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Choosing the Perfect Fabletics Leggings: A Fabric Guide

We did a little digging to find out how many pairs of leggings an average person has. While we couldn’t find the exact number, we came across an interesting thread on Reddit where women asked each other this question. Some said they owned around 60 pairs (yes, you read that right). 

When you think of it, it makes sense – since leggings are the most versatile piece of clothing and come in so many styles, it’s difficult to limit yourself to just one pair.

While you don’t have to dedicate half of your bedroom to your leggings collection if you don’t want to, the more sports you engage in, the more pairs you might need. And since, at Fabletics, we love nothing as unconditionally as we do leggings, we decided to create a fabric guide to help you find that ideal pair, or five.

How to decide what type of legging is right for you 

The world of leggings is rich! There are so many styles, fabrics, and patterns available that sometimes it’s hard to decide which ones to go with. The number of options might be overwhelming, so how do you pick the right ones? 

Start with figuring out where you’re going to wear them. Are you looking for leggings to work out in or for everyday use? Do you prefer less or more coverage? 

Here are a few factors that you can consider to find the right fit:

  • Size/fit – ideal leggings should fit you perfectly; they should feel like second skin. That’s why it’s important to find the right size, which isn’t too tight or too loose – try on a few different ones. Depending on how much you want to reveal (or cover) you can either go with full-length leggings, cropped, or capri. 
  • Fabrics – the fabric you select will impact durability, comfort, and performance. Aim for something that is not only supportive and comfy to wear but also lasts long. You can consider cotton, nylon, spandex, or polyester – all of them are stretchy and breathable. 
  • Style – style is probably the hardest choice, because there are so many different ones! Tons of colours and prints – any style that you could dream of – are probably already on the market. If you’re bubbly and you want your leggings to show it, go with vivid colours or a crazy print. If you’re more classy, you can choose plain black ones. Alternatively, you can grab a pair for every occasion. 
  • Purpose – the most important question is – how are you going to wear your leggings? Will you use them to work out at the gym, to do yoga, or maybe to relax at home? If you want to hit the gym, pay attention to materials that are breathable and can absorb moisture, and if you want to attend a yoga class – opt for more stretchy materials. We will discuss fabrics in more detail in the next section. 

Let’s now take a closer look at two characteristics most leggings buyers are particularly interested in.

Understanding compression & fabric breathability 

While it might be surprising, the main purpose of compression in leggings isn’t body sculpting. In fact, they were developed primarily for a functional, not an aesthetical reason – to increase blood flow in legs and support muscles during training. You can think of them as the more ‘in-fashion’ version of compression tights, recommended by physiotherapists for those who suffer from swelling and sensation of heaviness in their legs. Scientists have proven that they benefit you long after your training session is over and significantly accelerate recovery.

Now, what if you don’t like wearing compression leggings? Do all the benefits above mean you should wear them for all your training sessions?

Not necessarily. As a rule of thumb, the more intense your exercises are, the more beneficial wearing tighter leggings can be during and after the workout. Think of sports like CrossFit, running, or HIIT classes.

But if you’re planning on going to a yoga, ballet, or gymnastics class – or any other activity that requires fabric stretchability – you might feel more comfortable wearing a pair with a low compression degree.

Now, what about breathability?

The most ‘breathable’ materials available on the market are those made from 100% natural fibres, such as cotton or bamboo. And while they’re fine for low-impact training and stretching, the more strenuous the activity, the less comfortable you’ll feel wearing them. Why? Because they’re not very good at wicking away moisture.

The best ‘breathable leggings’ are made of highly-engineered fabrics. When looking at a pair of pants, check the label. Does it mention that you’re looking at a style that permits air and moisture molecules to pass through the fabric?

Some of the best styles now offer strategically placed panels over areas like your upper thighs to allow better air access and wick away moisture from your body. This means you’ll avoid the awkward wet patches that can appear on cotton pants and will keep you from overheating.

That said, when choosing the level of compression and breathability, you should also ask yourself if you’re going to work out indoors or outdoors. Or, better yet, what time of year you’ll be using them.

What to wear to work out during the different seasons 

If you’re a sports enthusiast who works out no matter how cold or warm it is, then choosing the right outfit will improve your comfort and performance. 

During summer, when the temperature rises and our bodies start to sweat, we should pick materials that are breathable and can easily handle moisture. Some materials like unbleached cotton offer extra sun protection as it’s made from natural linings that absorb UV. If you love running in leggings, then you could pick capris to show a bit of skin. 

