Lagging in the Leggings dept.

 Remember the great leggings vs. tights debate? 

I came down firmly on the side of tights. For reasons heretofore not entirely understood, traditionally I have found leggings: uncomfortable, fussy (always need to tug them up), too unstructured for my style, and often just plain unflattering (on me). I have tried and failed with the Lysee leggings (constantly crept down and felt too soft for me). Tried Hue. Tried other brands. Nothing worked. 

So, big deal, right? Just forget leggings, already! Problem: I love the look on others, think they'd be super practical and they'd also offer me some variety in my loooooong winter worn with longer tunics—because I don't care for wearing untucked tops with fly front pants.  

Hence, the ill-fated butt-vest.

Let us not return there unless absolutely necessary. :(

And yet, I am nothing if not optimistic and persistent! In making a purchase of a lovely dress from Club Monaco this summer I was perusing some of their sale offerings in order to bump up my order and qualify for free shipping. (Yes, folks, I succumbed to girl math.) On super duper sale I found these Amya leggings (in Finds) and on a whim I tried them. 

Reader, I've kept them. Below are two quick "try on" outfits with NAS items bought around the same time. A few weeks ago, I actually wore the outfit with the purple EF top, but in hopes of extending the leg line, I chose black booties and rolled the leggings to show a tiny bit of skin (as per Angie's blog post). I think it worked reasonably well. 

I like these leggings better than any I have ever had. Why? 

  • They are SIZED, like actual pants. This means they are more proportioned and fit better overall. 
  • High waisted, with a wide waistband, so they are more likely to stay up. (However, they still slip down a bit -- I will explain below). 
  • Fabrication is more "ponte" like and structured. They even have pockets in front. The faux leather strips also make them feel more "pant" like. So I can wear a knit top with them and still feel "pulled together." 

Having said that, they still required some adjusting over the course of the evening. So leggings remain a problem for me, and I think I know why. It has to do with my particular combination of body type modifiers. 

  • I am on the small/ short side -- so overall, I need to take a small size. 
  • I have relatively slim hips but large thighs for my size; they "grip" the fabric and tug it as I walk. 
  • This wouldn't matter so much except I also have a larger bum and a rather long rise. This means that leggings in my size can be a bit short in the rise for me.
  • The thigh gripping combined with the short rise means they are always falling down. 
  • If I buy a larger size they are far too big elsewhere, so that doesn't work. 
  • You can't really alter leggings (except in length) -- unlike pants.

A somewhat better solution to the leggings dilemma for me has been the BR side zip pants in Finds below. They fit small, though, so if you're considering them, be warned. Eep. if you have muscular thighs. That is where they are snug on me. 

Do you have a brand of leggings you love? Anybody else here struggle with bigger thighs/ long rise? Can any one advise on the Danier leather ones? I would love to try those...if they would work...  sigh....  

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • deb replied 7 years ago

    It is too bad that you have so much trouble wearing leggings because you look so good in them. At least you found a brand that somewhat works for you.

  • Liz A. replied 7 years ago

    You pretty much described my body to a T. Full disclosure, I've never had an issue with leggings sliding down, but I don't wear them that often.

    Anyways, I like Boden leggings.  You may find them a bit thin, but obviously fine when all the key parts are covered.  Good luck!

    ETA: I especially like the cropped leggings for my shorty legs. YMMV.

  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago

    Suz, I wore my Danier ones last week for the first time, and they were fabulous.  I do find that if leggings are big on me, they can creep down, although I have to say it's not generally a problem.  I highly recommend at least trying them on and wearing they around the house for a bit, if you can still get them.  They are high waisted.

    You do look great in the ones above, so I really hope you can find something (else) you are happy with!  And I want that EF tunic!!!  How did I miss that? :)

    And on another note.. have you washed your sloans yet?  And if so, how did they turn out?  The reviews on hand/home washing them seem quite hopeful, so I'm tempted... I even have a pair that are about a half inch too long, so thought I'd start with those given people say the may shrink a smidge. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago

    PS.  My EF skirted leggings are also very comfortable ;-)

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I love the outfit with the purple tunic!  It looks fab on you.  I always have legging problems too.  My issue is they always stick to my tops.  I'm going to experiment with some different brands this winter and see if I can find a pair that isn't as sticky.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    You look SOOO good in them, Suz. I love #2. Gorgeous, new for you, and excellent for your lifestyle. Do you have an ink blue tunic sweater? 

