Remember hygge? And cuffing season? January used to be the time to hibernate at home on your couch, a welcome reprieve after the holiday clod-hopping and a fall spent skittering around town to new theater productions and dining at recently-opened restaurants with friends. But as 2021 howls in, it marks almost a year that we have been shackled to our sofas. No one is craving cozy—we’re all desperate to get outside, and no wintry mix will stop us.
In addition to the obvious cold weather essentials, the one staple that is proving indispensable is a good winter legging, whether fleece-lined, cashmere, suede or merino wool, and either layered under a second pair of pants or worn solo. After sampling a handful of options, I quickly learned that different winter legwear suit different activities better than others. L.L.Bean’s fleece-lined ThermaStretch tights were the winner, thick enough to wear on their own for long winter walks but cozy enough to work from home in. Another top scorer? Uniqlo’s classic Heattech leggings, which were perfect under my TorySport track pants for lounging by the fire pit in a friend’s backyard.
Here, find your guide to the best winter leggings for every hyperborean activity this season.