How to Wear Yoga Pants Almost Anywhere

10 Aug

It’s no secret that yoga pants aren’t really for yoga.  It’s been at least five years since I have done yoga, yet I have a drawer full of yoga pants.

I wear yoga pants because it gives me carte blanche not to have washed my hair, applied makeup, put on earrings or even brushed my teeth.  I have been known to sleep in them, and not bother to change the next morning before leaving the house. Because all my yoga pants are black, they don’t show stains or soil, and can be worn for several days before washing (although the knees and butt often start to sag.)

By wearing yoga pants, you give the impression (to those who aren’t in the know) that you are going to exercise, so no one expects you to look good. However, all members of the not-so-secret sisterhood of yoga pants know that wearing exercise clothes does not necessarily mean you have any intention of exercising. It’s more likely to mean that you’re a busy mom without 15 minutes to spend getting dressed. And unlike other workout clothes such as running shorts, yoga pants are forgiving. They hide chubby legs, hairy legs, white legs, and desperately-in-need-of-lotion legs. That’s why they are a staple in the wardrobes of women in the 30+ category.

To learn more about why and where women wear yoga pants, I did an informal exit poll of moms dropping their kids off at my son’s preschool who were wearing yoga pants.

Here are the results:

Me: What are you up to this morning? Looks like you are headed to the gym? Poll Participant: No, I am going home to clean my house for the next three hours.

Me: So, you’ve started practicing yoga again? Poll Participant: Please tell me you are kidding. I’m going to Target and the grocery store.

Me: You’re in yoga pants too. Are you going to work out? Poll Participant: No, I hope to go home and take a nap.

Okay, so I only interviewed three people, but you get the picture.

Although yoga pants are currently at the bottom of the fashion food chain, I see a bright future for them — not unlike the ascent of denim. I think they will evolve and soon be accepted at most events besides weddings and funerals.

In the not so distant past, jeans were lowly attire – something manual laborers wore. Frank Sinatra boasted that he never owned a pair of jeans. In my high school and college days, my jeans were usually Levis and were for casual events. But now, we pay hundreds of dollars for jeans. Jeans that are woven on vintage looms … stitched by hand … designed to lengthen legs and lift derrières. We wear them to cocktail parties and fancy restaurants – even country clubs allow jeans. I had one friend comment that she spent more on jeans than church clothes because she wears them more often – good point.

So here are some thoughts on how to expand your yoga pant use:

yoga pants for a weekend brunchHow to wear yoga pants to the office: Try upgrading your yoga pants with a structured boyfriend blazer, fitted tank, ballet flats and bangle bracelets. Who knew you could look like you mean business and be so comfy!

How to wear yoga pants for cocktails: Glam up your favorite yoga pants by adding a sequin shell, kitten heels and vintage jewelry. You’re ready for a night on the town.

How to wear yoga pants for a weekend brunch: If you want to look casual, but polished, try an embellished tank with your yoga pants and metallic sandals. Finish the look with a delicate necklace and earrings.

How to wear yoga pants for girls’ night out: Pair your yogas with a billowy silk blouse – look for tops with pretty patterns or intricate necklines. Try brightly colored wedges for a leg-lengthening effect.

How to wear yoga pants for date night: Try a sheer blouse over lacey camisole for a subtly seductive look. Accessorize with stacked rings and peep-toe pumps. Your man will never know you are in your favorite, at-home pants!

So the next time you default to wearing yoga pants, just think, you could be a trend setter – a fashion forward It-Mom. But for now, I will settle for yoga pants as a go-to outfit on busy mornings. Maybe I even need a few more pairs.


18 Responses to “How to Wear Yoga Pants Almost Anywhere”

  1. Kira Kroboth August 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Kathleen, I love this! (Commented while wearing my favorite pair of yoga pants with no intentions of going to the gym. Though I did just vacuum the entire house!) Hope you’re doing well!

    • 40countdown August 10, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

      Yoga pants are great for housework. I certainly prefer the capri variety on hot days like today! Hope you are doing well — thanks so much for reading!

  2. mrsllorente August 11, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    LOVE this post. I have always respected the yoga pants, but now I can put my finger on WHY. You’re such a great writer…always interesting and witty.

    • 40countdown August 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks Stephanie! Hope you have some time to relax in in your yoga pants this weekend while writing thedrivehome … I’m enjoying it!

  3. Aimee Hoyt August 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Hilarious, Kathleen! Do you mind if I share it with my mom’s group? And I need some advice. I have a gig in Santa Fe tonight, playing at a popular (and sometimes rowdy) local bar/restaurant. What do you think? Yoga pants and….. cowboy boots?

    • Aimee Hoyt August 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      I meant “moms’ group.”

      • 40countdown August 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

        Hey Aimee ~ Great to hear from you! Love the boots and yoga pants idea … hilarious … wish I had thought about that for this post. It would have made a great photo. Yoga capris paired with a denim jacket, black cowboy hat and cowboy boots …. nothing says blue grass momma better! Please, please share this with your moms’ or mom’s group! And encourgage them to subscribe if they enjoy it. I would love to have more readers. Take care — and hope the show in Santa Fe goes well!!!!

  4. Brandy Brinson August 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Too funny, Kathleen!
    I am actually wearing yoga SHORTS today. A really daring move! Changed into them right after I walked in the door from a meeting. I was planning to wear them for comfort while F was napping, and I was working/cleaning/hopefully napping. Imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang, and it was the cable men. I forgot they were coming and had to let them in! Normally no one would see me in yoga shorts. Not even the folks in my occasional yoga class.
    Thanks for the laugh! Keep up the good work.

    • 40countdown August 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      Love it! Did not know there were yoga shorts!Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  5. pantsinspace August 12, 2011 at 4:12 am #

    You can step up your game by wearing one of those yoga-pants-material skirts from somewhere like REI. Because then, yo, skirt. That’s fancy. I can go like three days without washing my hair when I have on a skirt.

    • 40countdown August 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      Had no idea there were yo skirts! How glam! Must check them out — another friend just told me about yo shorts! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  6. Daddy learning about Moms August 12, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Just curious about ‘…can be worn for several days before washing’ what do you mean?

    • 40countdown August 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

      Hey Daddy Learning About Moms! Thanks for reading 40countdown. What I meant was that unlike cotton pants that wrinkle and show dirt, food stains, etc, yoga pants can be worn for a few days because they don’t show dirt and they don’t wrinkle. Hope this helps!

  7. Megan A. Merchant August 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Hilarious, and valuable, post!
    My friend Aimee posted this in our Mom’s group, let me know if you’d ever like to guest at my page, it would be fun having you! – Megan,

  8. Anonymous August 17, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    This post has me in stitches! Just this morning, I went into my closet and considered my options: Shower and put on something cute or save time by wearing “exercise” clothes so that I can get out quickly and look as if I’m in a hurry to get to the gym. You nailed it! I espcially loved the comment about hoping to get home for a nap. Yoga pants are perfect for napping.

    • 40countdown August 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Thanks so much for reading! Hope you get to take a nap in your yoga pants this afternoon!

  9. Kelly Coley September 1, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    I love, love, love this!!! It is soo true… Am going to try the cocktail look this fall!
    We now at Spanx have our new Yoga pant- for those of us who want to look fit and firm, and comfortable in our yoga pants!!! 🙂


  1. Joggs…WTH? | - August 14, 2011

    […] How to Wear Yoga Pants Almost Anywhere ( […]

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