WELP friends, I’ve finally done it. I’ve totally lost my mind. I broke down and ordered a pair of Lucas Hugh tights!!
Some of you readers may remember me mentioning how much I wanted to try out Lucas Hugh’s white pinstripe nordica leggings. I’ve been working crazy-hard lately and have reached a few milestones, so I decided to reward myself and give these ultra-luxury tights a shot. Priced at $420, this was definitely not a casual purchase. (It’s worth noting that I did not quite pay full price since I had a coupon code, but they were still a big hit to the wallet.) Despite their hefty price tag, you might be surprised to hear that Carbon38 has had a remarkably hard time keeping them in stock–their first delivery sold out completely and had to be restocked a few weeks ago. Carbon38 is the only stockist in the US where I’ve been able to find these particular leggings and I snagged their last pair (for the moment) in my size!
Update: these leggings are currently significantly marked down at The Outnet!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been extremely curious to know whether Lucas Hugh’s prices are worth it. Admittedly, that sheer curiosity was definitely a part of why I wanted to try these. I hope this review helps to shed some light on that question.
The design of these pants is awesome, I totally love it. It melds avant-garde style with function and femininity. The navy on white pinstripe is a little reminiscent of lululemon’s infamous quiet stripe, though in practice the two styles are actually very different.
I ordered these in an XS. I typically wear an XS or XXS depending on the brand and availability. These fit on the small side, so if you’re between sizes or you just don’t want as much compression, I would size up. I’m happy with how the XS fit me.
One important sizing note is that the waistband has almost no give. If you pull quite firmly on it, it will stretch a bit, but it’s not easily stretchy like your usual activewear fabric. At first I thought I was going to have to pull some Cirque Du Soleil stunts to get these over my hips, but a little shimmying was all I needed. Once they were on, the waistband sits high, just below the belly button. The fabric holds everything in–the waistband panel appears to be double-layered and feels decidedly thicker than the rest of the pants. There is no seam at the top of the waistband, it’s fused with a raw edge.
One of the first things I noticed that sets these leggings apart is that most of the seams are actually fused, not sewn. I’m guessing this is one contributor to the premium price tag, since I believe seam sealing technology can be quite expensive and more challenging to manufacture than the more common flatlocked seaming you see in activewear.
Many of the extra design elements use fused seams, including these side leg accents, the back-of-the-knee mesh inserts, as well as the hem (you’d lose this element if you chose to get these hemmed). The gold accents are one of my favorite features; they add a luxe touch.
The mesh inserts are slightly perforated at the inner thigh and behind the knee, but there’s an extra layer of fabric at the crotch area so that there’s no see-through issues there. The main seam all down the inner leg is flatlock seamed.
The back of the waistband has a medium-sized zip pocket, large enough for your keys or a card, but I couldn’t quite fit my phone (iPhone 6) inside. This is the only pocket.
Given that these pants are white, Lucas Hugh incorporated this little trick: sewing a seamless nude liner into the pants. In a deep squat or bend, you can see dark underwear through the fabric, but if you wear a lighter pair it’s fine. The nude liner itself was not visible. Going commando would also probably be a good solution, but needless to say, I didn’t try! Given the price tag, I do wish the opacity was a bit better, but again, they are white. I’d like to think opacity would be a total non-issue on Lucas Hugh’s darker colors. I’m not sure if the underwear is sewn in on all LH bottoms or not.
I was very impressed with the fit and feel of the fabric that Lucas Hugh uses. It’s a polyamide and elastane blend that feels different from my other active bottoms. The fabric is a very tight weave with a smooth, matte finish, though I wouldn’t call it soft. I don’t mean “not soft” in an uncomfortable way, I mean that it’s not really cushy or cottony. The fit is very firm and compressive, not to mention does a booty good.
Since I was just trying these on for this post, I of course did not do a full workout in them, but they felt like they would perform exceptionally well. Everything felt very streamlined and held in its place, exactly like you want it to be for high-intensity workouts. I would love working out in these, and they made me feel pretty awesome.
Now for the bad news. The design element on the side of the leg is bonded, but because of my petite stature, it hits lower on my leg than it’s intended to. This means there was some significant digging in of the seam at the knee joint. This picture shows what I mean. This falls at a crucial spot on my leg that made bending my knees uncomfortable. Since I obviously bend my knees when I work out, this a pretty big issue for me. (The mesh at the back of the knee also hit a little bit lower than it was supposed to, but didn’t feel uncomfortable.) I am 5’3″ and wear just shy of a 29″ inseam, so if your legs are short like mine, you may have the same issue. If Lucas Hugh ever offered a petite length, it would be a dream come true.
Ultimately, I had to return these. I was so disappointed since I wanted to love these tights (and I still think they look rad), but the positive qualities are negated by the unfortunate knee pinching issue.
Now I know that Lucas Hugh’s designs that incorporate these side accents don’t work for me personally, but the same performance fabric and fit is available in other similar styles, too. The plus side here is that the more simple designs are actually quite a bit less expensive. Although these didn’t work out, I’d definitely like to give another style a try, since the technical aspects of these pants are something I’d like to have in my activewear arsenal.
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Update: on sale here via The Outnet!