Workout Pant Roundup

25 Jun

Yeehaw! I have too many workout pants! But I keep buying more! It’s an addition! What’s with the exclamation points?!

Sorry. I’m done with that.

Anyhow, yes. I’m slightly obsessed with workout pants. They’re just so much more stretchy than regular pants. It’s gotten to where they have begun to outnumber my real pants, like jeans.  And work pants. Oh, the life of a fitness enthusiast.

Recently, a friend (who also happens to be the person who politely pointed out that I do in fact own more Wunder Unders than J Brands) asked which were my favorite.

Oh my.

That’s like asking about a favorite child. Not that I have kids,  but my mom says that no parent really has a favorite. She insists that we are each her favorite for different reasons. She can say what she wants, but I’m pretty sure I’m her favorite…I digress.

Anyway this got me thinking, so without further adieu, I present to you…


Pant #1: The Lululemon Wunder Under.


Price: $72-$92

Ahhh, the good old Wunder Under. I suppose it’s fitting that I begin here because the WU is my staple and go to pant for my workouts. I’ve been told more than one that I need to seek Wunder Under counseling, but I will try not to be biased in my review.

The Good: Both the crop and long WU are a perfect length (in my humble opinion), and they come out in fun new colors and prints every month. The compression is awesome –  I really believe that this is possibly the most flattering workout pant out there. At least for me. Additionally, I feel comfortable wearing some of them with a pretty sandal or boot as daywear- but again, maybe that’s just me.

The Bad: Having to go up a size from what I normally wear can be a bit hard on the ego if I shop during the wrong time of the month. Also, the black ones (my staple of all staples) tend to get a little ratty over time, but A. maybe that’s because I wear the $hit out of them, and B. still, they truly do last no less than 8 months before that begins to happen. Another complaint of mine is the Big Lululemon Issue – the sheerness. In the past, none of them, not even the colored ones, were sheer. At all. Sadly, I can’t wear my colored pants to Lagree Fitness or Yoga (not that I go to Yoga very often), because I just think it’s not nice to make my trainers look at my ass that closely. I know, thoughtful.  So that kind of sucks.

Pant #2 – The Beyond Yoga Essential Gathered Legging


Price: $75-$82

I wasn’t totally sold on Beyond Yoga for absolutely no particular reason, until a friend ordered a pair and told me that she looooooved them. So I bought a pair on sale, and wow. Beyond Yoga pants, where have you been all my life?!

The Good: These are hands down the softest, most comfortable pants I have ever worn. I feel like I’m wearing PJ’s, but I’m totally not. I find myself coming home and putting them on more often than I’d like to admit, and even in the color I own (which is the Bordeaux), there’s no hint of sheerness whatsoever. Downward dog for everyone!

The Bad: The compression doesn’t quote compare to the Wunderunders, but it’s not a dealbreaker by any means. They do tend to slip a little bit when I wear them running, but stay put for Lagree Fitness, spin, etc. Unfortunately, the amazing softness of the fabric means that they ball up a little bit and don’t stay as new looking quite as long as say the Wunder Under,

Pant #3: The Michi Illusion Crop


Price: $189

This is one sexy article of clothing. If you’re the type who wants to sex it up when you workout, this be your pant. In the spirit of full disclosure, I don’t actually own these. I haven’t (yet) been able to justify spending the nearly $200 it would take to get them in my workout drawer(s). However, I keep trying them on at Equinox, over and over again. One day I will grow the balls to just do it.

The Good: Look at these babies. They’re h-o-t. They’re as lingere-esque as pants get, which in my opinion is a great thing: there is nothing absolutely wrong with feeling sexay while you’re sweating away. They also seem well made and have decent compression…although I believe that most wearers of this pant aren’t overly concerned about compression.

The Bad: Again. The price tag. My jeans don’t cost this much. (Ok, I buy half my jeans from Old Navy. Shhh.) But $189 is steep, even for someone who is excellent at validating large clothing expenditures from a cost-per wear standpoint. Also, while there are no sheerness issues, my friend who owns multiple pairs claims that the fabric tends to ball up a little bit, and the mesh is a bit high risk for a klutzy someone like myself who tends to…snag…a lot.

Pant #4: The Lorna Jane Ida Core Compression Tight


Price: $99

When Lorna Jane first came on the scene in the USA, I was pretty excited and have remained a fan. Not only was their second US location a quarter mile from my house, they have proven to be big believers in bright colors and high quality. I know a lot of my Lulu-loving compadres took a stand against this new competitor, but I’m a lover and a believer that there is room for everyone.This is one of their staple “tights” (leggings), basic but functional.

The Good: I like this pant a lot. The fabric is a great quality – its withstood many washes without balling and there is virtually no sheerness. It’s comfy, stays put, is a perfect length (again, for me), and is all around a great pant.

The Bad: It’s a little more expensive than some of it’s competitors, but the quality is really there. The fabric is a little heavier than some of the others, so they can get a little bit warm, but I’m grasping here. Overall, I’m a fan of the appearance & quality.

Pant #5: The Ellie Lovestruck Legging


Price: $59

These guys surprised me! When Ellie first came out I wasn’t sure what to think. The prices seemed right, but I ‘d read a lot of mixed reviews. I saw these online and loved the way they looked – but would they be cute in person? After a shipping mishap, they finally showed up on my doorstep. I tried them on with bated breath and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I loved them. Like loved them. (Sadly, I ordered a different pair of pants -the Electric Love capri-  from Ellie after this fully expecting another awesome pair of pants. They were also late getting to me and I didn’t like the fabric or the way they looked on me and back they went. Bummer.) But this pair was a keeper.

The Good: The fabric is awesome. Really cool and different than anything I’ve tried on elsewhere – it almost has a sheen to it. I also love the cool mesh panel down the sides. No sheerness. They stay put. And the length is the holy grail of workout pant lengths: just above the ankle. This alone was enough to really make me happy, but the fact that the waistband doesn’t cut in at all and lays smoothly is the icing on the cake. Oh, did I mention I got a 25% off coupon code? I guess that’s the ice cream, on the icing of the cake (who eats a cake without icing, anyway? Or without ice cream for that matter? Meh, not me. If you’re gonna do it…DO it).

The Bad: Really, for me it all comes down to the fact that these are only available online. Not only am I quite the fan of instant gratification, but I also hate waiting, and I really hate having to ship stuff back. Also, these ran a little big. I ordered the smalls and could have easily gone down a size, but was just too lazy to send them back. I guess you could say that clothes running big (as opposed to small) is a good thing, but not when you’re just too lazy to send them back and wait for new ones. Too anti-climatic.

So there you have it. My workout pant roundup (cue Western movie music).  The bottom line is, you’ve got more to choose from than just Nike these days, and there are some excellent options out there. Do I have a favorite? I do, and I guess I take after my mama, cause I love them all.


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