Black Leggings Competition: the best and the worst for working out & lifestyle

04
19

I’m breaking down my favorite and LEAST favorite of all the leggings I’ve tried recently. They range from $20 up to almost $100! I wear leggings to boot camp classes and also on my “mom days” when I’m running around with the kids. I love how easy they are, and I am always looking for a pair that can withstand a lot of wear and be comfortable all day long.

I’m curvy so I need my leggings to stay where I put them. If they slide down during the day, I’ll donate or return them. Also, my thighs touch so pilling between the thighs is to be expected. Some pill worse than others, it ultimately depends on the fabric. You can buy a tool to remove pilling if it bothers you. It doesn’t bother me.

Lululemon Align 28” pant ($98.00)- For me, these are the holy grail of leggings. They are so very comfortable, high-rise, and have a wide color option. They CAN be see through if you size down too much. In general, though, if you get your true size you shouldn’t have issues with the pants being see through. Because they are so thin, it is very easy to see panty lines, so just keep that in mind. A panty like this would be a good option (and what I wear!) under these leggings. I’ve never had to pull these up, they feel as close to wearing nothing as humanly possible, and they are always my top choice to wear when traveling.

Colorfulkoala Buttery Soft High Waisted Yoga Pants Full-Length Leggings ($22.99) (80% nylon, 20% spandex) – I absolutely love these leggings. I have 3 pairs now and have been happy with each one. They have a similar look and feel to the Align leggings, but are thicker and not quite as breathable. They hold you in a bit more than Aligns, but not in an uncomfortable way. I did not have trouble with these slipping down or rolling over at the waist when I worked out in them. They are prone to collecting hair and fuzz, but so are the Aligns. If you need a budget friendly legging, these are my top recommendation. They are not as “cloud-like” as the Aligns, but they are the least fussy leggings I’ve worn besides the Aligns.

Colorfulkoala High Waisted Yoga Pants 7/8 Length Leggings with Pockets ($25.00) (75% poly, 25% spandex) – I love the pocket option of these! A legging with a pocket is perfect for days I’m running around with the kids. I can slide my phone into it or even just my license and credit card. They were comfortable for working out as well! Just like the non-pocket version, they don’t move, slide down, or twist when you wear them.

CRZ Yoga Naked Feeling High-Rise Tight Yoga Pants Workout Leggings-25 ($26.00-$30.00) – I didn’t love these. I feel like they may work better on someone who isn’t curvy. I was constantly having to pull them up from the back, and I never have that problem with leggings. They were smooth and soft, but the fit was wrong for me.

CRZ Yoga High-Waist Tight Tummy Control Sports Yoga Jogger Lounge Leggings ($26.00-$30.00) – I hated the ribbing on the ankle and waist of these leggings. I thought I’d like it, but it felt uncomfortable, and I found myself pulling these back up several times during the day. I did not want to wear them again, they were that uncomfortable.

90 Degree By Reflex Powder Flex Yoga Pants ($19.99-$34.99) – These were so uncomfortable. They didn’t fit my body well and the waist was way too tight. They twisted on my legs while I wore them which drove me crazy. Of all the cheap leggings I tried, these looked and felt the cheapest. I almost have nothing good to say about them!

Zella live-in high waist legging ($54.00) – I love these leggings. I had a few pairs before I was pregnant and wore them a lot! They are very, very similar to the Colorfulkoala Buttery Soft High Waisted legging. The high-rise doesn’t budge, the quality is fantastic, and they are great for working out or lounging.

So of the bunch that I’ve tried and worn, the holy grail is still the Lululemon Align pant. However, if those are not in your budget, the Colorfulkoala Buttery Soft High-Waist leggings are very, very close to perfection!

While we’re talking about leggings, how do we feel about the bike short trend? It’s like leggings as shorts, and in theory I think it could be the perfect work out short but I just don’t know if I can quite get there! I’m afraid I’m going to feel like I’m dressed like an 8 year old girl in the 90’s!

p.s. Are you hoping to get back into working out or want to see how I found the workout program that I love?

In this post:

Leave a Comment

Comments (69)

  1. Lindsey says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Could you wear your top 2 and 3 multiple times but they still held their sharpe before a wash?

  2. Laura says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    I may look like a 90’s child but I LOVE my shorts leggings from Athleta. It’s all I use for working out and running. They are the perfect length – long leggings are too hot!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      I may have to try it this year!

  3. H says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    What size do you buy in the Colorfullkoala?

  4. Michele says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    What you said about bike shorts…YES! Especially if they have a skirt attached To them!!!

