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6 Different Types of Leggings for Women


A close look at a woman wearing a pair of sporty gray leggings.

Leggings are some of the most comfortable, versatile clothing pieces on the market. You can wear them with practically any outfit, either to dress it up or dress it down. All-day long, leggings will stay breathable and comfy, making them the ideal pair of pants for practically every type of person.

But, there are so many types of leggings on the market, it can be difficult to find what’s best. I mean, what even is the difference between cropped athletic leggings and streetwear leggings? Don’t worry, everything you want to know about leggings and their different types, ThreadCurve has you covered.

Athletic Leggings

Heathyoga Yoga Pants for Women with Pockets High Waisted Leggings with Pockets for Women Workout Leggings for Women Black
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One of the most popular types of leggings nowadays is athletic leggings. Instead of trying to work out in uncomfortable shorts or leggings that are too thick and hot, athletic leggings allow for added airflow and comfortability during even your toughest workouts.

romansong High Waisted Yoga Leggings for Women with Pockets Mesh Sexy Dressy Gym Pants Ripped Workout Leggings Butt Lifting Active Wear Athletic Pants Distressed Black Medium
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Mesh athletic leggings make for the perfect workout outfit. These types of leggings are solid on top, but as they make their way down the legs, the material turns to mesh. This mesh material allows for so much more airflow during movement, as well as easier movement in general.

You don’t feel nearly as restricted, which can be integrated during workout routines. Especially during workouts where you’re constantly moving and stretching, mesh athletic leggings make movement easier than ever before.

QUEENIEKE Women Yoga Pants Color Blocking Mesh Workout Running Leggings Tights Size S Color Sky Blue
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Though they’re called “athletic,†these leggings are incredibly fashionable and stylish. These leggings aren’t just plain black anymore–they come in all sorts of beautiful styles and colors. Brands like Fabletics have started wholly embracing this idea of wearing athletic leggings not only during workouts but during your everyday tasks, too.

ALONG FIT Women's Mesh Yoga Leggings with Side Pockets Tummy Control Workout Running Capris High Waist Yoga Pants
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High-Waisted Leggings

Sometimes, wearing leggings is frustrating because of where they sit on your hips. Leggings are meant to be form-fitting and much tighter than your regular pair of pants.

Yogalicious High Waist Ultra Soft Lightweight Leggings - High Rise Yoga Pants - Black Ankle Length - Small
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Because of this, if you have hips that sit higher up on your body, mid-rise leggings can often fall or just not look as though they fit properly. This also makes working out in mid-rise leggings nearly impossible, too. High-waisted leggings, however, are quite a game-changer.

For you ladies who have higher or bigger hips than others, high-waisted leggings are easily the best option. These leggings sit high up on your body, typically going up to about your belly button.

WodoWei Women's Workout Sets 2 Piece Outfits High Waisted Yoga Leggings and Sports Bra Gym Clothes (YO316-purple-S)
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They’re incredibly comfortable on their own, but they also make wearing leggings even cuter than before. High-waisted leggings can easily just be paired with a matching sports bra and you have an adorably cohesive outfit that’s still appropriate to be worn practically wherever you go.

For years, it’s been tough to find the perfect pair of leggings for us ladies with higher hips. Now, high-waisted leggings hug your hips comfortably and help you move around without fear of constantly pulling up and readjusting yourself. Just like athletic leggings, you can find high-waisted leggings in pretty much any color or style you want.

You can even find cropped high-waisted leggings in case you want even more breathability. Speaking of cropped leggings, we’ll talk about those next.

Cropped Athletic Leggings

BALEAF Women's Workout Yoga High Waist Capris Pocketed Cropped Leggings 3/4 Exercise Athletic Tights Wine Red Size M
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When we talk about cropped athletic leggings, we’re referring to leggings that don’t go all the way down to the ankle as full-length leggings do. Cropped athletic leggings typically go down to about your shin, leaving the bottom of half of your calves exposed and cool.

Cropped athletic leggings are ideal types of leggings for women who are doing more high-intensity workouts. The more intense a workout you’re doing, the more airflow and breathability you need. During exercises like running, cropped athletic leggings are the absolute perfect choice.

Cropped athletic leggings are not only really easy to work out in, but they’re easy for just everyday movement. Whether you’re going to the grocery store or going to yoga class, cropped athletic leggings make the ideal statement. With these types of leggings, you don’t have to worry about being too hot or too cold, as they regulate temperature perfectly.

RAYPOSE Womens Yoga Running Capris Leggings Workout Mesh Pants for Women High Waisted Sports Legging with Pockets Dark Grey-M
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The next time you’re getting ready for your workout in your regular athletic shorts, think about how much easier your movements would be with form-fitting cropped leggings instead. You can get these with mesh sides, pockets, or even high-waisted depending on your body style.

SouqFone Women's High Waisted Yoga Pants Capri Cropped Leggings for Running Workout Exercice-M,Capris Army Green
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Never again do you have to worry about your shorts riding up and exposing more than you’d like when you’re working out. Instead, you’re fully covered and completely comfortable during your trips to the gym or your jog around the park.

Streetwear Leggings

adidas Originals Women's Tight, Maroon, XX-Small
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When we talk about streetwear leggings, we’re definitely not referring to your everyday stretchy yoga pants. Streetwear leggings aren’t meant to wear at the gym or during your run; instead, they’re meant exclusively for the streets.

