I Searched (and Searched) for the Best Plus-Size Leggings. These Are My 9 Favorites.
Yes gratifyingly comfy, supportive, and fashionable leggings do exist in all sizes.
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As any plus-size person can attest, it’s not easy to find leggings that fit. So when you happen upon a pair of plus-size leggings that are gratifyingly comfy and stay put during your practice, it (almost) makes up for frustrating experiences in the past.
Fortunately, in recent years there’s been a surge of brands that carry plus-size leggings for all sizes. I’m talking soft, sweat-wicking, feel-good fabric with enough compression to remind you of a warm embrace and a reassuringly high waistband (the higher the better, baby!).
I’m a curvy yoga teacher—size 16 or 1X—with a shorter stature (I’m 5’4”) and very strong opinions. I recently put to the test plus-size leggings from well-known as well as relatively obscure labels. I also sought the advice of others whose opinion—and fashion sense—I respect. Following are the leggings with a fit that felt incredible and designs that made me pleased to be seen in them.
9 best plus-size leggings
1. Girlfriend Collective Luxe Legging
Yoga teacher Reyna Cohan says the question she hears the most is what leggings she prefers. Cohan raves about the plus-size leggings from Girlfriend Collective. Her “all-time, number-one favorite, leaving everyone in the dust” is the Luxe Legging, which is “the highest rise, comes in multiple lengths, is absolutely squat-proof, and does not budge.” The fabric offers light compression but doesn’t feel restrictive at all, notes Cohan. Also, Girlfriend Collective fashions are sustainably and ethically made.
2. Girlfriend Collective BioCompressive High-Rise Legging
Continuing with the Girlfriend Collective fan-girling, I tried the brand’s latest line known as the BioCompressive High-Rise Legging. This high-waisted legging delivers on high compression and comes in three vibrant colors, although it’s the sustainability story that wooed me the most. Made from 79% recycled plastic bottles and 21% spandex, the fabric is thick yet soft, smoothing out lumps and bumps and adding some light shaping to my back side.
They rolled down at the waist a little when I flowed through vinyasas, but I might actually need a bigger size due to the high level of compression. If you’re a shortie like me, be aware that the length on these, like my other pair of GC leggings, is a good three inches too long, so they bunch up at the ankles.
I practice in these leggings while wearing the matching Mia Bra, which made for a super cute look although it didn’t provide quite enough support for a vigorous flow since I’m a 40G. However, the bra would be perfectly suitable for taking a Yin class or lounging around the house. I feel cute as hell wearing this set.
3. Looney Legs Plus Size Floral Leggings
The compliments are nonstop whenever I wear these! Thanks to their artsy design that belongs in MoMA, these plus-size leggings are like wild socks for your entire legs. They have zero compression, which I prefer for Yin and restorative classes or for lounging and long car rides. They come in numerous patterns, some with matching bras. Although Loony Legs carries plus sizes, the XL was perfect for me (except for the fact that they are about 2-3 inches too long for my short legs). Plus, Looney Legs is a woman-owned small business founded during lockdown in 2020.
4. Old Navy Extra High-Waisted PowerSoft Crop Hidden Pocket Leggings
Old Navy is Cohan’s budget-friendly brand for leggings. Super soft and silky, these cropped leggings have an adorable flower pattern that is sweet and stylish and not overly flashy. The four-way stretch and
light compression feel equally good when practicing Downward-Facing Dog and lying on the couch, although these legging’s best feature is the super high (and super stretchy) waist. They’re easy to care for and still look great after several washes (although Cohan notes that they don’t last as long as some higher-priced brands). Also, pockets!
5. Old Navy Extra High-Waisted PowerLite Lycra Adaptiv 7/8-Length Leggings
Budget brand for the win! These basic black leggings from Old Navy are probably my favorite pair of plus-size leggings. I love that the ultra-high waist basically reaches my boobs. They don’t roll down and they don’t suck me in. Plus, there’s very little compression in these, which make them comfy enough to sleep in. And the length is perfect for my short frame. I’ve already worn these three times this week, including to the office.
6. Athleta Transcend 7/8 Tight
Yoga teacher and regular YJ contributor Tamika Caston-Miller is a tremendous fan of the plus-size offerings from Athleta, which has catered to all sizes since before plus-size was popular. Every legging she’s tried from this brand boasts “buttery soft” fabric and “designs that actually fit.” The leggings hold their structure well, don’t stretch to white and lose coloration where legs are fuller, and, thankfully, don’t make swishing noises when your thighs rub together, explains Caston-Miller.
I tried the Transcend 7/8, which are high-waisted, velvety soft, and feel delicious. The absence of an outer seam adds a really elegant touch. There’s not much compression here and I did experience a little rollage when sitting in Sukhasana (Easy Seat), but I might simply need a bigger size as the fit was more like a crop on me.
7. Athleta Salutation Stash 7/8 Tight
Those of us who prefer more compression can try Athleta’s best-selling Salutation Stash. This legging offers convenient pockets and hugs your waist, hips, and bum for shape and support. I had to size up in these because of such high compression, but I’m a fan. I’ve worn these versatile plus-size leggings to the studio, to work, even on the hiking trail (the pockets make them very outdoor friendly).
8. Booty by Brabants Chrome Curvy Leggings
I love that these high-waisted leggings from the curvy line are “one size fits most.” The leggings are designed to stretch from a size L to size XXXL, and although I was skeptical, the textured leggings fit me perfectly. They’re the thickest leggings I tested and the light compression securely holds in my belly. The fabric features a sassy shine, which makes them really stand out. The texture resembles fish scales, so I feel a little like a mermaid when I wear them, but those scales camouflage any cellulite or dimpled skin you might be a touch sensitive about (not that you should be!). Bonus, the 7/8 length is ideal for shorties like me.
9. Nike Yoga Luxe Women’s High-Waisted Leggings
The high waist of these leggings hit the perfect spot above my belly button and didn’t roll down. I loved the feel and movement of these do-it-all leggings that also look great outside the studio. Plus, there’s a hidden pocket in the waistband. Beware, though, the lightweight nylon-polyester-spandex blend is literally like velcro for dog hair and lint.
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About our contributor
Jennifer Davis-Flynn is a writer and yoga teacher based in Boulder, Colorado. Follow her on Instagram @jennifurious.