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Why *this* type of legging can help make your legs look longer


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Photo: Lululemon

As someone who measures up to 5’4″, I’ve often found that many leggings are too long on me. It’s caused unflattering bunching at times, and they’ve even gotten caught in the wheels of a spin bike once or twice. Not cute.

This is obviously a pain point for more people than just myself, hence the advent of 7/8th leggings (AKA the pedal pushers of performance tights). As you’ve likely deduced, the name refers to pairs where the inseam is 1/8th shorter than a full-length style.

While capris can cut off your leg and full-length ones can make your gams appear shorter than they actually are, the 7/8th style is the Goldilocks of leggings—just right.

Pretty much every major brand from Athleta to Lululemon now offers leggings in this length. And their universal appeal is in part due the the fact that you can find them in a number of fabrics and designs suitable for every type of workout from yoga to HIIT. But the real reason they’re flying off shelves is because they help elongate your frame (no matter how tall you are) by giving the illusion that your legs are just that much longer thanks to the ankle exposure they afford.

“The style hits a woman’s calf in a more flattering manner,” explains Lisa Ndukwe, head of design for Sweaty Betty, who says the British activewear brand introduced the style to its collections two years ago. “Since their launch, the 7/8th length has grown to be very popular among our Betties,” she says.

While capris can cut off your leg and full-length ones can make your gams appear shorter than they actually are, the 7/8th style are the Goldilocks of leggings—just right. They offer a sleek silhouette, especially when combined with another super-flattering (and popular) design element—high-rise waist bands.

Another trendy iteration of the 7/8th length is the cropped flare. A pair might just be the update your workleisure wardrobe needs for spring. 

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