I tried the leggings with the 33,000 person wait list—are they worth it?
Everlane claims to make leggings that 'do it all'—here's how they fared.
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If you own multiple items of one kind of staple clothing—bras, jeans, t-shirts—chances are good that you use an informal ranking system based on how often and for what occasions you wear each one. For me, leggings are one of the easiest-to-categorize kinds of clothes. There are ones I wear all the time for working out and relaxing alike (Lululemon Wunder Unders and Outdoor Voices’ TechSweat leggings) and at least one I hate that only get worn when laundry day is imminent (a pair I got for free at a cardio dance class sponsored by a brand that shall not be named). It’s pretty easy for me to tell upon a wear or two where one pair will eventually end up in the lineup.
So when Everlane, a brand known for sensible, work-appropriate shoes and apparel announced a new multipurpose athletic legging, called the Perform Legging, I was intrigued. So were a lot of other people—the leggings amassed a wait list of about 33,000 people ahead of their launch in late January. Eventually, I got my hands on a pair and wore them to a bunch of workout classes, on a jog, and for what many consider the best activity for leggings: some good ole lounging around the house.
What are Everlane Perform leggings all about?
Everlane bills the Perform leggings as the bottom garment that can “do it all” and are ideal for “low and moderate” activity. When you scroll through photos of the leggings on Everlane’s site, you can also watch a video of models warming up, doing yoga, jumping rope, reading a book on a mid-century modern couch, and going grocery shopping as if to show just what “all” might entail. (As someone who falls into Everlane's presumed demographic of stressed-out millennials and has done all of those things, I must say: It’s spot-on!)
The inside of the waistband has a small pocket about the right size to hold a pair of keys and a credit card. The fabric is comprised of 58 percent recycled nylon and 42 percent conventionally sourced elastane, which the brand calls “technical Italian fabric” (though the leggings are made in Sri Lanka). Everlane claims the leggings have all the attributes one might want in a pair of athletic pants, including light compression and sweat-wicking and quick-drying abilities. The come in four colors: Black, Ink Grey, Lichen Green, and Brandy Rose.
One pair costs $58, which falls in the middle-to-high range of what I’ll spend on fitness apparel. If you’re used to getting leggings from Lululemon where a full-length pair will set you back at least $98, they’re a great bargain. If you usually get your leggings from, say, Target (where a full-length pair is about $32) or Amazon (where one Reviewed staffer-approved brand is only about $16), not so much.
How do Everlane Perform leggings feel and fit?
Like most leggings, this pair is really comfortable. The high waist hugs the stomach but does not clamp down on it, the fabric feels light and silky on the skin, and the lack of extreme compression makes them more suitable for lounging or long road trips or airplane travel than my Lululemon leggings. The fabric is also quite thin, which means they let a lot of air in. I loved this for studio workout classes like barre and Pilates, which tend to start off feeling cool then get steamier as the hour moves along, but found that my legs never quite got warm when I took them on an outdoor jog in 40-degree weather.
The leggings come in XXS to XXL sizes and in full or ankle-length options. Everlane recommends sizing up if you are between sizes. I’ve shopped at Everlane before, so I knew that, at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds, I am often a size small and sometimes a medium, particularly in pants because my lower half is meatier than my top half. Using that knowledge and Everlane’s recommendation, I went with the medium. This was fine, but I noticed the fabric would gather and bag around my ankles, knees, or upper thighs (depending on how recently I'd yanked them up), and the waist slipped down when I wore them to high-intensity, high-sweat workout classes. Had I gone a size down, they would have been less baggy, but they also could have been too tight—I can't say. But all told, they run more or less true to size.
How do Everlane Perform leggings look?
The Perform leggings are high-waisted with a wide, reinforced band on the area that covers the stomach. I got the Lichen Green color, which I found more wearable than some colored leggings can be—the shade of green coordinated with every workout top I have, and it’s a soothing, pleasant color to look at.
The thin fabric, plus the fabric composition, gave the leggings a sleek, somewhat shiny appearance. But it also made it so that every pair of underwear I wore with them showed a line, even the seam-free thongs that usually don't (though this may have been due to the color—had I gotten the leggings in black, my undergarments may have blended better).
Something else I noticed: The leggings bear no logo (like a Nike swoosh or Lululemon squiggly), nor do they have any brand-specific stylizing (like Outdoor Voices’ distinctive two-toned leggings and crop tops) that differentiates the pair from any generic one. On the one hand, this may be a boon if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t want to advertise for a company every time you exercise. But if you prefer having a stamp that aligns you with a certain athletic brand when you work out, it might be something to consider. I personally didn’t mind—they are well-made and stylish enough that I didn’t feel that wearing them would get me cast out of the Lululemon throng that makes up most SoulCycle classes.
Are Everlane leggings worth it?
For me? Yes, the Everlane Perform leggings are worth it. I wouldn’t say they’ve superseded my beloved Wunder Unders, nor have they replaced my Tech Sweats—the Wunder Unders have better compression, and the TechSweats are better for high-intensity workouts. While they fall just slightly short of the “does it all” bar, they do more than enough for me to place them in a key spot in my (coveted, oh-so-exclusive) workout-and-hanging-out legging rotation. If that’s what you’re looking for—a not-too-expensive pair of leggings you can wear for almost everything—you’ll like the Perform leggings.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.