The leggings that have kept women comfy through lockdown, both on and off the mat

Stock up on these lockdown-approved leggings from women who’ve lived in them all year – from workouts and Netflix marathons, to days at their desk.

I know one person who dislikes leggings. She’s Italian and grew up playing volleyball in the Milanese heat, so anything that’s longer than a hot pant that tightly hugs her legs feels a little alien to her. Other than this one anomaly, every gym-goer, runner, cyclist or yogi I know has been wedded to the comfort and durability of leggings for years.

However, never has there been a time when a piece of clothing has been more embraced worldwide. Thanks to lockdown, leggings have gone from being reserved for Soul Cycle and yoga to a wardrobe staple for almost every woman. The past year has meant that we’ve all been running, HIITing and stretching more than ever before. Even those who usually turn their nose up at exercise have been getting in on the action in a bid to get rid of back pain and fill their long, arduous days. 

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Plus, working from home means that ‘very casual’ has become the new dress code, at least from the waist down. Leggings have therefore become our office clothing du jour. I don’t know about you, but now that I have experienced a day at work in four-way stretch material I cringe at the thought of sitting at a desk in uncomfortable rigid denim for nine hours a day. 

Leggings have even taken over our Saturday nights, given that our weekends are more about watching murder mystery on Netflix than killing it on the dancefloor. They’ve been strapped to us through countless takeaways, movie marathons, Zoom quizzes and even our best friends’ birthday celebrations. 

At John Lewis alone, sales of loungewear and leggings spiked by 1303% in 2020. Even Oprah’s fallen in love, adding Iconic’s £32 leggings to her best items of 2020 list. 

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It’s really no surprise – in a year full of discomfort, we’ve clung onto any and all forms of physical comfort. If your reserve of leggings need a top-up, here’s what the Stylist team have been wearing to get them through lockdown in pure comfort. 

  • The softest leggings

    The best comfy leggings: Lululemon

    These Lululemon leggings were described as being ‘too comfy’ by Miranda Larbi, Strong Women Training Club’s editor that she can’t get through a day without them. She thinks that they were made for self-care days in mind, using Lululemon’s signature buttery soft fabric to feel so luxurious on your skin that they can even make crane pose feel plush. 

    Shop Lululemon Align Leggings, £88


  • The round-the-clock leggings

    Best comfy leggings: Lorna Jane Amy leggings

    Strong Women’s editor Meriam Ahari loves these leggings so much she wears them for morning yoga, a day at her desk, an after-work workout and even to sleep in. “”They’re so snug and lightweight, without the restriction of seams digging into your legs or an overly-tight waistband. I can move about my day in pure comfort without even realising I’m wearing leggings,” she justifies. 

    Shop Lorna Jane Amy Leggings, £60


  • The maternity leggings

    Best comfy leggings: Spanx Mama leggings

    No centre seam means extra stretch, without the itching or rubbing and extra stretch, so you can wear these all throughout your pregnancy. They’ve seen Stylist’s executive digital editor, Felicity Thistlethwaite, through thanks to their leather look that makes her feel a bit more put together than classic sporty style leggings.

    Shop Spanx Mama Faux-Leather Leggings, £96


  • The compression stretch leggings

    Best comfy leggings: Fabletics Mila leggings’s editor-at-large, Kayleigh Dray, says she’s been wearing these “too much” (although I’m not sure that’s a thing). The reason she can’t take them off? The thick waistband makes you feel supported during workouts but is also ultra stretchy, meaning they’re super comfy for curling up on the sofa in. Plus, that handy pocket makes running to the shop on your lunch break even easier. 

    Shop Fabletics Mila Leggings, £19


  • The all-weather legging

    Best comfy leggings: Athleta Salutation leggings

    Seeing as though we’ve been in lockdown for an entire year, I’ve needed leggings to see me through the winter days, as well as home workouts in a flat with no air-con during the height of summer. I’ve been grateful for these Athleta leggings, made from sweat-wicking, breathable fabric that has 50+ sun protection factor, but is also super soft and cosy for the days when only 25 layered jumpers will do. 

    Shop Athleta Salutation Leggings, £98


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