Three Shape editors of different heights sweat-tested the Free People Movement Self-Hem Ecology Leggings and found a personalized fit that stays put during their favorite workouts.

By Megan Falk
November 25, 2019
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Credit: Peter Ardito

When slipping into a new pair of full-length leggings, you'll either find that a) they’re so short they look like the cropped version you specifically didn't order, or b) they're so long the extra fabric could cover your entire foot, which is definitely not the look you're going after.

But when you’ve already spent all of your grocery money on a single pair of leggings, setting more $$ aside to get them hemmed seems extravagant. If you're shorter or taller than the average 5' 4" woman, you might feel like you'll have to put up with poorly fitting leggings for workout eternity.

One pair of leggings is aiming to put an end to those frustrations for good.

Free People Movement's Self-Hem Ecology Legging (Buy It, $118, freepeople.com) allows you to customize your hem length depending on your height and style preference. With breezy cutouts, these high-waisted leggings are made to be self-tailored by cutting along one of three dotted lines around the ankle. There’s no need to break out your sewing kit either, as the seamless fabric is designed to stay fray-free.

To find out if these leggings really do work for every body at any height, three Shape digital editors cut their pants at different lengths (or not at all) and put them to the test while running, boxing, and practicing yoga. Check them out below and hear what the #ShapeSquad has to say about the Free People Movement's Self-Hem Ecology Legging. (P.S. The team also had some thoughts about these booty-boosting Gymshark leggings.)

Credit: Peter Ardito

They're Versatile to Meet All Your Workout Needs

Credit: Peter Ardito

Liz Doupnik, Executive Editor

Height: 5'10.5"

Legging Length: Full

“Okay, I admittedly wasn’t into the olive green at first. That said, when I put them on, I actually LOVED the color; I think it’s a great option for all seasons. Being tall—I’m almost 5’11”—it can be super challenging to find leggings with a long-enough inseam. (No one needs to see a plumber butt jog by!) These fit graciously and snugly, enabling me to move freely! (Related: How to Prevent Thigh Chafing During Your Next Run).

Credit: Peter Ardito

Workout of Choice: Running

“Over the weekend, I typically do a quick cardio/run sesh and then hit up my favorite Pilates studio. I generally have to swap out leggings because I feel like my running leggings aren’t great for Pilates, and vice versa—these are the two-for-one. Bonus points for the fact that I could totally do errands in these, too.”

They Withstand High-Impact Workouts

Credit: Peter Ardito

Marietta Alessi, Senior Social Media Manager

Height: 5'3"

Leggings Length: Cut at the middle marker 

“I’m petite, but because my calves are so muscular (yasss #legday), I struggle to find leggings that fit my needs. I was very hesitant before I put these on—they looked TOO small, and I felt like they wouldn’t be up for my high-impact workouts. Not only did these stretch to comfortably fit around my calves, but the guided feature also let me cut to my height. The second cut was best for me, but I may go up a cut in the future for springtime. I love the 7/8 length, and it’s a good way to keep my calves cool. (More: These breathable workout clothes will keep the rest of you cool and comfy.)

Credit: Peter Ardito

Workout of Choice: Boxing

“I put these puppies through the ringer. I took them to a Muay Thai class and was AMAZED at how well they performed roundhouse kick after roundhouse kick. The waistband didn’t slip, my sweat didn’t soak through, and the adorable perforated design left my legs feeling cool. I’m happy to say they passed my sweat test and I can’t wait to try more workouts in them.”

They Offer Compression Without Restriction

Credit: Peter Ardito

Renee Cherry, Staff Writer

Height: 5'1"

Leggings Length: Cut at shortest marker

“If anyone can appreciate a cut-to-size legging it’s me—I’m 5’1” and have an aversion to getting anything tailored. All too often I just resign to buying cropped leggings that hit at full length on me, even if it looks a little off. I appreciated the three guidelines at the bottom of the leggings that make it easy to cut a straight line. These leggings also had the perfect amount of compression. I felt like they were hugging me without crossing the line into uncomfortable territory. (BTW, compression gear can increase your running endurance.)

Credit: Peter Ardito

Workout of Choice: Yoga

“The holes in these give me yoga goddess vibes, so I’ll probably wear them to Vinyasa classes. I’ve found that a lot of yoga leggings feel too restrictive, but these are like a second skin, so I know they won't be distracting during even the craziest of poses.”

Snag a pair of these customizable leggings for yourself and see how the precision length can go to work for you: Free People Movement's Self-Hem Ecology Legging (Buy It, $118, freepeople.com) 

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