How to Choose Yoga Pants

Whether you’re taking a yoga class, exercising outside, or just lounging around the house, yoga pants are a great choice of attire. With so many different styles, cuts, and patterns to choose from, it can be hard to pick the right ones! Thankfully, there are a few ways you can narrow down your search to select the perfect pair for your needs.


[Edit]Pick between full length or capris.

  1. Full length ones are great for winter, while capris are better for summer. Capris pants end at your calf muscle, and full length ones stop at your ankle. If you tend to get warm easily, capri pants might be better for you; if you wear your yoga pants during the colder months, go for full length instead.[1]
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    • Your height may also play a factor in which length you choose. If you’re petite, full length yoga pants might pool around your ankles. If you’re super tall, capri yoga pants might end too far up your leg for your liking.

[Edit]Choose a fitted or relaxed style.

  1. Go for fitted if you like leggings, and choose relaxed if you prefer pants. If you’re planning to do a lot of activity in your yoga wear, fitted pants are probably best for you, since they’re skin tight. If you want to wear your yoga pants out and about, go for relaxed ones instead.[2]
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    • As styles go in and out of fashion, you may find it more difficult to get your hands on a certain type of style. A few years ago, relaxed yoga pants were all the rage; nowadays, the fitted version is more popular.

[Edit]Pick between high-waisted or mid-rise.

  1. If you’re going for pants with structure, choose high waisted ones. If you’re looking more for comfort, consider going for mid-rise instead. Mid-rise pants do have a tendency to fall down easily, so they aren’t great for physical activities.[3]
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    • You might be able to find yoga pants with a drawstring waist, too. However, these aren’t great for actual yoga, since the knot can bunch up and be painful.

[Edit]Choose cotton or synthetic fabric.

  1. Go with synthetic fabrics if breathability is your number one concern. If you don’t want to deal with pilling (the small fibrous pills that happen after washing), go with cotton yoga pants instead. Keep in mind, though, that cotton yoga pants are usually warmer, so they might not be great for hot yoga.[4]
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    • Over time, all fabrics will wear with friction. The formation of pills—tiny knots of loose fibers—occurs in both cotton and synthetic fabrics. However, pilling is typically more pronounced in synthetic fabrics since small plastic fibers can anchor pills more than cotton fibers.
    • Some brands are now coming out with a new type of fabric: bamboo. These yoga pants are soft and comfortable, but they tend to pill faster than cotton or synthetic blends.

[Edit]Decide between thick or thin yoga pants.

  1. Go for thin yoga pants if you plan on doing a lot of exercising in them. A thinner material will breathe much better and help wick moisture away. If you want to wear your yoga pants out and about, try going for a thicker material for a little extra coverage. [5]
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[Edit]Pick out the stretch that you need.

  1. Choose stretchy yoga pants for ultimate comfort. If you like yoga pants that stay form fitting and give you a bit of structure, choose ones that are less stretchy. Cotton yoga pants are usually stretchier, while synthetic blends might be a little more tight.[6]
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    • The best way to test stretch is to try your yoga pants on first.

[Edit]Select a color or print.

  1. Lighter colors tend to show more sweat than darker colors. If you’re worried about sweat marks, try going for a dark blue or black pair of yoga pants. Or, pick out a fun print or pattern to disguise any sweat that may show up.[7]
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    • Black is the standard color for yoga pants since it’s so easy to match with tops and shoes. However, you can always mix it up by going for a bright color or a busy print.

[Edit]Look for gusset in the crotch area.

  1. If you don’t want pressure in your groin, find pants with a gusset. Instead of one long seam in the crotch, yoga pants made with gussets have a seam in a diamond or triangular shape. If you plan on doing a lot of activity in your yoga pants, look for ones with a gusset so they’re more comfortable for long-term wear.[8]
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    • Most higher end yoga pants and athletic wear come with gussets.

[Edit]Find yoga pants with pockets.

  1. Will you be carrying anything with you in your yoga pants? Some brands come with small pockets that are perfect for lip balm, keys, or change. If you plan on going out and about a lot and you don’t want to bring a bag or a purse, look for yoga pants with this feature.[9]
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    • Doing actual yoga with a bunch of stuff in your pockets probably isn’t comfortable. If you can, try to empty your pockets before class so you can bend and move unhindered.

[Edit]Avoid yoga pants with a lot of extras.

  1. You might find a pair of yoga pants with zippers, clasps, or even bows. If you plan on doing a lot of working out in your yoga pants, stick to simple, clean designs without things that could snag on your shirt or shoes. If you want yoga pants to lounge in, a zipper or two can’t hurt![10]
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    • If you plan on doing yoga in your yoga pants, avoid any kind of sparkle or rhinestone decorations, too. They’ll probably just fall off and make a mess as you work out.

[Edit]Research the production of the yoga pants.

  1. If you’re looking for ethically-made clothing, you might consider this. Before you make a purchase, check out the brand and see if you can find out where they make their clothing, where the materials come from, and what kind of working conditions the laborers are subjected to. If you can’t find the info or it’s ambiguous, there’s a good chance the yoga pants aren’t ethically made.[11]
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  • Yoga pants vary in price depending on the quality and the brand. In general, you can find a decent pair for around $30.

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