Yoga pants are taking over the world

I love yoga pants. They’re super comfy, and thanks to innovative companies like Beta Brand you don’t have to sacrifice professionalism just to wear yoga pants.

I’ve known for a while that yoga pants are taking over the world. Look around and you’ll see yoga pants everywhere. It really came as no surprise to learn that yoga pants out sold jeans. In the fiscal year ending this past June, the sale of jeans dropped 6% down to $16 billion while the sale of yoga and athletic pants rose 7% up to $33.6 billion.

Levi has been making jeans since their founder Levi Strauss invented the denim jean in 1873. In the 141 years jeans have been around, jeans have faced hard times. When corduroy pants surged in popularity in the mid-1970s, denim sales fell 3%-4%. When khakis were suddenly popular again in 2002, denim sales fell 3%.

But the athleisure wear trend has hit jeans the hardest, making some question whether or not women’s jeans are going the way of bloomers. To help get some of their market share back, Levi is talking about releasing a line of jeans that are stretchy and soft like yoga pants.

“Yoga pants have replaced jeans in my wardrobe,” high school senior Anita Ramaswamy told the Associated Press. “You can make it as sexy as skinny jeans and it’s more comfortable.”

While comfort and ease are definitely predominant factors here, I believe another factor is people wish to be perceived as healthy; wearing yoga gear all the time can help reinforce that perception among their social groups. “Everyone wants to look like they’re running to the gym, even if they’re not,” said Amanda Hallay, assistant clinical professor of fashion merchandising at LIM College in Manhattan.

It is unclear if this new line of comfortable jeans will give Levi some of their market share back. But, it is clear that it might not be wise to replace all the denim in your closet with yoga pants.

In his 2010 book Oh No She Didn’t:The Top 100 Style Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them TV host and fashion expert Clinton Kelly said, “If a downward-facing dog isn’t in your immediate future, put on some real pants.”

“If you wear yoga pants or jeggings all the time,” Clinton explained in an interview, “you will not realize that you’ve gained weight until you’ve put on 10 pounds, maybe even more, and then it’s a hell of a lot harder to lose.”

Denim jeans and slacks are structured in such a way that you you can’t easily do bakasana, but you will know when that extra piece of chocolate cake went to your thighs.

I for one want to know when I’m gaining weight. I would rather do a little preventative maintenance than suddenly find out I need to lose 10lbs just to fit into my skinny jeans.

I personally only wear yoga pants around the house or to do yoga, but apparently I’m in the minority. What about you? Do you wear yoga pants to work or to run errands? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments.

Photo: Betabrand