    I’ve become a fan of leggings as an alternative to tights when wearing dresses. As a teacher with two kids and a dog, it just doesn’t make sense to wear something as fragile as tights. I can’t get behind them as pants. Recently, I’ve been looking for cropped options for the summer, since I have two sundresses whose length shrunk in the wash and are more like long tunics tunics now (about 4 inches above the knee). I’d hate to ditch them because I really like them, so I’m hopeful that a cropped legging will let me wear them without looking trashy.

    • Jenn says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      For the purpose you identify, I’d recommend Aritzia. 😊

  5. Jenn says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Hi Kate,

    Whenever you link to Target, the item doesn’t actually come up – it’s just the home page for target and you’d need to search for the item. I don’t think you can control this but could you identify what exact item you reference so we can search for them?

    Thanks! Love your recommendations!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      Sure, I will be more clear about the item!

      • Toni says
        Posted April 25, 2019

        The links always work for me!

  6. Melissa Kot says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Try these from Simple Addiction! They are thick, durable, high waisted, they don’t move, and they’re very inexpensive!

    https://simpleaddiction.com/collections/leggings/products/sa-exclusive-black-solid-leggings?variant=27722826563

  7. Amy says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Amazon has a brand called Core 10 and I love it! I’m a curvy girl and usually need plus size in athletic. Been wearing it for a while now and it is well made.

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      I have a pair of Core10 and I like them but they are verrrrrry thick!

    • Jamie says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      Kate try the Nearly Naked Core 10’s

      • Sabrina says
        Posted April 22, 2019

        I have the Nearly Naked Core 10 in the olive color. LOVE THEM!! Would love to see them added to the post if you try them in comparison to the others!

        Totally picking up some Colorfulkoalas!

  8. Juli says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    If you’ve never tried Lysse’ leggings you need to give them a try. They are spendy but so worth it. I have a pair of black and a pair of denim. They have dressier ones too. I buy mine from Giddy up Glamour. They are so true to size once you read their sizing you never have to check again.

  9. Aubree says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Thank you for reviewing leggings for a curvier petite frame!!

  10. Victoria says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    I actually love 90 Degree leggings…they’re the perfect workout legging for me! It’s ok if no one else likes them, more for me lol.

    Have you tried Aerie’s “Play Real Me High Waisted 7/8” leggings? They’re pretty affordable (around $20-30 lately), extremely comfortable, completely opaque, and pet hair does not stick to them AT ALL. Quality-wise, I’ve had some real misses from Aerie in the past, but these are holding up very well so far. Just sharing because the fact that I don’t have to carry a lint roller around when I’m wearing them is a huge win. 😉

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      Great to know! Thank you!!

    • Michelle says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      I agree! I LOVE the 90 degree by reflex leggings. I wear the high waisted tummy control in black, and they are thick and perfect for everyday wear in the fall-early spring. My body shape is more straight, so that might be why they didn’t work for you, Kate. I’m 5’9″ and LOVE them b/c they are long and hold in my mommy tummy. =)

      • Rebekah says
        Posted April 22, 2019

        I actually really love the 90 degree leggings! My only issue is the black for me is way to see through and it’s not because they are to small for me. They are actually to big now and you can still see through if wearing panties (which with theses I usually don’t) I’m also for reference 5’5/5’6 not real sure and I’m curvy as well

    • Posted April 22, 2019

      I love the 90 degree leggings too!! They are the best. But I get the high waisted tummy control in capris. They fit great and there’s so many different colors to pick from.

    • Kat says
      Posted April 24, 2019

      I LOVE those Aerie leggings! I have them in black and navy and they are my favorite leggings to work out in. Got them on sale for like $25 and wear them every week. Highly recommend you try them – they are very similar to the Aligns.

  11. Megan says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Hi Kate!

    How does the material of the 2 colourfulkoala leggings compare to each other? Exactly the same? One more slippery/athletic vs one more yoga-like?

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      I believe the leggings with Nylon/Spandex are the ones with more slip!

  12. WM says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Wondering if you’d share the size you wear in the Lulu’s & Colorfulkoala’s?

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      I wear an 8 in Lulu’s and a Large in ColorfulKoala 🙂

  13. Claire V says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    You read my mind! I was just able to start researching new workout leggings. I’ll definitely try these out.

  14. Posted April 19, 2019

    Hey! If you love the aligns you should check out the Brilliants by Zyia Active! They have that buttery soft feel but are cheaper and don’t pill like the aligns do. Let me know if I can help you find some!

  15. Kristin says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    I totally agree with your assessment of each of these leggings. Before ColorfulKoala (which I learned about from your site, btw) I only bought Align and I have several of them. However, when they are worn and washed several times they start to become a bit sticky and they grab every piece of dog hair in my house. Now that I’ve discovered Koala, I don’t feel bad about pitching all my pilled and sticky lulus. I have washed Koalas several times and to my estimation, they are a bit more durable simply because they are a touch thicker. Thanks for such a great recommendation. I never would have found them on Amazon on my own because that site is simply not browseable for clothes.

