If your activewear collection is in need of some major TLC this time of year, then you’re in luck, because we just found the easiest solution to breathing a bit of life into it. Enter mesh leggings, the coolest new alternative to the classic black workout pants that you probably (let’s be honest, most likely) wear 24/7. It’s no secret that leggings have officially become a gym-to-brunch staple—and it’s also practically fact that the right workout wares (e.g., cute, trend-forward, fun ones) actually have the ability to motivate you to go to the fitness center.
Trust us—mesh leggings are officially the coolest athletic staple to hit the market since, well, bike shorts. They’re classic, but the sheer element, which can be super subtle in the form of mesh paneling along the side or super-bold with an entire mesh calf, adds an undeniably edgy touch. Aside from adding eye-catching detailing, the mesh components also further the breathability of leggings. Fashionable and functional? We told you they were great. Ahead, see and shop the 21 best mesh leggings on the internet, all of which ring in at under $140.
Power Mesh Cropped Workout Leggings
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While we refute the idea that leggings shouldn’t be worn beyond the confines of one’s own apartment, the age-old question of what to wear with leggings remains. On the one hand, you could go the athleisure route and pair them with sneakers and a sporty bomber, or on the other, you could dress them up for brunch or even work (yes, really) with some strategic layering.
MORE: 25 Killer Pairs of Spring Boots—All Under $100
They may not qualify as pants, per se, but they can sub in for skinny jeans on certain occasions when comfort is key—say, when getting on a five-hour flight, or running out of the house on a chilly Friday morning. For fall, you can’t go wrong layering a cozy, oversized sweater over a pair of black leggings, whether they’re leather, waxed cotton, or basic stretch spandex. Mesh-paneled styles have more of an athletic feel, so you may want to stick to wearing those on weekends with hoodies, bombers, and tees (even crop tops if you want to crib Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner‘s look).
As far as footwear, ankle boots and sneakers are both easy options, or you could reach for high-heel sandals or pumps if you’re aiming for a dressier vibe.
MORE: 25 On-Trend Ways to Wear Leg Slit Pants
Below, see 15 outfit ideas you can steal to wear your leggings out of the house this season.
A version of this article was originally published in August 2013.
1 of 15Pair with a Printed Sweater
The funkier and brighter the sweater, the better.
Photo: Timur Emek/Getty ImagesPair it with a Black Coat
If you have leggings that stand out on their own, like the one pictured here, keep the rest of the outfit pretty minimal.
Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty ImagesPair with a Long Coat
Throw on some sneakers for a more laid-back look.
Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty ImagesPair with Combat Boots
Opt for an all-black ensemble.
Photo: Getty ImagesPair with Pumps
Assa Cisse of My Curves and Curls keeps it casual-chic.
Photo: My Curves and CurlsPair with an Oversized Sweater
The white Converse add a nice touch.
Photo: Getty ImagesPair with a Long, Vintage Tee
Gigi Hadid pulls off this layered look perfectly.
Photo: WENNPair with a Colorful Jacket
A pop of color is always on-trend.
Photo: Getty Images Pair with a Cropped Sweater
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s rocking the athleisure look.
Photo: WENN Pair with Long Boots
The scarf, the long jacket, and the boots: We’re all about this look.
Photo: Getty Images Pair with a Jean Jacket
Kylie Jenner keeps the outfit mostly monochromatic and tops it all off with a white jacket.
Photo: WENN Pair with an Extra Long Jacket
The longer the jacket and layers, the more you’re able to minimize the fact you’re wearing leggings.
Photo: Getty Images Pair with Sneakers
Where can we get Kendall Jenner’s print jacket?
Photo: WENN Pair with a Bomber Jacket
Model Nadia Aboulhosn knows a thing or two about keeping it casual-cool.
Photo: Nadia Aboulhosn Pair it with Bright Kicks
Olivia Palermo isn’t afraid to mix textures, prints, and colors.
For years, ever since girls have been wearing leggings as pants, people have been making comments as though wearing leggings means you’re sloppy or lazy. As the week progresses it becomes almost impossible to wear any type of clothing on your body that is not comfortable. Therefore we resort to leggings because they are so comfortable and match with just about everything. Athleisure has become a trend among fashion magazines, and it is wearing athletic clothing meant for the gym for other occasions like dinner, class, and work. Even models at Fashion Week around the world are rocking leggins on the runway. Therefore, you can wear leggings in public without looking like a lazy bum.
The leggings paired with sneakers and the vest give off the sporty look; as if you were about to head to the gym. But the blanket scarf and white long sleeve underneath the vest give off the cutie running errands look. Leggings with mesh cutouts give the look an even more girly vibe.
