We, the badass women of the world, have reached a consensus: Leggings are pants. Let’s face it, black leggings are a wardrobe staple that tells the world I’m chic, comfortable, and could jump into virtually any athletic situation at a moment’s notice.
There’s just one small problem—our best black leggings, the ones we rely on for our early morning runs and sweaty yoga flows, aren’t always conducive to everyday wear. While your go-to LBLs provide support while showing off your shape during your workouts, tight compression can make a four-hour flight a little more uncomfortable than it already is.
To help you find the best black leggings for everyday wear, I trimmed down the seemingly countless options and tested out six of the most popular pairs. From the moment I woke up to the moment I hit the sack, I kept careful (and honest) notes detailing my experiences.
Taking factors such as the level of comfort, quality of the waistband, fabric type, and aesthetic appeal into account, I came out with a clear bracket winner. Follow along to see which leggings I deemed the best for everyday wear!
Best Black Leggings for Everyday Wear
Without further ado, here are the best black leggings for everyday wear and travel, based on real life results from an everyday legging wearer.
Best Overall Black Leggings: Lululemon Align Pant
Was I naked? Was I floating on a cloud? Or was I wearing the most buttery soft pair of leggings? The lululemon Align Pant has unparalleled comfort, taking me from flows at my favorite local yoga studio to lunch at the nearby organic eatery and out for an evening of drinks with the girls. I even toted this matte black legging on a quick trip to Colorado for a round of graduate school interviews.
When my world was buzzing and bustling, my outfit was one less thing to worry about. The thin material hugged every inch of my lower body, from my waist to my ankles. It flaunts a ⅞ length, hitting about 2 ½ inches above my ankles (keep in mind that I’m 5’4”).
The key word here is hugged. These every day and workout leggings fit snugly against my body, but there was no feeling of compression or squeezing. Think of it this way: no residual marks from the seams after taking these leggings off!
If I had to describe this pair of black everyday leggings in one word, I’d choose angelic.
The minimal seaming and matte black finish make the lululemon Align Pant one of the best leggings for everyday wear because they’re comfy and cozy, yet polished. Without a single hint of the stereotypical “athletic look,” I happily paired these with everything from checkered Van’s slip ons to boho booties and vintage crop tops to silky kimonos.
The high-rise waistband sits above the belly button and lays flat around the entire circumference of my torso. There is absolutely no digging, pinching, or folding.
The small pocket in the waistband of the Align Pant is best used for a loose key, small wad of cash, or a credit card and ID when you’re out and about on the town. The tapered mouth to this pocket kept my items perfectly secure throughout my daily adventures.
Due to the thin nature of the material used for the Align legging, these pants are fairly delicate. Machine wash on cold with like items (no jeans or zippers—they’ll snag!) and air dry — absolutely no dryer for these black leggings.
A hassle? Perhaps, but I can assure you that once you’ve got your hands on these leggings, you’ll want to ensure they last as long as possible, which means giving them proper care.
This pair of leggings also has the priciest tag of the bunch, but trust me when I say that lululemon is providing you with unrivaled quality. That said, if the price tag is a bit outside for your current budget, read on!
Best Black Leggings on a Budget: Old Navy High Waisted PowerPress Leggings
For a pair that you can wear on the daily, leggings under $30 seem like a steal, right?! Well, Old Navy nailed the concept with their High Rise Compression Leggings. Yes, the quality may be lacking a bit, but the bang for your buck makes them well worth considering if you’re looking for an easy closet staple and dependable black leggings for everyday wear.
Perhaps it was the fact that these tights had to compete against brands like lululemon and ZELLA, but I must admit, I was slightly underwhelmed. In a pinch, heck yes, I’ll grab these Old Navy leggings, but I will likely still reach for my Lulus first.
These soft black leggings are tailored through the leg, slimming down from belly button to ankles. They have a cottony finish, reminding me of the traditional legging many of us are familiar with from years past.
Due to the cottony feel, the High Rise Compression Leggings feel noticeably limited in regards to movement and flexibility. As opposed to the four-way stretch many brands offer these days, this pair of leggings only offers two-way stretch. If you have a tendency to sit in slightly wild, contorted positions like I do, this may not be the pair for you.
