12 Best Leggings to Wear Under Dresses (Our #4 Pick Will Surprise You‎)

Some women don’t find wearing leggings under dresses to be a grown-up look, but the sheer and footed tights and pantyhose may not work for some styles, so don’t feel shy to try leggings.

How about feeling warmer in leggings compared to tights and slips on a chilly day?

Whether you want to dress up or down in leggings, it’s a free world.

Plus, we all agree that it’s perfect for young girls and pregnant women to wear leggings under dresses anytime, anywhere.

Check out our review and you’ll surely end up with awesome pants for you and your little girl.

From our tests, we concluded that Homma Premium Thick High Waist Leggings are the best if you want high rise leggings, Fruit of the Loom Women’s Micro Waffle Thermal Bottoms are the best for winter, and Motherhood Maternity Women’s Essential Stretch Full Length Leggings are the best to wear during pregnancy.

When you click on the links here and better your life with the best leggings to wear under dresses, we’ll earn a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Editors’ Choice for the Best Leggings for Layering Under Dresses

Image
Name
Material
Editors remark
Price
1. Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings. one of the best high waisted leggings, best compression leggings
88% Nylon, 12% Spandex
Best high waist leggings
2. Fruit of the Loom Women's Micro Waffle Thermal Bottoms. One of the best thermal leggings
80% Polyester, 20% Cotton
Best for keeping warm during winter
3. Cuddl Duds Women's Softwear with Stretch Legging Pants. best non-slip leggings, best leggings to wear underneath a bodycon dress
93% Modal, 7% Spandex
It stays in place all day
4. Motherhood Maternity Women's Essential Stretch Full Length Secret Fit Belly Leggings. One of the best maternity leggings
87% Cotton, 13% Spandex
Best leggings for pregnancy
5. Conceited Premium Buttery Soft High Waisted Leggings for Women - Full Length, Capri Length and Shorts - Reg and Plus Size with a 5" Waist band. One of the best knee length leggings, best leggings for short dresses
92% Polyester, 8% Spandex
Best leggings for mini dresses

Here is the Table of Contents

Review of the 12 Best Leggings to Wear Under a Dress

Best High-Waisted Leggings

1. Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings

Homma Premium Thick High Waist Tummy Compression Slimming Leggings. one of the best high waisted leggings, best compression leggings

There are many things to love about these leggings. At first glance, you will notice the premium and high-end look. Unlike other leggings that are thin and flimsy, these are thick and stretchable.

And they’re high waist so they go all the way to the navel. When worn under a tight dress, they do not show since they are seamless.

The tummy area has a compression fabric that hugs your belly to keep it flat. These are the best leggings to wear under a tight-fitting dress because they work as a body shaper. Apart from tucking in the tummy area, they are also good for slimming the legs. When it comes to comfort, they are breathable, absorbable, and easy to stretch.

“Excellent product, and very versatile. Can be comfortably dressed down and fashionably casual for the evening, let’s say, under a sweater dress. I wore it with a velvet top, waist length fur vest, ankle boots and it was  perfect for dinner  and a night out in the club!”- Georgia

Material: 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Good compression for lower belly and legs
  • Comfortable with four-way stretchable and breathable fabric
  • High quality and thick fabric for durability
  • A high waist that stays in place the whole day
  • Seamless design that’s invisible under tight dresses
What they Don’t Like

  • The thick fabric might feel bulky and uncomfortable on hot days

2. Cuddl Duds Women’s Softwear with Stretch Leggings

Cuddl Duds Women's Softwear with Stretch Legging Pants. best non-slip leggings, best leggings to wear underneath a bodycon dress

These leggings are lightweight but surprisingly warm. If you are looking for something comfortable to wear under your dress, these are a perfect choice.

They are smooth and hug the body perfectly so you can wear them under a bodycon dress. They fit just below the waistline so they hug the lower belly perfectly. The waist band keeps them in place so you do not have to worry about them shifting.

If you are tired of bulky leggings, you will love these. When wearing them under a dress, you do not feel too bulky. They go down to the ankles and stay in place throughout the day. The best thing is that you can wear them on hot and cold days.

“I have never bought the “outer wear” that Cuddl Duds offer until this piece. All I can say is that I love them. I can use these with a long tunic, under pants/jeans or with a dress. It  fits as the size guide says .”TM

Material: 93% Modal, 7% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Their light weight makes them good for layering
  • Good stretch for comfort
  • Perfect for both hot and warm weather
  • Body-hugging for comfort
  • Waistband so they stay in place the whole day
What they Don’t Like

  • It rises to an inch below the belly button, so not the best the full tummy shaping

3. Conceited Buttery Soft High Waisted Leggings for Women – Full & Capri – Reg and Plus Size – 3″ Waist Band

Conceited Buttery Soft High Waist Leggings for Women - Full Leg Length Option- Regular and Plus Sizes - 3" Waist Band. One of the best leggings to wear under dresses

These leggings are the best to wear under a dress. They are stretchable and comfortable so you’ll also feel good when you wear them for fitness or yoga.

