Yoga pants

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Low rise, flat seamed, straight-leg cotton yoga pants
Lululemon's boot cut and flared yoga pants.
Yoga pants are used in activities involving physical exercise

Yoga pants are a type of flexible, form-fitting pants designed for the practice of yoga as well as other physical activities that involve a lot of movement, bending and stretching. They are typically worn for sports and physical exercise, martial arts, dancing, pilates, or aerobics. These pants are generally made from a blend of cotton, lycra spandex, nylon, polyester, wool, or a similarly light and stretchy synthetic material giving the pants a very soft, smooth, polished and silky finish when worn.[1][2] Although designed specifically for yoga, the pants are also casually worn as everyday dress by many women.[2][3]


According to Anu Hastings with the product database Indix, over 2,700 types of so-called "yoga pants" are now available on the market.[4] There are various types and styles, including the traditional boot-cut and flared yoga pants with flat waistbands.[5] The typical type of yoga pants traditionally come in black, are tight-fitted, boot-cut, and flared style, are reversible, carry a four way stretch fabric and have a flat elastic waistband folded over at the top. The traditional boot-cut and flared yoga pants with waistbands are the most well-known and most popular type, generally used for casual wear, active wear, lounge wear, maternity wear, dancewear or clubwear.[6] They are tight-fitted, giving them flexibility and comfort as well as the moisture-wicking fabrics within the pants move perspiration away from the body to the fabric's outer surface where it can evaporate giving the pants an advantage when worn during physical activities that exert heavy perspiration keeping the wearer cool and comfortable.[7]

The flat and fold-over waists are utilized to provide flexibility, comfort, coverage, style, breathability and versatility. Flat and fold-over waist boot cut and flare yoga pants are commonly used as casual wear, workout and exercise wear, maternity wear, making errands, lounging around the house, yoga class, or as clubwear as women would wear the body-hugging pants to permit freedom of movement when dancing during nights out at their local nightclub.[8] Typically, the more spandex in the yoga pants, the more likely they are used as exercise, dance or clubwear.[9] The more cotton fabrics are more commonly used for loungewear.[10][11]

There are various types and styles of yoga pants in addition to the traditional.[12] The flared yoga pants are also commonly used as dancewear allowing it to stretch and for the ease of movement it affords. They also typically have combinations of stretchy fabric blends offered by lycra spandex and nylon giving the pants a rich and silky appearance and feel when worn. Crop-fitted yoga pants lie above the ankle (similar to capri pants), and are oftentimes utilized for a more flattering, versatile, and dressier look during warmer times of the year.[13] They are used commonly as casual wear, activewear, for making errands, lounging or as clubwear on a night out.[14]

The flared yoga pants are often paired with flip-flops, running shoes, flats, or sheepskin boots, worn along with hoodies, shawls, cardigans or wraps paired with a tank top or shirt tucked underneath.[15] Due to their high elasticity, yoga pants are comfortable enough to wear for many purposes. They were originally created for practicing yoga, but have become popular as everyday mainstream clothing item in classrooms, gymnasiums, restaurants, shopping malls, and nightclubs.[14][16]

Demand and popularity[edit]

External audio
“The Yoga Pant Problem“, Distillations Podcast, Science History Institute

Demand for comfortable active, athletic, sports and casual wear has increased since the turn of the 21st century.[17] Nike, Inc. reported their women's business comprised 7 billion in 2010[18] and the larger market grew to $33.6 billion by 2015.[19] Nike claims the driving factor has been by the demand for fashionable workout gear that is also flattering. New colors, patterns, and structural design of yoga pants created more versatility and increased their wear in public settings. Author Mae Anderson described the new craze of yoga pants outside the gym by calling them the "new jeans."[18]

Many high-end fashion houses and mass-market trend-chasers have capitalized on the growth of the modern sportswear market, leading an emphasis on technical fabrics and garments that facilitate wearing them as everyday dress. Market research analysts have sought to explain the trend by referencing the extension of work hours in major cities across North America, leading to a "day-to-night" than a "gym-to-work"—while other explanations cite the North American passion for fitness and healthy living.[20]

Wearing in public[edit]

Yoga pants with a printed pattern

In the United States, reaction to the wider adoption of yoga pants proved somewhat controversial for schools.[21] Some schools adopted dress codes banning yoga pants for all students, or banning them only for female students.[22][23] Bitch magazine argued such bans are largely gendered, focusing on the damage caused by "distraction" by girls;[24] similar complaints caused a ban in Rockport, Massachusetts, that was quickly reversed.[22]

