Tired of wearing old sweatpants to get your flow on? Same. That’s why, when we finally decided it was time to upgrade our go-to gear, we reached out to professional yogis in three cities to get their top picks for yoga clothes that perform both on and off the mat. These women run some of the most popular studios in New York City, Milwaukee, and Denver, and they aren’t kidding when they say they live in yoga clothes.
Even if you’re just beginning your yoga practice, you’ve probably realized that there’s no such thing as too many pairs of leggings and that quality and fit vary widely from brand to brand. With that in mind, we’ll start our list with some familiar names and hopefully introduce you to a few newcomers in new york fitness apparel space, too.
Whether you’re up for a stylish splurge or down to score a deal, the best yoga clothes are right this way.
Joanna Sesny, operations manager at Yoga Shanti’s Tribeca studio, swears by Lululemon Athletica, affectionately known as Lulu by its scores of fans. “I’m obsessed with Lulu’s Align pants because they give me tons of mobility. These pants fit like a glove, but they’re breathable. I love them. They’re the only ones I wear.”
The Lulu love is real for Kathryn Smith, area leader for CorePower Yoga in Denver, who also lives in the Align pants. She explains, “What CorePower does is an intense workout, usually with added heat in the room, and I find the need for something comfortable that wicks sweat without expanding or stretching. The Align pants are super soft. It feels like you’re wearing nothing, but they have a way of smoothing out your leg line that’s super flattering. I own every length and every color. I pick them first and build my outfit around them.”
Lululemon helps people live its tagline, “Less Stress, More Sweat,” with free in-store classes. No store in your area? No worries. Its website features online videos to help you find your zen without leaving home.
Still not convinced? This won’t be creepy at all: Next time you’re in a yoga studio, gym, or coffee shop, look around, and you’ll see the Lululemon logo on the waistband of fitness enthusiasts of all ages. (Fun fact: The curvy A stands for Athletically Hip, Lululemon’s former name.)
2. Outdoor Voices
When it comes to picking a top, Sesny thinks outside the box with Outdoor Voices, a relative newcomer in the fitness/yoga game. OV is gaining popularity, especially among Instagram-obsessed millennials and Gen-Z workout enthusiasts.
Inspired by the brand’s motto, “Doing Things Is Better Than Not Doing Things,” OV fans and influencers post hiking, biking, workout, and dog-walking selfies with the obvious hashtag, #doingthings. Outdoor Voices encourages fun over competition and lets shoppers create outfits by building an OV “kit” with a bottom and a top (ranging from $75–$95).
Believe it or not, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has a thriving yoga scene, and Suzy Weyenberg is a big part of it. Weyenberg, who owns three Empower Yoga studios with two more in the works, swears by Athleta. “I love the diversity. I delight in opening the catalog and seeing women of all shapes, sizes, and ages,” she explains.
Weyenberg pairs Athleta’s Chaturanga pants with Coaster sweatshirts, noting, “I enjoy the fit, and I also really like their fair-trade and sustainability initiatives.” Athleta is known for its “Power of the She” message which celebrates women and their ability to kick butt in studios, gyms, and boardrooms.
4. Joah Brown
Joah Brown is another rising brand in the yoga clothing market. Inspired by the no-fuss clothes in her husband’s closet, Brown started designing functional, comfortable clothes in 2014 that are, in her words, “adaptable and subtly sexy with a tomboyish flare.”
Kathryn Smith agrees, adding, “Joah Brown has great basic pieces, crop tops, and cool fitted tank tops. They’ll take you from classes to out into the day. They can be used for a workout or for lifestyle wear.”
On one of your many (weekly? daily?) Target runs, you’ve probably noticed JoyLab, its stylish line of yoga and workout wear. We love the on-trend patterns and quality material at an affordable price point. Plus, these pieces really hold up wash after wash.