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FOUND: The Best Faux Leather Leggings

January 3, 2022


Erin Schrader

They are as stylish as they are comfortable — even though they might not look it. I’m referring to the coveted faux leather legging! Several years ago, I was slow to board the faux leather legging train, but now that I am a passenger, I am driving that trend loud and proud. Fast forward to 2022 and I’ve worn leggings more times in the past two years than ever before! If you’re looking to elevate your basic wardrobe staple, look no further. Do I dress them up for a Saturday date night and then proceed to wear them all day around the house on Sunday with a sweatshirt? You better believe it. So what’s the downside, you ask? They can be a bit of an investment piece. So in typical LIY fashion, we took it upon ourselves to find the best of the best. We jumped, wiggled, squatted, lunged, [and sweat more than I care to admit] to test over 10 popular brands on three women with different sizes, heights, and inseams. So are Spanx really worth the splurge? Is there a similar, budget-friendly, pair I can find on Amazon? Spoiler Alert: yes and yes. Without further ado, here are the Best Faux Leather Leggings on the Market.

PS. if you already own and pair [or are on the fence about purchasing!] here are 20 Faux Leather Legging Outfits to help with styling these spicy little numbers! You can also check out this Pinterest board [dedicated to faux leather legging outfits] for future outfit inspiration. You can thank me later. 😉 Now let’s get into it!

A Quick Note on Our Sizing…

Before we get into the leggings, let’s go over the logistics of this operation. For reference…

  • Allison is 6′ with a 33″ inseam, and typically wears sizes Medium-Large.
  • Erin is 5’4 with a 27″ inseam and wears size XS-Small.
  • Steph is our petite model! She is 5’4, has a 25″ inseam, and wears sizes Medium-Large.

As we tested, we made notes about quality, comfort level, smoothing abilities, rolling around the waist area, and yes — even sound. Because when it comes to faux leather, things can start to sound real funky, real fast. Below you’ll find our results for our Favorite Overall, Best Budget-Friendly Option, and our Favorite Dressy Pair. You’ll also find the brands that did not make the cut and why. So without further ado, here are the Best Faux Leather Leggings on the Market!

Favorite Overall: Spanx Faux Leather Leggings [code LIYXSPANX for 10% off]

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings [code LIYXSPANX for 10% off, Size up one if in between! Allison in Large, Erin in Small, Steph in Large Petite]

No surprise here! If you know, you know. I purchased my first pair of these Spanx Faux Leather Leggings about 5 years ago and they’ve been my favorites ever since! They’re comfortable, amazing quality [mine have held up great for years, just be sure to air dry them!], not sheer, and stay in place. To make a long story short, they check all the boxes. If it’s your first pair, we recommend sizing up if in between. It could be considered a workout to put them on, but once they’re on, they’re on and hold everything in. We also love that they’re available in petite, plus, and maternity. Worth every penny!

Best Budget-Friendly Brand: CRZYOGA

CRZYOGA Matte Faux Leather 28″ [Size down if in between! Allison in Large] // CRZYoga Classic Faux Leather Coating 25″ size down if in between! Steph in Medium]

When it comes to budget-friendly options, Amazon never fails us! We are big fans of the CRZYoga brand and their faux leather leggings [Allison’s tall 28″ and Steph’s petite 25″] didn’t disappoint. While the quality isn’t as great as Spanx, they look and feel almost exactly the same for a fraction of the price. Full disclosure: they rolled down a little at the waist and don’t have nearly as much compression as our favorites – but for $25, they make a great “save” option. Keep in mind you might need to replace these next season, so if you plan to wear this style of legging for years to come, it might be worth investing in the Spanx for the long haul!

Favorite Dressy Styles

Commando [Allison’s Top Pick for Tall lengths, TTS wearing Medium] // Yummie [Erin’s Top Pick, TTS wearing small] // WHBM [Steph’s Petite Favorite, TTS wearing 12P]

Introducing our fancy pants! These styles were slightly elevated and felt a little more dressy than the rest. You know, the ones you could get away with wearing to work or a more formal event. These were our favorites of the bunch by inseam…

  • Long Inseam Favorite – Allison’s Top Pick for tall lengths! These don’t have the thick, wide waistband, which Allison actually liked as they seemed very smoothing! They are on the thinner side, but not sheer at all. If you don’t prefer the compression feel, these are for you! They hit at a great spot on the ankles and have a fun raw hem at the bottom.
  • Regular Inseam Favorite – Erin’s Top Pick for standard inseams. We loved the side zipper detail and how smooth these felt – not a stiff plastic-y feeling at all! They are a great dressier option and would work well with a pair of heels!
  • Petite Inseam Favorite – Steph’s Top Pick for a petite inseam. These were very comfortable and not sheer at all! They’re very shiny, which make them a bit dressier [without feeling like barbie clothes]. They are really stretchy, no rolling, nice wide top panel, and fit true to size!

The Ones That Didn’t Make The Cut

  • Assets by Spanx – We could hear these as we walked around… not the most flattering noise. If you can get past the sound, they really don’t feel that bad. The top waist band is a different material than the rest, so you need a shirt long enough to cover the top part. These have a shinier, dressier look, but just not our favorites!
  • INC Faux Leather Leggings – No, no, no. Don’t buy these. They are super low rise, we couldn’t even get them on, the ankles are flared, and they cut off your butt. Just take our word for it and don’t add them to your cart.
  • Vera Wang High Rise Faux Leather Leggings – These don’t look or feel like faux leather and they feel like they would stretch out very quickly. They fit loosely and feel pretty thin and cheap. Thumbs down!
  • Express Super High Waisted Faux Leather Leggings – These had a strange waistband that kept untucking itself. They are very warm [almost fleeced lined!] if that’s something you’re searching for. We didn’t love the front seam or plastic feeling. They’re way too short for tall lengths, have no compression, and had a ton of extra material in places we didn’t need it.
  • Nordstrom Faux Leather Leggings – Here’s the thing. These almost felt like you had to move the pants a section at a time to adjust. They’re not as high waisted as others and look more plastic-y. They seemed like a fussy pair to wear with constant adjusting. There are better options on the market!

And that’s a wrap! PS. if you already own and pair [or are on the fence about purchasing!] here are 20 Faux Leather Legging Outfits to help with styling these spicy little numbers! You can also check out this Pinterest board [dedicated to faux leather legging outfits] for future outfit inspiration!

The Brands We Tested:

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