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Best Black Leggings for Women: 8 Stylish Picks for Everyday Wear

Best Black Leggings
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Updated November 22, 2023

While bathing suits might be relegated to the back of your closet from October to May and you only reach for cozy flannel or cashmere during the colder months, certain wardrobe staples are must-haves all year long. Case in point: Black leggings. No matter the season, you can easily pull together a stylish, practical, and—perhaps most importantly—comfortable outfit by throwing on a pair of go-to black leggings. 

Whether you’re heading out to dinner, going to a workout class, or are expecting and would be perfectly happy to live in a solid pair of maternity black leggings for nine months, there are a bevy of options online. In fact, shopping for the popular pants can even get a bit overwhelming, given how many brands purport to have the best black leggings around. That said, it helps to consider a range of comfortable, durable and chic possibilities. 

What to consider before buying black leggings

Before diving into your online search for black leggings, you’ll want to consider a few key points:

Use

When you’ll be wearing your black leggings along with your preferred material tend to go hand-in-hand. For example, while stretchy, sweat-wicking materials like nylon and Lycra blends might appeal during a steamy Vinyasa yoga session, you may prefer faux leather for attending a concert with friends or a cotton blend for lounging around at home on a chilly autumn weekend. 

Fit 

While the majority of black leggings are high-rise these days, some are higher than others, and while some styles have a seamless waist, others have a more defined waistband. Comfort is definitely a factor here, but so is how you’ll be styling your leggings. If you’d like to wear yours with a white button down chicly tucked in front, you’ll want to pick leggings that look more like a pair of black pants than workout attire. 

Compression 

Whether you want your black leggings to tout compression—aka a tighter fit that offers muscle-hugging support, which is said to boost blood flow and post-exercise recovery—is up to your comfort level. Compression may feel nicely supportive in maternity leggings or workout leggings, it may feel constricting for a pair you’d like to relax around in.

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Our picks for the best black leggings

Best black leggings for work: Spanx Jean-ish® Ankle Leggings

Black jeans are just as much of a wardrobe staple as black leggings, and they’re even more versatile in a way, because they often look more formal or professional, which is ideal when choosing an outfit for a day at the office. That said, Spanx’s “Jean-ish” Ankle Leggings, which are basically soft-knit leggings that could easily pass as jeans, are a solid choice for black leggings for work. With an internal shaping panel, a pull-on design, and back pockets, they’re meant to have you feeling both pulled together and comfortable.

Specifications:

  • Size range: XS-3X
  • Fit: Fitted
  • Material: 69% cotton, 26% polyester, 5% Spandex
  • Style details: Button and zipperless, back pockets
  • Price at time of publish: $98

Pros:

  • Available in tall, regular, and petite inseams
  • Comfortable
  • Machine washable
  • Super versatile
  • Comes in black as well as white and twilight rinse
  • Loved by petite and tall women 

Cons:

  • Customers say they run small, so you may want to size up
Best black leggings for work
Spanx Women's Jean-ish Ankle Leggings

Spanx Women's Jean-ish Ankle Leggings

Best plus size black leggings: Girlfriend Collective Black Luxe Leggings

This women-owned company scores sky-high reviews for these luxe, versatile leggings that come in a wide range of sizes. Customers love the high rise, moisture-wicking fabric that offers supportive but not too tight compression, and soft stretch that’s meant to mold to your shape. And because they don’t have seams that are typical of workout-style black leggings, reviewers say they can be dressed up and down.

Specifications:

  • Size range: XXS-6X
  • Fit: Medium compression
  • Material: 77% recycled plastic bottles (RPET) and 23% Spandex
  • Style details: Subtle matte sheen, two small front waistband pockets and one back waistband pocket 
  • Price at time of publish: $92

Pros:

  • Available in two inseams: 28.5-inch and 23 ¾-inch
  • Comfortable
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Especially versatile
  • Loved by women of various shapes and sizes

Cons:

  • Some customers say the leggings pilled in the inseam after frequent wear
Best plus size black leggings
Girlfriend Collective Black Luxe Leggings

Girlfriend Collective Black Luxe Leggings

Best Black Cropped Leggings: lululemon Align™ High-Rise Crop 21"

