Here we go again – time for another yoga class, and you’ve got nothing to wear? Okay, that might be an exaggeration if you have a wardrobe full of activewear, but we all know the feeling of being uninspired by our wardrobe and not knowing what to pick.
Besides, leggings can be tricky to match with other garments and create fashionable fits. Looking stylish might not be the most important aspect of yoga, but it definitely counts for something.
If you are in need of some fashion inspiration for the yoga studio and want to make the most of your leggings, you’ve come to the right place.
In today’s article, we’re discussing what features to look for in your next pair of leggings, our favorite types of yoga pants, and a few outfits that will serve you well in yoga class and beyond.
What Makes Great Leggings?
One thing is for sure – there’s no shortage of options when it comes to athletic leggings in 2021. Every time you walk through the mall or scroll on social media, you’re bombarded with new styles, new materials, and new ways to wear these popular garments.
If you’re starting from scratch or just need a reboot in the leggings department, we suggest you keep your eyes open for the following features.
We can’t understate the importance of quality materials enough. This goes for every article of clothing in your wardrobe, but it applies to yoga pants in particular.
Not only is comfort key, but your performance in the yoga studio or gym will be directly impacted by the materials that make up your leggings. The right leggings will help you lift more weight, perform more technical poses, and push yourself to the limit on cardio – that’s a fact!
Our big tip here is to avoid leggings made from any single material, whether it’s cotton, polyester, nylon, or any other new-age plant-based fabric.
Instead, you should opt for blends of these various materials to get the benefits of each while minimizing downsides in important areas like stretch, temperature regulation, moisture control, and more.
Ideally, your next pair of leggings will have a mix of organic cotton, recycled polyester, and maybe a bit of extra nylon or spandex for added stretch and comfort.
Every manufacturer has a unique, proprietary approach to blended fabrics, so don’t hesitate to try a wide range of leggings and see which materials feel best on your skin.
The Perfect Fit
With great materials on your side, you’ve won half the battle. The next challenge is locking in the perfect fit for your body shape and the requirements you have for athletics, leisure, or any other activity you plan to do.
We’ll talk more about different types of leggings in a minute, but for now, just remember to prioritize fit as a matter of comfort and your experience in the gym (and beyond).
This not only goes for the length of your leggings, but also for the fit around the waist, the pressure applied to your legs and glutes, and the general shape of the garment overall. It’s worth trying different sizes – up and down – to see what feels right.
Don’t be that person who sacrifices comfort or mobility just because you’re attached to a particular look or brand. Fitness is about performance first and foremost, and that means locking in the right fit for your body shape and activity type.
On-Trend Colors and Patterns
With fabric and fit out of the way, we’ve got to mention style! Yoga is a wonderful opportunity for self-expression, not only in the movement of your body and breath but in what you wear to the studio or in your home practice.
Keep an eye on the latest trends in the world of leggings, whether it’s funky prints, eye-popping patterns, or single-shade colors that work well with your skin tone and personal style.
Our Favorite Leggings
You’ve got the fundamentals down to a T, so now it’s time to talk about our favorite leggings in the mix right now.
Capri-Cut and Full Length
These are the most popular styles of activewear leggings on the market, and they’ve been at the top for years. Full-length leggings go all the way from the waist down to the foot, while capris cut off somewhere in the mid-calf area for a bit of extra exposure.
You’ll also see 7/8 length leggings that fall somewhere between capri and full-length, so that’s a nice compromise for those on the fence.
We like these leggings because they’re classic, simple, and give you a good amount of coverage in the gym or studio, especially when you’re going full pretzel mode on the yoga mat.
You also can’t go wrong when it comes to styling these more traditional types of yoga pants since they come in the widest variety of colors, patterns, materials, and fits.
We suggest starting with these longer leggings if you’re brand new to gym clothes or you’re just looking for an upgrade to your worn-out activewear.
Biker Shorts and Knee-Length
When the sun is blazing overhead in the middle of summer, full-length leggings might feel like a bit much, even if you’ve got top-quality breathable materials to help you out.
Sometimes, you just want to let your skin breathe as it should, with nothing between you, the yoga mat, the grass, or the carpet at home.
In this case, take a look at biker shorts or knee-length leggings, both giving you great thigh-compression benefits without the full coverage.
Biker shorts have been in style for years now, and you only need to spend a few hours in Beverly Hills to see that first hand! Knee-length yoga pants are also seeing more love on social media and in publications, offering a perfect halfway point between shorts and full-length leggings.
If leggings go too short, are they really leggings anymore? It’s up for you to decide, but don’t write off the enjoyment of shorts when working out or doing yoga, either. There’s a time and place for everything.
Today’s leggings are so much more than the basic yoga pants of the past.
You’ll find them with high waistlines, compression technology, ventilated patterns, and even extra padding on the butt. Nothing wrong with wanting a bit of extra shape here and there!
You’ll see long lists of extra features when shopping around for yoga pants in any category, so always take the time to review the products in full before making a buy.
You might be paying for more than you need or getting a garment that doesn’t fit the bill for whatever reason. Be a smart shopper and know what you’re buying every time.
Geared Up for the Gym
We often use the terms leggings and yoga pants to mean the same thing, but in truth, you can wear these form-fitting bottoms for any type of workout you want.
Here are a few of our favorite workouts and what outfits are best for each activity.
Weightlifting, Cardio, and Aerobics
All due respect to the women out there following serious gym routines and using every piece of equipment in the gym! If you love the intensity of lifting weights and grinding on cardio machines, you’ll need some leggings to help you get through it all.
We suggest going for more supportive, form-fitting leggings to maximize performance in the weight room and for strenuous aerobics sessions. Pair these leggings with a breathable, ventilated top for a full range of motion, or slip on a hoodie to really work up a sweat.
Yoga, Pilates, and Dance
In the yoga studio, flexibility is everything, and you might not need compression leggings or super-tight capris to achieve your optimal flow.
Instead, pick leggings that simply feel great and allow you to breathe to the best of your ability. No restriction, no extra support – just truly comfortable leggings paired with a breezy top that won’t get in your way during class.
If you need some pointers on style and matching sets for yoga class, why not try out an activewear subscription service that gives you a perfect new outfit each month? That way, you’ll never be without a trendy and functional look for the yoga studio.
Outdoor Workouts and Adventures
For some folks, the great outdoors beats the gym or yoga studio every time! If you like to exercise in the park or go hiking in the hills, you’ll need some more durable, thicker leggings to keep you stable and protected.
Short-sleeve tees are fine for outdoor sessions, but you might want to bring a lightweight zip-jacket or extra long-sleeve layer if the weather turns.
Picking the right leggings isn’t always easy, but with this article to guide you, you can make the best selection for your needs and look great while working out in your favorite way.