There are others who agree with banning yoga pants in public. Most often the reasoning for disagreeing with wearing yoga pants publicly is that they promote a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Amanda Hallay, professor of fashion and cultural history at New York City's LIM College, was interviewed for her opinion on yoga pants being a replacement for jeans. She said "Everyone wants to look like they're running to the gym, even if they're not".[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Folan, Kerry (15 December 2016). "Yoga pants are comfy. They're also an assault on manners and a nihilistic threat". The Washington Post.
    - Edwards, Jim (4 September 2015). "The long, strange history of Lululemon Athletica Inc, North America's weirdest clothing bran". Business Insider. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Smith, S.E. "What are Yoga Pants?". WG. wiseGEEK. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  3. ^ Jessica Grose (Jan 3, 2014). "Workout Wear Friday Is Not a Thing". Slate. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
    - Marguerite Ogle (October 8, 2013). "Find the Best Pilates and Yoga Pants for You". Retrieved 30 January 2014.
    - Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (16 March 2011). "To Stretch or Not to Stretch". New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
    - Colleen Kane (4 June 2015). "Like it or not, designer yoga pants have become legitimate office wear". Fortune. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
    - Wiebe, Jamie (12 December 2013). "Psychology of Lululemon: How Fashion Affects Fitness". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  4. ^ Hastings, Anu (18 September 2014). "Indix". Indix. Indix. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  5. ^ Ashley Fern (27 January 2014). "#DefaultOutfit: The 19 Reasons All Women Worship Yoga Pants". Elite Daily. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  6. ^ Nicole Young (7 July 2014). "What to Wear to the Club for Women". Kelowna Now. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - Raquel Laneri (6 August 2016). "How to go clubbing in gym clothes and not look like a slob". New York Post. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - Bruce Philp (20 March 2014). "The new "&go" brand won't fix what's rotten at Lululemon's core: Bruce Philp". Canadian Business. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - Jessica Grose (29 January 2014). "Yoga Pants in da Club? Great Idea". Slate. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
    - "Why Women Love Wearing Yoga Pants". Sadhana. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
    - Suzanne Wexler (18 April 2011). "Yoga sweats are not pants". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  7. ^ Kevin Sweeney (15 June 2011). "Absorbent Activewear". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Club Girls: 10 Types of Girls You See at a Nightclub". Mancavin. 29 December 2016.
    - Ho-Lee, Jasmine (14 April 2014). "4 must-haves for a safe night of clubbing in KL (while still looking fabulous, duh)". Cilisos.
    - Malacoff, Julia (29 December 2015). "Workout Clothes You Can Wear On a Night Out".
    - "You Can Find them In da Club: Yoga Pants?". Yoganonymous. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
    - "20 Places Moms Can Wear Yoga Pants Without Embarrassing Themselves". Yahoo. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
    - "7 Reasons Yoga Pants Are A Mommy Must". Scary Mommy. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
    - "Yoga Pants At The Club? Maybe One Day". Style Blazer. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Get the Look: Minka Kelly's Lululemon Pants". Popsugar. 3 October 2007.
    - Ho-Lee, Jasmine (14 April 2014). "4 must-haves for a safe night of clubbing in KL (while still looking fabulous, duh)". Cilisos.
    - Petro, Greg (16 September 2015). "Lululemon, Nike And The Rise Of 'Athleisure". Forbes.
  10. ^ Alexandra Suhner Isenberg (3 January 2011). "We Don't Need Silver Lining". Searching for Style. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  11. ^ Fritz Hahn (28 January 2014). "Ink Lounge and Tattoo Bar want to see your yoga pants in the club". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  12. ^ Brandon K. Smith (10 October 2012). "Uggs, Yoga Pants, and North Face: The Yugga Face Season at Penn State". Drunk Tuesday. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
    - Jessica Napier (20 September 2011). "Uggs, crocs, yoga pants and now … leggings". Retrieved 30 August 2013.
    - Mary Ellen Riley (7 February 2013). "February fashion forecast". Retrieved 30 August 2013.
    - "How to Wear (or Not Wear) UGGs". Onward State. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. ^ What to Wear with Yoga Pants
    - "Unique Fashion Trends of Fold Over Yoga Pants". Yogagainesville. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  14. ^ a b Nicholas Galczynski (26 February 2014). "Real Live College Guy Nick Tackles... Yoga Pants". Retrieved 29 June 2014.
    - Jessica Camerata (20 March 2013). "Lululemon recall: What will you wear to brunch now?". HLN. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
    - Alexandra Isenberg (22 September 2011). "5 Instances Where You Can Wear Yoga Pants Outside of the Gym". Searching for Style. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
    - "Yoga pants recall could be a good thing". Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  15. ^ Conrad, Jennifer (1 August 2014). "Can Sunrise Juice Raves Finally Turn Me Into a Morning Person?". Vogue. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - "Yes, Curvy Gals Can Wear Leggings Over 40! Here's How". Fabulous After 40. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - Melissa Gilbert (21 October 2013). "The ultimate guide to yoga pants". BestReviewsBase. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
    - "How to Choose Yoga Pants: 7 Steps". Wikihow. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  16. ^ Shaw, Hollie (30 May 2015). "How sweatpants went from 'a sign of defeat' to the new designer fashion trend". Financial Post. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    - Maria Denardo (15 April 2016). "The Dos and Don'ts of Wearing Yoga Pants Around Town". Retrieved 4 October 2016.
    - Adria Vasil (2007). Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada.
    - Melissa Ivy Katz (27 February 2015). "The 10 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow for Athleisure". Shape. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  17. ^ Stalder, Erika (2008). Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 59. ISBN 9780547946931.
  18. ^ a b Anderson, Mae (25 November 2013). "How yoga pants became the new jeans". Denver Post. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  19. ^ "Will yoga pants have jean makers singing the blues?". CBS Money Watch. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  20. ^ Brundage, Douglas (2 June 2014). "Technical Fabric in Fashion is Here to Stay". HighSnobiety. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  21. ^ Foley, Heather (10 April 2014). "Your guide to America's war on yoga pants".
  22. ^ a b Shemkus, Sarah (6 March 2014). "Rockport High School leggings-ban controversy still simmers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  23. ^ Lestch, Corinne (3 October 2014). "'Distracting' yoga pants banned by officials at North Dakota high school". Daily News. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
    - "Parents Say School's Leggings 'Ban' Is Unfair To Girls, 'Contributes To Rape Culture'". Huffington Post. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  24. ^ Chin, Elleanor (15 October 2014). "Instead of Banning Yoga Pants, Schools Should Crack Down on Harassment". Bitch.
  25. ^ Ritchie, L. Carol (6 September 2014). "Blue Jeans Losing Their Grip On American Hips". NPR. Retrieved 12 May 2019.

External links[edit]