My leggings drawer is *so* stuffed, I can barely close it at this point. From tights with mesh inserts to pops of neon, I’m always on the lookout for the latest trends to add to my growing collection. And yet, I somehow find myself reaching for just a few tried-and-true pairs for workouts and weekend adventures. It’s rare that a new legging comes along that convinces me to push my favorites aside, but that’s exactly what happened when I was recently gifted the Gaiam x Jessica Biel Chelsea Pieced Hi Rise 7/8 Legging ($110, gaiam.com).
It was seriously love at first tight (okay, sight—you know what I was trying to do there). The leggings were mostly black with dark blue accents down the leg, making them the perfect neutral and still more fun than my go-to black pair. ICYMI, actress and style icon Jessica Biel designed these leggings with Gaiam as part of the fall 2019 collection (which debuted last week), so it’s not surprising that they are so chic. But comfort and function are also at the top of my checklist when it comes to a solid pair of leggings—they can’t rely on looks alone.
At first touch, I noticed that the fabric was thick, which made me nervous that they might be bulky or not be flexible enough. However, my worries instantly faded when I slipped them on, because they were the perfect combination of smooth, soft, and durable. They felt like they would keep me warm on my way to the gym and still support me through an intense workout. Plus, the tights were 100% comfortable enough to wear during one of my favorite activities: a hardcore Nextflix binge. What surprised me the most, was the fact that the length was so flattering. For reference, I’m petite and the leggings hit right below my ankles, which means they don’t awkwardly bunch at my ankles.
Now that I’ve been wearing them, the high waist is another major plus for me, although I’ve found with some leggings that this doesn’t always guarantee they’ll stay in place. I’ve had waistbands slip down before and, even worse, waistbands that stay in place while the crotch sags. *Sigh.* Luckily, that’s not the case with the Chelsea Pieced Hi Rise 7/8 Legging. No matter how much I stretch in yoga or barre class, they don’t budge.
Biel is known to take her squats to the next level, so it makes sense that these would have gone through a rigorous testing phase to ensure they didn’t slide down. The fitness queen also knows the importance of using moisture-wicking fabric, so these tights will keep you cool and dry even during your sweatiest workout. While Biel previously told Health her capsule collection with Gaiam was perfect for yogis of all levels, I would definitely rock these for more intense cardio sessions too.
My one complaint? There’s extra stitching around the blue accents, which makes those sections feel a bit more snug, particularly right above my knees. Thankfully, the stitching does stretch as I wear them (it’s not totally constricting), so I would still recommend selecting your normal size.
GAIAM X JESSICA BIEL
While I wholeheartedly stand by my new favorite pair of leggings, the Gaiam x Jessica Biel capsule has a few others that are just as cute! Choose from classic black (with breathable mesh inserts), a dark graphic print, and a black, beige, and red colorblock—you really can’t go wrong.
I could sing my new leggings praises all day, but I also want to point out that the matching sports bra is clutch! The Chelsea Pieced Bra ($75, gaiam.com) and Soho Pieced Long Sleeve Crop Top ($85, gaiam.com) create the ultimate athleisure look when paired with my tights. The set not only offers an easy put-together look for the gym that I don’t have to think twice about, but it also looks cute and effortless topped with a bomber or jean jacket for casual weekend wear. The sports bra and legging are so versatile, I can wear them together or mix them up with the other activewear pieces in my rotation.
If you’re loving the look of Biel’s newest collab with Gaiam, check out a few of my other favorite pieces below. And get shopping, because they won’t stay in stock for long!