Spanx faux leather leggings vs. an Amazon dupe

 Yes, it’s yet another Spanx review, but this time with a new twist. Just as Spanx contacted me to see if I’d like to try their new fleece-lined version of their signature Faux Leather Legging (yes, of course), an Amazon brand reached out to me to see if I’d like to try their Spanx dupe. For context, I get contacted a lot by Amazon brands, and I turn most of them down, because in my experience, most of it is total crap. But Spanx leggings aren’t getting any cheaper and inflation doesn’t seem to be improving, so in the name of journalism, I decided to give both a try. While both Spanx and Santiny sent me these leggings for free, the following are my honest and unfiltered thoughts. Here’s a head-to-head comparison of Spanx Faux Leather Fleece-Lined Legging and Santiny Faux Leather Leggings

The dupe: Santiny Faux Leather Leggings 

I love a good dupe (formerly known as a knockoff). While I love to support designers and their intellectual property whenever possible, sometimes I question why things cost what they do. Like, do leggings really need to be $110? The thing with clothing is that because it’s considered a human necessity (like water, shelter, and food), there aren’t a lot of copyright laws protecting it, hence why mass-market brands have been knocking off designers since the dawn of time. (Note: copying a logo or original print is a no-no, formally known as a counterfeit, and is illegal.) This can understandably move into lots of gray areas that unfortunately tend not to hold up in court. Was Spanx the first brand to conceive of faux leather leggings? Probably not. Have they been the most successful at it? Undoubtably yes. Does that open them up to free-market competition because capitalism? Also yes. There are many Spanx dupes out there, but leave it to the enterprising Amazon marketplace sellers to come up with one amplified by 2,300+ (mostly positive) reviews. How does it compare to the original? 

Fabric: This was the first thing I noticed; up close, it looks nothing like leather (to be fair, neither does Spanx’s fabric). It’s darker and more sparkly—the overall effect is more disco party than cool rocker girl. The fabric, an 85% nylon/15% spandex blend, is very stretchy but with far less hold and recovery than Spanx. I found it to be not at all breathable, and at the risk of disclosing TMI, it made my crotch sweat. 

Fit: I ordered a medium, which is what I wear in Spanx, but I probably should have gone with a small, as there was some looseness bordering on droopiness in my crotch area. The construction *looks* very similar, but they didn’t quite get the contour of the wide waistband quite right, and they lack the interior shaping panel that all Spanx leggings have—the result being you look and feel less “held in.” This might be improved by going down a size, so if you’re on the fence, I’d advise erring on the smaller side. 

Price: At $38.99, they’re about a third of what the Spanx leggings cost and, really, you can’t beat that. 

Spanx Faux Leather Fleece-Lined Legging

I‘ve been a Spanx brand ambassador for three years now, and one of my first collaborations with them (TBT pandemic!) featured the Faux Leather Legging. Even though fashion has shifted toward a more fluid wide-leg silhouette lately, women (including me) are still wearing leggings—when it’s cold and rainy in the winter and I just want to be cozy, they’re pretty much unbeatable, especially in the faux leather fabrication, which I find holds up pretty well in precipitation. This style is still a bestseller for Spanx (it’s now included regularly in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale every July) and shows no signs of letting up; the challenge, as always, is figuring out how to style it in a way that feels modern and cool, not middle-America soccer mom (no offense if you fall into that category). 

Fabric: As I’ve noted above (and many times previously), I don’t think these actually look like leather. (The faux leather jogger does a much better job.) They look more like leather than the dupe, but know that you’re not really fooling anyone with this blend of polyurethane-coated nylon and elastane. That said, like all Spanx pants, the fabric holds you in like no other yet feels incredibly comfortable on; this new version has a super-soft fleece lining that is super cozy without adding any bulk. I have a feeling I will be living in these this winter. 

This may be the least flattering photo I've ever posted on this blog, but wanted you to get an up-close-and-personal look at the fabric. 

