My WFH-dressing evolution has followed the trajectory of joggers in spring, bike shorts on repeat in summer, and now a fall full of leggings. With the arrival of breezier weather, so coincides my spectacular return to the comfy-casual-no-pants pant — and when it comes to leggings, there’s one brand that really does it right: Lululemon. With options to suit every kind of active (or inactive) lifestyle, it’s no surprise that the brand has carved out a space for stylish-functional pieces; whether you’re queuing up your favorite yoga-lates video or turning up the heat with a heart-thumping home-spin sesh, Luluemon’s got a legging for that. In my sophomore album to my warm-weather road-test of Lululemon’s bestselling bike shorts, I am now introducing my hot take on three of its most popular core leggings below. Read on to discover how each of the pairs fit, felt, and stood up to my active tests (selfies included!) — and, of course, which one earned its place as my new do-it-all favorite. Writer’s note: I received a gift card to cover the cost of the pairs mentioned in this story — but, while these are technically gifted in the name of shopping research, my review is honest & true with no prompts or approval from Lululemon. Lululemon Align Pant II 25″ First impressions…As soon as my order arrived, these were the ones I was most excited to try on. After my aforementioned biker shorts test, the Align shorts emerged as my fave, so I had pretty high expectations for this here legging version. Here, I’m wearing the Align Pant II with Luluemon’s cozy All Yours sweatshirt (that, tbh, have barely taken off since September). And, just like the bike shorts, the leggings are crafted from that buttery soft Nulu fabric that really feels like a second skin. (Plus, they’re now available in sizes up to a 20.) During an at-home yoga flow…The waistband stayed up even during a particularly intense “Reunite With Your Core” yoga flow, and the 25″ length was the perfect fit for my 5’2 frame. (FYI, taller folks can shop legging styles in a 28″ and 31″ inseam length.) I’ve been getting a lot of use out of one of my go-to yoga mats, the Reversible Mat 3mm in a calming shade of minty sage, lately. One side is super smooth and perfect for doing cardio moves (like jumping jacks and squats) while the textured side provides extra grip and traction for poses like downward dog or plank. (My current thing is starting my day off with a Yoga With Adriene video.) Final thoughts…After wearing them during home sessions of yoga, pilates, and low-impact cardio, I have to say — I’m already carting these in more colors and lengths. They are insanely comfortable, but still look really sleek and put-together for a quick coffee run. The fabric was the thinnest out of the three that I tried, making it the most lightweight and breathable garments to ever grace the lower half of my body. My verdict: worth the hype, and then some. Lululemon Fast & Free Tight II 25″ First impressions…Next up, I wiggled on a pair of Fast and Frees in the dreamiest shade of pale blue. Because I can’t actually shout this from the rooftops, let me say it here: Pockets! Because these are designed for running, this style is blessed with extra-deep pockets (plus, a hidden one at the back) to stash your phone, cards, and keys. Major! During a socially-distanced jog…I’m not working out outdoors as I used to, but going on an early-bird run (in a breathable mask, OFC) around my neighborhood has been an important self-care practice for me. The Nulux fabric is a bit thicker than the Aligns, and offer moderate compression with max movement. I was a tiny bit worried that they wouldn’t pass the squat test since I picked a pale colorway, but after gracefully pointing my butt to the mirror and going in for the squat, I’m pleased to report that these are as opaque as it gets. If you’re not down with compression, then these may not be the style for you. That said, I love that supported, held-in feeling when I’m doing more intense workouts (including running), and therefore, these were definitely a hit — not to mention ideal for cooler weather, even if you’re indoors. One thing to note: Because these have more of a snug fit, I recommend sizing up if you’re in-between sizes. Final thoughts…The color is on point, and details like the compressive stitching, laser-cut hem, and roomy pockets made these feel extra-special and perfect for a run. Plus, these kept me feeling dry throughout an entire day. I preferred the Align leggings for 12-hour wear and won’t be spending all day in this style again, but that’s my personal preference on thickness and support. My verdict: consider me impressed compressed. Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight 25″ First impressions…Lastly, I tried on the Wunder Under High-Rise leggings in a super-cool shade of avocado green. Before pulling them on, I could already feel that the Luxtreme fabric was noticeably thicker and offered significantly more compression than the previous Align pair. I paired them with a tonal hue of the Ebb To Street bra — which, BTW, says it provides light support but I found to more of a moderate support bra (that’s just as comfy as a light support bra). During a sweat-dripping virtual The Class…Anyone who’s taken The Class knows that jumping around and doing jumping jacks until infinity is to be expected. Even though I loved the Wunder Train bike shorts, I went for its fraternal twin, the Wunder Under, because I still wanted enough movement for stretches — but, with the low-impact compression that Wunder Under touts as the main benefit, I found these to be a good middle ground to the Aligns and the Fast and Free pairs. Sure enough, these were sweat-wicking when I needed them to be without restricting moveability one bit. Final thoughts…IMO, the Wunder Unders are a highly underrated style that probably deserves more attention. Why? Out of the three, these are the best all-around legging to suit a variety of low to high impact workouts — plus they are very flattering. (As one reviewer puts it, they’re “perfect for barre, running, or just looking awesome sitting on the couch.”) My verdict: consider this the winning pair I won’t stop wearing. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
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Hot sleepers hog the shopping spotlight when it comes to bedding. You know the ones: twisting and turning in the middle of the night, unable to think about a weighted blanket without sweating, and living for the cool side of the pillow. But, what about us cold sleepers? The ones who layer on more clothes to go to bed than we do to go outside. For all you thick-sock wearing and full-time snuggling snoozers out there, let us introduce you to your bedroom savior: the flannel sheet set. Not to be mistaken with itchy, hot, and non-breathable materials, the true MVPs of flannel bedding are soft, warm, and actually breathable. They can be made of organic cotton or wool with each layer thoughtfully crafted in a stitch so snuggly that it makes you dream about getting back into bed the second you step a cold toe out of it. Instead of layering up every night in the cold months to come, take a gander at the sets we've lined up ahead to find a very soft flannel sheet that'll keep you perfectly toasty while you sleep.At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Coyuchi Coyuchi Cloud Brushed Organic Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at AnthropologieMellanni 100% Organic Cotton Flannel Sheet Set - Heavyweight, $, available at AmazonRiLEY Oatmeal Reversible Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at RiLEYEddie Bauer Bear Family Cotton Blend Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at WayfairBoll & Branch Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at Boll & BranchBee & Willow Home Bee & Willow™ Home Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at Bed Bath & BeyondWoolrich Woolrich® Tasha Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at Bed Bath and BeyondL.L. Bean Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at L.L. BeanGracie Oaks Haggins 100% Cotton Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at WayfairMainstays Flannel Sheet Set, $, available at WalmartLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?10 Cozy Throw Blankets Worth Putting On Couch DutyThe Best Eco-Friendly Bedding BrandsA Guide To Buffy's Bestselling Eco-Bedding
Social media is chockfull of silent, arbitrary rules, and in many circles, the idea of prematurely showcasing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your followers is a faux pas. This is where the genius concept of “soft-launching” a relationship comes in. A soft launch is typically when a store or restaurant quietly opens early to test the waters, rather than starting out with a huge party and overestimating the incoming crowds. According to comedian Jessica Fisher, the soft launch is when you subtly hint that you’ve started seeing someone in order to avoid the aforementioned social media horrors. “For the girls, she will post a picture of him at a restaurant, his face will not be in it, she will tag the restaurant but not tag him,” Fisher explained. “For the guys, it will only be a photo of himself and he will tag her as the photographer, either in the description or the photo,” she continued. “Yikes. I just realized that in my last relationship he was just putting out the soft launch while I had the store up and operating for weeks,” one person commented
