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Getting the most stretch out of your Yoga Pant dollar

Lululemon Groove Pant

Lululemon Groove Pant

Lululemon Still Pant

Lululemon Still Pant

Athletic wear, and yoga pants in particular have come a long way in the beginning of the 21st century. There are lots of fabric, colour and style choices available at a range of prices. Figuring out what works for your body and your needs and how to make them last doesn’t need to be a “stretch goal”.

Fabrics

Yoga pants can be primarily made of cotton or a synthetic fabric, like nylon or polyester. For elasticity there should be some spandex or lycra. The nicest pants have four way stretch, meaning they stretch up and down and side to side for maximum movement. Cottons will breathe while synthetics usually don’t. Unlike nylon, cotton doesn’t have the properties to transport and evaporate moisture so if you think you’ll be sweating your cotton pants might leave you wet. Cotton can stand the heat of the dryer but spandex cannot. In general It’s best to air dry your pants to ensure they keep their shape and stretchiness. Washing Tip: It’s best to wash similar fabrics together. Therefore, avoid washing your synthetic fabric pants with your cotton clothes and you’ll save yourself from a lot of lint transferring onto those pants.

Colours

The standard colour is black, most likely because black is slimming. As a colour neutral* it can be worn with most other colours. A lot of pants now even if they are black have coloured trims or details to give a little personality. Whether you chose black or any of the colour be sure it’s one you like and that works with your athletic tops so you get the most out of your pair.

Styles

Mimi Mango capri pant

Mimi Mango capri pant

Yoga pants come in different lengths, cuts and styles. Premium places like Lululemon offer free hemming on their pants as well as tall options for those long-legged ladies out there. If you buy your pants at a place that doesn’t offer hemming bring your too long pair to a tailor and try them on how you’d wear them (running shoes, bare footed) to ensure the right length and avoid dragging and tripping when you’re wearing them. For comfort and wearability, look for pants that have flat, anti-chafe seams and a gusseted crotch. Once you figure out what your needs are and the right style will be easier to determine. For actual yoga or running, a cropped version may work best, while for casual comfort a full pant style with pockets could fit the bill. Decorative seams down the legs can create shape and make the thighs look narrower. As for fit, same goes as with jeans: make sure you look and feel good in them, so don’t stress about the size on the tag. It’s better to avoid pinching and muffin tops by going up a size or two in the waistband. Make sure the rise (low, medium, high) works for you too. Some pants have a high waistband that can be folded down to give you more rise options in one pair. Also if the store doesn’t have a mirror that shows your backside, bring a trusted friend along with you and you’ll be doing your downward dogs in style from here on out.

*Colour neutral describes colours that compliment almost all other colours and rarely clash. That makes them easy to wear and ideal as base pieces when building an outfit. These colours are black, white and grey. Sometimes browns, beiges and tans (think of khaki pants) can work as neutrals, too.

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