Blame it on athleisure. Or maybe it's just our very basic, very lazy subconscious desire to avoid "real" pants whenever possible (and sometimes get away with it). Whatever the reason, the leggings market certainly isn't lacking for options these days. Sportswear heavyweights have luxed up with fashion-y collaborators (think Alexander Wang and Olivier Rousteing), while other designers, like Tory Burch, have launched entire standalone athletic lines. Mass retailers like Gap Inc.'s Athleta are thriving, and even mall stalwarts that vowed to stay out of the leggings game, like J.Crew, have caved. Plus, models like Gigi Hadid are walking, paparazzi-documented proof that the "leggings-as-pants" trend is back with a vengeance. So, could the world, or our closets, really, possibly need (or even deal with) another pair of leggings?
For American Giant, the answer is a resounding yes. The San Francisco-based startup is responsible for a humble hoodie that was gushingly billed as the "best," "most amazing" iteration ever of the casual staple as soon as it launched in 2014 (we begrudgingly fell for it, too). They also whipped up this frequently sold-out jogger pant everyone flipped over. Today they unveiled their very first legging, which rings in at $69, is available solely in "Super Black" (for now, at least), and is offered in numerical sizing (uncommon for leggings, right?) ranging from 0 to 14. It's been in the works since the beginning of the year — and I've been along for the ride.
I became a leggings-sampling guinea pig along with dozens of other testers, wriggling into three different prototypes and providing (and hearing) feedback on each. I partook in naming brainstorm sessions and fit meetings, too, to intimately understand what goes into crafting the platonic ideal of the stretchy, butt-hugging, forgiving staple that's the paradigm uniform for everything from Netflix-and-chill to running errands to traveling. But is this pair really going to radically alter your leggings collection?
Read on for the full scoop on how a brand obsessed with perfecting basics went about joining the leggings fray.