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Women's Lycra and Spandex Leggings

Lycra and Spandex are brand names for a type of fiber known as elastane. It was invented at DuPont laboratories in 1958 and used commercially in clothing beginning in 1962. Elastane is made from a polyether-polyurea copolymer of polyester that is often blended with other materials in order to produce a stretchy fabric.

What are styles of women's Lycra leggings are there?
  • Skinny jeans and jeggings: A blend of cotton denim and elastane is used to make close-fit jeans that look like a cross between Lycra leggings and slim-fitting blue cotton pants. These form-fitting pants are available in colors such as black, white, and acid-washed, or stone-washed blue.
  • Cropped: Cropped Lycra leggings reach to just below the knee. They are typically made of black or white fabric and are sometimes worn under a skirt.
  • Seamless: Seamless Spandex leggings lack the seams many other pants usually have. Combined with the stretchy material, these leggings are designed to hug the body without being too tight.
  • Stirrup: Stirrup-style Spandex leggings have a stretchy band that fits around the ankle and under the foot. These pants are usually black and are worn with horse-riding attire or under a tunic or belted sweater.
  • Shapewear: These Lycra and Spandex products can help to streamline your figure. They do so by trying to suppress undesirable areas.
How do you choose a pair of women's Lycra leggings?
  • Select a length: Lycra ankle leggings or Lycra cropped leggings are some of the choices available. For taller individuals, extended-length Spandex leggings are also available. Petite individuals may find shorter Spandex leggings in petite sizes.
  • Select a waist: Low-rise leggings, natural waist leggings, and high-waisted leggings are options. Some of these Lycra pants have a fold-over waistband.
  • Select a color: Select leggings in black, white, pastel, or bright colors.
  • Select a design: Choose leggings that are solid, striped, or have a print.
  • Select a material: Cotton and Lycra leggings can be combined. Some cotton and Lycra leggings include viscose in the blend for added sheen.
How do you select sizes of Lycra or Spandex leggings?

Women's leggings are designed to have a slimmer profile than non-stretch pants. In most cases, leggings should wrap around the lower body like a pair of tights. To select the right size of leggings, begin by using a cloth tape measure to measure around your natural waist, hips, and inseam. Get your measurements in inches. Each manufacturer has a slightly different size scale. The leggings are usually sized on an extra-small through extra-large scale, and plus sizes and different lengths are also available. In most cases, hips 36 to 37 inches wide are size small, hips 38 to 39 inches wear a size medium, hips 40 to 42 inches wear a size large, and hips that are 43 to 45 inches around wear size extra-large. Remember to double-check with the legging manufacturer.