Leggings are a huge part of my life. Whether I’m running, doing yoga, or biking, I work out almost every day of the week. Since I spend a decent amount of time in said leggings, I want them to be cute, comfortable, and functional. That’s not asking for too much, right?
As someone who is 5’1”—the average height for American women over the age of 20 is 5’3”, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—I find it hard to wear a lot of leggings. Full-length styles tend to bunch up below or at the ankle, which is uncomfortable, can interfere with my workouts, and accentuates my shorter-than-average legs. Not ideal. That's why I prefer cropped or capri leggings. Not only do they fit me better, but when I pair them with no-show socks, they give the illusion of a couple extra inches in height (every little bit counts!).
Here are some of my favorite cropped and capris leggings that are suitable for everything from jogging to an evening of Netflix.
If there were ever perfect capri leggings in my book, these would be them. I don’t often buy petite sizes (they can be hit-or-miss on me) but I got these in XSP and they hit me above the ankle for just the right cropped look. There are no outside seams on the hip or leg—a look I prefer since it creates the illusion of length. The sweat-wicking Powervita material (a nylon/lycra blend) is ridiculously soft, and it has the just right amount of stretch. I could live in these leggings!
Everyone can use a no-frills pair of cotton leggings. These best-sellers from Old Navy are the unsung MVP for all kinds of workouts, and (let’s be honest) also for lounging around the house.
I love the scalloped detailing on the waistband and ankles of these high-rise leggings. They’re made of a lightweight nylon that is comfortable, although the material can sometimes be sheer. Reviewers say these leggings run big, so opt for a size smaller than usual.
These leggings are the ideal pair for someone desiring compression, comfort, and fit. They’re high-waisted and cropped with seams that curve down the front and back of your leg, and are available in two versatile colors: royal blue and black. Sizes start at 2XS and go up to 2XL.
This is the second pair of Crane & Lion leggings I’ve worked out in and they are my favorite for running. They extend to about mid-calf, which keeps me cooler during fall runs when you never know what to expect from the weather. The material is lightweight and breathable. Since the waistband isn’t too high (although it does gap a bit after a few wears), I’m able to comfortably tuck in a base layer or tank top to keep my stomach warm when it’s blustery. Plus, there is a hidden pocket that is the exact size of a credit card. I’m into the subtle geometric pattern, which comes in two other colors: lavender and blue-grey.
I was first drawn to these leggings due to the stylish asymmetrical cut around the ankles. The winning features, however, are all the pockets: two deep ones on the side, a zipper one, and another in the waistband. I’ve used them to stash everything from my keys to my credit card to my cell phone. Since the pockets go deep and the leggings are tight, anything I put in them really does stay put. The thick waistband also doesn't move no matter what activity you’re doing. I got these leggings in my size in petite and they fit just right. The style is also available up to size 2X.
TLA makes seamless leggings and sports bras out of breathable materials. The leggings don’t have pockets so they are more suitable for a studio workout. The ribbed knit material is thick and stretchy, and you can easily pull them up higher on your calves for an even more cropped look. The pin-stripe print comes in four other colors: slate grey, beige, and both light and dark shades of olive.
Everyone needs a pair of basic black leggings in their life and these ones from Lively fit the bill perfectly. They’re not too light or too heavy, and have a high-rise at the hip for good coverage and comfort.
The lace-up detailing on the Camera Capri resembles the laces on a football, which is a cool feature. The thick waistband rises up to my rib cage, while the crop hits just under my knee. I suggest wearing these in the summer for an outdoors activity or an indoor hot yoga class because of how cropped they are—not exactly winter material! The nylon/spandex blend is stretchy, but I would size up for more breathing room. These also come in red and in sizes up to 2X.
I love all things leather—from trousers to skirts to jackets—so it’s no surprise that I love these workout leggings resembling faux leather. These fit true to size, and as far as gauging length goes, the image is pretty accurate. The quick-drying material is lightweight but not see-through, and the sheen effect makes me feel like Olivia Newton-John in that final scene of “Grease” when she struts out to meet John Travolta. I wear these in my yoga classes because the high cut makes them easy to pair with just a sports bra. That said, the waistband does feel tight sometimes, so if you prefer more breathing room then I’d suggest sizing up. The leggings also come in nine additional colors, including burgundy, navy, dusty rose, and gunmetal grey.
These high-waisted leggings from Zella are a best-seller at Nordstrom. The fit can’t be beat, as they have a firm hold but are still comfortable. They’re made of a moisture-wicking material and run true to size. The mesh panel at the back of the leg also allows for a nice cooling effect. Sizes go up to XXL.
Although their popularity on Instagram makes me want to own all the Alo Yoga leggings possible, most of their full-length styles tend bunch up around my ankles. I got these capris in electric blue two years ago; they fall somewhere mid-calf, so if you prefer longer capris, try their high-waisted version, which reviewers say is longer. The moisture-wicking, antimicrobial material is thick with a decent amount of compression. Plus, the waistband fits nicely on my stomach and doesn't roll down as I move. The leggings also come in six additional colors, including neon green, black, white, and beige.
Gym Wear, Sports Wear, Fitness Wear, Casual Wear - Max Apparel,http://www.wellfit-sportswear.com/