Meet the basic black leggings of your dreams.

By Rachel Sylvester
September 29, 2020
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Basic black leggings are a dime a dozen—that is, until you come across the perfect pair. The athleisure staple assumes many different forms, but a few strategically placed details can turn the most unassuming pair of athletic pants into leggings of legend. Comfort is key, and the higher the waist, the better IMHO —but the best leggings are entirely opaque and affordable enough that you won’t get hit with buyer’s remorse immediately after checkout.

My dresser is filled to the brim with dozens of various black athletic pants, from high-waisted joggers to threadbare leggings that have seen better days. And yet, the one pair I reach for most is Universal Standard’s Ronda Stirrup Legging ($94;


These ultra plush pants are made from a soft, sweat-wicking material that’s both supportive and antimicrobial (meaning you can wash them less often between wears). The secure waist is a game-changer, too, since it’s just high enough to cover my belly button—an unspoken requirement of even the best loungewear.

Add to the mix a stirrup-style ankle and you’ve got a pair of next-level leggings that are reminiscent of your dance class days. Not only do they look superb from the comfort of your own couch, but the soft design is even durable enough to see you through at-home HIIT workouts.

Credit: Universal Standard

The Universal Standard leggings are so legit, they’ve earned themselves a 4.6-star rating among shoppers, according to Google. “These are the most comfortable leggings I own,” wrote one reviewer. “The material is so smooth and silky—they fit like a second skin.”

Universal Standard offers sizes 00–40 in all of its items, so if you plan to pick up a pair for yourself, double check your measurements against the brand’s online size guide. (If you’re in between sizes or simply unsure, you can reach out to the brand’s fit specialists for added guidance.)

Pick up a pair at, and get ready to wear them all weekend long.