The 7 Best Leggings Brands to Take you from Workout to Out-Out
Or how to prove that leggings are perfectly acceptable everyday wear.
This is going to sound weird but bear with us: there might actually be stuff to be thankful for from a global pandemic. Like a new appreciation for banana bread and sourdough. Or more flexible working that’s saved you the daily commute. Or how about the widely accepted belief that leggings are totally acceptable to wear, pretty much constantly? If you’ve found yourself embracing leggings on the daily, you’ll love our guide to the best leggings in Australia.
We’ve rounded up the top leggings brands that not only make you look good but do good too, especially for the planet. Whether you’re looking for leggings to workout in or to wear as pants (no judgement here), you’ll find them here.
Based in Sydney, Nimble Activewear is all about leggings that move with you, with no need to yank them up (or out of certain places). As well as being comfortable, Nimble Activewear leggings are designed with the planet in mind.
Their signature MoveLite fabric is made of used plastic bottles. It’s stretchy, cool to the touch and silky smooth, making it ideal for your next gym sesh.
We reckon their Made to Move Legging II are the best workout leggings thanks to their high waisted fit and flexible fabric (they have a drawstring waist). They even have 2 pockets.
If you’re looking for the best high waisted leggings, consider their All Day High Rise Leggings. Super supportive, they’re well suited to mid-intensity workouts.
Looking for an extra comfy pair of leggings? Try their Long Legging II Cosy which has a brushed feel inside, for extra warmth and cosiness.
What we love: with a focus on planet-friendly, comfortable leggings, Nimble Activewear has a great range of leggings designed to suit all workouts and styles - they come in a selected palette of on-trend neutrals and patterns.
US-based company Girlfriend Collective is on a mission to produce ethical, eco-friendly activewear that looks and feels great. What we really love about Girlfriend Collective is their commitment to make every body look and feel great. They’ve got the biggest range of sizes we’ve seen and their models are much more representative of all women. We reckon they’ve got the best leggings for plus size figures.
Passionate about transparency, their clothes are ethically made in Vietnam. They’re sustainably made from old plastics (think bottles and fishing nets). When you’re done with them, Girlfriend Collective will take them back and rework them into new pieces.
Seriously, we couldn’t love Girlfriend Collective more. We rate their Compressive leggings, designed for high-impact activities like running. Super high-rise for no pulling up, their bold colours ensure they won’t go transparent when you’re moving, making them great leggings for squats. Their Seamless Maternity leggings are our pick for the best maternity leggings. They’re super soft, lightweight leggings and they sit over your bump.
What we love: committed to transparency, Girlfriend Collective sells ethical and sustainable activewear that makes every body look and feel great.
Australian company Moody Activewear is a social enterprise where 100% of their profits go to organisations that support women’s mental health. This means every purchase you make goes directly to helping Aussie women. If that’s not an excuse to shop, we don’t know what is.
They’ve got a curated range of leggings but we love them all. We especially love their midi green high waist leggings, for 3 reasons. One, the length - 7/8ths. This above the ankle style suits most women. Two, the muted green colour. Three, their high waist means they don’t roll down. Happy customer Mary reckons they’re her “favourite leggings.... squat proof and never have to pull them up. My second pair.... love love love.”
What we love: buying a pair of Moody Activewear leggings is a guilt-free purchase because 100% of their profits go to Australian organisations that support women’s mental health.
Turns out there are a lot of Australian activewear brands. Not surprising if you think about our outdoors lifestyle. What did surprise us was that Running Bare, which seems to be stocked in every major sports store, is an Australian company. Even better, over 70% of their collection is still made in Sydney using Australian-made fabrics. All 3 of our picks are Australian made.
Greatest thing for us? Some of their leggings have pockets! Which is kind of a big deal as women’s clothing usually lacks this basic. We think their Power Moves Pocket ¾ Leggings are the best leggings with pockets. They’re packing not one but two side pockets that are big enough to fit your smartphone.
Their What WOTS Ab-Waist Leggings are designed to move with you, while providing tonnes of support. This makes them the best high waist yoga pants.
If you’d rather get your sweat on, we reckon the best leggings for running are their All Star Reflective 7/8 Leggings. A flattering fit with seams that won’t chafe, it’s the reflective print that impresses us, making them ideal for night-time runs.
What we love: Australian owned, Australian made and with a huge selection of leggings in a wide range of fabrics, Running Bare has you covered for whatever you want to use your leggings for - from high intensity workouts to brunch.
If you’re after some luxury in your leggings, meet Nagnata. An Australian brand, they specialise in using organic, renewable fibres in their pieces. With a considered, sustainable approach, Nagnata produces technical knitwear that blurs the line between activewear and fashion.
Like their Laya Legging. Made of superfine Australian merino wool, it performs as well as it looks. Merino wool is well known as a moisture wicking fabric, making it ideal for heated practices and mid to high impact exercise. It’s also known for being super soft and breathable, making it feel like a second skin.
At over $200 per pair of leggings, it’s an investment. But if you’re serious about how your leggings look and perform, they’re worth considering.
What we love: Nagnata leggings aren’t your standard leggings. Premium materials and design combine to make a one-of-a-kind piece that you’ll love for years to come.
Founded by Australian Lorna Jane Clarkson in the 1980s, Lorna Jane activewear was born from a frustration at boring, unflattering workout gear. Now a global brand, Lorna Jane focuses on quality pieces that last.
They use just one ethical Australian-owned and managed manufacturing group to responsibly make their clothing and have committed to using more eco-friendly materials and processes in the future.
We rate their No Ride Booty Pocket Full Length Black Leggings that stay put while you’re working out, making them the best leggings for the gym. Hard workers, they’ll even hold your smartphone.
Aussie women love Lorna Jane activewear. Astrid says “I love the quality of Lorna Jane gear. I’m always proud to wear them at my gym. The colours are so vibrant.”
What we love: with a commitment to creating quality pieces that last, Lorna Jane activewear is designed to perform well and comes in a huge range of styles and designs for everyday wear.
Established in Australia in 1991 by an Australian fitness instructor, Rockwear is about functional, technical activewear that’s quality yet affordable. With all 3 of our picks coming in under one hundy, Rockwear offers the most affordable leggings we’ve found.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not great for you or the environment. All our picks form part of their sustainability edit. This means they’re made of recycled plastic bottles. Cool touch, their recycled polyester is ideal for getting your sweat on.
We’ve chosen 3 different lengths, including full length, ¾ length (just under the knee) and the always flattering ankle grazer (it even has a pocket).
If you’re worried about the quality given the affordability, we’ve found plenty of happy Aussie shoppers, like Aarju. She says “I absolutely love this product and have purchased more after the first tights. I have used other well known products like Gymshark and Lorna Jane but none of them compare to the quality of Rockwear's workout clothes.”
What we love: being friendly to your wallet doesn’t mean you’re unfriendly to the planet, as Rockwear proves.