What did we ever do without leggings? Before the turn of the last century, we relied on “sweatpants” to keep us comfortable. But wearing “sweats” in the middle of summer wasn’t quite ideal by any means. And there was no way you could even exercise in sweatpants without being weighed down by heavy thick fabric. You couldn’t rely on them for everyday wear without looking extremely underdressed either. But when leggings came on the scene, everything changed. We started wearing them for yoga, for heavy workouts, and simply for lounging around the house. We loved leggings so much that designers started creating different types of leggings.
There are now leggings for every type of occasion. And while the aim was to make our lives easier, it created the question: What’s the difference between workout leggings and everyday leggings? Fear not — we’ve got the answers.
As you may expect, everyday leggings are designed for typical everyday tasks. That’s not to say that you can’t wear certain styles of active leggings for everyday use, but you may look out of place if you’re wearing capri-length running leggings with a cashmere turtleneck in the middle of winter, for example. On the other hand, that same turtleneck may look great with some everyday, fleece-lined leggings and leather boots. But if a typical day involves going to the gym, and you don’t need full-length leggings, then by all means — let your capri leggings be your everyday leggings!
We can’t discuss leggings without mentioning their cousin, the jegging. Jeggings are a hybrid of jeans and leggings, built with all the good qualities of jeans, but with the softer comfort and hugging fit of leggings. Because of their everyday appeal, jeggings pair well with anything that jeans would look good with. But they’re even better because you lose any bulky buckles and pockets that come with jeans, making them great for wearing underneath tunics and long sweaters. Plus, you can tuck jeggings into boots, which you can’t do with regular jeans.
If you’re ever faced with the question of whether jeggings are too casual for a particular occasion, consider turning to corduroy leggings instead. Since they’re not made of denim, they look more polished and formal than jeggings. Yet they offer the same soft comfort as jeggings and leggings, except with an elevated look. Just be sure to save corduroy leggings for fall and winter, since they aren’t necessarily a summertime fabric.
Understandably, there would be some confusion around workout leggings vs. everyday leggings, because some leggings are great for both exercising and for everyday wear. After all, you’ll look good and feel perfectly comfortable if you wear a pair of women’s yoga pants both for running errands and for doing yoga. The moral of the story is this: Don’t get too caught up on classifications. Instead, read product descriptions to determine what materials the leggings are made of and what special features they offer, and take a look at their overall style. For example, if they’re fuzzy and warm on the inside, they might be too warm for working out.
Unlike everyday leggings, which are designed for comfort and style, workout leggings are specifically designed for working out. That means that they may have reinforced seems, higher waistlines, and moisture-wicking capabilities, among other features. While some women’s workout leggings do a great job of trying to blend in with everyday attire, many types of workout leggings will look a bit different, calling attention to the fact that you should choose them for your sweat sessions. For example, they may be made of a shinier material or have a phone pocket on one side. Or they may have mesh features that make them cooler than your typical pair of leggings. Regardless, reading the description and label will help you decide whether they’ll be able to keep up with your workouts.
You might think that yoga pants would naturally fall into the “workout leggings” category, but your world will be turned upside down when you see women’s yoga pants with pockets and zippers that look like they could be worn to work. In fact, these pants aren’t even designed for active types of yoga that require a lot of movement. They’re simply called yoga pants because of how they have been worn over the years — which is not necessarily for doing yoga. Women started wearing yoga pants because they were so versatile and comfortable. So we’ve taken yoga pants and made a wide variety of styles to suit whatever you may be doing in a given day, whether doing downward dog or giving a presentation at your next quarterly meeting.
Armed with this knowledge, just know that there are so many leggings on the market these days, that you’re bound to find a pair that accommodates different parts of your lifestyle.