Fit: I always take a medium in Spanx, and these fit true to size (I’m a US 6 or 28 in pants). Props to the patternmaking wizards who engineered the wide contoured waistband which sits flat without rolling over and makes your belly look smooth as a board even after an extravagant dim sum brunch. Truly Nobel Prize–worthy. 

Price: Yes, these leggings are $110. Why? Because they can be. But also, I’m sure years of R&D went into crafting them, and the fabric (plus the built-in shaping) is far superior to the Amazon dupe. A fair price is what people are willing to pay for things, and if you crunch some Girl Math numbers, I think these net out to a pretty good cost-per-wear. My advice: snag a pair of sale if you can (Spanx usually does a good Black Friday sale, just saying). 

My honest review 

After we shot this post, I was all ready to tell you not to waste your money on the dupe, and then I saw the photos. They present what an old mentor once called The Cheap Prom Dress Paradox: Back when I worked at Macy’s, we’d have these terrible polyester prom dresses that for whatever reason photographed incredibly well; the return rate on them was over 50%, and customers would always accuse us of photoshopping them because they looked nothing like the photos. I have no idea why this happens, but I feel like it did here (then again, maybe it was the time of day we shot them—golden hour, versus a few hours earlier in the afternoon for the Spanx leggings). Long story short, if you’re just going for a certain look and don’t care about the bells and whistles of the real thing—and can put up with a sweaty crotch—at $70 less, the dupe is kind of a no-brainer. If targeted compression and a snatched fit is more what you’re after, wait for a sale and snap up the Spanx. Just make sure you take your OOTDs at golden hour. 



Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

You make me laugh! I'll bet you are a fun girl to hang out with! Anyway...thanks for the review. Not that I will buy them.....white leather black when I wear leather.....

Jelena Dimić said...

I love a good pair of faux leather leggings! I got a pair back in early 2020 in LIDL and they still serve me good! I love them with an oversized beige blazer. :D


The outfit is lovely but that tan blazer looks good.

Laura B said...

I love the slimming of the spanx leggings but they can be so chilly in the winter. I was excited to try the fleece lined ones. Good to know the cheaper pair may not be what I prefer as far as fit goes.

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

It's true that the dupes look good in the photos, but who wants a saggy and sweaty crotch? I generally go with the saying "you get what you pay for". I love the way u styled the Spanx. Very cool with those shoes.

Kristen Johansson said...

I like this jacket. I am not very interested in leather pants and leather jackets. I always feel that it is not breathable and makes me stuffy.
This reminds me of a blue leather jacket my mother bought for me when I was a child. I liked it so much at the time, but after a long time I wanted to take it out and wear it, but I found that the skin was peeling off~
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Christina cenci said...

Beautiful! Such a great price for the Spanx leggings too!

Jessica Jannenga said...

I have the Spanx ones and bought them on Poshmark, took a chance that the size fit and saved some bucks. LOve the styling you did and those shoes!
I would rather have the ones that fit best :-)
thanks for linking!
jess xx said...

The dupe leggings look good but the Spanx look better. Sometimes it's worth the splurge if it means you'll enjoy wearing them over and over and feel good in them. I've never tried Spanx but I do have some cheaper faux leather leggings. I'm intrigued to see how the Spanx would compare! Thanks for linking up!

Emma xxx

Mica said...

This is a good comparison even if you prefer the more expensive ones, it's good that these copies aren't as expensive and aren't a complete waste of money!

Thank you for joining the Weekday Wear Link Up :)

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edward john said...

Spanx leggings are known for their high-quality material, which is thicker and more durable than most Amazon leggings. They offer a sleek and flattering silhouette, making them comfortable to wear. They come in various styles and are available in different waistbands, lengths, and finishes. However, they are more expensive than Amazon leggings, less durable, and have limited color options. Amazon leggings are more affordable, offer a wide variety of styles and colors, and are easy to return. However, they are generally thinner and less durable, and may not offer the same level of shaping as Spanx leggings. The comfort of Amazon leggings can vary depending on the brand and style. When choosing a style, consider your body type, occasion, and personal style.

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shane said...

I found the Spanx faux leather leggings to be incredibly comfortable and form-fitting.
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