Yoga Pants Are For Exercising — Not A Public Display

Yoga pants have become a staple item in women’s closets, reaching far beyond gym or yoga classes. Teenage girls and grown women are sporting fancy yoga pants at grocery stores, playgrounds, restaurants, and cafes. The pant quickly secured its spot as a go-to option for all casual weekend activities.

In the Bay Area, most people do not blink when they see their friends, co-workers, or neighbors wear yoga pants. But, I do. It strikes a nerve, and it hurts. It hurts because there are so many better, comfier, and more appropriate clothes to wear.

Rise of Athleisure

Athleisure popularity has been growing steadily over the years, reaching women in different demographics and age groups. Nowadays, yoga pants are a symbol of comfort and a healthy lifestyle. Ladies put them on in the morning and seem to forget to take off. Some women wear them daily without any intention of going to a gym that day.

“From 2011–2016, the market for athletic clothing grew to be 30% of the total clothing and footwear industry. It grew 7% a year, compared to the sluggish 1% growth of the general apparel sector…” Business Insider, Yoga Pants Are More Popular Than Denim.

According to The Atlantic article, Everything You Wear Is Athleisure, the popularity of a yoga pant is due to three factors:

  • Over the years, synthetic fibers evolved, offering more flexibility, durability, and endless design choices;

  • A healthy lifestyle became synonymous with gym/yoga attire — anyone wearing Lululemon pants instantly labeled as a health-conscious individual;

  • Barriers between casual and athletic wear blurred welcoming an era of athleisure that can be expertly styled to pass as a “casual Friday” look.

Sadly, we have not reached the peak. The future projections are high for the athleisure industry as sportswear showing no signs of slowing down. People are very much in love with their latest yoga or pilates pants.

“Active bottoms and leggings are now a $1 billion industry, according to NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen. Their appeal to consumers has yielded rapid sales growth that shows no sign of going away, he said.” Bloomberg, How America Became A Nation Of Yoga Pants.

Yoga Pants Are Not Real Clothes

As popular as athletic wear is, I am not a fan. I understand wearing workout clothes at a gym, yoga, or pilates studio. I get the appeal of a stylish and expertly designed pant that keeps everything in while creating a sexy look. But what I do not understand is wearing these pants while running errands, meeting friends for coffee or playdates, or, worst of all, spending all day wearing them.

Get some real clothes!

Yes, I know that yoga pants are comfortable, but other clothes can be comfortable too. And in addition to comfort, a simple and chic outfit will highlight your fashion sense. A bulletproof option is a pair of boyfriend jeans, a white t-shirt, and a couple of sneakers. So easy and works for any occasion! For colder days, throw in a sweater or blazer.

I am not advocating for throwing out your favorite Lululemon pants. No! I am just asking to wear athleisure clothing when it is appropriate; when you are actually at a gym or yoga studio!

Yoga pants outside of a gym send the wrong message. The message that one did not bother to dress or does not care about the people around her/him. Wearing yoga pants outside of the gym looks sloppy, lazy, and shows a lack of respect.

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As I was researching this topic, I stumbled upon refreshing TightsAreNotPants website. I am not sure who they are, but their manifesto is a fascinating read.

“Tights as pants are the fashion equivalent of too much information. This gratuitous divulgence of assets repels where the tights-as-pants wearer presumably hopes to entice.” TightsAreNotPants.

Straight to the point. Tight yoga pants leave nothing to imagination displaying every inch of one’s body to the public. And yes, I can see that some might applaud and cheer on others for their brave display and confidence. But I say you can achieve the same results wearing real clothes. Clothes that make you feel confident without triggering disgust in some of us.

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What we wear represents to the world who we are and who we want to be. So invest five to ten minutes getting dressed in real clothes to reflect the talented, energetic, ambitious human that you are — not a sloppy, show-off’ish, did-not-bother-to-put-on-real-clothes kind of human.


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