posted on March 30, 2016 09:33 by Shirley Yanez
As a self-confessed fashion addict, shopaholic and lover of affordable luxury staples, I designed my Made in England PBL Perfect Black Leggings, feels like nothing Bra top and long sleeved T because my quest to find going out leggings failed, even in the US and Australia. (By going out leggings I mean one's that are not shiny performance/exercise leggings as these are great but extremely difficult to style with regular clothes.
I had had one pair of cotton leggings I loved that fit like a dream, French, a brand no longer in business and I had worn them until they fell off me but when I came to replacing them, even with an unlimited budget what I was looking for didn't exist. Of course there are loads of options under £15.00 but for this experiment I steered clear of anything "fast fashion" as I knew from experience the quality I am looking for is just not available there, period.
In the last 10 years I have had no trouble finding active wear, yoga staples and the more like pyjama black leggings offerings on the High Street but could I find a high quality plain cotton elastane pair, not shiny, that would cross over working out and going out and could be styled up and down for my lifestyle, i.e. could be worn to the gym, then to work then out to the bar? No!
Constantly changing your clothes is a hassle so I have always wanted clothes that would cross over my busy on the go lifestyle, multi functional, stylish enough for the office and or going out in the evening yet comfortable and supportive enough for exercise and easy to style up or down with a change of accessories. Is that just too much to ask?
I have been fortunate in my life to have tried the very best brands on the market and I can honestly say my leggings already get the prize best thick leggings UK. The cotton I use is the finest yarn knitted up 230 GSM which in textile terms is really THICK and why I deliver leggings that aren't see through every time.
I was doing some research the other day in BOF and discovered that the active wear market is set to reach $178 billion by 2019 and the "sport luxe" and "athleisure" market is the next big trend, yet I still struggled this past weekend to find really good quality black leggings besides mine. Put "Going Out Leggings" or "Leggings That Aren't Shiny" in google and you'll see for yourself there aren't any.
After visiting Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and asking every luxury concession for their black legging offering, going into Marks and Spencers, Mint Velvet, Phase Eight and checking their offerings, (make a fist and wrap the fabric around) then combing a handful of online luxury brands like Majestic Filatures, (their legging is $216) Bella Lux, Net a Porter, James Perse ($120 of super soft comfort but went baggy after one wear) and Vince ($220 and you can see from the picture, very nice but absolutely no stretch and recovery - how the fabric springs back and keeps its shape) with money to spend on the competition for market research purposes.
I spent $255 on a Max Mara pair that slipped down, a $160 on a Wolford pair - the Aurora Legging that even though it says "Opaque, can be worn as trousers" and gets the Cradle to Cradle seal of approval they were really see through sadly when I bent over and I love Wolford almost as much as I love Venus Cow. The final pairs I purchased were from Italian Legwear and Beachwear brand Calzedonia, somewhere I have never shopped before. The shaper offering, called The Total Shaper Legging at $33 was so small even in an XL I could barely get them on and the cotton legging offering at $17 or 3 for $40 was no use for a woman over 20 with a less than perfect body.
So I am happy to hear from anyone who has found that holy grail elsewhere but from my research (article updated Nov 2018) to report, we are still leading the way for multi functional, non see through leggings that aren't shiny and great for going out as well as exercise at any price.
As a social entrepreneur I couldn't be prouder to have made my beautiful perfect black leggings affordable for everyone and because of our high quality to price ratio we are still the only fit for purpose, high waisted cotton leggings option, (no bag, no sag, no slip, no muffin top and no see through) even in the quality black legging UK US market I can find.