Editor's blog: what do we want from yoga clothing?

Friday 21 September, 2007

yoga clothingFrom Prana to Gap, the choice of yoga clothing has never been greater. Yet finding a comfortable but stylish yoga outfit is often an uphill struggle. So before the launch of our clothing road-test, I ask a selection of confirmed yoga fans what they really think of what's out there - warts and all.



Most of us, it would seem, have pretty simple requirements for our yoga clothes: comfortable, reasonably stylish and breathable tops and bottoms that are neither too tight or too loose.

To me, this last point is crucial: many of the clothing samples I want sent for yoga-abode's forthcoming road-test look fabulous when off but far too tight when on. That's before we get onto the too-thick material and often unaffordable price.

Clothing manufacturers take note: style matters, but so does fit, price and comfort. Most of us yogis are real people, with real bodies.

Interestingly, none of the yogis I spoke to were bothered about wearing brands. It seems that we just want clothes that look good, don't flap around and are comfortable but affordable. Surely that's not too much to ask?

But don't take my word for it. Here's what other people have to say about the choice of yoga clothes on the market today:

Inna Costantini - PR manager, Trees for Cities
The 'perfect' yoga outfit is hard to come by. I want to feel comfortable when I'm practising, not be distracted by clothes coming in the way.
I look for both style and comfort, and want an outfit which both looks good and feels comfortable enough for me to wear during class and possibly during the day.
I know yoga isn't about having the 'right' outfit, but I do like to have a fairly well designed and well cut set of clothes I can wear outside of the class and at home. By well designed, I mean a simple style, tight but not clingy, (I find loose clothes tend to get caught up when moving from one posture to another), and most sports fabrics are lighter and breathable.
I don't stick to a particular brand - I've built up a collection of gym type clothes over the years, which I acquired because they were comfortable, well cut, multi purpose (yoga, lounging, and for other sports) and lightweight.


Katherine Culls - founder and owner of www.yogaviva.co.uk
I've never really tried branded or specific yoga clothes - I once had to wear a famous sports label's yoga line for a photo shoot and found the material very synthetic. I prefer to be comfortable with natural fabrics and all the clothes that I wear for classes I am also be happy wearing in my daily life. Sometimes needs must because with teaching and practising I am often in 'yoga clothes' seven days a week.


Emily Pacey - journalist
Yoga clothes have difficult tasks to perform. Loads of tops that claim they have been designed specifically for doing yoga in are not up to the task of keeping you covered up.
I have one from that looks fine when standing or sitting, but if you are doing sun salutations or leaning forward, it gapes open at the neck, giving the teacher an unrestricted view of your bosom. I am not exactly slim, so don't want to wear tight yoga clothes, but don't like the way loose clothes fall up or down to reveal the rolls of flesh I want to keep covered.
I have decided that the ideal yoga outfit is basically an all-in-one adult babygro with elasticated ankles. Yogawear designers: please don't make me do that.


Georgie Wolfden - editor of www.glowgetter.co.uk
I like to have yoga clothing that is lightweight, non branded and that are made specifically for a yoga practice - I have found that this really makes  a difference.
I can't stand stuff that wraps around your legs - the last thing you want to worry about is your clothing. I like a kit that is comfortable, lightweight and fun. I usually opt for black pants and then bright tops. I love Manuka, Puma Nuala and Lululemon.
For pants I think the best ones and the most durable are Acucar; they are brazilian cut so very flattering and perfect for yoga - stretchy and comfortable.
I find that with big brand names the fabric is too heavy and cumbersome and the lightweight techno ranges do not feel right for yoga.


Caroline Sylge, freelance writer and editor of Body & Soul escapes
Yoga clothes that are too close fitting around the groin area are a nightmare - also yoga trousers that flop over your head when you're in headstand. They need to be tapered under the knee or at the ankle so they don't flop around but loose enough all over to feel comfy.
Comfort is the most important, but i'd say style (ie what suits you) is a close second - material is everything. I think it's very challenging finding the right clothes - I wear a mix of Sweaty Betty yoga stuff and Fat Face sports wear.I have even sent back loads of clothes in the search for the perfect outfit! Oh, and someone needs to make more tops with built-in bras that aren't too long in the waist.



Darren Cooper, founder, www.yoga-abode.com - and, for the purposes of this unscientific research, the token man!
I am looking for comfortable, stretchy, moisture wicking, reasonably priced clothes - shorts, not trousers and T-shirts, not vests. Relaxed casual in style and no cheap nylon. Old-fashioned cotton is good. Prana's clothes are comfy and fashionable, they're good quality and they protect your modesty. BUT they are too expensive.



What do you think makes the perfect yoga outfit? Are clothing manufacturers getting it wrong? Please log in and leave your honest thoughts!

Next week: part one of yoga-abode's clothing road test


Lucia Cockcroft - editor


Picture source: Giji


I'm looking for the best

I'm looking for the best type of clothing for pregnancy yoga? Prana's clothes are expensive, but is there a specific type of clothing available during pregnancy, that also allows for stretching and movement.



Hi there - good question,

Hi there - good question, and one that lots of people will be interested in knowing the answer to. Why not put it on our forum? 

Lucia, Editor - Yoga-abode

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