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Buying guide for Best fleece-lined leggings for women

When the cold weather arrives, one of the best ways to stay warm is by wearing fleece-lined leggings. Besides holding on to body heat, the leggings are cozy and comfortable and match virtually all warm-weather clothing.

If you’re new to wearing fleece-lined leggings, there are a few features you should examine in each pair before you buy them. For example, material blend and cut affect how well the leggings fit. There is more than one type of fleece-lined leggings too. Fashion leggings remain the most popular, followed by performance and athletic fleece leggings. No matter what type of fleece leggings you intend to buy, rest assured there are hundreds of styles worth exploring.

fleece lined leggings for women
Fleece leggings for women coordinate well with most boots, ranging from over-the-knee styles to sleek booties.

How to buy the best fleece-lined leggings for women

Sizing

With the exception of a few high-end styles, most fleece-lined leggings for women follow progressive sizing. Leggings typically range from XS through XXL, and plus-size leggings are size 3X and larger. There are a few brands that carry size XXS. Although some brands may have petite leggings with shorter inseams, they rarely include fleece-lined styles.

Fleece-lined vs. thermal leggings

Fleece-lined and thermal leggings are both designed to keep wearers warm, but they’re quite different garments.

Fleece-lined leggings are worn on their own. They’re made with stretchy materials and are usually plush and bulky.

Thermal leggings are worn beneath jeans, activewear bottoms, and other leggings. These leggings are usually ultra thin and often have a higher spandex or Lycra content than fleece-lined leggings.

What underwear should I wear with fleece-lined leggings?

Like other types of leggings, fleece-lined styles hug the body and may reveal panty lines. For that reason, it’s common to wear seamless panties under them. These discreet styles have low-profile features like flat-lock seams, laser-cut designs, and an elastic waist with a lie-flat band. However, wearers who aren’t bothered by underwear lines or who wear a long shirt or sweater that covers the bottom can wear any type of underwear they want.

To add another layer of warmth to calves, wear knee-high socks or boots with your fleece leggings.

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Top features to compare in fleece-lined leggings

Materials

Most fleece-lined leggings are made of polyester, cotton, and rayon. More often than not these are blended with a stretchy material like spandex, Lycra, or nylon. The fleece interior is often made of soft polyester fibers that mimic the look and feel of the inside of sweatshirts. Certain styles may have a thicker inner layer made of polar fleece, velour, or faux shearling.

Premium materials

Select leggings are made of higher-quality material blends that have premium features, such as those that wick away moisture, trap odors, and resist pilling.

Wick-away materials pull sweat and moisture from the body to keep the wearer dry and cool. Because wick-away material dries more quickly than most fabrics, it won’t weigh down the wearer who is exercising.

Odor-trapping materials are treated with chemicals that form a protective barrier to trap smells before they become pungent, including when the garment is worn or inside a laundry hamper for long periods. The odors are temporarily neutralized until the leggings are washed.

Anti-pilling materials have unique blends and weaves that minimize the potential for fibers to break away and form tiny balls in high-friction areas. These blends are highly resilient and friction resistant.

Waistband

There are two features to examine when you compare the waistbands of fleece-lined leggings: cut and style.

Cut: Most of these leggings are either mid-cut (cut near the belly button) or high-cut (can be as high as just under the bust). Mid-cut leggings are popular for jegging styles, while most athletic fleece-lined leggings are high-cut.

Style: According to many wearers, the waistband style influences their decision more than most other features in leggings. Wide waistbands are popular because they have a slimming, flattering effect. However, some are prone to rolling down or otherwise require frequent adjustments. Leggings with a thin elastic waistband have a traditional cut and stay put, but they can dig into the sides and create an unflattering silhouette.

Cuffs

Like waistbands, the design at the ankles can make or break a leggings purchase. Better-quality styles have fitted yet flexible cuffs that hug the ankle. Lesser-quality styles have loose cuffs that somewhat compromise the overall look because they are ill-fitting. The hems should have reinforced stitching without any loose threads.

