fashion

ROADTEST: "I went searching for the perfect leggings for short girls. Here's my verdict."

In Mamamia’s Road Test series, real women trial the latest trends, treatments and techniques you need to know about - and share their honest thoughts. If it's out there, you can bet we've tried it.

I live in activewear. And no, that's not an exaggeration.

I live in New South Wales, and throughout this latest lockdown, like for many of us, the best thing for my head has been walking daily. So, if I have no meetings and I'm just at my desk all day, I wear activewear from sunrise to sunset. It's comfy as hell - why wouldn't I?

But despite wearing it constantly, I've always struggled to shop for activewear. More specifically, leggings.

See, I'm really short. Five-foot to be exact. And most pants are made for people taller than me, so I'm always finding leggings are too long for my legs.

Watch: The five ways a stylist told me to wear a midi-skirt. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

A few weeks ago, I reached out to my fellow shorties on Instagram to hear what leggings they suggest that actually fit length-wise on shorter women. And the responses came flooding in.

I tested out five leggings from five brands, in the styles recommended to me because of my height. Oh, and I specifically avoided my usual go-to black, just to give myself an extra challenge.

Let's get into it.

Pair 1: Nimble Activewear High Rise 7/8 Legging II.

First up, we've got a pair from female-founded, Aussie-made brand Nimble Activewear. I chose the style High Rise 7/8 because I was told they would fit me length-wise. And I couldn't go past the taupe and black print (ca-ute!). 

The leggings, the length and the waistband. Image: Supplied.

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These slipped on like a glove. The fabric is really stretchy so there was no jumping around like an idiot to get them on and yep, they fit. They are a little longer than I'd like (there's probably a teensy bit too much material) but that's something you can easily hide by pulling the waistband higher. 

If you're someone who finds some leggings a little tight on the tummy area, I highly recommend these. The material has a second-skin feel and I can happily wear them all day without them rolling down or feeling tight around my mid-section. Plus, they are made using old recycled plastic bottles which is a big tick in my box.

Price: $99. Pretty standard for good quality leggings, especially considering the environmentally friendly material. 

Length: A little too long.

Features: No fancy features.

Overall rating: 7/10. 

Pair 2: Lululemon Align™ High-Rise Crop with Pockets 23".

Image: Supplied.

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No surprise, this was the style everyone told me to buy. The cult-classic pair of leggings from the Canadian athleisure giant has been raved about forever and is known for having incredibly soft material and coming in many sizes.

Well listen, there were too many sizes. I had friends telling me to pick all sorts of different ones and it was quite confusing picking a pair that would fit me. In the end, I chose the 23-inch with pockets (because hello, they have pockets!) and sadly, they were too long and have since been returned.

Price: $129. Standard for this brand but yep, she's pricey!

Length: Way too long.

Features: A hidden waistband pocket, a back pocket and pockets on either side.

Overall rating: 4/10.

Pair 3: Cotton On Active High Waist Core 7/8 Tight.

Image: Supplied.

Let me start off by saying I was sceptical about these. Despite being the second most recommended pair and loving and owning many pieces from Cotton On already, I had a feeling the quality would lack in a pair of leggings at such a good price point. But I was wrong.

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These really compare to the more expensive pairs - the material is ultra soft and they slip on easily. The length was pretty accurate too. There were two problems though: firstly, the waistband was about half the width of the other pairs I tried and it kept rolling down when I went to sit down. 

Secondly: the crotch area. I'm not sure whether it was the colour or the leggings themselves but these gave a lil camel toe and NO ONE wants that.

Price: $29.99. Super affordable.

Length: Pretty bang on.

Features: Small coin pocket at the front.

Overall rating: 6/10.

Pair 4: DK Active New Heights 7/8 Tight.

Image: Supplied.

These leggings from Australian brand DK Active come in a close second for me, length-wise. They end at my ankles and don't need pulling up at all (even when exercising). 

The colour was a surprising win too. I never pick white as it's generally a risky choice, but the pattern and the thicker material make them really flattering and showed nothing underneath (thank god). 

The reason I chose these particular ones was not only because of the length (it seems 7/8 is the best option for me) but because of the material. Based in North Brisbane, the brand is all about ethical and sustainable fashion. Their leggings are made from regenerated nylon, organic cotton, bamboo and modal. 

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Price: $104.95, so on the pricier side.

Length: Bang on.

Features: No fancy features.

Overall rating: 9/10.

Pair 5: LSKD Base 7/8 Length Tight.

Image: Supplied.

Lastly, we've got another pair of 7/8 tights but this time from the Australian label LSKD. And let me tell you, these are heaven

They are buttery soft, incredibly easy to get on and rival a very popular pair of leggings (and in my opinion, are better). I chose the forest green colour which is pretty neutral so I know I'll get a lot of wear out of them, the waistband was a good width (and similar to the Nimble Activewear ones, doesn't feel tight or roll down), and the length was spot on.

I could keep going on about how good these are but I won't. Just take my word, they're great.

Price: $80. Again, pretty reasonable.

Length: Bang on.

Features: Hidden waistband pocket.

Overall rating: 10/10. 

For more from Charlotte Begg, follow her on Instagram here or read more of her roadtests below.

Feature image: Supplied.

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