Review: Universal Standard Leggings



What a great brand. What a great disappointment.

My fit information as always: 39″-31″-46″, height of 5’7″, 170 lbs.

The sizes I bought, for the Movement Mesh and All Star Full Length Leggings, were both XS (US size 10/12, the only time I have been XS in bottoms in my entire life…)

They fit GREAT. I loved them. I loved them so much I bought another pair.


Both photos show Universal Standard’s All Star Full Length Leggings

I first bought the Movement Mesh leggings, then after getting excited over how comfortable they were, the All Star Full Length Leggings. The fabric, when I first put them on, felt amazing. It’s lovely and soft, super comfortable, even compared to other leggings I own or have owned in the past.

Beautiful? A high waisted cut that I love. Check.

Ethical? The company has a fantastic, body-positive mission–not sure about sustainability, but this was enough of a reason to support for me. Check.

Useful? They’re leggings, which many women including me wear year round to every activity and sometimes forget to wear any other type of pants. Check.



These leggings started piling in the crotch area within days, and before I had even washed them once. I thought the piling would decrease over time, maybe if the initial fuzz wore off, but it continues to get worse, especially in that region. I am counting down the days until they break.

This is especially disappointing because Universal Standard explicitly claimed to take very seriously the “pants breaking at the crotch region” issue, because it definitely affects people with thick thighs the most. The abrasion of fabric from thighs rubbing together causes a lot of problems, as well as the strain of daily movement. They were even in an interview with Mic. about it. 

So I had high hopes for these leggings. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will last more than a year, if that. If they don’t truly break, they might get so gross and weird-textured from the piling that they will be relegated to the only-use-around-the-house clothes section in my closet, and eventually purged in my next closet Kondo-ing session.

This is one of my few disappointments, but it’s a big one. Sorry Universal Standard. I love the message, but the quality has to live up to the price paid–otherwise it feels worse, no? Like body positivity is a gimmick used to peddle cheap, overpriced wares at you. I have been similarly disappointed in the quality of a blazer from them which I returned, and am now hesitant to try anything else again…

Fit: Typical for leggings, tight but stretchy. Not so tight as to be compressive.

Size I Buy: XS (US 10/12)

Durability: 2/10. The only thing that gets lower than this are these expensive Madewell jeans I once had, which were ironically not made well, and ripped in less than 30 days.

thank u, next.

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