Yoga pants

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Lululemon's boot cut and flared yoga pant.

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 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][4][5][6][7][8]

Types of yoga pants[edit]

Yoga pants are commonly used in activities involving physical exercise, such as yoga.

According to Anu Hastings with the product database Indix, over 2,700 types of so-called "yoga pants" are now available on the market.[9]

There are various types and styles, including the traditional boot-cut and flared yoga pants with flat waistbands.[10] 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.[11][12][13][14][15][16] 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.[17] 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.[18][19][20][21] Typically, the more spandex contained in the yoga pants, the more likely they are to be used as exercise wear. The more cotton fabrics are more commonly used for loungewear.[22][23]

There are various types and styles of yoga pants in addition to the traditional.[24][25][26][27] 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.[28][29] They are used commonly as casual wear, activewear, for making errands, lounging, or as clubwear on a night out.[30][31][32][33][22][23][34][excessive citations] The flared yoga pants are often paired with flip-flops, running shoes, flats, or Ugg boots, with hoodies paired and a tank top or shirt tucked underneath.[35][36][37][38][39] Due to their high elasticity, yoga pants are comfortable enough to be worn during many different occasions. Yoga pants were originally created for use practicing yoga but over the years, due to their increased popularity, they have developed into an everday mainstream clothing item that can be found in classrooms, gymnasiums, restaurants, shopping malls all to way to the dance floors of nightclubs.[40][30][31][32][33][41][42][43]

Demand and popularity[edit]

Demand for comfortable active, athletic, sports and casual wear has increased since the turn of the 21st century.[44] Nike, Inc. reported their women’s business comprised 7 billion in 2010[45] and the larger market grew to $33.6 billion by 2015.[46] 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."[45]

Many high-end fashion houses to mass-market trend-chasers have been capitalizing on the growth of the modern sportswear market leading an emphasis on technical fabrics and garments that have made yoga pants to be worn as everyday dress by many women. 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” one while other explanations cite the North American passion for fitness and healthy living.[47]


In the United States, reaction to the wider adoption of yoga pants proved somewhat controversial for schools.[48] Some schools adopted dress codes banning yoga pants for all students, or banning them only for female students.[49][50][51] Bitch Magazine argued such bans are largely gendered, focusing on the damage caused by "distraction" by girls;[52] similar complaints caused a ban in Rockport, Massachusetts to be quickly reversed.[49]

There are others who agree with the banning of 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 stated, “Yoga pants are a step above pajamas and we don't wear pajamas out to lunch, and we certainly don't wear them to work. Pajamas are for sleeping in, and ergo, not appropriate to wear in any other setting. The same can be said for yoga pants. Yoga pants are to be worn while doing yoga." Yoga pants being worn in public can be perceived as inappropriate and unattractive. According to Hallay, to promote a more business-like or mature persona, a person should dress as such.[53]


