Your Guide to Faux Leather Leggings

Happy 2019, my friends! I am back at it with the #TryOnConfidential’s and its by far one of my most requested topics… Faux Leather Leggings! You may be wondering, “are they really that complex?” My answer: YES- there’s a lot more to them than you may think. That’s why I’ve created this rating system based on:

Fit - Quality - Value - Washable

I’ve decided to start with four pairs of faux leather leggings. Please remember I am 5’’9 and a true size 14 US so keep that in mind when it comes to sizing. I’m definitely open to trying more but here are the top ones that I’ve tried and you have asked about:

Lysse: 4.25/5

My tried and true. These are the first pair I’ve ever owned and have fallen in love with. Here’s how they rank:

Fit 5/5: The most size inclusive brand of the group, for that I’ll always be favorable to them. The cater to sizes 2-26. I’ve worn a Large, X-Large and 1X (just to compare). I personally prefer the way the large fits on me and according to their size chart, I’m right in between a L and XL. If in between sizes, size down for a more “held in” feeling. They also hold their shape and never stretch out, which is a win.
Quality 4/5: These ones truly feel like a leather legging. In my opinion, they’re the most “leather-like” and the thickest. The seams are a little larger in comparison to the other pairs but they are made well. The inside feels like it has an inner lining, but it’s just the inside of the faux-leather fabric. They also have a little bit of a scent which doesn’t bother me, but it’s worth mentioning.
Value 5/5: These leggings run just under $100 (comparable to others) and they are often on sale- you just have to keep your eyes out for it. They’re a good bang for your buck that you’ll be able to rewear again. Treat them like a staple piece in your wardrobe.
Washable 3/5: According to care instructions, you can machine wash cold and gentle. You must line dry them. However, I’d highly recommend washing them inside out. I don’t LOVE the way these wash which is why I wear them a few times before washing, is that gross? I’ve worn them I’ve noticed slight wear and tear on the seams.

Overall Takeaway: the most authentic, leather-like leggings I’ve come across that fit well and hold their shape. They will forever be an all-time favorite.

Express: 2.6/5

One of the most requested comparisons by you. Here’s how they rank:

Fit 2/5: Although I am overall impressed with Express’ new size inclusivity, I was really disappointed to see how these fit. I snagged a large in these and almost wish I got a medium. They ran really big in the hips and calves. Their waistband is also incredibly small and not the most flattering Sizes run XS to XL.

Quality 3/5: These feel like straight plastic in comparison to the others. They are thick and have a cozy inner lining but I’m not overly impressed with the feeling of these for weekly wear. However, if you are someone who wants to dip their toes into the leather legging world, you may want to buy and try because of the…

Value 4/5: You know what they say, you get what you pay for. These leggings retail at $59.90 but are often on sale for $40ish which is a steal. If you’re someone who may wear leather leggings every now and then, you may want to try these if you want to stay on a budget. But let me remind you- you get what you pay for.

Washable 4/5: Their care instructions say wash inside-out, cold and gentle cycle. They did just fine in the washer except a few of the seams became loose on the inside.

Overall Takeaway: not my favorite but glad I tried them!

Spanx: 3.8/5

These leggings are EVERYWHERE! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Here’s how they compare:

Fit 4/5: In other Spanx products, I wear a large so I just assumed that I’d be a large in these without thinking twice. I was sad to see that I should have ordered an XL, especially according to their size chart. The large fit on me but they’re not ideal, definitely a little snug- especially since they don’t stretch out. However, they are pretty size inclusive, ranging from an XS to 3x. I also appreciate that they also are a center-free seam, which means goodbye cameltoe!

Quality 3/5: To be honest, I wanted to love these, I really did. Overall, I was really shocked by how thin these leggings are. They are also the least like leather of the bunch. They’re more of a coated cotton rather than a true “faux-leather.” They really only have that “leathery sheen” in bright lighting.

Value 3.5/5: If you prefer a lightweight (more of a true legging) fabric then these are great. Once you find your true size, the structure of these are good. But if you’re seeking a true leather legging situation, these are not for you.

Washable 5/5: Per the care instructions, machine wash cold and inside out to maintain the legging's sheen appearance. Aha! See they even mention the “sheen appearance” here. These wash like a typical black legging so they wash perfectly.

Overall Takeaway: If you love the firm hug of Spanx shapewear and/or you’re not really into the full leather look, size up and get these!

Commando: 4.6/5

Fit 4.5/5: I learned my lesson with the Spanx ones so I was able to try the large and XL of these. At first, I was a little skeptical because you really have to work to get into these bad boys. At first, I thought I was for sure the XL but as I wore them, they began to stretch out a little bit. I wore the large and at first, when I bent over they would roll down a little bit. I did notice that the large ended up stretching out so I prefer the way the large fits me. The XL’s have stretched out a little bit in the knee.

Quality 5/5: If the Lysse and Spanx leggings had a child, they would be these Commando ones. They actually feel like leather but they are much more lightweight than the Lysse but the shapewear aspect is there. They are less of a coated fabric and feel more like a breathable, bendable legging that really holds you in. They are also seamless in all of the right places so there’s no awkward lines.

Value 4.5/5: These are comparable to Spanx and Lysse when it comes to price-wise. To me, I really loved how they held me in while also giving that true leather legging look. They’re rarely on sale but they’re a good investment piece if you will wear them frequently. I wear mine at least once a week!

Washable 4.5/5: Similar to the others, machine wash cold gentle cycle, do not bleach, dry flat, low iron, do not dry clean. I have washed these a few times already and they seem to really do well. The only thing is they do get a little crinkly in the wash but you can easily smooth them out while they are hanging or after they dry.

Overall takeaway: It may take a little to wiggle into these but trust me, they are worth the wiggle!

pair it with: