I am going to endorse Old Navy. Yes, I know. That big-box nightmare of cheap crap sub-division of Gap. That Old Navy.
Yes, they still make a lot of cheap crap, and they line their checkout aisle with the most bizarre assortment of “gimmes” on the planet. Cute socks! Lip gloss! Candy! (Well, the candy makes sense if it is crowded, and the line is super-long, and before you know it you are sheepishly paying for an empty Nerds box when you get to the register).
However, I am hereby endorsing Old Navy’s leggings. I don’t know when they started making what is known in the biz as “active wear,” but by gum they did it right.
Their tights/leggings/bike shorts are a reasonably-priced miracle. They are made of a compression fabric that is just the right amount of stretchy, with the perfect amount of suckage to keep your jiggly parts from jiggling around. You actually feel supported in these tights. They are also just the right weight to prevent show-through when you’re going through your business at the gym. You can feel it in your hand when you touch them — they are substantial. The workmanship is surprisingly excellent — all of the seams are double-stitched and lie flat against your skin, and most importantly, the crotch is gussetted so you don’t have four pieces of fabric coming together right in the middle of your junk.
They are also, unlike pretty much everything else in Old Navy women’s wear, true to size.
I don’t know who Old Navy hired for their activewear division, but that person needs a raise today.
As a side note, I will say you MUST wash everything you buy from Old Navy before you put it on your body. (Generally, you should wash every article of clothing you buy before it touches your skin, but let’s be honest here, we don’t always do that, do we?). When I washed these, the wash water turned gray with whatever grime these garments picked up throughout their supply chain.
As another side note, please don’t ever put your workout clothes in the dryer. Hand wash, rinse thoroughly, and hang to dry. These leggings dry super-fast, despite their heft. If you do put them in the dryer after washing, you’re baking any residual workout stank into the fibers, and the next time you sweat in them, YOU will be the smelly person at the gym. And no one wants to be that person, do they?