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In fashion, there are a few items that will never be considered stylish. At the top of that list are leggings. Sure, people in fashion wear them, but more so in a last-minute-errand, stay-at-home sort of way. That being said, this year sparked a lot of changes, including ones in fashion. We didn’t think celebrities would be caught dead wearing sweatpants with a blazer or tracksuits with heels, but, in 2020, it works. Same goes for leggings. Or rather, leggings with stirrups — a distinction that is of the utmost importance. With a potential second wave of COVID-19 on the way, comfort is likely to continue being a key trend throughout the remainder of the year and into 2021. And since there’s no sartorial item more comfortable than leggings, the recent uptick of stylish alternatives comes as a welcome surprise. PARIS, FRANCE – FEBRUARY 27: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Hiandra Martinez walks the runway during the Isabel Marant show as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 27, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images) PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 18: Adut Akech walks the runway during the Jacquemus Menswear Fall/Winter 2020-2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 18, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) We first saw stirrup leggings — originally created as pants for equestrians — at Jacquemus’ fall ‘20 menswear show, which occurred just a few weeks after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. Of course, Simon Porte Jacquemus couldn’t have predicted that an alternative to leggings would be so practical in the coming months when he was designing the collection. But we’re glad he had the foresight to create them anyway. At the show, Jacquemus styled a pair of oatmeal-colored, ribbed stirrup leggings with a knit bra top (another fashion trend to come out of lockdown), an oversized, linen blazer, and strappy sandals. The model wore a bandana and two handbags: a white belt bag and a pistachio green mini bag. It was glorious. I wasn’t alone in thinking that: The leggings, named the Albi, sold out completely following their release earlier this fall. Later that fashion season, during Paris Fashion Week in February, another designer introduced a version of the stirrup legging for a covetable fall look: Isabel Marant’s show saw an ‘80s-inspired pair of leggings, which were black and paired with plain black pumps and a black leather jacket. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Courtney Trop (@alwaysjudging) on Aug 25, 2020 at 6:02pm PDT A season later, the style has only garnered more recognition, likely in part because of the sudden need for clothing that checks off the comfort box. In August, Courtney Trop, an L.A.-based blogger, styled a pair of black Simon Miller stirrup leggings with patent leather platforms and a crinkled coat. Later, during spring ‘21 fashion week in Paris, fellow blogger Camille Charriere wore a pair to dance on a pole at a Roger Vivier event, proving that moveable stretch fabric does indeed have a place in fashion. (For the occasion, she styled her leggings with loafers and an hourglass-shaped blazer.) Géraldine Boublil (Erin Off Duty) wore a pair for Miu Miu’s runway show, while Norwegian influencer Rikke Krefting styled hers with lug sole loafers and a long, camel coat. View this post on Instagram A post shared by rikke krefting (@rikkekrefting) on Oct 25, 2020 at 7:05am PDT But the resurgence of stirrup leggings in 2020 didn’t arrive completely out of the blue, nor can we give all the credit to the pandemic for its sudden popularity. In 2016, the trend experienced a minor spike due to Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga. At the fall ‘16 show, the designer introduced a stirrup pant, which, too, soon became a favorite among street style stars. During fall ‘17 men’s fashion week a year later, the likes of Pernille Teisbaek and Tamu Mcpherson wore their leggings over their heels, rather than under it, while out on the streets in Milan and Paris — a look we now wouldn’t hesitate to recreate. Among the front-runners in today’s stirrup legging market are pairs by Monse, Altuzarra, Low Classic, and The Marc Jacobs. Lourdes, Wardrobe.NYC., and Paco Rabanne are also offering fashion-forward iterations on this once-contentious fad. See them all by clicking through our favorite stirrup leggings for fall below. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?2020 Saw The Rise Of The Big BagLingerie As Outerwear Is Trending On InstagramLeggings Are Our Love Language
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Need a little gift inspiration for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or holiday? We're going to help you out. Our editors hunted down the top presents from Amazon that men and women are buying right now. There is truly something for each person on your list. Shop through them all and prepare to be the most thoughtful person in the room. Related: 40 Cool Stocking Stuffers You Can Buy From Nordstrom This Holiday Season