In the past, the difference was obvious. Leggings were tight-fitting, thin pants that were usually worn under clothes. Yoga pants had a wide waistband, were tight at the waist, and flared toward the bottom.
Today, the boundaries between the two are blurred. In this article, we’ll help you better understand the yoga pants vs leggings debate, and teach you how to tell them apart and which ones to buy.
Key Differences Between Yoga Pants and Leggings
Here are some main differences between yoga pants and leggings:
- The original purpose of leggings was layering in cold weather.
- Yoga pants are designed for yoga and other forms of exercise.
- Leggings have a thin waistband, while yoga pants have a broad waistband which can often be folded over.
- Yoga pants are made with thicker, more opaque, and more comfortable materials than leggings.
- In the past, yoga pants would flare at the bottom, while leggings do not. Today there are more styles of yoga pants and some of them have the same shape as leggings, which further adds to the confusion.
Yoga pants is an umbrella term, describing all bottoms designed specifically for yoga practice. They are made from thick, opaque, and stretchy materials.
The classic yoga pants are form-fitted from the waist to the knee and flare toward the bottom. Today, the boot-cut design isn’t the only option. You can also find jogger yoga pants, loose harem pants, and straight-leg bottoms.
There is also the style that makes this topic the most confusing: yoga leggings. Yoga leggings are tight all the way from the waist to the ankle but usually keep the roll-over waistband.
Yoga Pants Features
Yoga pants are made with thick and stretchy materials, including cotton and bamboo blends, spandex, polyester, elastane, nylon, and other technical or sustainable fabrics.
The classic yoga pants come with a rollover band and are tight from the waist to the knee but have a flared bottom. Today, you’ll also find skinny yoga pants, harem pants, and jogger yoga pants.
Leggings are form-fitting bottoms that were traditionally designed for layering.
However, with time, leggings became a staple in casual wear. Today, they’re worn as normal pants, paired with t-shirts, baggy sweatshirts, and more.
Athletic leggings are more appropriate for your yoga practice than fashion leggings. They’re an ideal choice if you like the look of classic leggings, but want something made with high-quality fabrics for your workouts.
All leggings are form-fitting throughout, but they’re available in a variety of different patterns, colors, lengths, and cuts.
Yoga Pants vs Leggings: The Verdict
Yoga pants and leggings can both be a great option for you. The only thing you need to think about is the main purpose you need them for.
If you’re looking for something that will support you in yoga practice or workout activities, opt for yoga pants or get activewear leggings as an alternative.
Fashion leggings are perfect if you’re looking for a stylish pair of pants for your everyday outfits, but we don’t recommend them for your workouts.