Plus-Size Fashion

I Tried Over 20 Pairs of Plus-Size Leggings—These 4 Made the Cut

written by BETH GILLETTE

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Finding plus-size activewear is tough, to say the least. Everything is either too tight or too camel-toe-y or too loose or too ugly (sorry, not sorry). And honestly, having good workout clothes makes working out actually bearable for me. One of the most important parts of a good workout to me is having a good pair of leggings that don’t slip or slide and actually make me feel confident, but finding a good pair of plus-size leggings is equivalent to finding a needle in a very large haystack.

While it’s not a one-and-done motivator, I’ve been on the hunt for activewear that makes waking up at 6am to do squats just a liiiiiittle more bearable. I’ve tried on dozens of pairs, but these are the ones that actually made the cut. TBH, some of these even make me want to book that yoga class I’ve been talking about for months. Flattering, comfortable, and cute? What more could a girl ask for.

For reference, I usually wear a size XXL.

Nike One Lux Training Leggings

Our Social Editor Keely wore these on a casual day in the office once, and I went to Nordstrom the next day to try them on. On her, they looked like the perfect black leggings: cute with an oversized sweatshirt, but also durable enough to actually work out in.

These didn’t disappoint. Nike leggings are a little weird size-wise, so I had no idea what size to try on. I took both a 1X and 2X in the fitting room, and the 1X ended up being the perfect fit. I think these would be great for a yoga class (especially hot yoga) because the material is definitely sweat-wicking without being too compressive. I also would totally wear these on a normal day, so these work double-duty. On me, I didn’t feel like they were worth the price after I’d found leggings that did the same thing at a lower price point, but if these are in your price range, I would definitely go for them.

One Lux Training Tights
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Champion C9 High-Waisted Leggings

For the price, these are incredible. I have another pair from this brand from a few years ago, and they have lasted so long without any pilling. I basically survived with these exclusively as my go-to workout pants for months, and they’ve still managed to keep their shape and style.

So, I had to try another pair. I tried on an XXL in these leggings (because that’s all I found in store), and they were great. I wouldn’t call them my favorite leggings of all time, but if you’re working on a budget, these are a great option. I did a few squats in the dressing room to test, and they stayed in place well without having to hold them up or move around, and had a good amount of compression.

I would wear these for all kinds of workouts without worrying about them not holding up. (The online sizing is definitely limited on these, however, as they only go up to an XXL).

C9 High-Waist Leggings
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Girlfriend Collective High-Waisted Compressive Leggings

We’re huge fans of Girlfriend Collective here—their ethics and commitment to both diversity and sustainability makes supporting them feel good, and that’s without even going into how good their products are.

I ordered these thinking I’d return them after I tried the magic that are the next leggings, but these are a VERY close second and will certainly not be leaving my closet anytime soon. I actually immediately went to work out once I put them on because I was excited to show them off. These are extra sweat-wicking, which makes working out in them extremely comfortable. It’s honestly kind of cooling on the skin (is that even possible lol?), so I’ll definitely wear these for my most intense workouts.

Girlfriend Collective
High Waist 7/8 Leggings
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Fabletics Powerhold High-Waisted Leggings

Everyone I talked to said I had to try Fabletics plus-size leggings, and this adventure finally got me to order a couple pairs online. DING DING DING, we have a WINNER! These were truly the best leggings I’ve ever tried on. I got the leggings with the highest amount of compression because they had incredible reviews, but I was really nervous about the sizing. I went with what the size guide told me, and upon first receiving the leggings, I thought there was no way they’d fit. They look so tiny before you put them on your body, but they stretch to fit you perfectly.

I love the compression and feel of these leggings so much. I’ve worn them to the gym a few times (tiny flex, yeah, I work out, what’s it to ya), and I can’t imagine a workout where these don’t work. I love them for weight-training, but when I went for a treadmill run (HUGE flex for me, but I should admit it was a five minute warm-up and was more of a light jog than a run but whatever), they stayed in place the entire time. Truth be told, I’ve had these for a few weeks now, and they haven’t begun to pill even though I’ve washed them a few times.

Basically, I’d buy these over and over again. I’m planning to place a lot more Fabletics orders in the future; their sports bras are calling my name! I picked them up in red and black because I knew I’d wear them constantly.

High-Waisted PowerHold 7/8 Leggings
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