I’m not going to say I’m an expert in performance-wear leggings, but over the last 5 years doing Pure Barre I’ve tried and bought my share of leggings. Some very good, others bad, and even more just so-so. As you may imagine, I’m quite picky, and require my leggings live up to very high expectations and at least 1x/week wear to class. I have a separate activewear wardrobe and never wear the leggings I wear to class anywhere else, so I don’t expect them to do “double-duty” as casual wear and exercise wear, but I do expect them to stay BLACK, show minimal wear over time, not lose stretch, and stay put at my waist.
With that in mind, I don’t usually buy leggings I haven’t had experience with before, or can’t try on in person, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try these ethical & sustainable leggings from Girlfriend Collective for just $19.95 (the cost of shipping from Vietnam, where they are manufactured). I received them last week finally and have worn them twice, washing in between wears. I LOVE them. Truly love them. I didn’t expect to, honestly, but I do.
Some detailed notes:
- I really prefer matte leggings. These are NOT shiny, but they’re not as matte as I like either. They’re not matte like Alo’s airbrushed leggings (which I also love), for example, but at least they’re not shiny or cheap-looking in any way.
- They are VERY high waisted, which I like, but on me, they come WAY up, and fold over when I sit down, or do foldover in class, or any work on the floor, so I will sometimes have to adjust a little changing position. It’s not as bad as with some other high-waisted leggings I have though, so no big deal. And I have an abnormally short waist, so there’s that.
- There’s a small pocket inside the waistband which is pretty useless for me. It would hold keys and a credit card or something, but I need a pocket to hold my phone.
- All leggings are long on me, but these are shorter in length than most. They hook just under my heels, which is perfect for Pure Barre, and I don’t have to scrunch them up a few inches at my ankles. LOVE that. (my inseam is about 26.5″, I am 5’3″ tall)
- They bunch up a little behind my knees, but most leggings do that on me because of my larger calves/legs. This is why I like a very matte legging; it makes those creases less noticeable.
- The medium fits very well, and is just the right amount of compression. My favorite leggings are the ones that hold me in, and are tight, but not uncomfortable, and these are now my second favorite.
- These are a very nice mid-to-heavyweight legging. I wouldn’t wear them to the Platform (cardio) class, but they’re good for regular Pure Barre, and would be great for yoga or weight lifting. They would work well for running in fall/winter, but I wouldn’t want to wear them outside in summer!
- They have a cotton triangular gusset so no need for undies, and they wick away sweat beautifully.
- These leggings are wonderfully opaque. Of course, as I mentioned above, I don’t wear separate underwear with them, so I don’t know if you can see light-colored underwear underneath, but I’ve not noticed any peek-a-boo in class as we stretch in front of the mirror…
So, I love the fit, and the compression, which is a priority for me when I choose which leggings to buy for Pure Barre, but of course, I also appreciate the company’s ethics and use of recycled polyester. I’ve tried other leggings made from recycled polyester and wasn’t impressed, so as I said above, I wasn’t expecting to love these as much as I do, but I really do. I’m thrilled now to be able to recommend a pair of excellent basic black leggings that are sustainable, ethical, AND are just as good (or better) than more established performance brands.
Sadly, they’re no longer available for $19.95, or at all. They will be launching again as part of the company’s spring line and will be $70, which is very reasonable for high-quality, sustainable performance wear. I don’t expect to need another pair of leggings for Pure Barre again for a very long time, but when I do I will absolutely buy a second pair of these. And I’m interested in seeing what they add to the full line.
Who else got a pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings? What do you think?