How to Choose Pilates and Yoga Pants

There are a few criteria for women's workout pants.

Young girl practising yoga
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When it comes to workout clothes for women, Pilates and yoga pants (which are essentially the same) can be a big challenge. Form fitting pants are best so that you and/or your teacher can see what your body is doing. But that puts the demand on you to find a style that both looks good and feels comfortable.
The criteria for judging which pants are "best" will vary widely from person to person, but here are a few categories to consider when choosing the ones that will work best for you, with a few brands you might want to try.

Tired of Basic Black? 

Black is generally flattering, but if you are ready to stretch beyond the colorful fold-over waistbands out there, try Margarita Activewear. They do have a lot of black backgrounds, but bold, colorful graphic designs make this a top choice for those looking to put a little wild in their workouts. Also, the Divine pant from Hyde comes in a bunch of great colors and Beckons yoga pants line has a bright blue and a searing red.

Do You Need Figure-Friendly Pants?

This is a two-part category. Some companies make pants with a more forgiving fabric and looser cuts, and some make form-fitting exercise clothes usually reserved for toning types of exercise. To find cuts and lines that go with curves, Fila, Lucy's Everyday Pant, and Danskin are popular choices. Lucy has a search selection for extended sizes.

Stick to the Practical for Pilates

Lululemon has been the leader in this category for a long time.

Other companies in this category include Lucy, again, and PrAna—both of which do a great job with their cross-over studio to street styling.

For Pilates, choose designs that don't have any adornments, straps, ties, rivets, bows, or other decorations that can get caught in the Pilates equipment. You also want to avoid anything that will be uncomfortable when you are lying down or on your side.

Simple, clean lines with flat seams are best for Pilates pants.

Likewise, you don't want flared-leg designs that will bunch up when you do inversions or raise your legs above your waist, as is common in Pilates exercises.

If You're Price-Conscious

Workout clothes can be pricey. There's no reason you have to bust your budget just to get a little exercise. There are several clothing stores that offer perfectly nice yoga and Pilates pants for a lot less than you'll pay for designer wear. The Old Navy Active line has a wide variety of different sizes, and Target has a fitness line that's high-quality and inexpensive. You can also shop online at Amazon if you're not too worried about trying on your workout pants before you buy.

Try Organic Cotton and "Green" Workout Clothes

Organic cotton may hold moisture more than certain tech fabrics, but it still feels wonderful. The new recycled fabrics are surprisingly comfortable as well. Try the Cozy Orange brand for recycled fibers. As for organic cotton, Hyde is a good source, as are Beckons and Gaiam.

If You Want to Comparison Shop

You are wise to get an overview of what is available before spending your hard-earned cash. Ask what others in your yoga and Pilates classes prefer, and what the instructor wears.

Whatever your criteria, before selecting workout clothes, which can be expensive, check out how they look and feel before you buy. That way you'll avoid getting stuck with trendy clothes you may not like. 

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