If it’s cold, and you want to exercise outdoors, you’ll have to wear clothes that will help you maintain the right body temperature, i.e., keep you warm. At the same time, remember that your heart rate will go up when you work out and so will your body temperature. At first, you might feel a little cold, but the more you move, the warmer you’ll feel. That’s why it’s best to dress in layers that you’ll be able to take off or put on when necessary. 

Make sure to always wear a sweat-absorbing layer, and an insulating one on top – and never forget a hat. And if you love wearing leggings even in the winter, then Fabletics has a special Cold Weather collection. Our leggings are lined with fleece to keep you warm without limiting your movement. 

Sometimes, we might get caught in the rain or wind – or both, if we’re really unlucky. Getting soaked can ruin a workout (and give you a cold), so it’s worth putting on water-proof clothing that will also protect you from the wind. It’s really thin and light so you can always tie it around your hips if it doesn’t rain and you feel too warm.

How to find my perfect fit across fabric types 

Choosing that ‘ideal’ pair of leggings comes down to writing down your must-haves. These can be the level of breathability, compression, UV resistance, and – of course – your favourite colours and styles! Plus, let’s not forget about the intended use. 

Are you looking for a pair you’ll be able to use everywhere, from pilates to CrossFit, or do you want more ‘specialised’ leggings for each sport you engage in?

Some materials win at comfort – like cotton and spandex – but they might not be the most durable due to their stretchability. Others, like those made of polyester or nylon, are particularly popular for wicking away moisture.

To make it easier for you to make the right choice, at Fabletics, we’ve engineered our own fabrics, optimised for various types of sports and individual preferences.

Here are some of the fabrics you can choose from:

Motion 365+

Our most versatile activewear fabric, which offers a great combination of high compression and breathability.

  • Perfect for moderate-intensity workouts, such as strength training and cycling.
  • Made of stretchy, silky-smooth nylon.
  • Offers full range of motion, so you can take them for a pilates class and strength training session.


The go-to Fabletics line for intense workouts like dance, barre, and Zumba.

  • Breathable panels wick away moisture and regulate your body temperature
  • Body mapping fit which lifts and shapes your figure 
  • Perfect blend of function and style to boost your confidence as you push yourself to the limits.


The name pretty much gives it away – this fabric offers the highest possible compression level. It’s our famous, signature fabric, which is perfect for high-intensity workouts like circuits and HIIT class.

  • Maximum compression offers the highest support for muscles and accelerates your post-workout recovery
  • 4-way stretch to provide the highest possible flexibility among compression leggings out there. 
  • Body sculpting tones your figure while you train.


The perfect fabric for yoga, pilates, and stretching sessions. The go-to pair for the highest possible comfort.

  • Ultra-light and breathable fabric  
  • Offers second-skin feel
  • Low to medium compression and high fabric stretchability to allow unconstricted movements.


The go-to fabric for ballet and gymnastics enthusiasts, which enables full range of motion.

  • Fabric offers a buttery-soft feel
  • Offers a medium-low degree of compression for those looking for a style flattering to the figure but without the strength of PowerHold.

For each of us, there’s a perfect pair

Whether you love ballet, running uphill, or simply want to wear leggings to complete your look, there’s a Fabletics pair for you out there. We offer a huge selection of colours, styles, and a full range of sizes so that you can find your ideal leggings. Even the weather won’t stop you with our UV resistant and special Cold Weather collection. Check out what we have in store, and keep up with our latest collections on Instagram @fableticseu!

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A Good Fit Is First and Foremost

The last thing you want when you're trying to get in a good sweat is to be thinking about your workout clothes. They shouldn't be getting in the way or restricting you, especially when you're stretching or trying to boost your mobility.

The best women's leggings should work with you, not against you. Our compression leggings work for almost any activity, offering a gentle pressure to muscles that improves circulation. As a bonus, they'll smooth out your figure without causing you to feel restricted.

Look For Quality Material & Features That Make Sense

Great leggings for women don't have to feature a lot of bells and whistles. They simply need quality material with the right design and features that make sense.

We take pride in those features, including reflective details, breathable sweat-wicking material to stay cool, and leggings with pockets.

We're proud to offer the perfect fit for every body with a full selection of plus size leggings and maternity leggings for momma-to-be.