In recent years people have moved away from wearing rigidly structured styles to those that focus more on comfort. That is not to say that jeans and formal wear are no longer in fashion, just that you won’t often see people picking these types of garments for casual wear. The athleisure and activewear trend has normalized wearing stretch pants as a regular garment, not only when you are working out.
Difference Between Yoga Pants & Activewear Leggings & Everyday Leggings
This may leave you wondering what the actual difference is between yoga pants, activewear, and plain old leggings. Thankfully, you won’t have to be in the dark for much longer. We will deconstruct and explain the differences between each so you can navigate the various available styles with ease.
Yoga pants are traditionally made from thicker fabric but have a loose fit. They can be used for working out inside and outside as well. Yoga pants have been around for a while but when they became a mainstream trend, big brands started putting their own spin on them. For example, Victoria Secret released a yoga pant that featured flare bottoms. Most women wore these during their workouts, but also started wearing them as regular casual wear. So went the trend of yoga pants turning into a trendy everyday pant.
Yoga pants were created in 1998 by Lululemon initially. The company was actually founded for the purpose of selling these form-fitting yoga trousers. The original yoga pant was crafted from a fabric that was a blend of Lycra and nylon. Current iterations have been made in recent years that provide compression along with the muscles while also reducing odors and pulling moisture away from the skin. Yoga pants can be used for any form of exercise but they are best suited to yoga, Pilates, and other toning style activities.
Yoga pants are available in a variety of cuts and lengths. Not all yoga pants are skin tight. Some are baggy to allow more freedom of movement while others are tight all over for muscle compression. There are short yoga pant capris and also wide leg yoga pants if those are more in line with your style.
Activewear can be explained as clothing that is casual and comfortable enough to wear for exercise or sport. When you apply this to leggings, you will get well-fitted pants that can be used for a workout, or for active behaviors such as walking, jogging, or playing sports. Activewear unlike pure gym clothing also is made with an eye for fashion. It is intended to be stylish while also being functional. You will find vibrant colors and patterns paired with comfort. Activewear leggings can easily be worn to the gym and then layered with something over them to create a chic, casual look as you leave the gym. They can also be used for casual wear in social situations.
Most activewear leggings are not made for compression, unlike yoga pants. The fabric is intended to be breathable to keep your body from heating up during a workout but may absorb sweat rather than whisk it away. Design and functionality allow the user to easily transform from full-on physical activity to a casual setting without needing to change their outfit. The 4-way stretch is a common theme among all types of activewear leggings. Most are woven fabrics and knits, but there are plenty of other options as well.
The most casual of these three options is leggings. These are what you usually think of when you see yoga pants, however, they are made for casual wear, not physical activity. The fabrics in leggings are not very stretchy and they also don’t offer support. They are meant for style and social performance, not gym use. You can find leggings that look like jeans, or even in wilder styles that range across all colors of the rainbow. Don’t mistake leggings for stockings though, legging are not see-through, while stockings are more akin to an undergarment. You can layer leggings with a hoodie, or you can wear it under a skirt for a kitschy look. Toss on your favorite boots are you have a trendy yet comfortable outfit.
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