The Best Black Leggings

Black leggings are the core of my wardrobe, I wear them ALL THE TIME. To work. When I’m working out. Around the house. I always have a pair of black leggings on me when I travel and I honestly believe they’re the most useful thing I have in my wardrobe. You can get away with black leggings for pretty much any occasion (ok, maybe only at a pinch, but you see where I’m going with this) and I reckon it’s good to invest in one or two really good pairs you can wash and wear on repeat.

When I’m hunting for black leggings I have a few non negotiables - they have to be high waisted, not only for comfort, but because this means I can wear them with short and long tops easily; they need to hit my ankle, I prefer a 7/8 length as it shows just the right amount of ankle (how Victorian of me); the fabric has to be thick and crucially pass the squat test! My leggings get tested in all sorts of environments, from yoga classes to the gym and out on runs; finally they need to last, I have high expectations that my leggings can be washed frequently but still hold their shape.

Beyond my must haves I’m open to anything, as long as the leggings come in black! Here are a few of my favourites right now:

The Best Black Leggings - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

As far as I’m concerned these are the best black leggings out there. The rise is spot on, they hit my ankle in just the right place and the copper colour zip is a nice touch but not too obvious. I’ve had them for nearly a year and wear them all the time, which mean they get washed around twice a week but are still in great condition! The stretchy cotton fabric maybe isn’t the best for sweatier workouts, but for work and out and about these leggings are my go to. Gap doesn’t stock the exact design any more (I knew I should’ve bought two pairs!), but I’ve linked to a close second.

Gap, £72.95

The Best Black Leggings - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

Another pair from from Gap, these tights always get a lot of attention when I wear them! I love the black on black star print as it’s got loads of impact without being over the top, the fabric is super thick and supportive and they’re sweat-wicking which makes them perfect for hot yoga. The only drawback is that sometimes the waist rolls down when I bend, which is annoying but I’ll overlook it for the print!

GapFit, £59.95

The Best Black Leggings - A Pretty Place to Play, London Running and Fitness Blog

One word about these leggings, pockets! I think it must be something to do with how often women’s clothing either lacks pockets or, where it does have them, they’re totally useless, but I get really excited when clothing has big functional pockets. I love that these tights have two huge pockets, one on each thigh, to stash all sorts of bits and bobs, whether its my phone or a stray resistance band. The fabric is super soft and flattering, and there’s a nice big waistband which makes them perfect for after a big meal. Plus they pass the squat test.

Lululemon, £98.00

The Best Black Leggings - A Pretty Place to Play, London Fitness and Running Blog

Lululemon’s Wunder Under pant is pretty much legendary, and with good reason! These leggings are hugely versatile and are my favourites to throw in my bag when I travel. I particularly love that they’re reversible, so if you need to eek one more day out of them you can (I have no shame), and there’s a pocket on the waistband if you need to stash anything securely out of sight (like a credit card or emergency cash!). I’ve had my pair for years and they’ve washed and worn amazingly. Absolutely worth the investment.

Lululemon, £78.00

I know that all four of these picks are at the pricier end of the scale, but I’ve been wearing all of them for years (having bought them myself! None were gifted, and this isn’t a collaborative post), doing all sorts in them and the cost per wear has been exceptional. I’m always going to encourage people to buy the best quality they can afford, you don’t need 10 pairs of tights when one really good pair will do the job. Gap regularly does amazing offers and it’s worth signing up to their email list to be notified of discounts, and Lululemon do the odd sample sale which is well worth the effort to go to, plus you can pick up lightly worn items second hand on Depop and Ebay easily.

Do you have a go to black legging that I’ve not included? Let me know in the comments!






Protecting Your Eyes On The Run

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

Last week, while looking for advice on running when the mercury rises, I came across this post from Amanda. It has a lot of great advice, including something I’d never really thought about - the benefits of wearing sunglasses when you run. Ok, so maybe I’d thought about it a bit, after all I’m rarely seen without my Goodr sunnies and no one likes squinting, but Amanda put a new spin on things...

‘As the sun rises and you being to squint, your brain is working hard to help yours eyes, which has been shown to zap your energy…yup it all adds up! Relax the face, give your eyes a break!’

It’s never crossed my mind that something as minor as squinting would affect my energy levels and in turn my run, but actually it makes perfect sense! These days I’m paying more and more attention to the impact variables like hydration and nutrition have on my run, why should my kit be any different?

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

I’ve run in all sorts of sunnies in my time, from my RayBan wayfarer shades to super-light weight Adidas running sunnies which disappeared from my face one run (seriously, I had them and I didn’t, it was weird) and these days I think I know what I’m looking for when it comes to to the perfect running sunny.

Lightweight

You don’t want something that’ll weigh you down when you’re focused on your run. I know it sounds OTT, but it really does make a difference, when I switched from my RayBans to a specialist running sunny it was the first thing I noticed.

A comfortable fit

Nothing is more annoying than glasses that need to be pushed up every 5 minutes, so a comfy fit is essential. Try shaking and nodding your head as well as running on the spot to see if the shades stay put. Of course you also need to be careful not to go too tight and risk discomfort, but as with so many things in life when you know you know.

Grips in all the right places 

This is what sets running specific glasses apart, they’re designed to stay on your face and often have specifically engineered grips on the arms and bridge to help things along. The grips are discreet, but they make all the difference and your glasses won’t bounce off your face!

Durable design

Think about what your kit goes through when you run, you want glasses that are going to be up to the job and won’t shatter if you drop them/shove them into your race pack/generally treat them with mild disrespect. A scratch resistant treatment also really helps.

UV protection

This is a big one, but after all the point of sunglasses is to protect your eyes! Look for polarised lenses that offers 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays. Polarised lenses help prevent glare, especially handy for road runners.

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

The thing that’s always held back running sunglasses is their looks. Until pretty recently they were, let’s just say pretty ugly. But things move on, and these days there are some amazing shades out there! These are some of my favourites.

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

Goodr

My current sunnies of choice, I love that Goodr makes awesome looking affordable glasses that tick all of my boxes when it comes to performance. I've been rocking a pair called Sunbathing With Wizards which I understand both Gandalf and Dumbledore are fans of. I'd definitely trust their opinions. Goodr sunnies aren't widely available in the UK, but thanks to a collaboration with 361 you can pick the up online!

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

SunGod

So many people I know have been wearing SunGod glasses this summer (including lovely Tasha!) and every time I've seen them I've been so impressed, they look awesome! What's really cool is that SunGod glasses are fully customisable - so you can wear something totally unique to you! Plus they're designed for active lifestyles, so tick all the performance boxes too. 

Protecting Your Eyes On The Run - A Pretty Place To Play

Tierra Sunglasses

Corey wore these glasses on a shoot recently and I was pretty taken with how great they looked! I was even more taken with their price point, just $20! These would be the perfect choice if you're prone to losing or breaking glasses (you know who you are!), or if you want a pair for every day of the week, which would be easily done with all the cool designs on offer!

*image of Corey by Anna Rachel Photography, image of Tasha shamelessly lifted from her blog.