For What Can You Wear Yoga Pants?

Yoga pants are no longer just for yogis. Heck, you don't even need to go to a gym to see people sporting these sporty pants. But just because others are wearing yoga pants everywhere doesn't necessarily mean they're always okay...right? If you're unsure where's the "proper place" to wear yoga pants, then you've got to check out what we've uncovered on this topic. 

Yoga pants will always be best-suited for athletic activities where you need flexibility and breathability. In addition to yoga, these pants are excellent for jogging, cycling, and gym classes like Pilates. If you're more interested in swimming, horseback riding, or golfing, you should look into sport-specific leggings. Also, although it's okay to wear yoga pants in public, they still aren't considered "business casual." You should always consider the appropriateness of your yoga pants when choosing whether to wear them in public. 

If you've still got questions about when to wear yoga pants, please keep reading. In this post, we'll detail a few popular activities and explain whether yoga pants are a "good fit."

Motivated confident fit woman athlete in tight sportswear, black pants and top, starting to run, jogging outdoor against orange wall. For What Can You Wear Yoga Pants

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Where Should You Wear Yoga Pants? — An Overview Of Popular Activities

Basically, as long as you feel comfortable, there's nothing "wrong" with wearing yoga pants wherever you want. However, that doesn't mean these pants are optimal in every circumstance. To help you make an informed fashion choice, here are a few considerations for different scenarios. 

Yoga Pants For Swimming 

Female Swimmer Wearing Hat And Goggles Training In Swimming Pool

You shouldn't swim in yoga pants unless they were explicitly designed to be waterproof. Thankfully, it's not difficult to find brands that offer "swim tights," which are swimmer-approved yoga pants. 

Click this Amazon link for more details.

If you have a generic pair of yoga pants, you should contact the manufacturer before jumping into the deep end. While your yoga pants may do OK in a swimming pool, they probably weren't designed for this function. It's safer to buy some swim tights and keep your yoga pants for "on the ground" workouts. 

Yoga Pants For Running

Yoga pants are every runner's best friend. Whether you like pounding the pavement or running on a treadmill, yoga pants will provide you with exceptional flexibility, breathability, and sweat resistance. 

Click this Amazon link for more info. 

Just be sure to avoid cotton yoga pants, as these don't have the best moisture-wicking abilities. 

What Is The Difference Between Yoga Pants And Running Shorts? 

Back view of runner athlete, fit brunette girl in black sportswear, tight pants and top, running up stairs doing cardio training

In all honesty, the distinction between yoga pants and running leggings can get blurry. As more manufacturers make their yoga pants adaptable to various activities, they tend to have the same breathability and flexibility. 

However, leggings that are designed for running should always have moisture-wicking technology. Of course, running shorts are also "shorter" than yoga pants, making them a better choice for hot yoga. 

Interestingly, you could transform a pair of yoga pants into DIY running shorts. If you're interested in this topic, be sure to read through our "Five Step Guide To Cutting Yoga Pants."

Yoga Pants For Hiking

Woman helping her friend to climb the cliff and reach the top of mountain. Friends helping each other during hiking a mountain.

Like running, yoga pants are a popular choice with people who love "taking a hike." As long as you stick with spandex or nylon, these pants are a fine choice for short hiking excursions.

However, if you're going on a more challenging multi-day hike, you should upgrade to "hiking leggings." These pants may not be as form-fitting as yoga pants, but they offer better protection against the elements. Also, hiking pants come with extra pockets so you could stow away essential gear.

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

Yoga Pants For Horseback Riding

Picture of young pretty girl riding horse

Yoga pants aren't the best choice for horseback riding. Sure, you may be able to "get away" with wearing these pants, but they don't have many of the features horseback riders need (e.g., belt loops). Also, yoga pants aren't considered "professional" in the horseback community—at least not yet.

That being said, there are a few "horseback riding leggings" now available on some online shops. However, if you're competing professionally, a pair of breeches remains the ideal choice.

Find out more on this Amazon link.

