Even though there are countless options out there, finding the perfect pair of workout leggings can be tough. For me, they have to be simple in their design, seamless, and stylish—and ideally without too many colors. Plenty of pairs check of one or two of those boxes, but finding leggings that meet all of those qualifications is rare. And as someone who tests gear day in and day out at SELF run clubs, new workouts, and various training programs, that’s saying something. The latest (and trendiest) solution I’ve found for all these requirements? Laser-cut leggings.
Laser-cut leggings are characterized by precision cutouts in the fabric that create designs, patterns, or other stylish details. They’re manufactured by machines that use a laser to cut the materials, which provides accurate cuts and sealed edges so nothing starts fraying after one wear.
There are several unique features to the laser-cut style that make these leggings incredibly wearable. The vast majority of laser-cut leggings are one color, making them easy to match with any tank top or sports bra I’m feeling that day. Plus, most laser-cut leggings are also seamless, since seams would interfere with the cutouts. Zero seams mean less chance of chafing. The cutouts also give the added bonus of ventilation, which is extremely helpful in hot climates, Bikram yoga classes, and unseasonably warm fall weather.
From simple dots to floral designs to stripes, there is no shortage of unique ways to “cut” leggings. Brands from Adidas to C9 to Ivy Park all feature laser-cut leggings in their fall lines, so you can pick from a wide variety of styles. Many brands are also including laser-cut leggings in their spring/summer 2018 collections, so this trend isn’t going away any time soon.
I should also note that a lot of the laser-cut leggings I’ve seen are pretty pricey—around $100 to $200. Whether it’s because the actual process of making them is more complicated, or simply that the more detailed design element lets brands command a more ‘luxe’ price, most laser-cut leggings aren’t exactly budget-friendly. (There are some more affordable options available, and I include some of them below.) But if you’re looking to splurge on a statement pair of leggings that you can wear to every workout, you can’t go wrong.
Try one of these seven pairs to get your own collection started.