    I enjoyed reading your musings on the whys and hows of your leggings journey. LOVE your positive and persistent nature. I'm glad you're making them work. 

    btw, I tug at my leggings too - but not frequently enough for it to bother me. 

    I think you'd look great in these because the skirt is longer and the look more polished than the butt vest. YES, I know the price is not so fab. 

  • Dee replied 7 years ago

    We are body shape twins. I have the same issues as you (bigger thighs and butt and a long rise) but still prefer leggings to tights. Because I'm short-waisted, tights either come up to my ribcage or roll down my hips. For leggings, I have the best bet with a high rise and a wide band. Athleta usually works well for me but there is always some minor slippage.

    I love the second outfit on you! The color pops and the leggings/bootie combo works so well.

  • Staysfit replied 7 years ago

    Suz, I have legging fit issues also, and after today's post I went online to search once again. My fit issues are multiple and include both long rise and inseam length. I have thick muscular thighs and proportionally narrow hips for my height adding to the fit issues. My athletic leggings come in small tall sizes. I wish they were available in material that could work with my non-athletic wardrobe! (I hope someone from Athleta reads this!!).

  • KikiG replied 7 years ago

    I have some of your same issues.  I found some really nice ones at Anthropologie, their Sanctuary brand, and I'm super happy with how they have performed, and do not create muffin top.  No, they do not lock into place just exactly like my new Smart Wool socks and never move, but they are SO much better than some others I have tried.  I wasn't looking for leggings on that trip, and only put them on because the sales associate put them in my room, but I'm very grateful she did!

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago

    These are super on you!  I am also not a fan of leggings on myself.  I'm a pear shape, nuff said.  I don't even like my gym pants, but I can't workout with anything loose for the gym, so I sport really baggy longer tops to cover up my bum and upper thighs.  

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    You know I have my own troubles with the real leggings so till finding the ideal pair I sometimes do the trick with some slim ankle pants, similar to your  side zippered ones. BUT think you got it all sorted for now, as  these fit you really perfect, Suz! And I love them with the EF asymmetric sweater!!! Wow!!!!
    (Oh, and if I were you, I would  really consider the Angie recommended midi skirted leggings, too!:-)) 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I am perversely glad to know I'm not the only one with these issues, and thank you all so much for the commiseration, brand suggestions, and compliments! 

    Lisa, Staysfit, for some reason my gym leggings do (mostly) stay put without creeping. I have yet to figure out why this is so, but I think it has something to do with the waists of the gym leggings being quite wide. Though my Lysee leggings had a super wide waist band. Hmmm. 

    KikiG, I may have to check the Anthro ones out; thank you! And Liz, I will also try to look at Boden if I get a chance. We don't have a store in Canada, alas. 

    Angie, those skirted leggings are gorgeous! I love the slight asymmetry in the hem. But no way I am spending more than $700 for leggings. Those would need a lot of wears to earn their keep, ha!! And can you imagine my conniptions if they slid down? But where there's a fancy version there is hope of a knock-off. I will keep my eyes open. :) 

    I do not have an ink blue tunic top but I do have a dark royal tunic top from J. Crew (below). I also have a new slate blue/grey tunic that I think needs a bit of hemming. I will show that a little later when I've been able to snap a picture. I also have a dark cranberry long cardigan, and a grey one, both of which seem made for leggings. 

    Elizabeth, you crack me up! But also give me hope. I do think that leather or faux leather have a better chance of feeling structured enough for me. 

    Sara, that sounds like a fabrication issue -- your leggings must be softer ones. I would try a more ponte-like fabric or a smoother knit, different from your knit tops. 

  • Alassë replied 7 years ago

    I think you found your version, Suz! I'm happy for you.

  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    These look terrific- love the purple tunic! I think this look will be brilliant for you.

    I can have similar issues with skinny jeans and ponte pants, and I have a different shape. I think it is the cut around the waist and hips, and the stretch in the fabric. As long as it is just the odd adjustment I am fine with it.

