Until recently I thought that leggings were another trend that I would have to skip. It took me long enough to get comfortable with skinny jeans and now this! Then, one day I got some just to wear around the house – a nice thick pair with black and white tie-dye pattern. Of course, they are so comfortable that I eventually started wearing them out of the house and now I’m hooked!
Leggings are so versatile. They can add a pop of color to any outfit, add warmth, and be worn as pants or under a skirt, dress, or tunic.
When buying leggings, a few of the things to look for are similar to buying jeans. Fortunately, the process is much less painful. Here’s everything you need to know to buy flattering plus size leggings that you’ll want to wear every day!
Leggings come in a wide variety of materials. The fashion leggings with all the different patterns and colors are usually cotton or cotton-blend. The blend with something for elasticity is a must. For an everyday legging, look for 5% or more of spandex, lycra, or elastane. More stretchiness will keep leggings smooth and prevent bunching in addition to providing support.
Sporty/yoga leggings are made from nylon and lycra and have some sheen to them. These can be worn as everyday leggings as well.
- HUE is one of the biggest brands for tights and leggings and always comes through for variety and sizes. Their leggings are affordable and have a wide waistband for tummy control and no muffin top. The Hue Women’s Ultra Leggings in XL fit a size 16. They are also available in 2XL.
This is something anyone purchasing leggings should keep in mind. We’ve all seen someone wearing TMI leggings. Almost everyone has cellulite, and that’s okay but there’s no need to broadcast that information. Or what color panties you’re wearing. Or if you have a wedgie… (Don’t you want to tell them? I always do but that seems creepy coming from a stranger. Lesson learned, always check out your behind in the mirror before going out.)
What to look for is thickness in addition to that stretch. Rub the fabric between your fingers and compare different leggings. It will be obvious. Thicker fabrics will last longer too and usually hide panty lines as well.
For summer weight leggings, you can opt for thinner fabrics but make sure they have plenty of elastic stretch to have the same coverage as thicker leggings.
- Moontree Jersey Leggings are have 5% Spandex and come in 7 different colors. Reviews report that they are great for tall gals and are plenty thick while maintaining breathability.
3. Color /Pattern
A walk down the street will demonstrate the wide range of colors, patterns, and fabrics that leggings come in. Standouts include the solar system, bright geometry, and leather. Some people may advise that bold designs will draw unwanted attention to trouble spots but I think they serve as camouflage and hiding in plain sight.
Don’t shy away from all the fun options out there, as long as they are thick and stretchy enough. Of course, you will get more wear out of a dark, neutral, or denim legging.
- What’s really hot this season is leggings with leather accents! Check out fabulous Faux Leather Panel Leggings from Torrid with pleather at the front, fabric at the back, and attitude all over!
4. Size and Fit
Other than the fabric, leggings that reveal rather than conceal are usually the wrong size. Yes, leggings are supposed to be tight but not too tight. They should be fitted, not skin tight. Another thing curvy girls should look for is a higher waist to prevent the muffin top from happening. Even better if the legging has some elements of shapewear, like a tummy panel.
- Lyssé Tight Ankle Legging – Named after the French word for smooth, these leggings were created by a woman who couldn’t find leggings that didn’t give her a muffin top. The high rise leggings are double layered for coverage and comfort. This is shape wear to show off! Check out their website for the latest styles, including fabulous animal print, sequins, and leather!
Sizing varies between brand so check the chart on the back and try them on if possible.
Leggings also come in various lengths. Most will be ankle length, covering the entire leg for cooler weather. They are perfect to tuck into boots or look cute with a peep of skin below the ankle. For warmer weather and workouts, capri length leggings that end mid-calf, somewhere between in the knee and ankle are super flattering. Pair them with a cute dress in summer or an oversized t-shirt for the gym.
- A division of Maidenform, these capri length leggings will be your go to base in warmer weather and for the gym. The Flexees Fat Free Dressing Legging smooth and shape with 30% elastane.
Some of the better leggings can be pricey as pants but it’s worth the investment. You’ll be able to wear these day in and day out, in every season, and with tops or dresses.