Major yogawear brands include Victoria's Secret, TNA Aritzia, Hard Tail, Athleta, Lucy Activewear, Lululemon Athletica, and Prana.[54][55] All of these brands feature the traditional boot-cut flare yoga pants style as well as other different styles which include capris, crops, and leggings. The yoga pants traditionally come in black but have since have become available with a multitude of other colors such as navy, white, pink, blue, brown, and charcoal.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Marguerite Ogle (October 8, 2013). "Find the Best Pilates and Yoga Pants for You". Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Are yoga pants the new jeans? How trend-led workout clothes are making fashion statements outside the gym". Daily Mail. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (16 March 2011). "To Stretch or Not to Stretch". Fashion and Style. New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Colleen Kane (4 June 2015). "Like it or not, designer yoga pants have become legitimate office wear". Fortune. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Wiebe, Jamie (12 December 2013). The Atlantic [Psychology of Lululemon: How Fashion Affects Fitness Psychology of Lululemon: How Fashion Affects Fitness] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 4 September 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Hastings, Anu (18 September 2014). "Indix". Indix. Indix. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Ashley Fern (Jan 27, 2014). "#DefaultOutfit: The 19 Reasons All Women Worship Yoga Pants". Elite Daily. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Nicole Young (July 7, 2014). Kelowna Now Retrieved 8 October 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Raquel Laneri (6 August 2016). "How to go clubbing in gym clothes and not look like a slob". NY Post. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Jessica Grose (29 January 2014). "Yoga Pants in da Club? Great Idea". Slate. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Why Women Love Wearing Yoga Pants". Sadhana. March 4, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ Suzanne Wexler (April 18, 2011). "Yoga sweats are not pants". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  17. ^ Kevin Sweeney (15 June 2011). "Absorbent Activewear". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved 12 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "You Can Find them In da Club: Yoga Pants?". Yoganonymous. January 28, 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "20 Places Moms Can Wear Yoga Pants Without Embarrassing Themselves". Yahoo. Nov 16, 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "7 Reasons Yoga Pants Are A Mommy Must". Scary Mommy: An honest look at motherhood. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
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  23. ^ a b Fritz Hahn (January 28, 2014). "Ink Lounge and Tattoo Bar want to see your yoga pants in the club". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Brandon K. Smith, (October 10, 2012). "Uggs, Yoga Pants, and North Face: The Yugga Face Season at Penn State". Drunk Tuesday. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Jessica Napier (September 20, 2011). "Uggs, crocs, yoga pants and now … leggings". Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  26. ^ Mary Ellen Riley (February 7, 2013). "February fashion forecast". Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "How to Wear (or Not Wear) UGGs". Onward State. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  28. ^ What to Wear with Yoga Pants
  29. ^ "Unique Fashion Trends of Fold Over Yoga Pants". Yogagainesville. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  30. ^ a b Nicholas Galczynski (February 26, 2014). "Real Live College Guy Nick Tackles... Yoga Pants". Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Jessica Camerata, (March 20, 2013). "Lululemon recall: What will you wear to brunch now?". HLN. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  32. ^ a b Alexandra Isenberg (September 22, 2011). "5 Instances Where You Can Wear Yoga Pants Outside of the Gym". Searching for Style. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  33. ^ a b "Yoga pants recall could be a good thing". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  34. ^ Lisa Raphael (March 19, 2014). "From Yoga to Da Club? Lululemon Expands Line to Include Non-Workout Apparel". Brit+Co. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  35. ^ Conrad, Jennifer (1 August 2014). "Can Sunrise Juice Raves Finally Turn Me Into a Morning Person?". Vogue. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  36. ^ "Yes, Curvy Gals Can Wear Leggings Over 40! Here's How". Fabulous After 40. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  37. ^ Melisse Gelula (21 October 2013). "The ultimate guide to yoga pants". Well And Good. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  38. ^ Susan Wagner (March 27, 2007). "Yoga pants: dos and don'ts". Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  39. ^ "How to Choose Yoga Pants: 7 Steps (with Pictures)". Wikihow. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  40. ^ 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. 
  41. ^ Maria Denardo (15 April 2016). "The Dos and Don'ts of Wearing Yoga Pants Around Town". Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  42. ^ Adria Vasil (2007). Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products and Services in Canada. 
  43. ^ Melissa Ivy Katz (27 February 2015). "The 10 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow for Athleisure". Shape. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  44. ^ Stalder, Erika (2008). Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 59. ISBN 9780547946931. 
  45. ^ a b Anderson, Mae (25 November 2013). "How yoga pants became the new jeans.". Denver Post. The Denver Post. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  46. ^ "Will yoga pants have jean makers singing the blues?". CBS Money Watch. Associated Press. Retrieved 22 April 2015. 
  47. ^ Brundage, Douglas (2 June 2014). "Technical Fabric in Fashion is Here to Stay". HighSnobiety. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  48. ^ Foley, Heather (10 April 2014). "Your guide to America's war on yoga pants". 
  49. ^ a b Shemkus, Sarah (6 March 2014). "Rockport High School leggings-ban controversy still simmers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  50. ^ Lestch, Corinne (3 October 2014). "'Distracting' yoga pants banned by officials at North Dakota high school". Daily News. NY Daily News. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  51. ^ "Parents Say School's Leggings 'Ban' Is Unfair To Girls, 'Contributes To Rape Culture'". Huffington Post. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  52. ^ Chin, Elleanor (15 October 2014). "Instead of Banning Yoga Pants, Schools Should Crack Down on Harassment". Bitch Magazine. 
  53. ^ Rhone, Nedra (14 March 2015). "That's a 'no' to yoga pants; What we wear in public has to be about more than just our comfort.". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  54. ^ Dawn, Eden (30 April 2012). "Trend Watch: Yoga Wear". Monthly Portland. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  55. ^ Helen Racanelli and Diana Faria. "22 awesome yoga pants for hanging out at home". Canadian Living. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
    C&O Apparel Tuff Athletics Yoga Pant
    "Top 10 Yoga Brands". Elysium Yoga. 23 October 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
    "Women's Workout Pants". Gap. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  56. ^ "Part 2- Looking Like a Local". About Vancouver. October 26, 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Yoga pants at Wikimedia Commons