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ORIGINAL STORY—JANUARY 5, 2022: Cropped, color-blocked, ribbed—my obsession with leggings knows no bounds, and the dozens of pairs stacked in my wardrobe are definite proof. But the Spanx Faux-Leather Leggings were the one style missing from my repertoire. This elusive piece, which has thousands of five-star ratings across the internet, has been on my wish list for years. (Yes, years.) They finally made their way into my arsenal a few months ago, and I’m so happy they did. My only regret? Not buying these best sellers sooner.
Before even slipping into the leggings, I was impressed by the glossy material, which felt super luxe to the touch and seemed to have just the right amount of thickness to elasticity. The fabric, which is made of a stretchy blend of nylon, elastane, and spandex, isn’t flimsy at all—it has weight to it (like real leather pants), which I appreciate for wearing during the colder months.
As promising as my first IRL impression was, I was still on the fence about how they would actually fit. Some reviewers say they’re compressive like shapewear, so would they be super tight? Would they turn sheer? Would they bunch up in all the wrong places? I’m happy to report the answer is no to all of these questions.
Sure, these leggings are compressive, but nothing more than you would expect from a typical high-intensity workout legging. They feature a thick, high-waist band (the brand describes it as a “contoured power waistband”) that holds you in without rolling down or restricting you the least bit. Oh, and there’s no center seam (read: no awkward bulging or camel-toe effect) to deal with.
I’m 5’4″ and usually wear a size medium in leggings, but the Spanx size chart noted that these run small, so I sized up just in case. I’m glad I did, because the larger size fits like a second skin. I also have an athletic build with a small waistline and muscular thighs, and the faux-leather material highlights my features in the best way possible. (Cue the peach emoji.)
I’m all about investing in timeless pieces that you can wear on repeat, which is why I’m not surprised to find these leggings a breeze to style. On days when I’m feeling more casual, I’ll style my Spanx leggings like I would my regular activewear: with an oversized sweatshirt, puffer jacket, and chunky dad sneakers. But if I’m really feeling myself and want to take it up a notch for a night out, I’ll pair these babies with a boyfriend blazer, slouchy boots, and statement jewelry. They basically look good with everything already in my closet and probably would in yours too. (Take it from me, or the 16 million TikTok videos dedicated to styling this best-selling pair.)
Besides the leggings’ endless versatility, one of my favorite things is how low-maintenance they are. Just machine-wash on cold, avoid fabric softener, and lay them out flat to dry to ensure the matte coating looks as close to real leather as possible. Oh, and you don’t even need to worry about steaming or ironing out wrinkles—the creases disappear the moment you put them on. Best part? These leggings are available in other textures (like mock croc or camo), at a ton of popular retailers (hi, Nordstrom and Amazon), and in a range of sizes and inseams, from XS to 3X and lengths that are petite, regular, or tall.
Shop the best-selling Spanx faux-leather leggings, below.