The 10 Best Flared Leggings of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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On a long list of Y2K trends that are making a comeback, including low-rise jeans, mini skirts, and chunky jewelry, flared leggings are crawling back into the fashion scene in 2023 as well. It’s easy to fall in love with the bell bottoms of leggings, because whether you’re wearing them to the gym or to the couch, they bring undeniable style points that are hard not to adore. 

We took it upon ourselves, therefore, to find the best of the best, and tested over 27 of the most highly rated flared leggings to see which came out on top in terms of opacity, stretch, durability, comfort, and style. We found leggings that were more suitable for rigorous exercise, and others where the buttery soft material felt more inviting to lounge around in. The result? A bunch of  flared leggings for everyone from tall folks or petites to those who run or lounge in their leggings. Read our first-hand experience, after a four week testing period, to see how each of the winning selects performed.

Best Overall

Lululemon Groove High-Rise Split-Hem Flared Pant Nulu

Lululemon Groove High-Rise Split-Hem Flared Pant Nulu


What We Love: Even with consistent wear, these pants remained in top-notch shape, never stretching, pilling, or losing its softness.

What We Don’t Love: They are a bit too long for shorter girls.

We didn’t expect to be as blown away by these Lululemon leggings as we were. We found ourselves basically unwilling to take these leggings off for nearly everything —  the buttery soft, split-flare leggings accompanied us to the gym, the grocery store, to see friends, to dance, and to lounge around the house. We almost debated sleeping in them, but in the end, we felt we were taking it a bit too far and decided against it (but we still think you could). 

It was evident how top-quality these leggings were, given that they never tore, pilled, ripped, thinned, or caused chafing on our skin. Areas of high-friction, like the knees, showed no signs of wear and tear, even after weeks of consistently wearing them, washing them, and engaging in high-intensity training. 

We also noticed zero signs of sheerness, nor sagging, bunching, or rolling. We never needed to adjust the pants, pulling up a too loose waistband or picking a pair that was too tight — they perfectly hugged our bodies as leggings should. And for our long-legged ladies, you’ll be happy to hear that these pants don’t awkwardly cut at your ankles. We found them gracefully draping all the way down into a beautiful flare. On the other side of the coin, our petite ladies might find the hem slightly too long. Luckily, Lululemon offers free hemming, no receipt or tags required, so that everyone may enjoy their pristine pants. 

Price at time of publish: $118

Colors: 5 | Material: Nylon, lycra elastane | Size: 0-20 | Rise: High

Best Budget

Copyleaf Flare Yogo Pants

Copyleaf Flare Yogo Pants


What We Love: They are opaque and stretchy, allowing us to engage in our full range of motion comfortably.

What We Don’t Love: They shrink a little from the wash.

These yoga pants feel and look more expensive than they actually are. We found these leggings to be pleasantly thick, stretchy, and opaque, passing our squat test with flying colors (or should we say, no colors), but it did give away to some panty lines, if we ever wore anything other than a thong.

On top of impressing us with the quality, we particularly loved the V-shaped waistband that looked extremely flattering on us, as well as the deep side pockets found on either side of the pants. This allowed us to hit the gym without a bag by just slipping our phone, keys, and extra cash into the side slits. Once there, we were able to engage in our full range of motion, thanks to the flexibility of the material. The band also never rolled down or pinched our tummies. After throwing it in the wash, we noticed the pants shrunk ever so slightly, particularly around the flare. It was nothing that bothered us, but it’s something to keep in mind if you want to maintain the original shape. Opting to hand wash and avoiding the dryer will maintain the condition even better.  

Price at time of publish: $19

Colors: 18 | Material: Nylon, spandex | Size: XS–2XL | Rise: Mid

Best Plus-Size

SuperFit Hero Pocket Flare Leggings

SuperFit Hero Pocket Flare Leggings

SuperFit Hero

What We Love: The material is very thick and durable, providing good support on the legs and waist. 

