My Essentials | Leggings


HELMUT cocoon leggings | $160 at Shopbop
Splendid leggings | $57 at Shopbop
James Perse brushed jersey leggings | $68 at Shopbop

My holy trinity of leggings… Honestly, I didn’t start wearing leggings “out” until just recently, but I’ve owned leggings for a long time, and after I got a pair of Splendid & JP leggings, I didn’t feel the need to experiment too much with other brands.

I generally wear only my HELMUT leggings out, my Splendid and JP leggings are reserved for home/close-to-home use because they’re more “lounge-y.” My Splendid leggings are 3-4 years old (I have a long pair and a short pair) and have held up beautifully. They’re quite thin and very long on me, though, the thin-ness may be a result of age and wear, but they are so comfortable you almost forget you’re wearing them.

My James Perse leggings are several years old and have sort of a cuff on the bottom, which I really love; they’re not folded over at the bottom, it’s just a wider hem I guess (outfit here). JP doesn’t do that anymore, but the current leggings are also brushed jersey like mine are, so they’re basically the same. These are MY FAVORITE LEGGINGS ever. The brushed jersey is crazy soft (if you have any JP brushed jersey, you know!), they’re low rise (which I like) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that these are ankle length on me. My pair is a bit large on me now, so I have to keep hiking them up all the time, but they are in perfect condition (faded a little though, so now they’re more of a charcoal color) and make me oh-so-happy every time I put them on. I do wear these out sometimes, with one of my H&M mini-skirts layered over, and I think these are more appropriate than the Splendid ones for non-lounge wear because they’re thicker and more pants-like.

When I was searching for more substantial leggings, I did like the Vince leggings, for a sturdier, more “going out” pair, but they are $195, and were more shiny than the HELMUT ones so I chose those. The HELMUT leggings also hold me in better, because of the higher cotton content I think. I’ve worn my HELMUT leggings many many times (last seen here, first seen here), and always feel great in them. They DO NOT STRETCH OUT with wear (which is good), but they do have a slightly higher rise than I personally like, so when I sit down and get up the waistband folds a little bit, so I have to adjust – no big deal. I had to have mine hemmed, and I have never put them in the washing machine (I use dryel in the dryer), so I can’t speak to how they wash. They ARE machine washable, but I’m afraid of messing up the waistband and fading them by washing them. So I don’t. Anyway, they are FABULOUS, and completely worth the money if you want a pair of leggings that are thicker, hold you in, and look amazing. **these are on Gilt today, in gray for $79

I’ve also owned Bop basics leggings, and they were comfortable, but nothing special – my version is VERY different from the style they have now (mine are several years old, and knee-length). I’ve also owned American Apparel leggings, but I don’t even know where they are now, and remember them being pretty “stiff” compared to my Splendid leggings. I have a pair of H&M leggings and I don’t like them much. Maybe because I got a size too small…

Admittedly, I haven’t experimented much with leggings; I was very happy with my Splendid and James Perse leggings for years until I got my HELMUT ones recently. And aside from getting a new pair of JP leggings in my size now, I don’t think I’ll need anymore for quite some time.

What are your favorite leggings? Any other recommendations?

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    • says

      did you check gilt to see if they have your size in the gray??
      they’re TOTALLY 100% worth the price. i won’t buy another pair of “expensive” leggings for another 5-6 years…

  1. says

    I have those Splendid leggings and I LOVE them. They’re so comfy and stretchy (but not in a stretched out kind of way), that I was able to wear them half way through my pregnancy.

    I recently got a pair of J.Crew’s classic leggings, which I like too. Much thicker, but not as soft.

  2. m says

    i have some banana republic leggings in a tall size. i can’t say they are my favorite, but they are the only tall i could find. if you know a tall legging, please let me know.

    • Robin P says

      I have WunderUnder leggings from Lululemon that I use for working out, but also also casual leggings. They may be a little too shiny for some, but they are super comfortable, make your butt look great, and they last forever (plus no muffin top). They are really long (tall). Lululemon also does free alterations.

      • says

        i have the cropped ones for barre, and i love them…i don’t think they’re shiny at all. at least not compared to some others i tried…
        i really want to get a pair of longer ones, but the length turns me off. i know they do free hemming, but i am really into instant gratification :)
        they are great leggings though!!!

  3. Mamavalveeta03 says

    I have the ones by American Apparel, but I bought them before I realized that the owner of the company is such a pervert creepo. So, I just bought a cheap pair from H & M, but I haven’t even tried them on yet. And I do have a pair that I bought at Eileen Fisher and they’re just ….yuck. Too big, too shiny, too….much.

    • says

      my sister has an h&m pair and i love them on her, mine are just too small i think, so they’re not opaque!
      you would love the JP ones!! next time shopbop has a code….

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