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There are few cool-weather outfits we love more than faux-leather leggings and an oversized sweater. Or leggings and a T-shirt. Or leggings and a blazer….you get the picture. And with the crisp winter winds soon to be making their rounds, we set out to find the best faux-leather leggings the internet has to offer, from chic patent leather finishes, like this Commando pair ($118), to maternity leggings that boast a comfortable waistband courtesy of Gap (from
$70; $34) and, of course, our ultimate favorite, the Spanx faux-leather leggings ($98), which come in a huge range of sizes, never lose their shape and look far more expensive than their price tag.
The Best Faux-Leather Leggings at a Glance
How We Chose the Best Faux Leather Leggings
All the leggings on this list have tons of 5- and 4-star reviews, some of which come from our very own editors. We combed through countless of options, chatted with friends and family and ultimately decided that these 14 pairs of faux-leather leggings had earned the PureWow seal of approval. Now all that’s left to do is choose which one is best for you.
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Multiple PureWow staffers own and rave about these leggings (some even have multiple pairs), but we are not the only mega-fans. This Spanx style is consistently awarded five-star ratings and has accrued incredibly positive reviews on Nordstrom, Amazon and Zappos (just to name a few). “I love the fact that they have a subtle shine, rather than a patent finish or that awful garbage bag look so many faux-leathers end up with,” says one fan. “But what I really love is the fact that these have that built-in Spanx shaping technology that makes my butt look so amazing, even without a single squat.” Indeed, these leggings feature a contoured Power Waistband which smooths and flattens your tummy and makes your bum look extra perky. One thing to note, however: Many reviewers suggested ordering one size up from what the size chart suggests for a more comfortable, less constricting fit.
If a super high shine is what you’re after, you can’t beat Commando’s patent finish leggings. They come in classic black, disco-inspired white, deep burgundy, camel beige and a super-chic olive green hue, all of which look way more expensive than their $118 price tag. “These pants are amazing! They look like liquid and they're surprisingly very comfortable” says one reviewer. As for sizing? The same shopper notes: “I'm usually between a small and medium. I bought a medium and they fit perfectly. Once they're on they don't cut into your waist or love handles because they're high-waisted.” You should expect a little bit of squeaking with the first wear (this is pretty typical for any patent leather pants, and lots of matte-finish leather, too), but luckily there is a simple fix—take a small dab of unscented body lotion or face oil and rub it between your hands, then gently swipe it onto the section of the leather that’s squeaking (be sure to test the lotion first on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it won’t cause damage). Use a microfiber towel to remove any excess and voilà! No more squeaking or creaking.
Torrid is one of our favorite places to shop for chic plus-size clothing that’s both affordable and looks fabulous. And these faux-leather leggings check all those boxes and more, with a no-fuss seamless look for an overall leg-lengthening effect. The leggings do run true-to-size, but those over 5-foot-9 may find the 27-inch inseam a tad cropped. Multiple reviewers mention owning more than one pair and almost all rave about how luxe these leggings look IRL. Per one recent reviewer, “I never thought I’d be a person who would want to wear leather or faux leather pants or leggings but here I am. At 59 [years-old], I am rocking them and feeling great! These feel smooth and comfortable, and not plasticity at all. There is also no loud rubbing sound when I walk.”
Yes, Spanx already has one mention in this list, but when it comes to leggings for the 5-foot-2 and under crowd, there’s still nothing that can top this fan favorite. With a 26-inch inseam, they won’t pool at your ankles unlike many cropped styles (which, to be honest, were never going to look cropped on you anyway). Plus, a 9 ½-inch rise is high enough to comfortably cover your midriff without going all the way up to your bust. Like the regular and tall lengths, Spanx’s petite leggings tend to run small, and we recommend sizing up for comfort. “I love these leggings. They almost look like leather pants and love how they snatch my stomach and legs,” says one Nordstrom reviewer. “Have gotten many compliments on these. I’m 5-foot-1 and 143 pounds and got a medium petite. They are a little tight but I prefer them snug.”
Comfort is key for maternity wear, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style to get there. A soft jersey waistband supports and accommodates your ever-growing belly without feeling restrictive. Meanwhile, the faux-leather fabric of the legs is super lightweight (who wants to deal with shimmying into or out of heavy, sweaty leggings?) with a subtle shine that looks great with both cozy oversize knits for lounging at home or a flowy blouse for more dressed-up occasions. As an added bonus, they’re also machine-washable.
These high-waist faux-leather leggings come in sizes XS through 4X and are lined with a thin layer of fleece that helps prevent them from turning sheer no matter how low you squat or how often you wear them. We also love the subtle shine (they’re not quite patent leather, but they are shinier than most of the other pairs on this list), especially in the beautiful burgundy color. They come in a black, camel brown and a wine red hue, all of which are machine-washable. And don’t worry about awkward squeaking while you walk, these affordable leggings apparently glide noiselessly as you move.
These leggings are not the least expensive on this list, but at just 38 bucks they’re definitely worth adding to cart ASAP for anyone on a budget. They come with a thin layer of black fleece for comfort, to keep you warm and to prevent any spots from becoming sheer, even when you squat down to pick something up. They also have a high waistband that helps smooth out your middle without feeling too constrictive. (P.S. We suggest letting them air out for a few hours after they’ve arrived before trying them on to allow for any odors or stickiness to dissipate.)