What We Don’t Love: They’re a little stiff and therefore restrictive on our movements.

The best part of these leggings? They’re completely opaque. We’re talking full-coverage no matter if we squatted, stretched, or held them up against the sun. Because of how thick and sturdy it was, the fabric never showed any signs of wear and tear, even after vigorous exercise and multiple rounds through the washer. On top of that, the sweat-wicking material didn’t hold onto odor and kept it rather fresh throughout a workout. 

Compared to other plus-size leggings we’ve tried, this one was much more dense, but it still felt soft. The waistband hugged our bellies, while the fabric also supported our thighs. We did notice, however, that because of the high level of support, they did restrict some of the bigger movements, like running or jumping. The leggings felt a bit stiff in these moments, and even caused some friction in the inner thigh. We preferred wearing them as a lounge piece, working from home, or running errands around the neighborhood. We also noticed that for anyone taller than five foot four, these leggings fall a bit short around the ankles. At a 30-inch flared inseam, these are definitely intended for shorter ladies.

Price at time of publish: $98

Colors: 2 | Material: Polyester, spandex | Size: L–7XL | Rise: High

Best Compression

Outdoor Voices FrostKnit Flare Pant

Outdoor Voices FrostKnit Flare Pant

Outdoor Voices 

What We Love: They’re the perfect length for taller ladies.

What We Don’t Love: They’re too restrictive for comfortably lounging around.

There are three things these leggings are great for: compression, tall people, and the outdoors. That makes sense, considering the name of the brand (Outdoor Voices), but these compressive leggings were fantastic in the colder weather. Made of thicker material that tightly wrapped around the legs, the leggings kept us surprisingly warm and supported during workouts outside. Compression leggings help stabilize muscle movements during exercise, which takes some of the strain off your body. These ones even dried quickly (an accidental discovery when a kid spilled some water on our legs). The heavier material made outdoor exercises, like hikes, much more enjoyable than standard leggings. And even when we sweat through our workout routines, the leggings wicked away sweat and held absolutely no scent even before washing them. 

On the flip side, the compression makes them less comfortable for lounging around the house. They’re definitely intended to be taken out, as we noticed them to be a little uncomfortable to snuggle into the couch with. 

Another strong pro about these leggings was the length. While the previous options leaned on the shorter side, these ones fit perfectly on our five-foot-nine bodies. As tall people, it’s difficult to find flared leggings that don’t meet your heels, but these do. That does mean that they’re a bit long on our shorter ladies, so keep that in mind while you shop. 

Price at time of publish: $118

Colors: 3 | Material: Lycra, nylon, polyester | Size: XXS-3XL  | Rise: Mid

Best for Workouts

Athleta Elation Flare Pant

Athleta Elation Flare Pant


What We Love: The quality of the pants feel substantial, allowing us to stretch and bend comfortably while remaining completely opaque. 

What We Don’t Love: There was some mild pilling after the wash.

Let’s be real, the flare portion of the pants can sometimes be a bit hazardous during exercise, but not in these. We noticed the opening circumference to be a bit smaller on the Athleta flare pants, which made them more movement-friendly during our trips to the gym. While many flared leggings serve more as a fashion statement, these milder options allowed us to work up a real sweat —  which we thought we should mention was also undetectable in scent, thanks to the moisture-wicking fabric. 

Overall, these pants were surprisingly thick. It made them withstand any tearing, washes and dryers, but they also made us a little too warm. We recommend them for low impact workouts, like a gentle yoga routine, instead of a high intensity routine. Or, we think they would be a great option for outdoor activities, like running in the park. You’ll also be happy to know that we didn’t experience any chafing around the thigh either — another pro for a pair you’ll want to workout in.

