Calling my body “pear-shaped” is an understatement. To give you an idea of what I’m working with, when I was wedding dress shopping a few years ago and had my measurements taken. When the sales associate was done, she sheepishly yet kindly held her clipboard up and explained to me that my “bottom” was five sizes larger than my “top.” Therefore, we would have to order size X and cross our fingers that the tailoring didn’t cost as much as the dress itself (spoiler: it came close).
Don’t worry—I love my behind. It’s the era of the butt, after all. What I’m getting at is that because of my waist-to-booty ratio, pants are hard. Like, really, really hard. And sadly that includes leggings. Which is a problem because 1) I like to do spin classes and if your leggings aren’t halfway up your back, the person behind you is at risk of, um, exposure, if you know what I mean. And 2) I work from home, so soft pants are a wardrobe staple I take very seriously.
In my experience, most leggings are made in one of two ways that are super wrong for me: They’re either so threadbare that when stretched over my backside, they’d probably be more accurately described as chaps, or they’re weirdly not stretchy enough and they kind of shrink back down after I tug them on, making me do an aggressive hip-pop-yank-and-pull move to get them back into place every few steps.
So after spending a lot of dough on leggings that weren’t up to par over the years, I was close to giving up and just trying to make chaps a thing when I saw a pair on sale at Nordstrom and ordered them on a whim. To my shock and delight, THEY FIT. They’re from Nordstom’s activewear brand called Zella and they’re the softest leggings I’ve ever felt in my life. And while they aren’t super cheap—they typically retail for $50 to $70, depending on the style—I’ve never paid more than $40 for a pair because they’re constantly on sale at either Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack.
In fact, a variety of pairs are steeply discounted right now during Nordstrom's Anniversary sale, including the Live In High Waist Leggings ($59; $39) that have over 6,600 positive reviews, the High Waist Studio Pocket 7/8 Leggings ($65; $43) and the Studio Crop Lite Leggings ($55; $36) to name a few. Not to mention, they offer free delivery.
And the reason I’m writing this love letter to Zella (and talking about my butt on the internet) is because they check all of my boxes: Affordable, thick, enough coverage, a high waist that doesn’t feel like a corset, stretchy, suction-cupped to my body in a way that feels like a second skin. (So much so that one time I LITERALLY looked down to make sure I was still wearing pants because I could. Not. Feel. Them.)
Zella has a variety of styles and lengths, and they have great tops and mens’ clothing, too. But the star of the show truly is the leggings (and I’m not alone here, just check out their reviews). I urge every human with a butt to squeeze theirs into a pair before I wipe out the entire stock buying them for myself.