If you’re willing to invest big bucks on a pair of long-lasting, flattering faux-leather leggings, you really can’t do better than Wolford. The popular British hosiery company puts a huge emphasis on fit across its entire product range and these slimming leggings are no exception. Reviewers loved the smoothing effect of a tight fit at the hips and bum, while the ankles are slightly looser, for more of a skinny trouser silhouette. The same could be said for any of the leggings on this list, but because the sizing is being converted from international sizing, we highly recommend measuring yourself and double checking the guide and reviews to ensure you get the perfect fit.
We’ve long loved Calzedonia’s tights for fall and winter, but the brand’s leggings deserve just as much love. This chic faux-leather style is great for anyone with a short torso or those who prefer a mid-rise, with a waistband that hits just high enough to ensure a smooth middle without going all the way up past your belly button (or, god forbid, your bra band). It also comes in three chic colors—black, olive green and winter white—so you can play around with interesting cold-weather ‘fits. There is also a thermal-lined version ($39) for those looking to wear these deep into winter.
Faux leather tends to be pretty great at keeping you warm, but for truly cold winter days you’ll probably want a little extra something to keep your stems from freezing over, especially if you’re opting for leggings over true pants. Enter Plush, a brand dedicated entirely to fleece-lined leggings and tights that will keep you nice and cozy without adding any bulk or causing you to overheat once you go indoors. As a bonus, that fleece layer further helps to smooth out your silhouette without the constrictive feeling of shapewear. As for how it stands up to the cold? Take it from one Chicago reviewer who says, “Highly recommend! They are so comfortable, warm and soft for those windy Chicago winters. And no additional layers required.”
Black faux-leather leggings are the most obvious choice, but that doesn’t mean that other hues can’t be just as versatile. Retro Gong’s wine red and navy hues are rich and deep, and they don’t look garish or inexpensive despite their affordable price tag. They also have a slight texture to them that adds to their luxe vibes. And with more than 11,000 reviews to comb through, with a 4.3-star rating overall, basically any question you may have is definitely addressed by reviewers. “Not only can you move easily in them, but you can actually exercise in them,” writes one shopper. “They’re super comfortable, flattering, and feel great. [There is also] no noise! When I walk normally, there’s no sound at all. They’re not plastic-y feeling either.” Oh, and did we mention they go up to a size 4X, as well?
For those who still aren’t convinced that leggings should indeed be worn as pants, look for a pair with additional detailing at the waist, like this Blank NYC style. Additional seaming along the waistband mimics the look of traditional pants, and fake back pockets help add to that illusion. Unlike a regular pair of pants, however, these leggings fit like a glove from hip to ankle and won’t gap at the rear or stretch out over time. As you can see in the picture above, the rise on these is not as high as the others on this list. According to one reviewer, “I really loved these. I got a size 31 and I am typically a size 12. They fit perfectly. Very flattering. Not binding at the top. They actually look so much like leather someone thought they were real leather. These are super comfortable.”
These HUE leggings feel unbelievably lovely against you skin, and are more lightweight than many of the other options on this list. They also come in multiple cool color options so you can switch things up from classic black. And it should be noted that not only are these leggings machine-washable, they’re also dryer safe (only on low), for easy care. Some reviewers found these leggings ran small, but others note they should stretch a bit after wearing them once or twice. We suggest double checking the size chart before you order. “I love them and the fit, in terms of shape-hugging, is fantastic!” writes one reviewer. “They are high waisted with a bit of control, which is wonderful. Love the glossiness, and the fleece lining feels good on the skin.”
Commerce director Nicole Briese tried her best to ignore the siren call of these cult-favorite leggings on Instagram, but in the end decided she just had to test them out IRL. And, let us tell you, she does not regret her purchase. “I thoroughly enjoy them for both working out and lounging. They’re snug, but not so tight you can’t get them off or move in them, and I get compliments every time I wear them!” she raves. And she isn’t the only one—Noli’s Liquid Leggings have almost 1,000 reviews and a stunning 4.9-star rating. Most suggest the leggings run true-to-size and, as Briese mentioned, are tight enough to offer support and smoothing without feeling constrictive. And lots of shoppers rave about how they won’t appear see-through, no matter how deep you squat. Add to that the fact that they’re machine-washable and you’ve got yourself a total no-brainer purchase.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Faux Leather Leggings for You
How to Style Faux-Leather Leggings
Lucky for you, we’ve dedicated an entire article to this very topic, with examples of how to style your leggings for drinks with friends (a minidress and thigh-high boots looks super sexy), running errands (embrace comfy monochrome with a black sweatshirt) and even casual Fridays at the office. Our only don’t? Skip pairing them with a crop top in favor for something with a longer cut. It will help keep your proportions from getting out of whack and elevate your ’fit overall.
How Do You Wash Faux Leather Leggings?
As with any clothing item, you should first check the tags to see what care instructions the brand recommends. (You can often find the same notes on the product page if there’s no tag.) But generally speaking, faux-leather is a delicate material that doesn’t respond super well to high temperatures. When in doubt, we suggest hand washing and laying your leggings flat to dry to help them maintain their shape and shine for longer.
Why You Should Trust Us
PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.