During our cardio exercises, we occasionally found ourselves adjusting the waistband ever so slightly. When we bent around, they would have a slight rolling or bunching, which we had to straighten out. That being said, it never sagged or slipped down. And during yoga, the completely opaque material kept our underwear hidden. The stretchy and soft material made all types of movement a real treat. However, once we took it out the dryer, we did notice what looked like the beginnings of some fraying and pilling. Even though the tag says they’re safe for the washer, we suggest airdrying them instead.

Price at time of publish: $99

Colors: 6 | Material: Nylon, lycra | Size: XXS–3XL | Rise: High

Best for Long Legs

Beyond Yoga Spacedye High Waisted All Day Flare Pant

Beyond Yoga Spacedye High Waisted All Day Flare Pant


What We Love: The fabric is ultra soft, and invites you to lounge around all day.

What We Don’t Love: They’re not ideal for high-intensity workouts.

To our friends five foot seven and up, we found the perfect flared leggings for you. Flared pants that are even an inch too short can look awkward on tall people, but these ones gracefully reached our heels and achieved the look we were hoping for. But just a warning, if you’re on the shorter side, you will notice that the hem drags on the floor a little, causing rippage and dirt to collect there. On top of that, the fabric was shockingly soft, which made lounging around the apartment a real pleasure. Even after a few washes and extensive wear, the quality of the material remained the same. It was evident that these pants would last us for many years to come. 

The waistband held firm around the tummy without cutting in. The leggings also had pockets, which was a huge bonus. We purposefully wore bright floral underwear before engaging in any yoga poses, and we’re pleased to report that we couldn’t see anything underneath, not even a panty line. We will say though, that this pair is not necessarily sweat-wicking. We recommend saving these for low-intensity yoga, running errands, or going on walks. 

Price at time of publish: $110

Colors: 5 | Material: Supplex, spandex | Size: XS–4XL | Rise: High

Most Comfortable

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Make The Cut Split Ankle Pant

Beyond Yoga Spacedye Make The Cut Split Ankle Pant

Beyond Yoga

What We Love: They’re so buttery soft, we almost fell asleep in them. 

What We Don’t Love: The high-waist might be a little too long for people with short torsos.

The Beyond Yoga leggings above were so comfortable on our tall bodies, that we had to include a shorter version for everyone else. If you want all the buttery soft comfort we just described in the previous blurb but are under five foot seven, then try these “Make the Cut” pants, which are similar, yet offer a slit at the front of the hem, which didn’t serve any big purpose other than style points. These pants are so comfortable that we never wanted to take them off, wearing them for over twelve hours. And if you don’t believe us, we almost slept in them. 

Amazingly enough, the same superior level of softness remained even after washing and drying – and we did not use the delicate cycle or any other precautions. We threw these in the machine, right with all our other clothes, and it did not disturb the fabric one bit. The color never faded. The material didn’t depreciate, and everything was as good as new. 

These pants come very high-waisted, which we personally loved. They provide good tummy control, and never bunched up or pinched us anywhere. That being said, it might be almost too high-waisted for people with short torsos. 

Price at time of publish: $69

Colors: 3 | Material: Polyester, elastane | Size: XXS–XL | Rise: High

Best High Waisted

Lululemon Groove Super-High-Rise Flared Pant Nulu

Lululemon Groove Super-High-Rise Flared Pant Nulu


What We Love: They are extremely comfortable and stretchy.

What We Don’t Love: The material gives away to some cellulite, due to its tightness.

We know low-rise is making a comeback right now, but they’re not for everyone. Particularly when it comes to leggings, sometimes that extra compression around the stomach can be a huge help. So, we found flattering, supportive, and extremely comfortable high-rise leggings for you, and they’re available at Lululemon. 

We cannot stress enough how comfortable and stretchy these are. The soft, smooth fabric never made us feel itchy or too constricted. The waistband came up to right above our belly buttons to provide support without any restriction. Once on, they never left that position either, remaining perfectly situated instead of rolling or slipping. The stretchiness came from the 18 percent lycra elastane, which we helped the leggings mold around the body. We felt safe knowing that even if our weight fluctuated a bit, the flexibility would allow it to stay snug against the body. It also made stretching, working out, and (as we later found out) chasing our kids a simple breeze. 

