Until the late 17th century, we all had to carry our stuff in a little bag tied to our belts for security. Then one day, society decided to give men the invaluable gift of pockets sewn into their clothing. Since then, the desire for sensible pockets in women’s clothing has been an ongoing, often-ignored issue. If you own a pair of jeans (what on Earth can you fit in that front pocket?), you know we still have a long way to go.
At least a lot of activewear brands are trying to get it together for those of us who’d like to carry more than a stick of gum without bringing a bag. It should come as no surprise that we’re big fans of wearing leggings as pants at Greatist—especially if we can hold a phone, debit card, or dog treats, hands-free.
Here are our a few of our favorite pocket-powered tights from brands we know and trust. And just like pockets aren’t only for men, we know that leggings aren’t only for women. Anyone can wear these because everyone deserves pockets.
I have like a dozen pairs of Pact’s extremely soft underwear, one of their slightly scandalous wrap dresses, and a pair of their absolutely fantastic leggings. They make extremely high-quality cotton products with great stitching and remind me of what I used to like about American Apparel, without any of AA’s considerable shadiness. This place is like the happy unicorn rainbow version: They’re fair-trade, use certified organic cotton, and use a process that reduces water usage and pollution. These leggings are so comfy, and there are pockets. POCKETS! — Jess Novak, senior editor of lifestyle and beauty ($45; pact.com)
I freaking love these leggings! Their snug fit makes them my go-to for workouts, but they’re still super comfortable for just lounging around the house. The best part, of course, is their perfectly-sized side pockets. I travel in these leggings all the time because I can carry my phone in one pocket and my boarding pass in the other. The “crop” is really like ankle height on my short little legs, which is ideal for someone who struggles to find true ⅞ leggings. And they also have a little pocket in the back where I can stash my keys when I’m going for a run (without looking like I have a weird leg-blob). — Jess Siler, chief of staff ($88; lululemon.com)
I know you’re zooming in on that photo right now to see if these leggings really have pockets, so I’ll just go ahead and confirm: Yes, there are pockets, and yes, they’re sneaky as hell. They’re in the long V seam on the outside of the thigh, which, IMO, is the best place for pockets anyway. Anything you try to fit will fit (your phone? No problem! Your wallet? Why not. Your water bottle? Most likely—one time I really was that desperate and these leggings pulled through). On top of that, these leggings are the softest I own, so you know they’re always in heavy rotation. — Caroline Olney, platforms editor ($106; lornajane.com)
Pick up your jaw from the floor: These are only $40. Aerie is super underrated when it comes to activewear, especially in the leggings department. The Aerie Play high-waisted pocket legging is their best seller, and I can see why—on top of having awesome side pockets, they’re made with soft, recycled(!) polyester yarns, and they’re brushed on the inside for extra warmth. Plus, I can bend over indefinitely in these suckers, and the waistband doesn’t move. Praise be. — Alex Colkitt, audience development manager ($40; ae.com)
There’s only one thing that makes me feel more warm and fuzzy than my body does in these leggings, and because I would never wear a puppy, I’ll stick with the Sash Pocket Salutation tight from Athleta. These are my favorite pair of leggings for doing yoga, running errands, or pairing with a big chunky sweater at work. They’re form-flattering, high-waisted (who even makes non-high-waisted leggings anymore?), and long enough to go with boots without that awkward flash of shin. The only downfall is that they like to gather lint after a few washes, so make sure you don’t wash them with towels or anything fluffy. — Jamey Powell, associate fitness editor ($89; athleta.com)
These pants make me look like I practice yoga seven days a week—I don’t, but they make me want to. My super high-waisted Ethel leggings from prAna are cute as hell and never slip down or bunch up in the crotch. And check out the pockets on these babies! The side pockets rock for holding my phone when I need a free hand, and the cool stirrups slide up in line with the rest of the pants for when I’m done imitating Jane Fonda in my living room. — Ashley Sepanski, branded content editor ($89; prana.com)
Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn a commission. But don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra, and we wouldn’t recommend a product if we didn’t love it as much as we love puppies.