Leggings are a popular choice for activewear because of how the elastic fabric allows for freedom of movement. You may even wear them to help keep your legs warm or simply to give your outfit extra oomph.
Indeed, there are many reasons to keep this article of clothing as part of your wardrobe staples. That being said, there might be one consideration that’s stopping you: the legging roll-down problem.
You may have seen or experienced having your leggings tucking down under your belly and forming a roll above your hips instead of maintaining compression. It’s uncomfortable and unsightly, but it’s fortunately avoidable.
The right leggings should be able to stay up and provide the support you need without causing any unwanted rolling action. So before you head out to shop leggings, consider these seven life hacks as your guide to finding the perfect pair.
Get the Right Size
The top reason for legging roll-down is wearing the wrong size for your body. Perhaps you have full hips or a shapely bottom paired with a much smaller waist. In this case, the waistband may be too big for your body and will tend to fall.
It’s best to take the leggings to the fitting room and observe how they behave as you try a few stretches. Does the band begin to roll if you stretch your arms over your head or if you do a forward bend? What happens when you attempt to sit? The ideal fit should feel like a second skin and follow your movements.
If you see fabric wrinkling around your crotch, knees, or ankles, you may need a smaller pair. Finally, do the snap test by pulling the top seam away from your waist and quickly releasing the fabric. Well-fitting leggings should have an audible snap as it hits your body.
Choose a High-waist Style
If getting a size smaller means you can’t pull the pants over your hips, you probably have a pear body shape or triangular frame. It can be challenging to do the snap test when wide hips and a generous booty cause you to size up, but the solution is to opt for a high-waist legging style.
This type of legging will have the band wrapped higher around your abdomen, sometimes right below your bust. Not only will this style help keep the band up, but it’s also very figure-flattering as it can give you some extra tummy control. As a bonus, the high waist makes your legs look longer, too.
Check the Fabric
You definitely want a fabric that feels breathable and wicks away moisture when you sweat. But did you know that the type of fabric your leggings are made of also plays an important role in preventing those unwanted rolls?
With this in mind, choose a piece that’s made from brushed fabric, which “adheres” to the skin and is better able to stay in place. Additionally, this fabric finishing technique makes the blend of spandex and nylon or polyester feel buttery soft, so it feels incredible against your skin.
If you can stretch your budget, choose leggings made with compression fabric. It’s more durable than regular legging fabrics and provides better support as well. Because compression is designed to fit like a glove, chances are that your leggings will never be falling or rolling off, no matter how you move.
Opt for an Additional Band or Top Seam
You may have noticed that a lot of leggings feature a wide band around the top of the waist. This is a deliberate design choice. Modern leggings are made using seamless technology, which means that stitching isn’t required to build the garment. This creates a sleek silhouette and makes movement more comfortable.
However, adding a seam at the top of the pants helps the fabric to mold around your waist better and keeps it from rolling down. Additionally, some brands add a garter or elastic waistband inside the top seam to reinforce the garment, preventing it from falling.
Use Stay-up Aids
Apart from added bands and seams, some leggings styles have drawstrings on their waistbands. This is a great option if you want to be able to adjust how it fits on your waist. You can even apply this as a do-it-yourself hack on a pair of leggings you already own. Simply make two small incisions on the front of the pants, then thread a lace or ribbon to go around the waistband.
You can also use accessories like a belt or suspenders to keep your waist up and add an unexpected design element to your outfit. If you do decide to go with this solution, choose slim straps to keep the look sleek and sexy.
Follow Washing Instructions
From yoga to Crossfit, your leggings are designed to take a beating. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t require a degree of care. Each time you wear and wash the garment, the elastic bonds weaken and the fabric stretches out a little. While it’s normal for clothes to wear out over time, following the laundry instructions can help to stretch their lifespan as well as their ability to stay up on your belly.
Most leggings contain some spandex, which should be washed in cold water. If you use a washing machine, put it in a laundry bag with other delicate items. Also, you may want to skip tumble drying, as the heat can affect the fibers. Instead, let your leggings drip dry so that they’ll keep their shape.
Do the Sandwich Method
If none of the previous hacks worked for you, this is the ultimate no-fail hack for keeping your leggings from sliding down. First, wear your underwear as usual. Next, put your leggings on, then pull another layer over all of that. You can wear biking shorts, bikini bottoms, or simply another pair of underwear if you have a skirt or long shirt on top. Just make sure to choose an item that sits a bit high on your waist and provides the elastic support you need.
You don’t have to resign yourself to adjusting your leggings every time they fall during your workout. Investing in the right pair can save you from this bother and potential embarrassment. So toss the old ones when the elastics no longer work and treat yourself to a pair that will give you the support you need.