The thin fabric also had a shine to it, which translates into sheerness when bending and hinging. These leggings lacked the matte black finish that complements my everyday attire.
Although they didn’t have a standard athletic look, their texture meant they appeared far too casual to pair with cute outfits. One more “ouch” for this pair of everyday leggings: The material used for the High Rise Compression Leggings is prone to pilling, clinging, and fading.
Best Black Leggings With Pockets: Zella High Waist Studio Lite Pocket Leggings
Trust me when I say you can live in these ZELLA High Waist Studio Leggings. The thick, brushed material is as cozy as it gets, making them a dream for everyday wear, long travel days, and even grooving through my 25-hour yoga workshop weekends.
These leggings were particularly wonderful for the late-spring chill and rain Mother Nature decided to surprise Midwesterners with this year.
I kept my driver’s license, debit card, and car keys handy—without needing to lug around a purse—thanks to the pockets on the side of these everyday black leggings. The leggings hit at a cropped length, making them appropriate for my favorite sneaks and best pair of combat boots.
The seams were faint, with one wonderful surprise that all of the other pairs in this cohort lacked: piping over the glutes! Hello, shaping.
And can we talk affordability? You’ll be just as shocked as I was: For how comfortable and functional these leggings are, a price tag well under $100 is nothing short of incredible.
The brushed material these everyday leggings are made of was fairly prone to clinging. An impromptu snuggle sesh with my pup required thorough lint rolling before strutting out in public again. If you have any long-haired, light-colored furry friends running around at home, be warned.
Best Lululemon Dupe Black Leggings on Amazon: Yogalicious High Waist Ultra Soft Nude Tech Leggings
The Yogalicious Tech Leggings are a welcome alternative to the jeans sitting in my dresser drawers. No zippers and no nagging waistlines digging into your obliques! They’re some of the best Lululemon dupes you can find on Amazon, which offer a comparable quality at a fraction of the price.
Similar to the Align Leggings, these bottoms offer four-way stretch, making them easy to move in and completely non-restrictive. They have a similar feeling of wearing nothing, which makes them among the best black leggings for everyday wear.
The fabric used for these leggings is a lightweight blend of polyester and spandex, which majorly contributes to comfort and flexibility. There aren’t any bells and whistles to distract from a perfectly executed casual or athletic outfit. Instead, I was able to pair these everyday leggings with whatever my heart desired.
Without tons of technical features for moisture-wicking or quick-drying, you may find that sweat accumulates in these leggings instead of beads off. I experienced a lingering clingy feeling after spontaneously hopping into an afternoon power yoga class. From the best yoga leggings to a night out with the girls? Probably not. Though all factors considered, this pair is well worth the price tag and among the best Lululemon dupes if you don’t feel like dropping $100 on leggings.
Best Cropped Black Leggings: Athleta Ultimate Stash II Capri
If you take the lululemon Align Pant, chop off the bottoms and sprinkle in some pockets, you get the Athleta Ultimate Stash II Capri leggings. Merging heavenly soft material with side pockets and a cropped design, these leggings are a total game changer.
Not only was I able to comfortably move through my daily schedule in these everyday leggings—I also looked gooood. The waistband was one of the most comfortable, tying with the Align Pant. These had a similar fit down the leg, hugging tightly around the bottom of my shins.
I happily noticed no bunching fabric behind my knees or around my ankles. If you ask me, this in itself is a major win. Great for a spin bike and for gladiator sandals.
The matte black material lacked any hint of sheerness. It passed my goddess-warrior squat test and remained opaque throughout my wildest stretching. These leggings weren’t shiny in the least.
After the most zenned out yoga flow, I threw on platform Vans and a boxy striped crop top, then grabbed a casual dinner with my beau in the city. Thanks to the breathability featured in these leggings, I didn’t have a single worry about lingering moisture.
Despite what you may think would come with the territory of the luxurious softness of these leggings, the Athleta Ultimate Stash II leggings were essentially anti-clinging and anti-pilling. And no pup hair, despite our best cuddles.
No compression and all of the stretch? Exactly what we want for a long day of wear and travel days.