The high waist design makes them comfortable and they also stay in place for a long time. They do not have compression features but they have a 3-inch waistband that snugs the tummy for comfort.

You can wear them the whole day since they are soft on the skin such that you almost feel like you are not wearing anything. Despite being lightweight and soft, they are opaque so you can still wear them without layering. They are warm to wear during the cold season but at the same time, they are breathable to wear during the hot months.

“Bought these on sale and love them. I wear them  under shorter dresses for work , and have gotten many compliments. They’re comfortable and fit well.”A Buyer from Alabama

Material: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Versatile to wear under different dresses or pants
  • Comfortable – soft, warm, and breathable
  • High waist design that snugs the tummy
  • Good stretch and ideal for plus-size women
What they Don’t Like

  • No slimming compression

Best Leggings for Cold Weather

4. Fruit of the Loom Women’s Micro Waffle Best Thermal Leggings

Fruit of the Loom Women's Micro Waffle Thermal Bottoms. One of the best thermal leggings

These thermal leggings are ideal for cold weather. The ankles are cuffed so they stay in place and also trap heat during the cold design. They’re so warm and comfortable to wear considering they are made of cotton fabric.

The leggings have a good stretch so they are suitable and comfortable for plus-size women. When layering them under a dress, you will love the thin design that never feels bulky.

Unlike other leggings that tightly compress your legs, these snug the skin lightly to offer you all the comfort you need. You can wear them beneath a dress or as pajamas but they might not be ideal for slimming or fitness.

“I love thermals, they are so comfy. I am 5’3″ and 162 lbs. I ordered the XL for me and they are the most comfortable thermals I have. They aren’t skin tight… They are perfect and true to size. I ordered two and I  will be ordering more  for sure. I highly recommend!!!!”- Robin Pieri

Material: 80% Polyester, 20% Cotton

What Reviewers Like

  • Comfortable cotton fabric that feels good on the skin
  • The thin design makes them ideal under any dress
  • Ideal for cold months
  • Feels snug on the skin but not tight
What they Don’t Like

  • Not tight fitting or compressive
  • Might run small so order a size bigger

5. 32 DEGREES Heat Women’s Ultra Soft Thermal Lightweight Baselayer Legging Pants

32 DEGREES Heat Women’s Ultra Soft Thermal Lightweight Baselayer Legging Pants. One of the best leggings for cold weather

If you are looking for something to beat the cold weather, these pants are the best. They are lightweight enough to wear underneath any outfit but they are still warm enough for the cold months.

When worn under a dress, they are thin and invisible. The best thing is that you can wear them the whole day because of the soft and cozy feeling.

You will love the basic design of these leggings if you want a simple style. Do not be afraid to wear these leggings when the weather gets warmer since they are breathable and lightweight. The fabric is stretchable and stress-free, so much so that you can wear them for work or for lounging around the house.

Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Perfect for wearing during cold weather
  • Thin and invisible under tight dresses
  • Basic design makes them versatile
  • Breathable design for comfort
  • Stretchable to fit any size
What they Don’t Like

  • No compression or slimming features

Most Opaque Leggings

6. Finerease Women’s Super Soft & Stretchy High Waisted Thick Casual Legging

Finerease Women's Super Soft and Stretchy High Rise Thick Casual Leggings Pants. best leggings that arent see through, best leggings to wear under a dress

These leggings are everything you need for comfort. Apart from layering them underneath formal and informal dresses, see-through dresses, you can also wear them during maternity and postpartum periods.

They come with a thick high waistband that snugs your belly giving you a slim look.

You can also wear these leggings on their own since they are opaque. These best leggings to wear under dresses are stretchable and have a simple design so they can be worn by all groups of women. They might not offer shapewear-like compression but they are good if you are looking for a snug feeling. The leggings hug onto the body without being too tight and uncomfortable.

This is my first experience as a leggings wearer. I love them! I wear them under my jeans/pants during winter season. They provide extra warmth. I also love them on their own  with short dresses  and long shirts! They look great with heels! I will be purchasing more pairs. I am 5’6 174lbs. I bought the M/L and they fit perfect!”Kelly Winter

Material: 92% Polyester

What Reviewers Like

  • That smooth and soft feeling
  • Versatile to wear under a dress or on their own
  • Stretchable to fit any body size
  • Good for maternity and postpartum support
  • Hugs into the body for comfort
What they Don’t Like

  • No compression or slimming effect
  • Might not be ideal for very tall women

Best Maternity Leggings

7. Motherhood Maternity Women’s Essential Stretch Full Length Secret Fit Belly Leggings

Motherhood Maternity Women's Essential Stretch Full Length Secret Fit Belly Leggings. One of the best maternity leggings

If you are looking for something to accommodate your growing belly, these leggings are the best for your journey to motherhood.

