We understand the temptation, we really do. You find your trusty leggings have gone a bit see-through in the seat department, or a bit bobbly after too many times in the wash, so you resolve to pop into Primark on your lunch break or to the clothes section mid-supermarket dash. But trust us when we say the world of black leggings is bigger, better and more varied than you might have thought possible.
Of course, the best black leggings for your particular needs depends heavily on what those needs are. We’ve included leggings for nights out, working out, and everyday off-duty looks to cover all bases. There might be an element of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ when it comes to black leggings, but if you’re after something a little different, there are lots of options out there.
For a smart, sexy look that won’t leave you freezing in the queue for the club, leather-look wins every time. The beauty of faux leather leggings is that all-important stretch, because no-one wants a repeat of that Friends episode with Ross’ leather trousers. For hitting the gym, black leggings look all business, but ours have hints of glint and subtle tone-on-tone patterns for extra motivation when it comes to donning that kit for an evening on the treadmill.
Despite their differences, they all have one thing in common: they come highly recommended in the comfort and style stakes, so give your basics a little love and keep reading for our list of the best.
1. Under Armour women’s UA Fly-By printed legging
These sporty leggings feature four-way stretch for mobility and comfort
Best for: The gym | Material: 100% polyester | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: XS - XL
Looking for a slight twist on standard black without compromising on its match-everything abilities? The tone-on-tone animal print of these Under Armour leggings absolutely nails it: funky enough to add a little je ne sais quoi but low-key enough not to clash. Of course, when it comes to workout leggings, functionality is key, which is where the mesh leg panels and four-way stretch construction come in, wicking away sweat and keeping you mobile while you do your thing.
2. AllSaints Bri Leggings
Heavenly leggings with just a hint of texture to keep things interesting
Best for: Quality skinny style | Material: 80% cotton, 15% polyester, 5% elastane | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: S - L
These AllSaints leggings are certainly a cut above the standard supermarket fare, more luxe than lounge for a put-together weekend look. Reviewers found they didn’t have the annoying habit that so many leggings do of sliding down, with their great stretch and quality weighty fabric ensuring everything stays where it should, and keeping their shape after washing. They also put a subtle twist on the classic legging in terms of design, featuring a tone-on-tone ribbed side panel for an unexpected touch.
3. NIKE EPIC LUX FLASH
These reflective-pattern leggings are hot to trot whatever your sport of choice
Best for: Night-running | Material: 78% nylon, 22% elastane | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: UK 22 - 32
These plus-size running tights look equally foxy out on the track, at the gym, or even just running errands, and while classic black obviously has its place in our favourite curve-friendly gym wear, these up the ante by adding a bold graphic pattern in dashing silver. Properly engineered to suit more sizes than most branded offerings, they cover from a UK 22 to a 32, and are made from Nike Power fabric for a supportive and stretchy fit.
4. ASOS Leather Look Leggings with Elastic Slim Waist
For a slick night-out look without the frostbite
Best for: A smart look | Material: 95% polyester, 5% elastane | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: UK 4 - 18
Not quite matte, not quite wet-look, these satin-finish faux leather leggings are just the thing for a night out ensemble that’s the perfect meeting of stylish and comfortable. Far from the sewn-in ‘Sandy from Grease’ experience you might imagine, these leggings feature 5% elastane for a comfortable hint of stretch, and proper elasticated inserts at the waist to help you wriggle in and out without any dramas
5. F&F Active Quick Dry Full Length Leggings
These fast-drying leggings are comfortable, cost-effective and low-maintenance
Best for: Throw-on-and-go | Material: 92% polyester, 8% elastane | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: XS - L
After a good pair of black workout leggings but not sold on the higher price tag of Under Armour or Nike? These quick-dry leggings from F&F at Tesco might just see you right. More functional than their budget price might suggest, these leggings were found to be durable and comfortable by reviewers, who found they washed exceptionally well and dried quickly, perfect for laundry day and particularly strenuous trips to the gym alike.
6. V by Very Tall Confident Curve Legging
Specially designed for longer legs, with some impressive holding-in action too
Best for: Long legs | Material: 86% cotton, 14% elastane | Care instructions: Machine wash | Sizes: UK 10 - 24
If you’re on the tall side it can sometimes feel like regular length leggings are wasted on you, especially if you’re not a fan of the cropped look. But you can wave goodbye to chilly shins with these Confident Curve leggings by Very, specifically designed with the more Amazonian among us in mind. As well as the fact that they accommodate longer legs, reviewers raved about the quality, saying they’re thick and stretchy (certainly not see through) and loved how the snugger fit and high waistband keep everything in check.
Found your new favourite workout leggings? Now kit out your top half with our list of the best sports bras for support and style.