Monday, December 2, 2013

The Best Leggings and Some Fall/Winter Outfit Inspiration for Curvy Girls on a Budget

Hi, I'm too lazy for real pants. If you're here--you are too. It's cool, sister. Leggings are easy and they go with everything and you can go to pole and floor/chair classes and then run five miles everyday or sit on your couch eating your feelings for a month and either way they'll probably still fit. #leggingsarethebeesknees

The problem with leggings? Get the wrong pair...and the answer is everything. And what's if you're curvy? What if "curvy" is just the cute word you're using and what you really mean is "chunkarific?" Igotchu. Here, my friends, is the legging run-down.

Added bonus: cute fall and winter outfits for the curvy babe on a budget, complete with links where applicable.

For reference: I am 5'3" I have a comparatively small 32" waist and big ol' 46" hips.

Lyssé: Shaping Leggings Review

I ordered these last year and loved them but by the end of the season they had several holes in them so I decided this season I would shop around to see if there was anything better. To be fair, I wore these to death. But I still felt like they should have lasted longer. I ordered them again this season and hopefully, since I also have an arsenal of other leggings to alternate them with, they'll last longer this time. 

Price: $58 full price. I got them for 30% off from Bare Necessities and paid around $40. If you look around you should be able to find a coupon code for at least 20% off from Bare Necessities pretty much all the time. Pro tip: If you've shopped there before and don't have a coupon code, try using a cookie-free browser like Chrome's Incognito mode to return. Often they will offer discounts on the home page to new customers. 

Fit: Last year I originally ordered these in an XL and found they were too baggy in the knees and ankles. I exchanged them for a Large and ordered a Large this year as well. These have tummy control which makes them a little difficult to get on with my big hips, but they lay nicely when on and hug everything without squeezing. 

Material: Is nice, but I'd prefer them to be a bit thicker and less shiny. If you look at the picture of them on the model on the Bare Necessities site, you'll notice the shininess on the model's legs. They aren't too terribly see-through, but don't bend over in them without your tush covered. The fabric eventually dulls with repetitive washing.

I also ordered two other pairs of Lyssé leggings. The tight ankle fit grommet leggings are no longer available, but don't worry, you didn't want them. The material was more exercise gear than day wear, but I probably wouldn't work out in them either. I kept them as a back-up pair because I was too lazy to return them, but I wouldn't recommend them. The other pair I ordered were the Floral Print Shaping leggings. I returned them immediately because they had very thin fabric, were extremely see-through, and did little to no shaping.  

What else I'm wearing: Headband from past season Free People | Aqua button-up from past season Target (this one's pretty similar--maybe even the same one) | Faux leather bomber jacket from Target (again, this was past season, but this one from Target is nearly identical) | Jessica Simpson Elmont boot in the extended calf (Click here to read my review on the JS Elmont boot.)

Marika Yoga Pants Review

I purchased these from TJMaxx (or Marshall's? I never know...) for cheap because they reminded me of the Lyssé leggings.

Price: I probably paid less than $20 for these at TJMaxx but finding them there now is a real crap shoot. They are $55 from Marika's website.

Fit: I got these in a Large. They aren't bad but they tend to stretch out after I've had them on for a while and they don't do a lot to shape or contour my legs or my butt. I bought them because of the tummy support panel that appeared to be similar to Lysse's, but I assure you they have nowhere near the same quality of tummy firming.

Material: Cotton-y and kinda cheap. I don't mind since I paid so little for them but I'd be pissed if I paid the retail price of $55. They are pretty see-through and have faded in the wash.

Yes, that's my underwear. No, I'm not bending over.

What else I'm wearing: Hat from Forever 21 (this season, but it appears to be sold out online...this one is similar) | Rustic Fringe cardigan from Forever 21 | Belt from Target (Pretty close.)  | Boots are Fitzwell Sante Fe Extra Wide Calf Boot (Click here for more info and to read my review on these.)

Assets Red Hot Label by Spanx Shaping Leggings Review

They claim to be leggings. But they're lying.

Price: $38 full price from Bare Necessities. I got them for 30% off. 

Fit: Amazing! These feel like heaven and make my legs and butt look awesome. The waist band is super wide and effortlessly stretchy so it doesn't dig in anywhere. I ordered them in an XL. 

Material: These are called "leggings" but they aren't really. Not if you wear leggings as pants anyway. These would be best suited under a pair of shorts for fall/winter wear. They are VERY see-through and kind of appear to have a built in panty. You can see it online if you look closely but I didn't notice it before ordering them. You could get away with these as pants if you wore a long top but you'd really be playing a risky game. If these were truly opaque like some of the other options, these would have been my favorites. They are so soft to the touch. 