They have a thick band to take care of your bulging pregnancy belly without making you feel uncomfortable. Since they are made with 87% cotton, they are breathable and feel good on the skin.

During your pregnancy, you can layer them with a cardigan or blazer since they are opaque. You can also wear them under a maternity dress if you want to stay warm and cozy.

As your baby bump grows, the leggings still feel comfortable since they have good stretchable fabric. They might not offer compression support like any other type of leggings but they are comfy on the body without feeling too tight.

“I love these leggings. They are so comfortable!!! I like that they are so stretchy without being restrictive. If you are pregnant you need these 100%. Buy them!!!”- Leah

“These are a must have for me when I am pregnant. The band that goes around my stomach feels like it adds extra support and is so soft.  I have 4 pairs ! They are of excellent quality too. Been through 1 pregnancy already and I am almost 6 months this time around.”Sara Abner

Material: 87% Cotton, 13% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Great for pregnancy and growing belly
  • Ideal for wearing under dresses and also on their own
  • Helps to alleviate pregnancy discomfort
  • Makes the body feel snug without tight discomfort
  • Warm, soft, and cozy to wear
What they Don’t Like

  • Does not offer as much slimming effect as shapewear

8. Terramed Maternity Leggings Active Wear Over The Bump Pants

Terramed Maternity Leggings Active Wear Over The Bump Pants. One of the best leggings for pregnancy

These are not just maternity leggings, you can wear them under the dress for shaping or support after delivery.

They have a compression design but they are comfortable at the same time. When wearing them during pregnancy, they help to manage symptoms related to circulation, pain, and swelling of the legs.

Apart from offering effective support, these leggings are great for shaping the body. They are good for making the body feel snug because they are smooth on the skin. The breathable material is comfortable so you can wear them for a long time.

And you can easily wear them under tight clothes since they are smooth and invisible.

“Spent $200 ordering maternity leggings from Blanqi and ended up hating how tight and uncomfortable they felt. Returned everything and ordered these pair from amazon and was AMAZED at how comfortable they are. Look similar to the Blanqi brand but aren’t so tight. I’m 5’7 and 32 weeks pregnant and ordered the large. I still have room for my growing belly.

You can’t see through when you bend over and the best part is they actually stay up.”- Amazon Customer

What Reviewers Like

  • Versatile wear – maternity, underdress, or postpartum support
  • Compression support to alleviate pregnancy back pain
  • Breathable material for ultimate comfort
  • Invisible underneath close-fitting dresses
  • Feels snug on the body and not tight
What they Don’t Like

  • You might need to roll them up at the hems

Best Capri Leggings

9. Yummie Women’s Talia Best Capri Leggings to Wear Under Dresses

Yummie Talia Capri legging pants for women. One of the best capri leggings

Capri leggings hit just below the knees.

Yummie best capri leggings are made from a combination of cotton and spandex so they are comfortable but stretchable. You can wear them alone since they are opaque.

They are great for body-hugging quality and they will snug all your curves without causing any discomfort. The leggings also have a tummy control feature so they keep your tummy looking smooth and snug. Apart from shaping the tummy, they are also great for slimming the thighs and legs.

They only have an inseam, which is ideal for preventing visible lines from showing under clothes.

Material: 88% Cotton, 12% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Good for shaping the legs and stomach
  • Comfortable – breathable and stretches well
  • No outseams, thus preventing VPLs
  • Versatile to wear under a dress or for sports
What they Don’t Like

  • Might run small so order a size bigger

10. Spalding Women’s Essential Capri Legging Pants

Spalding Ladies' Essential Capri Legging Pants. One of the best sporty leggings for women

The Spalding leggings are basic but very versatile. Their simple design makes them suitable for wearing underneath dresses, skirts, and pants, for morning jogs, or for yoga. The Spalding brand is renowned for sportswear so if you are looking for sporty leggings then these are the right choice.

These leggings are great for shaping the belly and thighs. They come with a thick band that offers compression on the tummy area. For maximum comfort, they are made of breathable cotton and spandex fabric that feels good on the skin.

If you are going to use them for sports or fitness activities, these pants are one of the most flexible and stretchable for working your body out.

“These are very comfy and don’t slip down when I play sports. Love them! I play kickball, and I even wear them in the summer because they’re not hot to play in and keep the bugs off my legs.”-A. Archer from Richmond, VA.