  • Xtabay replied 7 years ago

    Not a leggings wearer for all the reasons mentioned, but 'm impressed at your determination and success in finding some that work for you.  And I enjoyed your little tip of the hat to Jane Eyre!

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    I'm not particularly a fan of leggings but these do look really good on you Suz.  Funny thing is that lately I've purchased a few different tunic length tops and love them, but I wear them with skinny jeans/pants as opposed to leggings.

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Leggings cause chicken leg syndrome on me, so I want something more like a very slim straight or ankle pant, preferably woven to skim rather than stretch to fit. But, like you, leggings would be great for my lifestyle and a change from jeans/pants for long winters.  I will be watching your finds for inspiration.

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    Are you mad, woman? These look phenomenal on you. And I intellectually comprehend your body fit issues but they are so hard to see! You look like leggings were made for you. But fit struggles are real, so I'll shut up now. It could be that certain fit issues bother some more than others - I tug my bottoms back in place pretty regularly, even the best fitting ones, and don't think twice about it. But shoulder strain makes me want to scream.

  • Marilyn replied 7 years ago

    This is great news, Suz!  Outfit #2 is sooo good!  Love that. 
    What is the sizing like for the Amya?  I find I generally have to go up a size at CM compared to Banana and such. 

    I've been on the hunt for leggings as well.   I just picked up these Hue Ponte Leggings to try and also these great Ponte Slim Ankle Pants at WHBM.  The slim pant is pretty fantastic because they're super stretchy and comfy but actually look like a pant.  Haven't had a chance to play around with them yet.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I really like those slim pants, Marilyn -- I am often in search of something that doesn't suck the calves. Surprisingly, I took my normal BR size in the CM leggings, but admittedly they are snug; if I were buying them as a true pant I'd have sized up for sure. OTOH, I am a few pounds up from my normal weight right now as well so all my pants are a bit tight. (Ahem.) 

    Una, you made me laugh. But I think I am coming to a similar issues that drive us crazy must be personal and maybe related to body type modifiers. The areas that make us feel self-conscious may be the ones that cause us most irritation as well. 

    Joy, you could never have "chicken legs." But the expression made me chortle. I could use a bit of that syndrome. Maybe we should trade. 

  • carter replied 7 years ago

    I think both of these look great! Totally hear you on leggings being fussy. I am constantly pulling up a couple of my lulu leggings during class. It seems to be the non-muffin-top high rise pairs that drive me the nuttiest. The lower ones don't roll down, but they do give me muffin top:-(. I haven't worn regular leggings in years, but I did pick up a cheapo pair at Costco awhile back. I will try wearing them tomorrow to see if they drive me nuts.

  • abc replied 7 years ago

    Well, my input is worth nothing bc I liked the old leggings, and then I liked the butt vest and now I like these, too!  I really hope you can find "your" leggings bc they do offer a very comfy option for our lifestyle.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    YES. Price on those skirted leggings is hectic - $70 would have been better! 

    I love the look of those tunics and cardis you posted with the the leggings, Suz. Look forward to seeing pics.

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    You are Queen Positive & Persistent. 

  • Greyscale replied 7 years ago

    The velvet leggings that Una and I just bought might work for you. They're really pants, not leggings. In fact maybe they wouldn't be enough like leggings for your quest. But they come in lovely jewel tones and they have a long rise and room for my thighs, which are probably shaped like yours.

  • Bonnie replied 7 years ago

    It's been too hot to wear leggings so far this year, but last year I liked wearing my Gapfit cotton leggings with long tunics and skirts. 

  • anne replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you have my sympathies. As you know we share quite a few body type modifies and while I don't have a problem with leggings (and all mine are cheapies from kmart or target) I haven't found a pair of gym leggings that will stay up on me.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thanks all, again, for commiseration. It's so interesting how different we all are!! Even with similar body types we may or may not be bothered by a fit issue. Fascinating. 

    Greyscale, I LOVE the velvet ones. I'm off to check them out! Thank you! I think you are totally right -- we have similar thigh issues. Strong legs but not skinny. ;) 

  • sarah replied 7 years ago

    I wonder about something like these higher waisted active wear leggings?

