I just concluded the Great Legging Hunt of Winter 2013. I tried Hue, Wolford, Nordstrom brands, Forever 21 brands, J. Crew, Target, and more. It’s been polar here in Phoenix, and I’m heading on some work trips to icy climes. This means leggings. Leggings and boots every day.

I wear them under dresses and skirts and have been on a mad hunt since October to find a totally opaque pair that don’t fade, don’t sag in the knee after a few hours, and don’t feel like you’re wearing pants. Isn’t the entire point of leggings to pretend you’re wearing pajamas?

My research has produced three excellent discoveries:

1. Zella Live-In leggings, $52 and pictured above,  are to be added to your wardrobe post-haste. They’re sleek, opaque, comfortable, and chic, and recommended by fashionistas nationwide.

Add boots and a top or skirt that hits mid-thigh, and  no one will know you’re wearing yoga pants to work. Glory, hallelujah.The waistband doesn’t bind, either. I HATE that. They cling to the knee perfectly — which is the key to good leggings, I’ve learned. Another bonus: they’re reversible, and one side will keep you warmer than the other. Hello, New York City in January. I’m on my way.

TIP: Lululemon Wonder Unders also come recommended for all of the reasons above. I love Lulu — but the black is a weird color and doesn’t match my closet.

2. Eileen Fisher Leggings, $98 at Nordstrom and Dillard’s.

I’ve never tried anything by Eileen Fisher before, but the women on the internet promised me that these jersey leggings are legend. I went on a hunt, and they are, in fact, worth $98 . These are the gorgeous opaque tights I’ve been dreaming of all my life. Thin, soft, elegant, tight, high-quality. Hooray. I’m converted.

3. Vera Wang wears black leggings every single day and swears by Danskin Supplex, about $30 on amazon.com and pictured below. These leggings even offer hip and thigh compression. Hmmmm. Mine are on the way. Also, once upon a time (last year), Costco sold the best leggings in the world. My friends and sisters have been searching to no avail. Dear Costco, please bring them back.

What am I missing? Do you love leggings as much as I do? Tell me if there’s a secret pair that I haven’t yet found.