lunch legging.

Drop-In Pockets
Whether you walk or run outside, a hidden back pocket is essential for stashing your keys when you want to be hands-free. More serious marathoners use this space to stash their energy gel.

Zip Pockets
Zippered pockets are often tucked in the waistband or at the hip so they don’t detract from your run. Another great spot for stashing your keys or energy gel, with added security.

Reflective Details
Having reflective details on your leggings is a necessity if you’re doing early morning or after-dusk workouts outdoors, so you’re visible to cars driving by.

Leggings Care Guide

A few simple guidelines can help you get the most out of your Fabletics products. Learn how to keep them looking and performing like new over time.

How to Wash Your Leggings
Once you find the perfect pair of leggings, you’ll want to get the most life out of them as humanly possible. To make sure they maintain their integrity, we recommend turning your leggings inside out, and machine washing with cold water on a gentle cycle. Avoid fabric softener and bleach as well. Most fabric softeners contain silicone, which can block the tiny pores in the fabric and diminish its moisture-inhibiting capabilities. Lastly, hang-dry to keep the shape of your leggings intact.

How to Prevent Pilling
Do your leggings get those annoying balls of fuzz along the seams? Well, those are aptly named pills. They’re usually found on seams that experience the most friction. To prevent them, we recommend washing your leggings inside out. This prevents excessive abrasion to the surface of your leggings from other clothes, zippers, and buttons. If you can’t seem to prevent pilling, one of the most effective ways to remove pilling is using a battery-operated pill and fuzz remover that shaves the pills from the surface and seams of your leggings.

Find The Perfect Pair

There are multiple factors in selecting the perfect pair of leggings. Which is probably why it’s so hard to find “the perfect pair.” Luckily, Fabletics has a leggings finder that makes it super simple to weed through what’s important to you. Take this quick quiz to find what you’re looking for!

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