What else I'm wearing: Hat from Forever 21 (this season, but it appears to be sold out online...
this one is similar) | Feather earrings are Rae Beth DesignsCropped jacket was thrifted | Shirt was from a boutique in Philadelphia | Boots are past season Target (VERY past season--I bought these in probably 2006 and they still look great)

Elle Leggings from Kohl's Review

A surprising good buy from Kohl's. 

Price: I purchased these on clearance for probably $10-15 from Kohl's a while back. The identical pair aren't available online but here's a similar pair from Kohl's for $22. 

Fit: Not bad. The waist band could be higher, the legs could be tighter (particularly around the ankles), but considering I didn't think I'd find decent leggings on clearance at Kohl's I was pleasantly surprised. They aren't particularly stretchy, so I can see why they came in numbered sizes instead of S/M/L. I got a 12.  

Material: NOT see-through...not even when I bend over. There's also a double hem down the side which is a nice touch and is similar to the White House Black Market pair below that retail for much more. They aren't particularly luxurious feeling, but did I mention they aren't at all see-through?

What else I'm wearing: Amazing leather biker jacket from an Estate Sale! | Aztec vest from Forever 21, current season but sold out (Pretty close.) | Bow tank top from TJMaxx | Over-the-knee boots are past season Bakers

VSX by Victoria's Secret Sport Leggings Review

This line doesn't actually exist anymore, as far as I can tell. But all of the Victoria's Secret sport pants are awesome. (I have three pairs of the flared leg yoga pants in the same material and wear them constantly.) I know, I know, these are exercise pants. But they don't have that exercise-y shine to them and they feel and look awesome. They have a reflector on the back which is unfortunate for everyday wear but my tall winter boots cover that up.

Price: Apparently these have been discontinued, but the VS Knockout pant looks to be nearly the same thing and is currently available for $64.50. 

Fit: I wish the waist was higher, but otherwise I love these. I got a Large.

Material: Because these have exercise pant material, they don't fade in the wash. I bought mine at least three years ago and they still look the same as they did on Day One. They aren't the ultra shiny and slippery exercise material, so if you cover up the reflector on the back of them they just look like high quality everyday leggings. They are see-through if you really bend over--but why are you doing that in public? 

What else I'm wearing: Sunglasses from Target (Pretty close.) | Greatest silk blazer ever with potted plants was thrifted | White button-up by Converse from Target (No longer available but try this instead.) | Jessica Simpson Elmont boot in the extended calf (
Click here to read my review on the JS Elmont boot.)

White House | Black Market Instant Slimming Legging Review

These are probably the winners.

Price: $60 full price from White House | Black Market. I Googled at the time and was able to find a discount code for 25% off. I don't know if such a thing is still available, but it never hurts to try. 

Fit: Kind of big actually. The waist fits great on me but the legs in general are a bit bigger than I'd like. I thought about sizing down in them but surely I'm not a medium in these? The fabric is high quality, however, so I don't notice them getting much baggier throughout the day. 

Material: Not see-through unless you really try to make them so. They feel high quality and don't come off stretchy or shiny looking. They have a double side seam with an extra slimming panel (which you can see in the picture below, just barely) but I'm not sure that it's really doing anything. Overall these are probably my favorites--I just wish the legs were slightly tighter. 

What else I'm wearing: Forever 21 Day Trip Tribal Print Cardigan, no longer available online | Floral/stripe tank top from TJMaxx | Jessica Simpson Elmont boot in the extended calf (Click here to read my review on the JS Elmont boot.) 

Spanx Ready-to-Wow Jersey Knit Shaping Leggings Review

Price: These were a wallet-busting $92 from Bare Necessities. I had a discount code for 30% off so they were a bit less painful, but they were still pretty pricey. 

Fit: I just wish these and the White House Black Market pair could get together and have legging babies. I got these in a Large and they fit my legs great and make my butt look legit. BUT they are very tight on my waist and the chunky waist band really digs in. I considered returning them for a larger size....but then...I just didn't. 

Material: Definitely good thick-ish material. BUT they are very stretchy-shiny. And they are totally see through on my bum. That could be because they're a bit small on me, but they're so see-through that I think a larger size would do the same thing. I can't say these are worth their full price at over $90. 

What else I'm wearing: Pleather jacket by Elle from Kohl's, past season | flocked filigree skull tank from Hot Topic | Geo scarf from Forever 21Jessica Simpson Elmont boot in the extended calf Click here to read my review on the JS Elmont boot.)

Spanx Ready-to-Wow Denim Shaping Leggings in Dark Indigo Review

Price: A cringe-worthy $98 from Bare Necessities. Of course, I had a discount code as per usual. 

