The best leggings you can wear to work

  • Leggings may not technically be pants, but that doesn't mean that you can't wear them to work.
  • Thanks to details like pleats, buttons, and belt loops, more and more leggings are starting to look like pants, which makes them more office-appropriate than ever.
  • The best leggings for the office can keep you comfortable and chic all day long, and we love ADAY's leggings for those reasons exactly.
  • If you're looking for leggings that you can wear to workout or to lounge, check out our guide to the best leggings. 

If you've been working from home, it's likely your leggings have become your workwear. And while they're definitely WFH-appropriate, leggings aren't typically known to be the most office-appropriate. 

But once we start filing back into offices again, wouldn't it be nice to bring a bit of that work-from-the-couch comfort back, too? Luckily, there are more work-appropriate leggings out there now more than there have ever been. Thanks to details like pleats, buttons, and belt loops, your favorite weekend wear looks more like officewear these days. 

What is considered "appropriate" for the office varies from workplace to workplace. But in general, the best leggings for work have one thing in common — they're on the thicker side, which helps with their opacity. In other words? You'll be safe from a see-through situation. 

Here are the best leggings for work you can buy:

  • Best leggings for work overall: ADAY Throw & Roll Legging
  • Best formal leggings for work: époque évolution Jet Set Trouser
  • Best cropped leggings for work: American Giant Ponte Legging Kick Flare
  • Best petite leggings for work: Banana Republic Petite Devon Legging
  • Best size-inclusive leggings for work: Universal Standard Moro Pocket Ponte Pants

Updated on 10/16/2020 by Maria Del Russo: Updated slide text, added "best formal leggings for work" and "best cropped leggings for work," checked prices and links. 

The best leggings for work overall

ADAY's Throw & Roll Legging not only look great and feel comfortable, but they also have pockets and other great little details.

The only way to make work-appropriate leggings even more of a blessing is to give them pockets. And that's exactly what ADAY has done with its Throw & Roll Leggings.

ADAY is all about simplicity and seeks to create fabrics and clothing that are multipurpose, long-lasting, and sustainable. And that's incredibly evident in the brand's Throw & Roll leggings. Thanks to small details like zippered pockets with locks to keep them from jangling, these leggings look too good for a workout (but would certainly stand up to one).

The Throw & Roll Leggings are made out of a quick-drying, sweat-wicking material that is also sunscreen- and oil-resistant. We love these leggings so much, we even named them our best leggings overall — not just for work. 

Pros: Leggings that are truly made for work, convenient pockets, little details add sophistication

Cons: These leggings are extremely thick, which is great for dealing with opacity issues, but tough in the summer

The best formal leggings for work

With their sophisticated pleats and unique front slits, the Jet Setter Trousers from époque évolution look like slacks, but feel like leggings. 

The Jet Setter Trouser by époque évolution may be expensive, but we think of them more as a real pair of work trousers that just so happen to be comfy enough to wear on the weekends.

The front slit adds a touch of sophistication and a unique twist, but it also means you can wear the leggings over a pair of ankle boots, which looks a lot more sophisticated than just tucking regular leggings into a boot shaft. The material is slick and stretchy, and it pairs really well with oversized blazers or white button-downs. Plus, a back pocket makes them more practical than plain leggings.

The Jet Setter Trouser also comes in sizes up to 16, with the option for a petite hem.

Our senior editor Sally Kaplan calls these her favorite leggings for work, and though she acknowledges the price isn't ideal, she will passionately tell you that they're worth the cost if you have the budget — especially if you're someone who prefers to maintain a more edited "better, not more" kind of closet.

Pros: Super comfortable, sophisticated pleats, handy back pocket

Cons: Some customers have said the length is a little short on taller folks

The best cropped leggings for work

American Giant's Ponte Legging Kick Flare are super minimal and ultra cropped, making them look more like trousers than leggings.  

These leggings from American Giant are made from a ponte knit fabric that's thick and supportive, so you'll never have to worry about your pants looking see-through. Thanks to the slight crop and the understated kick flare, they look like real trousers, but feel just like loungewear.

The Ponte Legging Kick Flares feature a no-droop waistband, so you can wear them all day long without them stretching out. And while other leggings feature more pockets than these ones, they do have a small front pocket that's big enough for your phone and a credit card. 

The real beauty in the Ponte Legging Kick Flares, though, is in the detail, including a thick hem that makes them look tailored and polished. From the knee down, they're your perfect work slacks. And from the knee up? Some of the coziest leggings you've ever worn. 

Pros: Trendy kick flare, no-roll waistband, and super thick material

Cons: The inner thigh area begins to pill after a while due to chaffing, and if you're tall, the crop may be slightly short

The best petite-friendly leggings for work

Banana Republic's petite leggings are fitted and structured like traditional workwear, but with the feel of loungewear. 

Banana Republic is one of our team's go-to destinations for reliable petite work pants, and their Petite Devon Legging is a great example for why. 

The Petite Devon sits at the waist, runs fitted through the leg to the ankle, and is offered in three inseams that produce the effect of nicely tailored workwear. The three leg lengths are 26-inch petite, 28-inch regular, and 31-inch long. Petite sizes go from 00 up to 14.

The bi-stretch material (a blend of cotton, rayon, and elastane) is machine-washable and remains stretchy even after multiple washes. A hidden zipper keeps the look streamlined, and darts added in the back lend a figure-flattering fit. 

Another benefit to shopping at a big store like Banana Republic is catching your favorite items on sale. While 40% off styles may be unlikely at smaller startups, it's commonplace here. If you shop strategically, it's more likely you can get a deal. — Mara Leighton

Pros: Comfy "legging-fit" with the look of a work trouser, stretchy fabric that withstands multiple washes

Cons: Some reviewers noted quality issues with the zipper

The best size-inclusive leggings for work

Universal Standard's sizing ranges from 4XS to 4XL, and the site's Fit Liberty policy states that if your size shifts, they'll replace the eligible clothes for free. 

Universal Standard's Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are technically pants, but they have the feeling of leggings. The midweight ponte material is soft and designed to be pill-resistant, and they have a high waist with a flat band that won't roll or twist. As the name suggests, there's also an out-of-the-way pocket and matte black zippers at the ankles for dressing them up or down. If you need a petite version, Universal Standard offers that too. 

The company also guarantees that if your size shifts up or down within a year of purchase, it will exchange any piece in its Fit Liberty collection for your new size, for free. The Moro Pocket Ponte Pants are included in the collection. 

In terms of cons, the Ponte Pants are available in only two colors (black and olive) though that tends to be the standard for work-adjacent leggings, and are recommended for hand wash and hang dry. — Mara Leighton

Pros: Wide selection of sizes, petite styles, generous fit policy

Cons: Relatively involved fabric care

Check out our other style guides

The best places to buy women's sweaters

The best winter coats for women

The best women's workwear brands

The best leggings

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