On top of all of this, the pants were completely opaque. No amount of squatting or holding up against the sun revealed what was underneath. That being said, because of the tightness of the material, we noticed our cellulite peeking through ever so slightly on the thighs and booty. We weren’t bothered by this, but it’s worth mentioning if it’s of your concern. It’s also on the longer side, so people under five foot six might experience some bunching at the hem. 

Price at time of publish: $118

Colors: 13 | Material: Nylon, lycra elastane| Size: 0–20 | Rise: High

Best Crossover

Aerie Real Me High Waisted Crossover Flare Legging

Aerie Real Me High Waisted Crossover Flare Legging


What We Love: The waistband looks extremely flattering.

What We Don’t Love: The material is quite thin, so it’s not the most supportive option for the gym.

These leggings, with their crossover waistband and flared hem, embody the Y2K aesthetic (where the trend originally began) immaculately. They curved along our body beautifully, gifting our backside with a little lift. We found the material to be thinner than other pairs on this list, though. Brightly colored underwear and tattoos did not show through from what we saw, and the material didn’t stretch, shrink, or thin out further after consistent wear or wash, which we appreciated. But we wouldn’t recommend these for rigorous exercise because it does not have any sweat-wicking capabilities, as we came to observe when the material clung to our sticky bodies. The buttery soft fabric was better for lounging around the house in comfort and in style. 

When we did exercise in it, be it running, yoga, or weight lifting, the waistband never rolled, bunched, or slipped — it held onto our tummies beautifully. They also happen to be yoga instructor and content creator Arina Negishi’s favorite flared leggings, thanks to their soft fabric and high waist design. They never fall down or require her to adjust them, a phenomenon we experienced as well. 

Price at time of publish: $41

Colors: 2 | Material: Nylon, elastane | Size: XXS-XXL | Rise: Mid

Best with Pockets

Uniqlo AIRism Soft Flare Leggings

Uniqlo AIRism Soft Flare Leggings


What We Love: Their moisture-wicking capabilities make them an excellent choice for the gym.

What We Don’t Love: There was some pilling along the seams after a few washes.

Are you someone who just dreads carrying things around in a bag? If pockets are non-negotiable for you, then consider the Uniqlo AIRism leggings. These don’t come with pockets around the thigh as most leggings do, but at the back of the waistband instead. It’s just big enough for our phone, a few cards, and maybe keys as well. There’s a little flap over the opening that keeps things in place as well.

We loved these leggings for their soft texture and moisture-wicking capabilities. Rather than lounge leggings, these are definitely engineered to work at the gym as well. The flare is less exaggerated, which made it more comfortable (and safe) to wear to our spinning class without worrying about getting caught on the wheel. We wore these pants to exercise so much that we simultaneously had to wash them often, which did reveal some pilling around the seams and waistband. Perhaps it’s safer to avoid the dryer and just let these air dry. The material didn’t thin, stretch, or shrink otherwise. 

As a more affordable alternative, we have to say we’re really happy with how they perform. The pilling wasn’t so dramatic to the point that it bothered us, and we got a really good and supportive workout out in them.  

Price at time of publish: $40

Colors: 3 | Material: Polyester, spandex  | Size: XXS-XXL | Rise: High

Our Testing Process

First, we began by researching the internet for the trendiest, comfiest, and most popular flare leggings. From there, we sent the best-rated 27 leggings to our team of editors. Over the span of four weeks, 28 women wore these leggings to the gym, yoga class, at home, and while running errands. Each option was tested by two different people, so we could gauge how they performed on different body types. We rated the leggings’ performance based on their stretch, comfort, durability, moisture-wicking capabilities, opacity, and fit. Only those that passed our standards were then collected in this article, resulting in the 11 best-flared leggings.