  16. Posted April 19, 2019

    I’ve never even heard of most of these brands… actually, I’ve only heard of Lululemon! This is great! I definitely need some good legging for exercising (I’m currently using some old Forever 21 ones…) 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  17. Kate says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    I am a legging fanatic. They are always my go tos. I am a big fan of lululemon and the basic brand from Kohls is really good too! I am still wearing a pair I got from there 2 years ago for 20 dollars! Thanks for sharing theses brands, I will definitely be checking them out. Hope you are having a lovely day.

    -Kate
    https://daysofkate.com/

  18. Sarah says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Have you tried Lalabu? My aunt got me a pair after baby and now they’re my favorite – soft yet hold everything in place!

  19. Hannah says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Have you tried Athleta’s leggings? Before I tried the Align leggings from Lululemon, I was a complete devotee to Athleta’s Salutation line (7/8 length since I’m only 5’4″). I still love the Athleta ones – they are a little thicker than the Align’s and maybe a tad less “cloud-like”, but still are in the regular rotation and extremely comfortable and hold their shape. I think I wear the Athleta ones less now because they have stitching along the outside of the legging. If you’re wearing something not as “athletic” looking with leggings (say a long sweater and mules), it can clash a bit. The Aligns have no stitching on the outside so they’re pretty great for comfort and a seamless look!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 19, 2019

      You know I have and I love Athleta but their leggings slide down on me!

      • Abs says
        Posted April 22, 2019

        I’m a very similar size/shape to you and have to size down in the Athleta Salutation leggings to a medium. The large slide down constantly but the mediums stay put. Next to aligns, these are my go to. If you don’t prefer the seaming, they have one called Elation which is like a sister to Aligns!

  20. Jamie says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    You should try the Core 10 ones on amazon!

  21. Ally H says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    I love old navy’s high-rise compression leggings. They were perfect after pregnancy to told my tummy in and they didn’t pill where my legs rubbed together. I’ve never tried higher end leggings (no room in the budget) so I don’t know how they compare to more expensive leggings but they work for me.

  22. Jessy says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    i dont think i could spend soo much money on leggings tbh hahahah im still a newbie as im 22 and bought my first leggings about 3 months ago hahah

    dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com

    xoxo <3

  23. Laura says
    Posted April 19, 2019

    Do you have recommendation for price conscious maternity leggings?

    • Erin says
      Posted April 27, 2019

      Yes! Do you have a reccommendation for maternity leggings! Price doesn’t matter- I just want quality and comfort 😊

  24. Cassie says
    Posted April 20, 2019

    I’m a fitness instructor, & I live in my bike shorts for workouts! I hate leggings for workouts, because I can feel all the trapped sweat. The shorts are much cooler (and I live in New England, where it is much cooler than North Carolina!).

    • Veronica says
      Posted April 22, 2019

      Hi! What brand shorts do you wear? I’m ready to jump on that bandwagon!

      • Cassie says
        Posted April 23, 2019

        I love the Old Navy compression bermudas! I haven’t tried speedier brands yet, but these work for me! High rise, & they stay up! Hopefully they work for you too!

  25. Em says
    Posted April 21, 2019

    Hi Kate,
    Will you do a post on cute but inexpensive nursing clothes? I’ve gotten my tummy almost back in shape and so I’m looking for something that is trim fitting but doesn’t scream “I’m nursing” and doesn’t breal the bank. I feel like you probably found some good things with your three kiddos. Thanks!

  26. Beth says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    I’m definitely a bike shorts devotee. I wear them at the gym all year long. I can’t stand working out in leggings, I get soooo hot😁

  27. Posted April 22, 2019

    Black leggings is best one. This suits on all color. this suits with kurti, top and many more. Black color is all time trendy. So would say there is no worst thing in it.

  28. Erin says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    A couple of years ago while reading a fb thread about Matilda Jane leggings, I read a comment suggesting Matty M leggings. I gave them a try, and I love them! They have a thick waistband that doesn’t roll, and they are thick and opaque without seeming heavy. I get them on ebay and Amazon for around $20, but I think they are available at Costco as well.

  29. Melissa Naffziger says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    Currently wearing the Colorfulkoala leggings.. ordered them in the car after reading your post! I like them a lot so far…nice finish on the fabric and seem to stay in place! Thanks for the tip!!

  30. Amy says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    Hi Kate! I am curious if you have tried any of the 7/8 length or capri length? Weather getting hotter and while I don’t do bike shorts even an inch or two off the leggings helps. Thanks!

  31. Whitney says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    You must try p’tula leggings. Better than lulu – I know, it’s difficult to believe.

