Yoga Pants: A Journey through Spandex
Hello. Welcome to my non-official Ted Talk on yoga pants. As a 6'2" yogi with a belly, a booty, and lordosis finding a pair of yoga pants that I LOVE feels like finding a needle in a stretchy haystack. 😑
I could probably write a encyclopedia on this subject however it is 2020 and most people "ain't got time for that." To simplify this journey I'll start of by listing some of my favorite and least favorite styles of pants based on 3 categories: Waistband, Booty & Hips, Legs. Then I'll take you through 4 of my most used pants which will include my personal favorite pair of pants! Let's dive in!
Welcome to the waistband section. I'd like to begin by stating that I love high rise or super high rise pants. The feeling of being supported by my pants is incredibly important to me. That being said, for some reason a lot of brands do an interesting thing with their high waist or super high waist pants. They tend to create a seam around the hip area then just put a giant piece of fabric that lands on the waist.
While I do find this type of fit functional in certain pants (ex: Lululemon's super high rise align pants) this type of style falls short for me in most most other brands pants because of the lack of compression in the waist and the "hip seam" being too low so the pants slide down OFTEN. For example I've tried the Superfit Hero leggings (pictured below) and found the slide down so far my bottom would be exposed if I didn't use my cat like reflexes to catch them before they fell too far.
Shifting to a couple waist designs I'd like to highlight, here are 2 pairs of pants that do a good job at staying on the waist. First are Lululemon's pants with a drawstring called the "Skinny Will Pant" (they are no longer available for purchase but stick to the end to see them in action). Second are a few of Athleta's Power Vita pants with a partially ribbed waist band.
Both of these pants don't just have slabs of fabric, they took the time to make actually create supportive waistbands that don't cut off the midriff and don't slide down.
Booty & Hips
Let me tell you my hips don't lie 😅
In order for me to call a pair of pants my favorite there needs to be enough room for my tush.
Referencing the previous section, the "hip seam" on most pants doesn't actually provide any support for the upper fabric. It's just sort of there saying "here's where your hips should be" and can actually pull a pant down. An example of this issue can be found in the alo goddess legging. After seeing my more slender friends wear them for years I was so excited to own them in an XL. The first 3-4 wears were magical everything fit in the right place after that it was down hill, or down the booty I should say. Those pants SLIDE off like one second you feel like a goddess the next you feel exposed. I'm glad they are beginning to expand their size range with an extra large but it appears that they haven't fit tested their product before release on different body types.
This is not to say every pair pants should have extra room for hips & a booty but to acknowledge that there is more than one body type in existence when it comes to fitness. That being said, brands (especially larger companies) need to continuously incorporate a variety of not just sizes but sizes that cater to a wider range of body types.
Oh the legs, how I wish more companies knew that people come in a variety of heights. Lululemon and Athleta are 2 brands that definitely include varieties in inseams but 2 brands with pretty high price points isn't enough. WE NEED MORE VARIETY!
Also I know some people love a 7/8 pant and I too own a few, but when you're over 6ft and a pair of pants actually reach your ankles there is the most satisfying feeling that washes over you. As if your pants were custom made for your body because it's so hard to find long enough pants.
Lastly, why is there never a plus size collection with varying inseams. I'm very fortunate that I can usually fit the biggest size in a tall pant but I shouldn't be the cut off. There are other tall plus size people in the world that could also feel so much more comfortable in athleisure wear if they had pants with a proper fit all the way to the ankle.
In conclusion, here is a list of my top 4 pair of yoga pants including the promised image of the drawstring lulu's in action.
Skinny Will Pant: Drawstring lulu's that stay in place and have POCKETS 🙌🏾
Align Super High Rise Pant 28" in Diamond Eye: I love how these pants feel. The super high rise makes me feel secure and the longer 28" makes me so happy I couldn't stop smiling when I tried them on in store.
Ultra High Rise Elation Tight: I reach for these pants so much. The power vita fabric has a nice hold sensation and the waist band stays at my waist through cycling, power walking around the city, and yoga class after class after class 🙌🏾
DRUM-ROLL PLEASE... THE Aura Flare Pants are my favorite pair of yoga pants and sadly Athleta no longer makes them in tall but a few are still available in a regular inseam. The waist doesn't move, my hips and booty feel supported and not oddly cut, and they are long enough for my legs! I feel like I can do anything in these pants, there's definitely an extra pep in my step when I get to wear them. This is going to sound strange but I get so excited when I get to wear them that I always look at them saying to myself "I should've gotten 2" 🤦🏾♀️ The most I can hope is that they bring them back one day 😭
You made it to the end! Now, I must mention that this post did revolve around a few brands and there are many more out there. So if you think there are some pants I NEED to try leave a comment below and let me know what else is out there 🙏🏾