They may have been stolen by my best friend when I wasn’t looking.
Best Mesh Black Leggings: Alo Yoga Airlife Mesh High Waist Allure Legging
This mesh pair from Alo Yoga is a final contender for the best black leggings for everyday wear and travel. A relative newcomer on the scene, Alo has made a huge splash in the world of athleisure and are well loved by celebrities, influencers, and your basic legging loving gals (ahem, me). Their leggings don’t leave the wearer wanting for much, and the ultra stylish, mesh heavy design is daring and eye catching.
If you’re looking for technical leggings that have a little bit of oomph, this is the pair. Outfitted with four-way stretch and a perfect fit, these black leggings are an ideal choice for any body type and any activity. In fact, they’re some of the best running leggings as they’ll keep you nice and cool, no matter how hard you sweat.
They fall to the ankle and have a high, yet comfortable waistband. Coupled with the all-over mesh cutouts, these are a striking pair of black leggings if you’re after a bold outfit upgrade.
The obvious upside to these leggings is the design. The thoughtfully placed mesh runs up the entirety of the leg, with cutouts on the waistband for a much more interesting silhouette than your standard, run of the mill black leggings.
Though despite the intricacy of the pattern, they also hold up in the areas of comfort, practicality, and flexibility without so much as a glimpse at what’s underneath. They’re serious competitors to Lululemon’s mesh legging line, and do I day say they may even be… better?
These black leggings are right up there in price, and at more than $100 it’s hard to justify spending that much on athletic wear. But once you see them on, it’s easy to understand why they’re well worth the splurge.
How to Choose the Best Everyday Black Leggings
While there’s a lot that goes into it, these are the primary considerations for choosing the best black leggings for everyday wear and travel.
First and foremost, you want to choose a pair of opaque leggings, AKA a pair that are not see through. Cheap leggings oftentimes reveal what’s underneath, especially when you bend over or squat down. This is a major no-no for everyday leggings (I’m sure you can guess why).
It’s worth spending a little more for a pair of opaque leggings are these are ultimately going to serve you better in the long run. Opacity is also a major indicator of quality, so getting a strong pair of leggings now reduces the chances of having to replace them very soon down the line.
It’s also worth considering any technical properties everyday black leggings have. At a very minimum, look for four-way stretch, which promotes flexibility and will allow you to move in every which way without constriction.
Also, consider a pair that’s sweat or moisture wicking so that they double as athletic wear. A good pair of moisture wicking leggings reduces odors and, well, moisture, so you can easily wear them from your yoga class to the coffee shop without fear of swampass.
Finally, it pays to think about the construction of everyday leggings as this contributes to comfort and style. The most comfortable pairs of leggings will be seamless, so there won’t be any uncomfortable stitching rubbing you the wrong way.
You’ll also need to choose between a high waist or low waist construction, which all boils down to personal preference. Most of my pairs are high waisted leggings as they have a slimming effect and allow me to wear crop tops or sports bras without showing too much of my tummy.
Construction is also indicative of the length of the leggings. While you can never go wrong with full length leggings, cropped or 7/8 styles are hugely popular as well, as they show off a little bit of ankle and are easy to wear with different styles of footwear.
FAQs About Black Leggings for Everyday Wear
Which leggings are best quality?
The best quality leggings come from athletic and yoga brands like Lululemon, Athleta, and Alo. However, many other brands produce high quality leggings as well.
Is it OK to wear leggings everyday?
Typically, it’s okay to wear leggings every day, so long as they’re kept clean and in good shape. You’ll likely want to swap out your sweaty gym leggings for a fresh pair if you’re hitting the streets or casual office, but overall, wearing leggings daily is completely fine.
What leggings are most flattering?
The most flattering leggings are typically high waisted leggings with some sort of compression as they have a slimming quality to them. If you’re looking for flattering leggings, try brands like Lululemon, Athleta, Yogalicious and Alo.
Should you size up or down in leggings?
Leggings should fit comfortably like a second skin, so it’s best to start with your true size. Individual brand sizes may vary, so it’s worth consulting the sizing chart before purchasing, especially if you’re shopping for black leggings online.