We’re a little embarrassed to admit just how far we’re willing to follow Oprah into the abyss. When Oprah says “jump,” we say, “how high?” When Oprah says “turn your wounds into wisdom,” we say “we’re healing.” When Oprah says, “When I first saw these ultraflattering pants, I immediately called Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, to applaud her,” we don’t say anything at all because we’re too busy shopping for pants.
When Oprah listed Spanx’s Perfect Black Pants as one of her Favorite Things this past November, our entire office was talking about it. Naturally, we already loved Spanx, but this cosign was major. Just like with Oprah’s endorsement of the viral Amazon coat at the same time, our regard of the pants multiplied.
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It turns out, though, that it wasn’t just our personal workplace obsession — new data shows that the entire country was hungry for Spanx pants, but not the exact ones you’d expect.
Shopping aggregator Lyst released its most recent report on the top fashion items of the season, based on a combination of data from social listening tools and on-platform search queries. For 2019’s fourth quarter, spanning October through December, Lyst found that Spanx’s faux leather leggings were the sixth hottest item, putting them in the company of other extremely buzzy products like the Prada monolith leather boots (number three) and the Gucci belt (number one).
Right at the time that Oprah’s pronounced her love of Spanx’s Perfect Black Pants, shoppers’ interest in its Faux Leather Leggings was spiking, even though they’d been around for at least a year. So what happened? Our best guess is that the North Star that is Oprah herself shone light on the brand’s lesser-known apparel category, and by proxy introduced eager buyers to a universally beloved pair of leggings.
We’ve experienced first-hand the effect these leggings can have on people — even Victoria Beckham was wowed by them — so we wouldn’t be surprised if a different pair of pants entirely accidentally caused these to go viral.
Not to say that Oprah’s love of Spanx isn’t enough, but if we had to guess another reason shoppers are buying the leggings in record numbers, it would probably be because of how versatile they are. It’s one thing to have a pair of bum-lifting, tummy-cinching pants that are only suited for the weekends, but it’s a whole other story when you can wear them to work. These patent-look pants are the no-limitations, look-good-everywhere bottoms your coworkers will appreciate just as much as your date.
Shop the leggings Oprah almost definitely (maybe?) made go viral, plus the “ultraflattering” ones she she can’t live without, below.
Shop now: $98–$102; spanx.com
Shop now: $110–$148; spanx.com