Though they still court controversy, there are five good reasons to really love yoga pants.
Another weekend gone, another 20-some hours spent in yoga pants.
They’ve been on the scene for decades, despite attempts by schools to ban them, sheerness scandals and ongoing debates over whether they’re fit for the public sphere. Still, they threaten to usurp jeans as the top-ranked leisure wear. Why? Some ideas:
1. Because they’ve adapted to real women’s bodies. At first, they were like ballet clothes, designed for the long and lean, but very quickly, petite, plus and tall sizes emerged.
2. Because you can buy forgiving, even flattering versions. No waistband means no pinching and free eating. On the other hand, you can also find versions with extra firm hold for the tummy that can make you feel more pulled together (literally) when you wear them out after class. You can buy styles to lift your butt, flatten your gut and trim your thighs — all without a workout.
3. Because they work for all weather — they were made for layering, with everything from snowpants to a skirt on the bottom and a tunic, long tee or jacket on top.
4. Because shorts and sweats during actual yoga or Pilates classes just won’t do. Yoga pants, often high-waisted and double-checked for full coverage (thanks, Lululemon), offer extra modesty when you’re bending and stretching. And they’re great for other workouts that could cause thigh chafing, too, from running to Zumba.
5. Because makers keep making them better. There are practical additions, such as pockets on the waistband to hold cash or a key. And they lead the way in pushing athletic wear to be stylish, something that didn’t used to happen when women’s wear was based on men’s styles, and the color palette was limited to gray, heather gray and slate gray. Now, companies like Athleta and Title Nine offer fresh fashions each season and new brands are popping up every year.