Fact: we're living in the age of back-alley butt injections and $200 workout pants to show them off in. Save yourself some cash by investing in the wisdom of Bret Contreras, and with these picks for bottom-boosting bottoms that won't break the bank.
Confession: no, I don't have silicone in my glutes. But I did purchase these amazing crops at an Upstate New York Marshall's for $25.99. They've maintained their shape, color, and and compression for nearly THREE years. These get points for a higher rise that sits just below the belly button and a material that feels supportive without making my quads feel like actual sausages. They seem to run true to size - for reference, I wear a 4 in old Lululemon, and a small in KOS. Bonus: as the name suggests, these are made right here in the good old U.S. of A.!
Again, I didn't pay retail for these (do you see a trend here?) but they're worth purchasing at full hit. Sitting even higher than the KOS, the Knockout High-Rise takes you from under the squat rack right to the yoga mat with ease - no sheerness, no lower back/upper butt exposure, no nonsense. These run true to size, but you may want to size up if you're somewhere in the middle. I take care of these and all my gym gear by washing them inside out in cold water and hanging them to dry. Even so, the fabrication is impressive. Unlike pricier crops (hello, Lulu), these remain smooth wash after wash after wash with literally ZERO pilling. Plus, after a sweaty workout, they somehow remain fresh and dry, meaning you can stop at the grocery store without feeling totally disgusting.
I'm not going to tell you how much I paid for these - by now you know my sale-shopping ways. While I live and die for a good crop (I find them the most flattering and comfortable), cable kick-backs and ankle weight moves are best performed in a long legging. Scratch that - best performed in THESE long leggings. Created by an Australian supermodel, the Upside will do their best to make you feel like one with leggings as luxuriously silky as they are flattering. The high waist band prevents any muffin topping, while the body-skimming fabric accentuates curves without compressing them. Follow the size chart for the best fit, and contact the retailer if you're unsure. Take a pass on the drawstring-style yoga pant and opt for a pair with a clean waistband.
Now go work that butt!