As someone who’s a size 12, I know the muffin-topping, pants-clutching struggle — and nowhere is it more frustrating than at the gym. My routine requires no fancy equipment, but even finding leggings to get me through several miles on the elliptical without constant yanking has been its own odyssey. My appleish shape isn’t the only complicating factor; because I’m in between sizing categories, I can’t really count on straight-size brands like Lululemon (if they’d even want my business), or plus-size ones like Lane Bryant. And to be honest, I can’t really afford them anyway.
Which is why I was so surprised to see the rave reviews for these totally affordable Daisity yoga pants, in which verified purchasers claim things like, “I may just keep ordering this brand and slowly get rid of all my other yoga pants for these.” I like to think of myself as an informed, skeptical consumer, but I was under the impression that when it came to activewear, there was a significant correlation between price and quality. And yet, these $20 beauties aren’t too good to be true — the pants (in a fabric blend of 50 percent cotton, 45 percent nylon, 5 percent spandex) wick away moisture as promised, have a concealed pocket for my keys, are simple enough to wear in public when I’m tired of real pants (I’m not a fan of leggings with, like, 12 different colored panels), and are still in like-new condition after months of workouts and washes. In fact, since my nervous purchase of a single test pair, I’ve acquired five more. (They’re certainly affordable enough.)
Best of all, the large size (perfect for a 12) stays snug around my waist for an entire workout, so I can busy my hands doing the important things, like keeping myself hydrated, perfecting my exercise playlist, and covertly swiping on Tinder.
Update: The full-length legging pictured above is no longer available, but the cropped version is available here.
Our friends at the Cut first told us about this Serena Williams–endorsed sports bra for large-busted women: “I’m a woman of only average self-esteem, but I’ve got to say, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the Berlei extreme high-impact sports bra, even I had to say, ’Daaaamn.’ Not only did it hold my boobs in place during an intense spin class, but it also made them look amazing (which has literally never happened for me in a sports bra before).”
Writer Crystal Martin tested out resistance leggings that make every workout just that much harder. When she went running: “I ended up tapping out a mile short of my four-mile goal. This was a disappointment. But I woke up the next day to an unfamiliar after-run sensation: sore abs. The lower abs, in particular. It was like that time I did an advanced-Pilates class, and my stomach soreness radiated down to my groin. The Physiclos had turned my run day into an ab day.”
If your preferred exercise is yoga, try the mat endorsed by experts we spoke to (not once, but twice): “It provides cushioning for the joints without sacrificing stability in standing postures. I prefer the texture of this mat over rubber mats because I find it’s smoother for flowing through transitions, while also offering enough traction so that my hands don’t slip in down dog. It’s very easy to clean, and as an added bonus, they offer a lifetime warranty.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.