A closet staple for fall and winter is hands down a great pair of faux leather leggings. One of the great things about them is their comfort and versatility for outfits. Although they’re called leggings, to me, they truly are a pair of pants. Meaning that they don’t necessarily fall in the legging rule that I wholeheartedly live by and that’s “always cover your bum and lady bits”. But a good pair of faux leather leggings can function as a pair of pants but give you the comfort of a true pair of leggings but with more style and edge. And that’s why I love them so much.
Recently I went on a faux leather legging investigation. I’ve owned my SPANX faux leather leggings which I feel like are the OG of the faux leather legging. But I had some mixed feelings about them. I had also heard incredible things about Commando’s faux leather version. So I thought I’d give them a try. I also tried the Aerie crackle legging too. Although a great option that’s affordable, I’m going to compare the two most popular and comparable faux leather leggings.
Spanx Vs Commando
SPANX – A pair of the faux leather SPANX leggings are like your true classic, comfortable leggings. They go on easy, they don’t stretch throughout the day, they stay true to size all day long. They have a SPANX exclusive technology in the waistband called ‘The Slim Is Built-In” which helps with tummy shaping and a nicely contoured tush. Your butt will really look good in these! It’s also center-seam free which is nice, no camel toe at all!
Commando – I picked up two sizes in these when I tried them, size small and medium. I tried to put my foot into the small and was like “hell no”. Then grabbed the medium and was also like “hell no”. What was happening? Then I learned that these are a REAL struggle to get on at first. You have to FIGHT them on. But once they’re on, they mold to you. However, after I wore my mediums for about an hour, I still felt like I wanted a large. I’m probably going to swap mine. So definitely size up. But the fit was great. They hug your body, they’re a nice high waist and very smooth against your stomach.
There’s no wide waistband like the SPANX ones, instead, it’s a more seamless fit. However, there is an interior smoothing waistband which I like, vs the SPANX that you see with the seam. There is a seam though down the front on them but I didn’t find any camel toe issues personally. There’s also a more raw hem on these but they don’t feel unfinished which is nice. These Commando faux leather leggings definitely look and feel more expensive than the SPANX.
SPANX – I personally am a size 4 or 27/28 and prefer a medium in the SPANX. A size small fits, but it’s not super comfortable. The medium feel good and I feel a little sucked in while in them which isn’t a bad thing. I have yet to try a large but I feel like they’d probably be more comfortable and better for a nap but potentially a little saggy. I’d say they definitely run a tad small. And if you’re in-between sizes, definitely size up. At 5’5 with shorter legs, I find the regular length to be just fine for me. They also come in petite, regular and tall as well as size XS – 3X. I really like that they offer a wide variety of sizes and inseam options.
Commando – The Commando faux leather leggings come in extended sizes from small to 3X. However, since they run super small, I feel like this isn’t a great size range. Definitely choose at least one size larger than you usually go with. I found they were a tad long on my shorter legs so if you’re petite, you may want to try the 7/8 version or even the capri if you’re that short. I personally wear the medium in the 7/8 and it’s the perfect length. But they do not have any sort of inseam options outside of that. But if you’re tall, you may be able to get away with the regular just fine without other inseam options since they’re a tad long.
Both the SPANX and Commando faux leather leggings are $98. They both rarely go on sale from what I can tell. Every year though, the SPANX leggings are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale like clockwork at 35% off at least. It’s a great time to grab a new pair or new style!
SPANX – The number one complaint about the SPANX faux leather legging is that they have a speckled or crackled look to them. Their sheen is applied to the legging so this eventually wears off. It’s a preference. I don’t hate it, but I definitely prefer the look of the Commando ones. You can extend the life of the leather sheen by handwashing inside out or machine wash cold inside out. And always hang dry!
Commando – I’m not even sure why these look different, but Commando faux leather leggings are hands down a better-looking legging than the SPANX. There’s no doubt about that one bit that these look like real leather compared to any other brand I’ve searched for. They look amazing. Maybe it’s the viscose in the legging, where SPANX is only Elastene and polyester. But if you’re looking for a more authentic leather legging look, Commando is the way to go.
SPANX – There are several styles to choose from outside of the classic faux leather legging from SPANX. They have the moto version, the quilted leather legging, maternity ones and even camo printed leggings. There’s also a new patent leather version that I’m kind of interested in trying! They’re super shiny!
Shop SPANX Faux Leather Leggings
Shop Commando Faux Leather Leggings
Commando – There are definitely fewer options to choose from with Commando. It’s really just the faux leather, patent and the snakeskin print. They do not offer maternity styles or moto styles like SPANX.
Which Is Better?
I’m going to be honest. I feel like these are apples to oranges. I love my SPANX because they’re insanely comfortable. But I hate the speckle matte look to them. Whereas I really really love the look of the Commando ones for a more authentic leather legging vibe. But I found the Commando’s to be more constricting and less like something I could take a nap in.
So with that being said, if you’re looking for a lazy legging to travel in, or to just lounge in, I would maybe lean more towards the SPANX faux leather legging. And if you’re looking for one to create everyday outfits with that you’ll wear out and about to dinners, cocktails and the like, then go with the Commando. The Commando faux leather leggings are definitely nicer looking, more expensive looking and more luxurious in texture.
Other Faux Leggings To Try
Now that faux leather leggings are everywhere, so many of my favorite brands are coming out with their own. Two brands that are giving these a run for their money are LOFT and White House Black Market. Love them both. The LOFT ones are almost fleece lined making them more thick and super warm. Definitely not as thin as the SPANX or Commando. I take a small in both which is my usual size in both brands. Below are looks in each of the brands.
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Photos by Hannah Lozano
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