Yoga Pants For Working Out

a group of asian chinese female friends practicing yoga in domestic living room together using laptop for online class

Workout sessions are where yoga pants shine. Even if you're not down with Downward Facing Dog, these pants are a comfy and convenient option for most gym activities. From weight training and jogging to Pilates and Zumba, yoga pants are an excellent addition to your workout routine. 

Yoga Pants For Work

While yoga pants are great for "working out," they aren't so great for "work." Currently, there's a big debate over whether yoga pants count as "business attire." We've written an entire post on this topic entitled, "Are Yoga Pants Business Casual?"

Generally speaking, yoga pants aren't considered professional attire. However, you could opt for more modest athleisure designs that mimic yoga pants. For instance, many business professionals adore palazzo pants.

Find out more on this Amazon link.

Please check your office's dress code to see if yoga pants make the cut. If you still don't know if your yoga pants qualify as "office appropriate," chances are you should change your wardrobe. 

Yoga Pants For Golfing

Female golf player swinging golf club.

Golf has a pretty "snooty" reputation (Caddyshack, anyone?). Therefore, it's understandable yoga pants are still not considered proper attire in most professional golfing venues.

However, it's increasingly common for pro golfers to wear yoga pants when training. As the game of golf modernizes, it may be acceptable to wear yoga pants on the green.

If you have doubts about whether to wear yoga pants to your golf meet-up, be sure to check the dress code at your clubhouse. When in doubt, search for a breathable pair of golf pants.

Find out more on this Amazon link.

Yoga Pants On A Plane Ride

Young woman pulling suitcase in airport terminal

A few years ago, you may have heard a news story where United Airlines refused two female passengers wearing yoga pants. While this is true, United Airlines points out the women in this story were using "buddy passes." Since they were flying on United Airlines' dime, they were held up to higher standards.

So, there's nothing to fear wearing comfortable yoga pants on a long-haul flight. Unless you're flying on an employee's pass, most airlines don't have an issue with passengers who wear leggings. 

Yoga Pants For Everyday Wear

Unless you're going somewhere with a strict dress code, it's OK to wear yoga pants for everyday errands. The only exception to this rule is if you're going to work. Since yoga pants aren't considered business casual, they usually aren't the best choice when you're in a professional situation. 

Is It OK To Wear Yoga Pants In Public?

Yoga pants are an increasingly common sight in shops, movie theatres, and restaurants. In most instances, it's fine for women to wear yoga pants in public. However, if you're in a solemn place (e.g., a church) or a work environment, these pants may not be the best option. 

Is It OK To Wear Yoga Pants Every Day?

Yoga pants have become increasingly popular as everyday wear, especially in the USA. Heck, the whole point behind the "athleisure" movement is to merge the comfort of athletic clothes with casual attire. As long as these pants don't conflict with your job requirements, it's OK to use them every day. 

Yoga Pants For Sleep

If you've just gone through a brutal workout and want to hit the hay, you may be tempted to sleep in your yoga pants. Sure, these aren't traditional pajamas, but many women say they are cozy in the cold winter months!

However, if you need to separate your activewear from your "dream wear," plenty of companies offer pajamas-approved leggings. 

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

If you're interested in wearing yoga pants to bed, then you may want to read our previous article, "Do Yoga Pants Keep You Warm?"

Who Should Not Wear Yoga Pants?

If you ask opinion writers at the New York Times, women over 30 shouldn't wear yoga pants. However, there's no law banning people from wearing yoga pants if they feel like it. Indeed, anyone can wear yoga pants if they feel comfortable in them. You have to consider the professionalism of your pants, especially if you're going to places with a strict dress code.  

Yoga Pants: Contemporary Women's Casualwear

Currently, you should only avoid wearing yoga pants in professional settings or at sacred places like cathedrals, mosques, or synagogues. Other than that, it's best to think of yoga pants as a mix of athletic and casual wear. Generally, these pants are best for gym-related activities that require a lot of flexibility. However, as long as you feel confident in your pair of pants, they are an increasingly accepted casualwear option.  

One comment

  1. I think that part of the experience of going to the gym is being seen. There are no walls, there are mirrors everywhere, and everyone is trying to look good. I think there is a role for fit people to play by showing off their bodies a little.

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