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, lululemon’s obscenely sheer scandal and ongoing debate over whether they’re fit for the public sphere. They threaten to usurp jeans as top-ranked leisure-wear. Why? Some ideas:
1. Because they’ve adapted to women’s bodies. At first, they were like ballet clothes, 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, I’ve bought a pair with extra firm hold for the tummy, and yes, it’s made me feel more pulled together (literally) wearing them out after class. You can buy styles to lift your butt, flatten your gut and trim your thighs. All before the workout.
3. Because they work for all weather — they were made for layering, either throwing snowpants or sweats or a skirt on the bottom with 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 offer a modicum of 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, with pockets on the waistband to hold a little 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 participated in “men’s” sports and our color palette was gray, heather gray and slate gray. Now, brands like Athleta and Title Nine offer new fashions each season.
6. Because they’re awesome.