How to Keep Leggings From Falling Down


It’s probably happened to everybody at some point, with either tights or leggings: You’re walking along, not a care in the world, and all of a sudden the unpleasant sensation of your leggings slipping.

Once it happens once, you seem doomed to wriggling and tugging those leggings up at regular intervals. Not exactly the look most of us are going for…

The good news is it doesn’t have to happen and you can prevent it. But before we get into how, let’s look at why it happens in the first place.

Why Do Leggings Sometimes Fall Down?

You’re Wearing the Wrong Size

The obvious reason leggings will fall down is that your leggings are too big. Indeed any body-hugging item of clothing or underwear needs to be bang-on when it comes to sizing. Too big, and it will not only look all wrong, but won’t hug you the way it ought to. 

It’s worth noting that leggings can look deceptively small on the hanger (especially leggings with compression). So don’t be thrown off when you first see leggings. Try them on, move around in them, check for wrinkles or gaps where there should be none.

The Leggings Have Lost Their Elasticity

Elastic can wear out over time and leggings usually contain a lot of elastication. It’s not just the repeat wearing that can take a toll on elasticated materials, it’s also how well you care for them. Dryers, in particular, can wreak havoc on anything with spandex or lycra, causing the elastic to snap under the high heat. Sometimes you’ll even see little pieces of “elastic stubble” on the garment.

You’ve Lost Weight (or Changed Shape)

Another obvious one, but worth mentioning since our bodies are constantly changing! If you’ve lost weight or changed shape for any reason (postpartum, diet and exercise, hormonal changes etc.) your clothes will fit differently. 

While you may not notice this as much in some items of clothing, your leggings will probably be one of the first items of clothing to fit differently if you’ve changed shape on your lower half. 

You Chose a Low Rise Waist

Cut always matters when it comes to how items of clothing fit. Anything with a low rise is bound to slip down more easily, since it’s already halfway there. Because low rises often sit beneath the fullest part of our torso, gravity can simply take over. Movement of any kind (running, walking) will just help gravity along the way.

It's Not Just Sliding: Keep Leggings From Rolling Down Too

It’s worth noting that leggings can simply slide down but they can also roll down. Rolling occurs at the waistband and is often caused by the abdomen pushing on the waistband. This can happen when we move from sitting to standing, for example, as the skin folds in different ways and can push on the material of your leggings.

You’ll see rolling happen on low-rise or mid-rise leggings more often because the waist is sitting right across the belly, which can expand and contract throughout the day, when you move, eat etc. 

Of course, once the waistband has rolled, the rest of the leggings can just start to slide. Either way, neither rolling nor sliding is a desired experience!

How to Keep Your Leggings From Rolling or Falling Down

Okay, now that we understand why it happens, let’s look at how to avoid your leggings from rolling or sliding down:

1. Choose the Right Size

When you’re shopping for leggings, don’t be thrown off by how small they look on the hanger, know that they’re meant to be form-fitting and have a LOT of elasticity. 

Start with your regular pant size, but also look at the sizing guidelines on the manufacturer's website. If you’re shopping online, many sites (like Knix!) also have reviews on their site where other customers report on whether the product is true-to fit.

There’s no guaranteed science to women’s sizing, so use a combination of available information and what you know about your own body to judge. If you’re on the fence or between two sizes, check the returns policy and consider buying two sizes so you can return the one that’s not right for you.

2. Opt for High Waist Leggings

High waist leggings will not only help you feel snug and contained, it will also be less likely to either roll or slide. High waists cover the abdominal area, which is most likely to expand and contract as you move, bend, sit, stand etc. By covering it up, you add some stability to prevent all that movement causing the fabric to move.

3. ...And a Top Seam

Traditional leggings are really tight pull on pants with no seams other than the gusset and inner legs. The addition of a top seam (a seam running about 3 inches around the midriff, parallel to the waistband) will add further support and structure to the garment, helping to keep it in place.

This picture shows a top seam on Knix Good to Go Seamless Legging.

4. Look for Compression Zones Around the Waistband

A lot of leggings have some zones of compression. Compression materials put pressure on different parts of the body (the amount of pressure can vary). Some compression garments are all-over compression and some (like Knix leggings) have compression zones.

Compression has many, many benefits. However, one is that it will help the garment stay put as it holds you in even tighter than regular elasticized garments (without being uncomfortably tight) and keep your leggings from falling down..

5. Look for Other Details

Depending on the style of legging you’re shopping for, there may be other small details that help keep the leggings in place and prevent them from rolling down or sliding down. These include:

  • Drawstring waist: Some leggings have a concealed drawstring around the waist that can be tightened to adjust the waist tightness. This is especially helpful if you have a very small waist, or you have hips and thighs that are one size and a waist that is another.
  • Brushed fabric: Shiny, silky materials are more likely to slide against the skin as there’s very little traction for them to gain. Brushed fabrics have more texture so will cling to the skin better.
  • Rubber dots: Some legging brands have tiny rubber dots along the waist which create more traction to hold the fabric against the skin. If you’re really determined to wear low-rise leggings, these can be a difference-maker.

6. Don’t Cheap Out

We get it: Leggings can seem expensive for such a simple garment. But they’re also a hard-working garment. Cheap leggings are often made of thinner material that is more likely to slide and roll down.

If that isn’t enough, cheap leggings are also often more likely to become transparent or see-through and to become baggy more quickly as they’re usually made of lower quality materials.

7. Keep Your Leggings Fitted By Following the Care Instructions

We all like tossing things in the washer and dryer, but it’s really worth paying attention to the care instructions on your leggings. As previously mentioned, the dryer can be detrimental to many fabrics with a high degree of elasticity. So, if possible, hang your leggings to dry

You should also avoid the use of softener in your washer. Softener is great for 100% cotton items, like towels and bedding. But it can “coat” synthetics with an icky residue that will actually interfere with their performance, particularly their moisture-wicking or sweat-wicking properties.

Discover Knix Leggings!

At Knix, we take our cues from our customers. So when we made added leggings to our collections, we listened to how customers *really* wear leggings and what they’re looking for

Our leggings come in seasonal colors, but basic black is by far the most popular and versatile. Our seamless leggings put comfort first. They’re made with 360-knit BlissFit™ Fabric for body-hugging smoothness that moves with your body.

Plus, when it comes to compression, we’re here to support (yep, pun intended). A ribbed waistband for gentle compression that smooths and holds your tummy. 

Finally, they’re as versatile as they come. Perfect for lounging, for layering with whatever ensemble you’re putting together and, of course, as activewear. The flattering high rise silhouette is easy to style and easy to wear inside and outside.

Check out all our leggings here.

But don’t take our work for it. Just hear what our customers have to say:

“These are my go-to leggings. They are the perfect rise and have the right amount of stretch.” - Ashley S.

“I had little expectation that these leggings would be any better than the dozens I’ve tried. Again, Knix exceeds my expectations. Flattering and comfortable, these leggings are amazing. Their high waist is the first that doesn’t fold down when I bend over. Awesome.” - Gayle M.

“These are one of my fav Knix products and certainly the one I wear the most. They have some compression and shaping while stretchy and soft. I wear them with a dress shirt and shoes, to the gym, to yoga and for lounging.” - Tammy R.