What to Keep in Mind


While testing different types of leggings, we came across those that were clearly intended to be worn during workouts, and those that were more suited for lounging around. The differentiation of the two lay in the material. Those crafted for rigorous exercise had moisture-wicking capabilities, some compression, and great durability. They also didn’t hold onto any odor. Health and fitness expert Jisu Kim, who sweats a good amount in the gym, finds it vital to opt for flared leggings  “that are made from moisture-wicking fabric like nylon or spandex.” The Lululemon Groove High-Rise Split-Hem Flared Pant Nulu, Outdoor Voices FrostKnit Flare Pant, and Athleta Elation Flare Pants held up at the gym phenomenally. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for flared pants more for style points and lounging reasons, then something softer in fabric and stretchier would be the way to go. These can be made with a combination of nylon, polyester, and elastane. The Beyond Yoga Spacedye All Day Flare High Waisted Pant, Beyond Yoga Make the Cut Pants, and OFFLINE By Aerie Real Me High Waisted Crossover Flare Legging oozed comfort and style. 


Finding the right length in flared pants is much more difficult than the standard legging. When they’re too long, they can drag on the floor, collect dirt, and cause some danger if you misstep or workout in them. When they’re too short, they simply look awkward. We found that the SuperFit Hero Pocket Flare Leggings and Beyond Yoga Make the Cut Pants were on the shorter side, making them great for people five foot six and under. The Beyond Yoga Spacedye All Day Flare High Waisted Pant and Lululemon Groove Super-High-Rise Flared Pant Nulu, on the other hand, are for people five foot seven and up. 


The last thing you want is to give everyone a free show while doing downward dog. Opacity was one of the most important aspects we paid attention to when testing our flared leggings, and we’re happy to report that every single one of the mentioned options passed our squat test. From the Copyleaf Flare Yogo Pants to the Uniqlo AIRism Soft Flare Leggings, you won’t be able to see any skin or underwear through the leggings.

Your Questions, Answered

Can I wear flared leggings to the gym?

The short answer: yes! The long answer: make sure you pick flared leggings that were built for rigorous movements. This does not just pertain to the material of the pants, but how flared the leggings are as well. We found that the Athleta Elation Flare Pants and the Uniqlo AIRism Soft Flare Leggings came with a milder flare, which made them less hazardous during running or spinning classes. Overall, however, both Kim and content creator Jamie Grimstad find flared leggings to be a better option for less rigorous exercises, “like pilates, yoga, or any slower movements. On days where you don’t feel like working out, a cute flared legging gets me in the mood to move my body,” says Kim. Grimstad chimes in that flared leggings are better options for “daily wear vs. for workouts. My weekly workout routine typically consists of more high-intensity cardio and workouts, so I prefer to have something more fitted.”

How do I style flared leggings?

Flared leggings make a cute addition to athleisure wear. Kim styled them with a comfy hoodie, baseball cap, and white sneakers. Grimstad finds herself reaching for flared leggings when she needs a “casual, work-from-home look. They pair well with a cute tank, cardigan, and a pair of slides. Throw on a pair of chunky earrings and you’re comfortable and chic.” When it’s time to get the blood flowing for a quick pilates workout, she swaps the tank for a black sports bra or cropped long-sleeve workout top. We found the OFFLINE By Aerie Real Me High Waisted Crossover Flare Legging to be the most stylish option, with the crossover waistline. 

What is InStyle Picks?

Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.

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Why Shop With Us

Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer, with over two years of experience covering fashion and beauty products. For this article, she consulted the beauty experts and editors who tested out all of the mentioned leggings, and dove deep into their insights. She then collected their experiences and wrote about them in this article. She also consulted fitness and wellness experts Arina Negishi, Jisu Kim, and Jamie Grimstad for more insight on style, fabric, and fitness expertise.

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