Girlfriend Collective LITE vs. Compressive leggings review

Girlfriend Collective LITE vs. Compressive leggings review

Hi friends! It’s been a long time coming, but after extensive testing I’m excited to finally share my thoughts on Girlfriend Collective’s LITE leggings.

The LITE leggings are the softer baby sister of Girlfriend’s classic compressive leggings. Made out of recycled fishing nets rather than recycled water bottles, the material is thinner and more breathable for higher impact activities.

The website has mixed reviews, so I was apprehensive myself about springing for a pair—but Girlfriend generously offered to send me a pair of LITE leggings to test out since so many of you were asking about them!

Alright girlfriends, and friends of other genders, it’s time to share the results of my tests. I’ve evaluated the leggings on five factors.

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Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but I was given product in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. If you like my work and want to support me, please consider shopping through my links!

You may also like: My review of Girlfriend Collective’s Paloma bra and compressive leggings

Girlfriend Collective LITE vs. Compressive leggings review

Factor #1: Cuteness

Girlfriend sent me the high-rise LITE leggings in Wine, a deep shade of red purple that does indeed remind me of my fave red wine. I love the color so much!

I find the LITE leggings to be just as flattering as the compressive leggings, except there’s obviously less of that supportive, sucking in action and more letting you breathe.

The leggings are definitely matte, but may appear shiny in the website photos because of the elastic in the fabric.


Factor #2: Comfort & feel

The first time I touched Girlfriend’s classic compressive leggings, I was amazed at the buttery smoothness of the fabric. The first time I touched my LITE leggings, I could not believe how soft the material was! It’s certainly a stretchier, more breathable fabric, but not thin and flimsy by any means. The fabric still has a nice weight to it.

I actually prefer the feel of LITE to the compressive material. It’s a more “naked” feeling, like a second skin. I wore these leggings on two 12 hour flights back to back and never once felt constricted or hot/sweaty.


Factor #3: Fit

Because the fabric is stretchier, the leggings have much more give when it comes to sizing. I can wear either a XS or a S in the compressive leggings, but very comfortably fit a XS in the LITE leggings. They also don’t hold you in, but allow you to relax and breathe more.

Due to the stretchiness, the leggings ride up a bit more on the ankle. I got the 7/8 length but in the future would get the regular length, since the leggings can ride up halfway up my calves if I sit a lot.


Girlfriend Collective LITE vs. Compressive leggings review

Factor #4: Opacity

Test 1 – VPL

These leggings do show panty lines more visibly than the compressive ones, but VPL is pretty inescapable with leggings. Everything’s fine if you wear a thong or don’t care that people can tell you are wearing underwear….lol.

Test 2 – Sheerness

More concerning is whether the leggings will show the color of your undies through the fabric. I am pleased to report that no, they do not! Like the compressive leggings, they are opaque. Not sure how lighter colors would fare, however.

Test 3 – Sweat

A disclaimer: I don’t usually do workouts that leave me drenched in sweat, just sweaty enough that I definitely need to shower. I sometimes run, do HIIT workouts, and warm (not hot) yoga. I have found that the compressive leggings do not show sweat for me, but readers have told me that some of the lighter compressive colors do show sweat.

I did not find that the LITE leggings showed sweat, either. However, the color is on the darker side, so I’m not sure if their lighter colors would show sweat.


Factor #5: Durability

Test 1 – Leggings in action

  • Skydiving: They survived a fall from 10,000 ft so that was cool!
  • Cats: The LITE leggings failed miserably when faced with my cat’s claws, which he likes to stick into my legs to show affection or because he’s too dumb to know it hurts me. Cat: 1, LITE leggings: 0
  • Splintery tables: Got a snag when sitting under a wooden table that was not finished on the bottom. Ugh.
  • Sitting for long periods of time: I did mention that I wore these leggings on two very long flights. As a result, I got some pilling on the butt area but didn’t notice this until I washed the leggings. More on that below.

Test 2 – Laundry

This was the test I was most worried about, since reviews on the website say the LITE leggings pill quickly after washing. But after wearing these leggings for like a month (TMI, but in my defense—wear more wash less), it was time.

I was all my clothing with cold water, and air dry my more delicate items. To add an extra element of protection, I stuck the leggings in a lingerie bag (I know I should really get a Guppyfriend to prevent the microfibers from leaking into the ocean!! It’s on my to-do).

After one wash, the leggings were still happily as soft as ever. But there was a tiny bit of pilling on the butt—not noticeable enough where you would see it while I wore it, unless you were staring very closely at my butt for some reason, but pilling nonetheless.

I was quite disappointed with this, since I’ve owned these leggings for a total of, like, one month. At $78 a pop—$10 more than the compressive leggings, I would expect them to hold up better over time so I could get that cost per wear maximized.

To be fair, the pilling doesn’t really change the functionality or comfort of the leggings much; it doesn’t make the fabric less opaque or soft. However, I don’t know if the pilling will become more visible over time and having a pill-y butt is not my ideal way to accentuate the booty.

2.5 STARS 🙁

The bottom line: Do I recommend them?

YES! …if softness and comfort is a higher priority than durability. Let me explain.

I absolutely love the feel and texture of the leggings, and find myself drawn to them much more so than the compressive ones due to the stretchiness and “naked” feel. They’re my favorite leggings to sit around and do nothing in (of which I do a lot). I might even buy another pair in black so I can wear them with every outfit.

But when it comes to durability, the compressive leggings win by a long shot. With my compressive leggings, I’ve only noticed light pilling after months and months of wear. However, the LITE leggings are much more prone to snags and I’m uncertain how they will hold up over time with wear and washing.

For me, the compressive leggings are still the best quality, value, and durability, and if you were choosing between the two I would pick those. But if you’re looking for a thinner, more breathable legging and don’t mind being more careful with them, go with the LITE leggings!

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Girlfriend Collective LITE vs. Compressive leggings review

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