How to select the perfect pair of leggings, according to We Are Handsome’s founder

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Take it from the experts. 

Photo: Supplied

They’re known for their vibrant prints and statement swimwear but the founders of We Are Handsome (Beyonce’s a fan, you guys) have successfully walked their way into the world of activewear. And their stylish, durable and performance-enhancing gear is selling – fast.

Jeremy Somers who co-founded the label – which is now stocked in boutiques around the world – just seven years ago, told us it took his team a year and a half to create the perfect pair of leggings – a mean feat, we think you’ll agree – and that was before they emblazoned one of their signature prints on them.

We Are Handsome are all about quality, for sure, but what is the one crucial thing those with an untrained eye should look out for, when purchasing a pair of leggings?

According to Somers, it’s all about the waist height. “This is absolutely key. You’ll always want to make sure you feel comfortable and held in at the waist, that the leggings aren’t going to slip, fall down or be too tight,” he says – whether brunching or working out is the name of your game.

To make sure said leggings actually last, though, Somers says that you should “always follow the washing instructions and dry on a line inside – out of the sun. Many active fabrics have things like UV coating and wicking properties, which the sun can damage if they’re left out too long.”

And despite what your friends might say about “just airing gym gear out” Somers says that there’s no getting around washing your workout gear. It needs to happen every time you sweat – and not just because it’s hygienic (very important, obviously) but because “sweat and body oils will wear away the fabric if it’s left on the garments, and they’ll smell the longer you leave it.”

Aside from their own collections – We Are Handsome’s next offerings will be all about performance wear – Somers thinks consumers are looking for activewear that actually lasts, works as hard as they do and have a real functional element – beyond just looking good.

At the moment Somers, who sits at the helm of the brand with his wife Katinka, have just wrapped up a collaboration with Vaalia – which materialised in a vibrant pair of leggings “inspired by the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” As you’d expect, the collaboration is colourful, energetic and has that recognizable We Are Handsome freshness to them – but the proceeds of these pairs will be “donated to Look Good, Feel Better, a free community service program which supports women with cancer.”

It’s an important cause and an admirable collaboration, and the biggest lesson Somers has learnt since starting his own business is “treat people well.”

“Work in an ethical way, and treat others as you’d want to be treated. Try and stay true to the values you personally hold, and what it is that makes the world special for you. Business is a hard thing to do, and if you’re guided by principles you already have, it makes things a lot easier to handle.”

As for looking after yourself when work gets too much? According to Somers, routine is key.

“Schedule in your exercise and eat well. If you’re not functioning well, neither is your business.”

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