Whether you are a yoga student or simply appreciate well-made, super-comfortable black leggings, chances are you’ve heard that Lululemon is a classic option. And their Align leggings have an almost cult-like following for a reason. Made with incredibly soft, buttery Nulu fabric (part rayon, part Lycra) and a seamless high-rise waist that doesn’t dig into your stomach, Aligns were made to be lived in and worn for workouts, working from home, and everything in between. Lululemon also gets a round of applause for offering their popular Align style in a couple of different crop lengths: 21- and 23-inch, so even petite women will enjoy a true crop by going with the shortest style.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 0-20
  • Fit: Light compression
  • Material: 81% nylon and 19% Lycra elastane
  • Style details: High rise, 21” crop length
  • Price at time of publish: $88-98

Pros:

  • Sweat-wicking
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Highly versatile
  • Truly cropped style for petite women

Cons:

  • Some customers find that the light compression causes the waist to roll down, but this could be addressed by purchasing one size down
Best Black Cropped Leggings
lululemon Align™ High-Rise Crop 21"

lululemon Align™ High-Rise Crop 21"

Best black faux leather leggings: Carbon38 Legging in Takara Shine

Perhaps among some of the most versatile black leggings are faux leather ones, which can be worn just about anywhere, whether you’re heading out for a night of dancing, strength training, or running errands on the weekend. The reason: Faux leather black leggings done right actually look like leather pants but prove far more comfortable. Reviewers praise woman-founded brand Carbon38’s faux leather leggings for offering that luxe, glossy look that reads as leather and also appreciate that they’re made from a performance, lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric that has just enough compression and a wide, no-slip waistband to keep you feeling supported during a workout. It makes perfect sense that the company boasts selling over half a million pairs to date. 

Specifications:

  • Size range: XXS-XXL
  • Fit: Medium compression meant for medium impact activities
  • Material: 80% nylon, 20% Lycra
  • Style details: Choose from high-rise full length, high rise ⅞, regular rise ⅞, and regular rise full length; high shine, leather-like material
  • Price at time of publish: $128

Pros:

  • Sweat-wicking
  • Four-way stretch
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Easy to wear anytime, whether while working out, going out, or at work
  • Comfortable and stylish 

Cons:

  • Lacking a petite option, they may be a bit on the long side for shorter women

Best high rise black leggings: Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants

If you’re looking for a pair of comfortable and truly versatile high rise black leggings with a wide waistband that offers medium compression, Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants fit the bill. Bonus: They even feature various pockets—one hidden in the waistband and two others on either side of the legs, where you can easily stash your phone. In other words, they’re a great choice for a wide variety of activities, whether you’re heading out on a hike, taking a trip to the grocery store, or taking a HIIT class. It’s no surprise Amazon notes that customers who buy these pants are more likely to keep versus return them than similar products.

Specifications:

  • Size range: XS-XXL
  • Fit: Medium compression meant for medium impact activities
  • Material: 77% polyester, 23% polyurethane
  • Style details: Three pockets, stylish seams
  • Price at time of publish: $18.99

Pros:

  • Thick, opaque black material that doesn’t run the risk of being see-through 
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Four-way stretch
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Comfortable, supportive tummy compression

Cons:

  • Some reviewers dislike the thickness of the material 
Best high rise black leggings
Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants, Pocket Yoga Pants Tummy Control Workout Running 4 Way Stretch Yoga Leggings Black

Fengbay High Waist Yoga Pants, Pocket Yoga Pants Tummy Control Workout Running 4 Way Stretch Yoga Leggings Black

Best maternity black leggings: HATCH The Ultimate Before, During & After Legging

While your regular black leggings may very well suffice throughout your pregnancy, you might do well to choose a pair that’s specifically designed to adapt to your growing bump, which is where HATCH’s the Ultimate Before, During & After Legging comes in. The bestselling leggings are designed with a moisture-wicking bamboo blend material that’s soft and C-section friendly. They also boast just enough compression that they’ll have you feeling supported at any phase and stage of pregnancy or postpartum. 

Specifications:

  • Size range: XS-XL
  • Fit: “Just right” compression that’s as comfortable as it is supportive
  • Material: 80% bamboo, 20% viscose
  • Style details: Sleek, subtly shiny satin-like material
  • Price at time of publish: $98

Pros:

  • Can be worn pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, and postpartum
  • Super soft material made from sustainable bamboo
  • Updated over-the-bump fit
  • Thick enough material that reviewers say they can be dressed up and worn to work
  • Machine washable in warm water

Cons: 

  • Some reviewers dislike the feeling of the seam that sits under the belly
Best maternity black leggings
HATCH The Ultimate Before, During & After Legging

HATCH The Ultimate Before, During & After Legging

Best black workout leggings: Alo 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging

Whether you’re doing heavy lifting at the gym or checking out your neighborhood Pilates class, you need your staple black workout leggings that will get you through any level of physical excursion. Those may very well be Alo’s bestselling 7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Leggings, as they offer medium compression that works for a wide range of workouts and are made with a soft, body-hugging, breathable, moisture-wicking, matte material that is reminiscent of cotton. In other words, they check a lot of boxes.