Fit: I got these in an XL. They're baggier than I would like on the knees and the ankles. Aren't doing any favors for my glorious butt. Good through the thighs. Okay on the waist. BUT the big glaring issue with these is that they came with a small side zipper that, because of the thick stretchy material, was damn near impossible to zip up. I managed to get them on by pulling the zipper up before putting them on but later that day I had to pee and forgot what an a-hole that zipper was, unzipped them, and then broke the zipper zipping them back up...the first time I wore them. I don't hate these, so I'm thinking about sewing them up myself without the zipper, as I've been unsuccessful in trying to repair the zipper. Or I might just return them. 

Material: Is good. These are jeggings, so they are not at all see-through. I dislike the red details on the pockets.

What else I'm wearing: Hat from Forever 21 (this season, but it appears to be sold out online...this one is similar) | Blurred lines sweater from Forever 21
Jessica Simpson Elmont boot in the extended calf (Click here to read my review on the JS Elmont boot.)

What's your favorite legging? Share it below!


  1. When it's time to clean out your closet.. I want to be first in line :)

  2. Those look really similar to the Hue leggings that I wear. I'll have to give those a try and compare them to see which I like better.

  3. Those look really similar to the Hue Leggingsthat I wear. I'll have to give those a try and compare them to see which I like better.

    1. Report back if you get a chance and tell me which you prefer!

  4. I'm so excited to have come across your site! You've made a new fan. Thank you for reviewing so thoroughly and for performing the undies test!!

  5. I just stumbled across your blog! Cool post :) Took me YEARS to find the right leggings, definitely try the Hue wide waistband leggings. I love them and they have all the features you seem to like: thick, not shiny, no panty show off moments when you bend off, higher waistband, don't fade much, and they're mid range kinda price.

  6. So I know this was written forever ago, but I read every word, and I just want to say, if you haven't tried a pair of wunderunder rolldowns (luxtreme or luon fabric really,) YOU NEED TO. I suggest, find the nearest LULULEMON store, and go in there ready to try everything on. Amazing amazing amazing pants, and yes, they're marketed as yoga/workout gear, but I wear absolutely nothing else.

  7. So recently as a cuvlicious gal.. I was pretty intimidated by the ol leggings, cause I'm short, and not much leg length to flatter my thighs. I found some in Bed, Bath and Beyond, on sale for $10 a pair... they are heavenly. I have managed to wear them 4 days out of my work week, and think they are the most comfy leggings ever. They are fleece lined, and have no see through. I bought the size L/XL and they fit like a glove. Couple different colors to choose from, as well. Here is the link-

    1. Good lookin out! I'm 7 months pregnant now but I may have to scoop these up for my optimistic non-pregnant future self. They should definitely make these in maternity sizes as well. I'm going to be blogging about maternity leggings soon--the struggle out there for good prego leggings is REAL.

  8. I have always been self conscious of my thick dimply thighs but are going to attempt to give leggings a try. I just recently bought skinny jeans to wear with knee high boots and have worn them out and about. Although I am completely aware of the attention it brings to my legs. Out of the leggings you have tried or anyone reading this-if you have dimples which one do you think would work best? And I just talked to a woman about Lulu brand leggings, she said she hates wearing jeans now and claims they do no pill in the inner thigh. Let me know what you think, I'm ready to splurge and go find a pair! EEEKKKK

    1. If you're concerned about dimples I'd go thick & tight. Of the ones mentioned above I think the White House|Black Market pair are the thickest. I'm not 11 months postpartum and I still really those. I've also bought a pair of the Yummie Tummie leggings this year that I really like and that I find flattering and also still swear by my Lysses. I actually bought another pair of Lysses this year with faux leather moto detailing on them that are a ponte fabric and are divine.

      I'm not sure which Lulu you're talking about but if you're referring to Lululemon or Lularoe I haven't tried either but have heard great things about both.

    2. Thank you. I was walking by LuLu yesterday and decided to stop in and try on a pair. I was surprised how they didn't show my indents. I did not buy them tho & will try the white house/black market ones & Lysses first before buying. Still cant believe how expensive these are any where!

  9. The style from WHBM is out of stock now :,(

    1. I still wear and like those so I hope they come back into stock soon. But! Since I've writing this, I've discovered some new favorites. You might want to try these out:

  10. These work out leggings seems quite comfortable and beautiful too. I look for best quality fabric while buying gym wear as quality makes comfortable in doing workout in best way. Bought few pairs of leggings last year and still wearing them without any discomfort.

  11. Wow, these are the very nice collection. Can you please upload more designs?
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