Leggings with sneakers, but all a plain white tee, baseball cap and denim jacket wrapped around the waist to give off a more chic look. This is a perfect look for a baseball game, or a casual Saturday in town with your friends, or a coffee date outfit.
3. Fashionably Sporty:
Who said high fashion couldn’t be sporty? Fashion leggings, like these faux leather ones, paired with a thick cozy sweater (perfect for the fall) gives the high fashion look. Just pair with a good old pair of sneakers to give off the casual sporty appearance.
4. The Sweater That Is Long Enough:
The best argument when it comes to wearing leggings as pants are using the excuse that your top is long enough to cover your bum, like in this look. Super long sweaters paired with leggings and boots is a great go to look for the fall.
5. Bad To The (Sporty) Bone:
The mesh cutout leggings paired with sneakers take this look to a whole different level. The leather jacket with a graphic, edgy tee underneath creates this insane look. It will look like you up a lot more effort into your outfit than you actually did.
Sweat It Out: Mesh panels are actually a sensible trend as they boost the breathability and quick dry of your workout wear. While revealing a peek of skin, most of the mesh panels featured on our mesh bottoms and tops are made with power mesh: a durable whisper thin fabric. Power mesh is incredibly stretchy, sexy and breathable! These panels enable your body to breathe fully in areas that are normally covered by fabric. And even though the fabric is so thin, it is made to stand up to all the wear and tear in any high impact workout or practice. Look for styles that place the mesh panels in high sweat zones like the sexy Terri Crop Bra from Varley that tells sweat build-up to take a hike. So feel free to work up a sweat, your mesh/quick dry gear can handle anything your workout and yoga practice throws back at you.
What’s Hotter than Hot: Practicality isn’t the only thing that thing that has mesh workout wear blowing up your Insta feed. Mesh is also an incredibly sexy trend, pulling design inspiration from classic lingerie looks to create the sexy, figure shaping looks you see here. A little reveal goes a long way towards turning heads and boosting your confidence every time you step onto the mat. Although the trend started with black, it is now expanding to include prints and brights so if you are not a fan of dark tones you can jump on the sexy mesh bandwagon too. And although mesh cutouts are revealing they are also one of the most figure-flattering styles we have seen, especially when paired with black. So no matter what shape or size, the mesh trend is perfect for feeling sexier and cuter all day long.
Pick Your Fit: With the mesh look becoming so popular, a lot of our brands have offered their own take on the mesh legging trend. Tried and true brands like Onzie, Jala, and many many more have all designed their own mesh legging, or two. Some brands choose to focus more on the technicality of the mesh placement. Designing their leggings with the mesh panels featured in key sweat zones like behind the knee for example. Other brands have focused more on the aesthetic, creating daring mesh looks that wear from mat to mall without missing a beat. All these brands have designed the mesh panels to flatter your leg to the moon and back while keeping you fully covered in “all the right places”. Shop our diverse collection of mesh bras, tanks, leggings, crops and more and let us know via phone, email or chat you have any fit, fabric or sizing questions.
EVOLVE FIT WEAR REVIEWS
“great looking pants — for yoga or date night. but they run big so order at least one size down unless you want them pulled high over your belly button! Love Laura – customer service at Evolve! :)” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the Alo Moto Legging)
“Comfortable; wearing well after washing and a lot of Barre3. Mesh panels are holding up well. Overall quality is good.” – (via Evolvefitwear.com)
“stylish trendy and a nice fabric high waist comfortable and long at the ankles” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the Rese Mia Legging)
“The fabric is different than I expected, but it feels nice when I try it on. I haven’t worked out in them yet, but I’m hoping sweat won’t show easily.” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the Beyond Yoga Wave Mesh Legging) “Radial mesh pattern is very flattering; Nina B. Rose, from her other leggings, does know how to enhance the booty. Sizing is a little odd since my thighs seem to make the mesh panels stretch out of their shape slightly (I went with an M; I’m a 6), but they slide on easily. Bottom cuff does not conform to leg, which I prefer, thus the knocked off star. Still awesome enough for my butt that I’m looking at getting her “Heart Butt” crop. A solid addition to my ever-expanding black gym wardrobe.” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the NBR Plank Mesh Legging)
“super comfy, great quality and perfect for hot yoga. What more could I ask for.” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the Onzie Track Legging) “This sports bra is amazing. It is incredibly supportive, super flattering and so cute. I taught a high impact workout class in it-and it held up perfectly. Got tons of compliments. I’m usually an xsmall or small-and in this I went with the xsmall. Highly recommend!!” – (via Evolvefitwear.com for the Varley Terri Crop Bra)