These leggings fit so well and make my legs look toned — that’s why I’d pay $95 for them

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Carbon38

Carbon 38 Takara

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Carbon38

  • I’ve worn Carbon38’s signature Takara leggings during a 10k run, while hiking, and doing pilates. I’ve also worn them to run errands during the day and when going out at night.
  • There are both classic and trendy colors, and they’re extremely longlasting and durable.
  • They’re a top-selling style from the brand, but prices aren’t cheap. They start at $95 a pair (or $68 for biker shorts) and max out at $115. Despite the price, I’d still buy them again.

I recently started working out at a trendy high intensity pilates studio where “badass” was written on the wall and members showed up in millennial-pink sports bras and perfectly-toned abs with matching leggings. One day, a member was wearing black leggings that were shiny and looked almost like pleather, but they seemed to move like standard cotton athletic wear.

When I asked what brand they are, she introduced me to the world of Carbon38’s Takara leggings.

Carbon38 is an online-only boutique that makes the trendy workout outfits you’d seen all over Instagram, and they’re gorgeous, stylish and fun. The quality is similar to that of Alo yoga or the more upscale Fabletics, but in all of my research, only Carbon38 has leggings in a unique glossy “liquid” sheen that is flattering and can be worn at the gym, or as athleisure, or even nightclub attire.

The Takara leggings come in various lengths – high-waisted, traditional, 7/8 length, biker short – and 12 colors, not including new colors popping up seasonally like a stunning mauve and fluorescent yellow and pink. There’s also a leopard print texture, but it’s subtle.

Obviously, the top seller is the classic black leggings, which I love along with the charcoal color. I have a light blue pair that actually looks like jeans. Carbon38 also has matching sports bras that are just as chic.

Carbon38

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The leggings are snug and thicker than your average cotton leggings, but that’s what makes them more durable – and justifies the $95 price tag. I’ve tried them for hiking, pilates, yoga, weight training, and more, but wear them mostly for weight training and walking because the thick fabric isn’t as breathable as cotton and doesn’t give the range of motion I need in bendy classes like the Dailey method.

While I don’t wear the leggings to all of my workouts, I do wear these when I’m out and about. The high-waisted leggings serve almost as a shapewear, which is why these are my favorite leggings. It higher waistline gives me a bit of extra stretching room while also holding in my stomach like shapewear does, and the sheen makes my legs look more toned.

While the fabric might look like they’d be hard to care for, you can actually wash them in a machine with cold water. Just turn them inside out to preserve the integrity of the stretchy 80% nylon and 20% Spandex fabric blend, and lay them flat to dry.

These leggings don’t come cheap, they start at $95 for a basic pair and go up to $105 for the high-waisted ones. The biker shorts are a little cheaper at $68, though that’s still expensive for well, biker shorts. I’d suggest the black Takara 7/8 leggings because you can wear them at the gym, during the day, and even out at night. The liquid-looking sheen is also really unique and would stand apart from your basic cotton leggings.

Pros: Can be worn day or night for different occasions, various lengths and colors, durable, comfortable, unique texture and sheen

Cons: Material can trap heat and sweat so it’s not summer-friendly, not as moveable or breathable as cotton or cotton blends

Buy the Takara leggings on Carbon38 starting at $95