While the joys of winter are hard to deny (log fires, roast dinners), the colder temperatures can cause havoc when getting dressed. The key to looking chic when it's freezing outside? Leggings. Specifically, the warmest leggings we can find. The best leggings feature clever heat-retaining fabrics and soft, stretchy waistbands. Just the very type of leggings every woman needs.
Not sure what to wear with leggings? Wear yours in place of trousers, or as an extra layer beneath dresses and jeans. They're a true cold-weather essential and, along with snuggly kits, stand-out winter coats and sleek boots, will form the foundation of your wardrobe.
Here's our round-up of the very warmest leggings..
8 of the warmest leggings to shop now
1. M&S Heatgen Thermal Leggings
Marks & Spencer's speciality is great quality, brilliantly fitting underwear, and these thermal leggings are no exception. Made from the brand’s innovative Heatgen technical fabric, they're both toasty and breathable. The lightweight construction means they’re sleek enough to layer under trousers or jeans without adding extra bulk - making them the perfect piece for chilly commutes and school runs. They also deliver on comfort, being both stretchy and super soft to the touch. Available in versatile black and grey, splash out on the matching top too for a coordinating look.
2. Uniqlo Heattech Ultra Warm Thermal Leggings
Psst! Uniqlo’s Heattech range is the secret weapon of most fashion editors. Slipped underneath designer outfits, there’s nothing that keeps the front row warmer during chilly February fashion weeks. The insulating, moisture-wicking technical fabric balances breathability with thermal qualities, keeping you cool when it's hot and warm when it's cold. Some of the warmest leggings we've tried, the super-soft brushed lining makes them one-and-a-half times warmer than regular Heattech. They feature a flattering high-rise waist and contoured fit around the cuff too, keeping your ankles snug. A good amount of stretch means they retain their shape after washing too - just make sure they're washed on a cold cycle. Choose between classic black and dark grey.
3. Wolford Velvet Sensation Leggings
The go-to for luxe shapewear and undies, Wolford consistently delivers on versatile pieces that are as functional as they are stylish. The Velvet Sensation leggings are made from double-faced, plush fabric, offering soft-to-touch, cosy insulation. Their extra-thin construction and fine mesh exterior give them a sleek, contoured fit that slips seamlessly under jeans. However, a gusset-free finish, flattering high waist and chic matt-black look means they can also be worn as trousers. Team with a cashmere knit and trainers during the day and switch to a tuxedo blazer and heels for evening. Some of the warmest, and coolest leggings we've tried.
4. Poetry Cashmere Leggings
The ultimate winter warmer indulgence is undoubtedly a pair of super soft cashmere leggings. They might come with a hefty price tag but, if cared for properly (handwash in cool water and store with a moth ball close by), they can be enjoyed for years to come. Poetry’s iterations come with a touch of Lycra, giving them flexible stretch and a slim, body-skimming fit. They also feature a comfortable, non-slip elasticated waistband. Available in four timeless colourways (raisin, charcoal, deep brown and mid grey) they will pair effortlessly with your autumn/ winter wardrobe. Layer yours in place of tights under a midi dress or as casual trousers under a long-line chunky knit. Alternatively, reach for them during chilly nights curled on the sofa with a good book.
5. John Lewis & Partners Heat Generating Ribbed Thermal Leggings
Both heat retaining and heat generating, these ribbed leggings are guaranteed to keep you toasty all winter long. Gentle on the skin and made using lightweight, breathable fabric, they can be comfortably worn as an extra insulating layer underneath trousers, or paired with the matching top for a coordinating cold-weather loungewear look. Available in a chic grey marl colourway, they also come with a flattering high-rise waistband and ankle-crop length.
6. The North Face Winter Warm High-Rise Leggings
During the autumn and winter months, runners and hikers need a pair of activewear leggings with insulating properties – they’ll keep muscles warm and make venturing out in bracing temperatures a lot more bearable. The North Face’s winter leggings, created specifically for cold climes, are made from cosy brushed fabric and feature innovative FlashDry technology to keep you sweat-free. They also have reflective strips for low light, side phone pockets and a secure zip compartment for keys and money. A must for winter gym kits.
7. White Stuff Jodie Ponte Jeggings
Leggings make for a stylish, effortless outfit option when off-duty dressing, especially on busy weekends when speed and convenience is key. The trick to wearing them as cold-weather outerwear is to ensure they’re substantial enough to stand up against chilly winds, and thicker jegging styles do just that. A hybrid of jeans and leggings, jeggings have all the durability and versatility of the former with the comfort and stretch of the latter, making them a quick and easy piece to throw on in the mornings. White Stuff’s Jodie Ponte Jeggings come in classic dark indigo and black, with a flattering high-waisted and ankle-grazing, slim-fit silhouette. Team with trainers and a parka for park walks and pub lunches.
8. Falke Softmerino Leggings
Every fashion insider worth their salt will tell you the best tights to buy are from Falke. Not only do they fit perfectly, the use of luxe yarns mean they never fail to add polish to an outfit and have excellent lasting power (just don’t put them in the washing machine). The Softmerino leggings are just as covetable, offering a footless alternative which have been crafted specially for the colder months. Made from a combination of soft cotton and premium, temperature-regulating merino wool, they guarantee all-day warmth and supreme comfort. The fine construction means they are perfect for providing a thermal layer underneath winter outfits and, thanks to a trio of classic colourways (navy, grey marl and black), will work with whatever you happen to be wearing – day or night.
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