The Best Leggings for Work (Really!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

With the rise of athleisure and the leggings-all-day culture, it was bound to happen. Some smart companies have found a way to make leggings appropriate for the workplace. I’m not even kidding.

Let’s be clear. Leggings will never do in a business formal work environment, like an investment bank or traditional law firm. But, if your daily grind takes place in a business casual or creative casual office, you can totally pull this off.

First, the best leggings for work aren’t made quite the same way as athletic leggings. They are typically constructed from a heavier-weight cotton blend fabric and have trouser details, like pockets, a zip fly, or ankle vents. But, make no mistake, these stretchy wonders wear and feel 100% leggings. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m totally in love.

I’ve been scouting office-appropriate leggings for a few months now, and I’m ready to share my finds. Here are the best leggings for work:

Let’s start with the pair I’m wearing everywhere right now. These J.Crew Maddie pants look super polished, but feel like you are wearing loungewear. Seriously. I wore these on a business trip a couple months ago. After ten hours in the office, two in the airport, and a five hour flight home I was still super comfortable. I can’t recommend them enough.

J.Crew Maddie Pant in Stretch Cotton

→ Buy the J.Crew Maddie Pant in Stretch Cotton, $39.99 - $89.50, at

Aella is a new workwear label on the block, but already making a name for itself specifically because it makes leggings for work. Their “powder skin” fabric is a 4-way stretch twill that looks super polished, but is breathable, wrinkle-resistant, and machine washable! These cigarette pants are gorgeous.

Aella High Waist Cigarette Pant

→ Buy the Aella High Waist Cigarette Pant, $220.00, at

Also new to the workwear scene is MM.LaFleur. Don’t get me started about how much I adore everything they make. This Foster Pant is known for smoothing out your curves. It’s available in eight colors and every pair features a button hem that allows you to adjust the length depending on the heel height of your shoes. And it’s machine washable. How fabulous is that? It’s a workwear dream.

MM.LaFleur Foster Pant

→ Buy the MM.LaFleur Foster Pant, $195.00, at

If you are partial to more traditional workwear labels, don’t worry, they’re making leggings for work too. These Joseph stretch gabardine leggings have a slim straight fit that will do nicely in a casual office.

Joseph Stretch Gabardine Leggings

→ Buy the Joseph Stretch Gabardine Leggings, $295.00, at

If you want to try the trend on the cheap, Uniqlo’s Leggings Pants are a cult favorite. The ultra-affordable Japanese label has been making leggings-as-pants options for years. I know women who have these in every color, which is totally doable at this price. I may or may not have seven pair myself.

Uniqlo Leggings Pants

→ Buy the Uniqlo Leggings Pants, $29.90, at

What do you think of my choices for the best leggings for the workplace? Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!