Pockets

A growing number of leggings now have pockets, and fleece-lined styles are no exception. Several styles feature thigh pockets large enough to hold a smartphone or small wallet. A few leggings, particularly athletic and performance styles, have hidden a pocket in the waistband. Many wearers agree that pockets make it easy to travel or work out without holding essentials or carrying a bag. Others feel that putting items in these pockets only adds unnecessary bulk.

fleece lined leggings for women
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s common to size up in women’s fleece leggings, particularly with styles that are cut smaller in the waist and hips.
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Best clothing to wear with fleece-lined leggings

Thermal top

If you’re looking for a warm base layer top to wear with fleece-lined leggings, a thermal long-sleeve top is ideal.

Thermal socks

Keeping your feet warm and dry in plunging temperatures is easy if you have the right heavy-duty socks. We like socks made of a wool or acrylic blend that is soft and seals in heat.

Seamless underwear

With leggings, it’s important to eliminate underwear lines. Seamless underwear made of thin, breathable nylon or spandex is often undetectable beneath leggings.

How much do fleece-lined leggings for women cost?

Inexpensive

Affordable fleece-lined leggings cost $25 or less. This price range mostly includes fashion leggings, many of which may be available in a broad range of colors and designs. However, the quality is hit-or-miss, and you’ll need to spend closer to the top of the range to find a good pair.

Mid-range

These fleece leggings are priced between $30 to $60 and include quality styles from reputable fashion and athletic brands. Because they’re well made of better materials and construction, they will outlast their less expensive counterparts by years.

Expensive

High-end fleece-lined leggings for women cost $75 to $180. Most of these styles are performance-oriented and have special construction and features geared toward athletes, professionals, and outdoor excursionists. They’re notably more durable than other styles.

If you’re looking for extra support in fleece leggings, opt for styles that have control top or compression. Some leggings have reinforced panels and stitching around the thighs as well.

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Tips

  • Invest in a drying rack. Because most fleece-lined leggings should be air-dried, it’s worth investing in a drying rack with several levels or rungs.
  • Repurpose old leggings. Old leggings can be used to create winter accessories, including headbands, neck gaiters, scrunchies, or mittens.
  • Avoid using lotion on your legs. Fleece leggings have a soft, brushed texture that can absorb lotion, which in turn can mat the fleece.
  • Pack a pair for travel. Fleece-lined leggings are one of the easiest items to pack, including in carry-ons and overnight bags.
  • Pare down your warm clothing. If you want to reduce the likelihood of overheating in fleece leggings, stay away from very warm garments and accessories. Instead, dress in lightweight layers.
  • Use a fabric shaver. It’s common for leggings to pill in high-friction areas like the thighs and seat. To remove the tiny fabric balls, gently go over them with an electric fabric defuzzer suitable for delicate materials.
fleece lined leggings for women
While black remains the top color for leggings, it’s far from the only option. Navy, charcoal, brown, and burgundy are popular and versatile choices, while bolder colors like red, purple, and pink are ideal for statement-making ensembles.

FAQ

Q. How do I wash my fleece-lined leggings?

A. Most are machine washable provided they’re washed with gentle detergent. It’s best to refrain from using fabric softener because it may weaken the leggings’ synthetic fibers. As far as drying the leggings, air-drying is the best option to avoid excess heat exposure that may result in shrinking or warping.

Q. How long do fleece-lined leggings last?

A. If they’re washed properly, these leggings might last for a couple of years. If they’re not worn often, they might last as long as four years. If you're not sure whether it’s time to replace your leggings, look for signs of fading, stretching, or thinning, particularly in high-friction areas like the thighs.

Q. Will I be too warm in fleece-lined leggings?

A. It depends on a few variables. If you’re wearing them outdoors in plunging temperatures, it’s unlikely you’ll feel overheated. When you head indoors, including in heated spaces, you could feel unusually warm. Because fleece-lined leggings may not be practical if you’re splitting your time indoors and outdoors, many people opt to dress in layers with thermal leggings and jeans or other bottoms.

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