  32. Keira says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    I tried the colorful koalas after you first mentionned them and am so in love! I splurged before our last trip on a pair of the lululemon align leggings and love them but do feel guilty about spending over $90 on leggings. I started with a full length and a pair of the 7/8 with the pockets and they are now my go to leggings, both for lounging and going to the gym. I just bought 5 pairs for my wedding party for the morning of! Can’t wait for my girls to love them as much as I do!

  33. Leslie Corlett says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    Do you wear shorts for workouts? If so, can you do a post about that. Thanks!!

  34. Kelly Kurtz says
    Posted April 22, 2019

    I bought a pair of the Colorfulkoala a couple weeks ago, and I love them. I agree, that the align pant are the holy grail, but there are right up there! I am pregnant, and the Colorfulkoala stretch over my tummy, but do have a hard time staying up. The align pant don’t move an inch the whole time I am wearing them. But for the price… the Colorfulkoala are definitely worth a try!

  35. Emily Wakefield says
    Posted April 23, 2019

    I have been wearing the ‘bike short’ shorts to work out in for a few years. I am about a size 8 and my thighs rub together when I work out. I LOVE wearing them as opposed to a traditional work out short or legging- they ‘hold me in’ which helps me to feel more confident, they keep everything covered, and they are cooler than a legging. I am so glad that they are becoming more fashionable to wear while exercising so I feel less like I stand out! I have a pair from Victoria’s Secret that I love and reach for first. I have a few pairs from Old Navy that are good but they run small and do not have as high of a rise.

  36. Evelyn says
    Posted April 23, 2019

    I am a curvy girl, and have found I stick to something with a drawstring. I coach and do CrossFit with the constant movement I need something that stays in place. I haven’t tried the aligns yet. However, I a huge fan of the speed crop (they also make them longer, but I am short so stick to the crop.). Mid-rise awesome compression and drawstring. Those babies stay put. Run true to size. I also have had good luck with the pace rival crops, time to sweat , and train time. All have draw string mid to high rise and full-on luxtreme fabric.

  37. Laura says
    Posted April 23, 2019

    I also got the Colorfulkoala leggings and sadly they do fall down for me just walking in them. :-/

  38. Crystal says
    Posted April 23, 2019

    You must try the Aerie Play Real Me high waisted 7/8 legging. I feel like these are the best align dupe for me. I tried the colorfulkoala and ordered the wrong size (too big). And the 90 degrees one I hated! Thanks for the recommendations!

  39. Katie says
    Posted April 24, 2019

    I’m so glad you put this post together! I feel like we have a similar body type so I really appreciate your honest review!

  40. Posted April 25, 2019

    I adore bike shorts! Especially the slightly longer ones. I’ve been living in a couple of pairs from American Eagle lately–the black ones and the pinkish camo ones. I love Aligns so I’m excited to try the less expensive versions you’ve recommended too!

  41. Ashleigh says
    Posted April 25, 2019

    Do the colorfulkoala leggings come in a crop length? I’m only 5’1” and 7/8 leggings are always way too long 😅

    • Kate says
      Posted April 25, 2019

      I’m not totally sure, sorry!

  42. Amanda m says
    Posted April 26, 2019

    Ok I love this, but I have been spending more money than i care to say to find underwear to wear with my leggings!! I’ve tried going with out and when I work out that just not happening anymore!! So your underwear link I’ll be trying first as I’m obsessed with old navy 7/8 high rise! Thank you!!!!

  43. Amy Cobb says
    Posted April 26, 2019

    What size do you wear in the Align leggings? Also, the Colorfullooka pants, I see they measure a XL at a size 12, are they forgiving at all cause I am typically a 12 in the Align but more like a 14 in other stuff.

  44. Krisi says
    Posted April 27, 2019

    This was so helpful!! Thank you for your honest opinions as I’ve been torn between trying the Colorful Koala vs. 90-Degree ones!

  45. Emily says
    Posted May 1, 2019

    Any suggestions for the bean-pole people? I majorly lack curves/any sort of butt from distance running. I have yet to find a pair that fits my hips but doesn’t sag in the posterior!!

  46. Kaci says
    Posted May 9, 2019

    I love the 90 degree leggings, and I actually hate the Colorfulkoala leggings. I cannot keep them up during a workout where burpees and jumping is involved. I think I’m going to have to suck it up and buy the Lululemon.

  47. Sally says
    Posted July 1, 2019

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the 90 degree leggings. They are TERRIBLE. I’m so bummed by the amount of bloggers comparing them to lululemon and calling them an exact dupe. “You sit on a throne of lies!” 😂

    • Kate says
      Posted July 1, 2019

      I guess every body is different but they certainly didn’t work for me!

  48. Sheryl says
    Posted November 4, 2019

    Do you have any leggings that you’ve found that do not attract lint/hair?
    Or if the above, which would be the best?