Material: 92% Cotton, 8% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • A thick waist band is best for lower tummy support
  • Flexible and stretchable for active wear
  • They don’t slip during sports
  • Cotton fabric for breathability and comfort
  • Versatile to wear to different activities
What they Don’t Like

  • Mid-rise so might not be ideal for concealing the upper tummy

Best Knee Length Leggings

11. Conceited Premium Buttery Soft High Waisted Leggings for Women – Full Length, Capri Length, and Shorts – Reg and Plus Size – 5″ Waist Band

Conceited Premium Buttery Soft High Waisted Leggings for Women - Full Length, Capri Length and Shorts - Reg and Plus Size with a 5" Waist band. One of the best knee length leggings, best leggings for short dresses

These leggings go above the knees so if you are looking for real shorts, they are a good choice. They are high waist with a thick band around the stomach making them perfect for hiding the lower tummy pooch. The leggings are soft and feel good on the skin.

You can wear them for working out or you can wear them underneath a short dress or pencil skirt. Apart from keeping the tummy shapely, these female shorts are also good for slimming the hips and thighs for tight dresses (see more ideas on what to wear under a bodycon dress here). The knee-length leggings have a stretchable design so they can fit almost every size, but you can actually get them in small, medium, and large sizes depending on your size.

Material: 92% Polyester, 8% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Mid-thigh for wearing under mini dresses
  • Best for slimming your hips and thighs
  • Feels good on the skin since they are smooth
  • Flexible fabric to fit everyone
What they Don’t Like

  • Might be too short for some people

12. Willit Women’s Knee Length Leggings Capris Shorts with Pockets High Waisted Yoga Workout Casual Summer

Willit Women's Knee Length Leggings with Pockets, High Waisted Yoga Workout Pants. One of the best yoga leggings

These leggings are short, which makes them ideal for sports and other types of physical activities. They have a pocket compartment to keep your phone during a morning jog or gym session.

The yoga legging pants are friendly to the skin so even after sweating you will not feel any irritation. They are also flexible and will not rip apart when you’re squatting or making other movements at the gym.

The thick band on the tummy is ideal for offering compression to keep your belly smooth. They’re elegant and comfortable so you can wear them the whole day without feeling tight.

And you can get them in a variety of colors depending on your style.

Material: 75% Nylon, 25% Spandex

What Reviewers Like

  • Sports leggings with all the necessary features
  • Comfortable on the skin without irritation
  • A thick band is good for slimming the tummy
  • Stylish leggings with pocket
What they Don’t Like

  • Outseams may show under tight dresses and skirts

Tips for Wearing Leggings Under a Dress

1. Find the right fit

The first step is to make sure that you find the right fit. Leggings should be neither too loose nor too tight. Loose-fitting leggings will look awkward or slip (see how to keep shapewear from rolling down here https://www.sweetskinliners.com/body-shape/how-to-keep-shapewear-from-rolling-down/) when you wear them underneath a dress. On the other hand, if they are too tight you end up feeling uncomfortable. It is advisable to get pants that fit snuggly.

2. Go for soft and light fabric

If you are going to be wearing leggings under a dress, find one with a soft and lightweight fabric. It is important to get something comfortable since you will be layering your clothes. We still have leggings that are lightweight and warm at the same time, like the Fruit of the Loom Women’s Micro Waffle Thermal Bottom so you’re sorted for that.

3. Pair leggings with a flowing dress

Leggings are best worn under flowy dresses. Pencil skirts can go with lightweight leggings but a breezy dress looks good with leggings since you can create balance in your outfits.

4. Layer leggings under a very short dress

If you are going to wear a very short dress, adding leggings is the way to go if you don’t want too much exposure. You can wear leggings in the same color as your dress if you want a uniform look.

5. Keeping warm

Leggings are not just a fashion statement. You can wear the best thermal leggings to keep warm during the cold months. If you still want to wear your favorite dress but you are afraid that the weather might get too cold, throwing on some leggings is the best way to stay safe.

6. Wear leggings for a slimming effect

If you do not fancy the normal shapewear, wearing leggings is an awesome alternative. You can wear leggings for their slimming benefits. We have leggings with compression features so they will slim your tummy and thighs so that you can be shapelier in your dress.

Wrapping Up

Wearing leggings under dresses is not childish as you might have been led to believe. In fact, layering legging pants underneath dresses and skirts can be stylish and comfy if you get one of our lightweight leggings that don’t have outer seams. If fishnets are the best for breathability when it’s warm or hot, thermal leggings are the best for keeping truly warm on a cold winter day. And maternity leggings are needed underneath dresses during and after pregnancy.

You can’t go wrong with one of the best leggings to wear under dresses from our list.

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