Streetwear leggings are incredibly stylish, sometimes designer pants that are a staple within the streetwear culture. Most popularly are Adidas’ three-stripe joggers: these stylish streetwear leggings look incredibly fashionable when paired either with sneakers or even a slight heel.

adidas Women's Essentials 3-Stripes Pants, Black/White, M
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Streetwear leggings are incredibly comfortable style options that can easily be dressed up or down. As we mentioned, it’s not uncommon to see streetwear leggings being paired with some high heels or boots. On the other hand, it’s also incredibly common for streetwear leggings to be dressed down with an oversized t-shirt and designer sneakers. You can simply do whatever you want with these versatile pants, and they show that you know a thing or two about fashion.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on streetwear leggings, either. While many do come from high-end, designer brands, there are various other options that are just as stylish but don’t cost an arm and a leg. Even used clothing sites are wonderful for finding streetwear pieces but at a fraction of the cost. Regardless of what look, you’re going for with your comfortable yet stylish streetwear leggings, there’s the perfect pair out there waiting for you.

Fashion Leggings

SATINA #1 High Waisted Buttery Soft Leggings | Regular and Plus Size | 22 Colors (Plus Size, Navy)
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Fashion leggings are a bit of a broad category. When we say “fashion leggings,†we’re talking about leggings that aren’t made for everyday wear.

Typically, these types of leggings are made out of material that are best for a night out or a fancy dinner–not necessarily a stroll around the grocery store. Fashion leggings come in a variety of different materials, some being velvet and others being leather.

Both are quite a statement within any outfit you throw together. Whether you pair them with a plain t-shirt or something lacy and eye-catching, fashion leggings tie and outfit together unlike any other piece you have in your closet.

Tagoo Women's Stretchy Faux Leather Leggings Pants, Sexy Black High Waisted Tights
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Leather fashion leggings may have gone out of style for a little, but they’re coming back and they’re arriving at full-force. These fashionable pants made quite a splash during the 50s, and women loved wearing these leggings at any chance they could.

They created such a jaw-dropping look and continued to thrive throughout the decade. Now, people everywhere are realizing the beauty of leather leggings once again. Though not incredibly practical for long periods of time, these statement leggings are ideal for wanting to show off–even if just a bit. Pair them with some heels and a basic top and you’ll still be looking like a bombshell.

Conceited Velour Velvet Leggings for Women - A236 - Camel - 2X / 3X
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Velvet fashion leggings are another type of legging that is quickly gaining popularity again. Just as they sound, these leggings are made out of super-soft velvet fabric that is just as appealing to touch as it is to wear.

Diravo Fleece Lined Leggings Womens Fashion High Waist Tummy Control Leggings for Women Winter Warm (3 Pack-Mixed Color 02)
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During colder seasons, these leggings allow for even warmer wear, but they’re so much cuter than your regular fleece-lined ones. To the naked eye, you can tell that these leggings are fancier, classier than your workout leggings, making them a great piece within most outfits. Again, these you can easily dress up or down, but we’d suggest dressing them up to get the most out of their style.

Flare Leggings

SATINA High Waisted Flare Palazzo Wide Leg Pants | Printed & Solid | Reg & Plus (Small, 1 Black)
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These leggings are just now starting to make a comeback in the fashion world. That’s right: flare leggings are becoming popular once again. These super comfortable types of leggings look like your typical leggings on the wait and thigh, but once you get to the ankle, you see the signature flare that was so popular just a few decades ago.

These flared leggings are incredibly cute, making an outfit of a t-shirt and leggings totally transform into something more stylish than ever. Plus, it takes no effort to get these leggings looking great with your night-out fit.

Flare leggings come in various colors depending on what kind of look you’re going for. Because of the extreme flare on the ankle, we don’t recommend trying to work out in these; however, they’re great for wearing out and doing your daily errands.

From running to the store to getting your car worked on, you can wear these stylish leggings anywhere and look put together. With how fashionable you’ll look, people will have no clue how incredibly comfortable you’re feeling, either. After all, flare leggings are just as soft and snug as your traditional cotton leggings. They just have those fancy ankles, is all.

Pair your brand-new flared leggings with a tight t-shirt or cropped top and some heels, and you have the perfect outfit for a night with the girls. Or, put them on with a basic tee and your favorite sneakers, and you’ll be more than comfortable to get some work done around the house, yard, or right at your desk. No matter how you style them, flared leggings are some of the most perfect types of leggings for women.

So Many More!

Surprisingly, this is only the start of the different types of leggings you can choose from. Clothing designers nowadays understand that fashion and comfort often go hand-in-hand. Thus, leggings create the perfect piece to embrace both.

These types of pants are some of the most comfortable pants you can wear on a daily basis, and when you pair them with a fancy top and some nice shoes, you suddenly have an outfit for the club. With what other clothing items can you do that with? (We all know you don’t want to be dancing in a pair of jeans, after all.)

Whether you want leggings that are full-length, cropped, mesh, cut-out, bright pink, black, great for dinner, or great for working out, there is a pair for you. We promise, leggings truly are as versatile as they appear to be.

A woman wearing a pair of white yoga pants.

Picking Out the Best Leggings for You

Now, all you have to do is find the best pairs of leggings for you, your body type, and your lifestyle. Consider how active you are, as well as how stylish you like to come off.

Is comfort your first priority? Or, do you want to attract attention? Regardless, asking yourself these questions will make finding the perfect pair of leggings easier than ever. For more advice about leggings or just styling your outfits in general, ThreadCurve is here to help.

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