We Went On A Quest To Find Non-See-Through Workout Leggings—Here’s What We Discovered
If you haven’t discovered mid-workout that your entire butt is showing through your leggings, you’re missing out on a seminal experience. (Like prom, but somehow more horrifying.) That’s because sheer workout leggings have become an epidemic. With that in mind, we decided to squat test a bunch of different leggings—from well-known brands to under-the-radar labels—in a quest to find the ones that are both cute and not see-through.
Side note: Once you pick up a pair of these non-sheer leggings, make sure you’re washing them correctly. “Repeated laundering and exposure to heat can dry out the materials over the course of years,” says Jeannette Peters, Athleta’s senior design manager, performance. Basically, that means you could be turning your perfectly opaque leggings sheer over time. “We recommend laundering in cold water and drying on low in order to extend the life of the fabric and prevent it from becoming brittle,” she adds.
Sweat It Out
Active Core 7/8
Cotton On Body
These leggings are so beautiful and flattering, but upon super-close inspection, the faintest hint of buttocks could be seen. Not enough to be a deal breaker, though (especially for the price).
Powerlite Gia Capri
If you like lightweight workout leggings—with lots of pockets—these are the pants for you.
Luxe High Rise Tight
These silky leggings are stretchy and suction onto your body when you put them on (in a good way, like they're a second skin), and they passed the mirror squat test.
Simple leggings that are deceptively great.
These thick, stretchy leggings were made for leg day (read: you can squat and lunge without fear).
Knockout High-Rise Tight
These not-sheer-when-you-bend-over leggings come in three lengths and feature cool reflective detailing.
Nora Shine High Waist Legging
The front of these leggings is a shiny, cool material; the back is a matte black, opaque fabric that's perfect for the gym or watching film screenings at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Sculpt Compression High Rise Leggings
We're not entirely sure what the "blackout technology" in these leggings is, but we can attest that it works.
Stealth 7/8 Tight
You'll have to pry these Athleta leggings out of our cold, dead hands. The fabric is mid-weight and compressive, and they simply look beyond. And they're zero percent sheer.
"We often use black Lycra or spandex—both lightweight, elastane fibers—in our dark leggings so that if the legging is stretched, there is no shine," explains Jennifer Leache, Athleta's senior manager, fabric R&D.
Train Times 7/8 Pant Transition Multi Midnight Navy/Black
These leggings have a compression fit even though the fabric is very lightweight—and the only things see-through about them are the (purposefully) sheer cutouts on the legs.
Glamour Goddess High Waist Yoga Tight
These pants have seaming that makes your butt look fabulous, and the thick, comfy fabric is the stuff yoga apparel dreams are made of.
Blackout Mesh Tight
This swimwear brand makes surprisingly stellar workout leggings. The fabric has more of a slippery feel to it (in a good way). They may be a touch sheer, but only if you’re two inches away, and if anyone is that close to your butt while you're wearing them you probably aren't super concerned with sheerness at that point.
The ankle length and colorful printed side stripes make these leggings super flattering. Even better: Your butt won't show when you bend over.
Suki Leatherback Black Gloss
These leggings are striking, but upon first feel we were skeptical that the thin fabric would provide enough coverage. We were oh so wrong.
Urdhva Reversible Yoga Leggings
Reversible leggings? Sign us the eff up. Not only do you get two cool color combinations, but the fabric is thick enough to ensure that your assets are covered when you squat.
Live The Process
The high-rise and curved seams of these leggings make for an ultra-flattering fit. They’re made from a blend of supplex and spandex that shield your butt from squat-related accidental flashing incidents.
We’re major fans of Beth Richards’ swimwear, so we were understandably excited to see how the brand’s legging performed. While on the spendier side, the fabric is top quality, flattering and super soft.