  • Jaime replied 7 years ago

    Suz you look smashing in your leggings, especially picture #2 where I can see the details better. I am very drawn to the idea of velvet leggings ever since I saw Greyscale's post (10 minutes ago). I wonder if Gap Israel carries them...back to you, I don't share your modifiers (although I am short my mid-section definitely holds up anything) but I do think you were very clever to figure all that out!

  • Peri replied 7 years ago

    Well, I think you look fantastic, as usual! I can't comment on leggings because I haven't given them a try yet, but I had to chime in and say...again...I'm envious you are getting to wear our scarf! Soon, soon, soon... :)

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    Shevia, I got the Gap leggings in blue velvet last week and they are really fab - a bit more like cigarette pants on me, but really nice and a bit dressy and holiday-like.

  • replied 7 years ago

    I love these on you, Suz! Especially outfit 2. Leggings make me nervous--I've only owned athletic ones, and as a fellow long-rise person I've had more downs (literally) than ups. I also don't own many tunic tops so that makes leggings hard. I bought the EF skirted leggings earlier this year as 'gateway leggings' and I they've been working well so I think I'll just stop while I'm ahead.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Una, I am definitely trying those Gap things. I have a soft spot for velvet trousers anyway. This could be excellent. Thank you! 

    And Sarah, you have a good point, too. Most of my fitness leggings have logos of some kind on them, though...would like to see any in person to ensure that wasn't an issue. 

    Aliona, the skirted EF ones are a real favourite here. You look great in yours. 

    Peri, your scarf wearing days are coming up! I have worn mine a ton already...I wear scarves between September and May really regularly. And then am thrilled to take them off for a few months, phew!! 

  • JAileen replied 7 years ago

    You look elegant in #2, but #1 is a super cute outfit too.

    ETA: I bought the EF skirted leggings last year but have yet to wear them. Part of it is weather - we jumped from summer weather to winter like that (snaps fingers - it's snowing right now!!!) but I still intend to wear them.

  • Susie replied 7 years ago

    Suz, you look great in leggings! I really like your second outfit. I am temped too by the velvet leggings; they look like they would be a great option for the holidays- a bit dressy but still comfy cozy.

  • Maneera replied 7 years ago

    You look fantastic! Btw I have Avery similar sweater to look #1 abd intend to copy your look in colder weather :P

    As for leggings that fit and stay up, I always buy Zara body shaping leggings. They fit like a dream, are high waisted with a wide band on the waist, are very affordable and last LONG despite abusing very much, come with interesting side seam designs, and are a ponte fabrication. I absolutely love those! I have 4 - two blacks, one grey and one blue.

    Here are links to Zara Canada:

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 7 years ago

    You look great in these, Suz. It's too bad they aren't your holy legging grail.
    Just for a little commiseration: My Eileen Fisher skirted leggings slide down on me. And a new Hue pair does, too. It's annoying, yes, but for me, not enough to not wear them. Like Una, I just pull them up and move on. Worse for me are the NYDJ ponte skinnies that look quite a lot like leggings on me, despite the thick ponte knit, fly front, back seams, etc. Boy, do those ever slide down. I'm thinking I may be having some of your problem with them--my guess is I have too much thigh and not enough behind to keep them in place. Those drive me crazy. But I love the color, so I wear them. They seem to do slightly better with a belt. Yes, belting a pair of legging-like pants seems just a bit, um, counter-something, doesn' it??
    (And keep in mind, this is from the woman who has just adopted the mantra, "No more mediocre clothes." Hmmm.)

  • Style Fan replied 7 years ago

    You look amazing in leggings Suz.  I wear C'est moi leggings.  They are one size fits all.  I don't usually have good luck with one size fits all sizing but for some reasons these are great for me.  High waisted and long enough (always a problem for me).  They also make fleece lined leggings.  Obviously a Canadian company. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 7 years ago

    Sharan, didn't you size up in your EF leggings?  I wonder if that is why they are sliding down... ??

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Manny, what a great idea to try Zara; I can order from them online and that works well. 

    Thanks, StyleFan -- I need some fleece lined versions for sure! 

    Sharan, you made me laugh...I guess it's like Una says...what drives one person batty doesn't really bother another all that much. I must be a fit fanatic or something....

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 7 years ago

    Elizabeth, I did size up, and I think you're right, that's the problem.

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