It’s no secret that Lululemon’s iconic Align leggings are a fitness editor favorite; it’s been that way since the debut of the leggings in 2015, thanks to that sink-into-skin-soft Nulu fabric. Yet while these luxe yoga pants are hailed for their ease and wearability, they don’t necessarily have the hold or compression of the other leggings in the Canadian brand’s arsenal. So imagine that delicious sensation from the Align, but with added support and “hugged” fit—that’s the Instill Tight ($118), the just-launched addition to Lululemon’s legging repertoire.
Lululemon not only introduced a new pant, but with it, a new performance fabric they call “SmoothCover.” At first touch, it feels strikingly similar to the Align’s brushed Nulu material—you just want to melt into it. Yet once you pull the pants on, the experience is decidedly different: the Instill picks up where Align left off, and you finally get the best of both worlds. Soft comfort meets solid compression. Lululemon says it’s like wearing a “cocoon,” and to that, I say, “not no.”
The fabric’s structure was designed to be supportive and smoothing with exceptional coverage thanks to a higher Lycra content than the Nulu fabric, while offering that second-skin feel we know and love from the dreamy predecessor pant. The debut model features a high rise (with a super high rise in the back), a 25-inch inseam, and it comes in four colors, including a muted chartreuse, burnt orange, dark taupe, and black—all ideal for the upcoming season.
Most of the Lululemon yoga pants are pocket-free, while running tights tend to have more places to stash keys, phones, credit cards, etc. Though the Instill was designed for yoga, there’s a convenient key pocket in the back, which is yet another differentiator from the Align.
I wore these for a couple low-key workouts: some walking and yoga, and a recovery day on the couch. The best descriptor, IMO, is that it’s a stronger Align. Yet, it’s not so strong you want to strip them off and put on sweatpants or something with a little more give. They hit that just-right spot: lived-in softness and comfort, with the perfect amount of held-in support.
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