Specifications:

  • Size range: XXS-XL
  • Fit: Medium compression meant for yoga, hiking, runs, and medium-intensity strength training
  • Material: 87% Nylon, 13% Elastane
  • Style details: Smooth design that lacks side seams and features flat-locked seams to boost comfort
  • Price at time of publish: $98

Pros:

  • Can be worn for a range of activities
  • Comfortable, moisture-wicking material that feels like cotton
  • Compression that provides just enough support
  • Reviewers say they’re “snug and flattering”
  • Machine washable in cold water

Cons: 

  • Some reviewers say the compression makes them a bit difficult to get on
Best black workout leggings
7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging in Black, Size: XL | Alo Yoga®

7/8 High-Waist Airbrush Legging in Black, Size: XL | Alo Yoga®

Best black yoga leggings: Beyond Yoga Spacedye At Your Leisure High Waisted Midi Legging

No matter if you’re taking a sweaty Vinyasa class or enjoying an outdoor Hatha practice, you want yoga pants that don’t get in the way of your flow. After all, leggings that roll down at exactly the wrong time or stick to or irritate your skin can be a real distraction. You can’t go wrong with Beyond Yoga’s supersoft, sweat-wicking high-rise yoga leggings, considered fan favorites for their buttery feel, curve-hugging fit, and versatility. 

Specifications:

  • Size range: XS-XL
  • Fit: Comfortable compression perfect for yoga 
  • Material: 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane
  • Style details: Stylish and comfortable crossover waistband, no outseam, 5-inch waistband that is meant to sit at your natural waist 
  • Price at time of publish: $99

Pros:

  • Material offers UV protection
  • Ideal for yoga, lounging, or travel
  • Made with supersoft, second skin material
  • Easy care, as they can be machine washed and dried

Cons: 

  • Compression may be too light for people who prefer more of a medium or strong snug fit 
Best black yoga leggings
Beyond Yoga Spacedye At Your Leisure High Waisted Midi Legging

Beyond Yoga Spacedye At Your Leisure High Waisted Midi Legging

How we selected the best black leggings

We used our own personal knowledge and experience with black leggings from top fashion and athleisure brands, intensely researched a wide range of customer reviews, and considered insight from real women, including fashion influencers, who spoke to how much they love a particular style. We also factored in whether or not certain black leggings are considered bestsellers. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between jeggings and leggings?

If you’re hoping to replace regular, stiff denim blue jeans with stretchier, more comfortable leggings that could pass as jeans, you’ll want to look for jeggings—a hybrid of the two types of pants. Jeggings typically have back pockets (faux or real) and sometimes, front pockets and even a fly, like jeans, but are made with a stretchy, perhaps even moisture-wicking material like leggings. On the other hand, basic leggings lack the style details that are generally found on jeans.

Is it OK to wear leggings as pants?

More and more these days, people are reaching for leggings in an array of colors—but particularly black—as an alternative to traditional pants, even for more formal occasions, like going out to a trendy restaurant. (They may not quite have made it to “good alternative to dress pants for work” status just yet, at least in more traditional offices.) That’s because many black leggings can be dressed up. For instance, faux leather leggings can easily be worn instead of pants, and even leggings made for yoga can pass for a pants-substitute if thoughtfully incorporated into a polished outfit (think: wearing them under loose layers, like your favorite fitted tee, cozy cardigan, and knee-high boots).

What should you wear with black leggings?

Black leggings are one of the most versatile wardrobe staples around, so the sky's the limit when it comes to what you can wear with your go-to black leggings. If you’re about to head out on a night out on the town, you can pair them with an oversized tee, leather jacket, and booties. On a weekend, a denim shirt or oversized sweatshirt could pair well with black leggings. And if a workout is on the schedule—or you’re just a fan of athleisure—try a cropped tee or tank over your favorite sports bra and running shoes.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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