Do You Wear Yoga Pants -- When You're Not Doing Yoga? Is That OK?

7 years ago

Does this sound familiar? It's Tuesday and you don't have any plans to leave the house so you think, Eh, I'll just throw on my yoga pants today, which is fine until you realize that you need to run to the grocery/post office/coffee shop and so you do and you run into your ex/your mother-in-law/that woman from the carpool line who always looks like a supermodel. And you think, Argh, why didn't I get dressed?

Good question. Especially since there's no reason that yoga pants have to be synonymous with staying in your pajamas all day.

It is entirely possible to wear yoga pants for more than yoga; the key is to choose the right pants and to be thoughtful about how you style them. Let's start with the pants.

Athleta yoga pants

Don't skimp on quality. If you're going to rely on yoga pants as your go-to for daywear, spend the money to get a really well-made pair. I like Athleta's line of yoga wear; their pieces will stand up to even the most grueling wash-and-wear schedule. Pictured at left: Chaturanga yoga pant, $69 (some colors on sale for $49.99).

Choose a flattering style. A wide or fold-over waistband is perfect if you're camouflaging a bit of a tummy; a drawstring waist is also good if you carry your weight in the middle. A boot-cut leg balances larger hips and thighs.

Triple-check the fit. Don't be afraid to go up a size -- you can always cut the tag out later -- but never ever wear yoga pants that bind across the rear; the fit should be snug but not tight. But don't go up too many sizes; yoga pants are not meant to be baggy.

Opt for a substantial fabric. A slightly more heavy-duty material -- one that includes some Lycra, for example -- will hold everything in place better and give you a smoother line. A more substantial fabric will also wear better and last longer, which matters if this is going to be your go-to look for day.

How do you style your yoga pants for day? Keep your look casual and athletic, even if you're not planning to do any actual yoga. Avoid baggy, oversized tops; pair yoga pants with fitted tanks and tees, and add a slim hoodie or jacket for warmth. Keep shoes casual and lightweight; thong sandals or athletic-inspired flats are perfect. Walking or running shoes are also fine, especially if your day will involve lots of activity (chasing kids at the park, for example, or running errands). Don't try to dress your yoga pants up with ballet flats or a really beautiful sweater; if you want to wear those pieces, swap your yoga pants for some dark-rinse jeans.

Do you wear yoga pants as daywear? How are you making them work for your life? If you're not a yoga pants girl, what's your go-to for a casual day at home? Sheila Dowd is looking for suggestions and strategies for the first video in BlogHer's Putting it All Together series -- share your tips for styling your yoga pants in the comments here, or at Xiaolin Mama.

Susan Wagner writes about pragmatic fashion at The Working Closet and chic suburban living at Friday Playdate.

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