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Yoga Pants vs Leggings: What Are the Differences and Which Is Better?


Yoga pants and leggings! We wear them daily. Whether that's to workout, get coffee, go grocery shopping, or as a casual outfit. At first glance, leggings and yoga pants may look the same. However, they are not! They have different designs and they're meant for different things. 

Yoga pants are designed for fitness (though they can be used for outfits), while leggings are designed for loungewear and fashion. As such, leggings are not recommended for exercising. Why? Because they will show a lot more than you want, especially when you squat or get into the downward dog pose. 

Today, we want to explore the difference between yoga pants and leggings. This way, you can make the right choice depending on your needs. Wearing them appropriately will save you embarrassing situations. Additionally, we will discuss how to style the two so you can wear them as casual outfits if you'd like!

What's the Difference Between Leggings and Yoga Pants?

What's the Difference Between Leggings and Yoga Pants

Though yoga pants and leggings look similar, the difference is important to understand. Yoga pants are a kind of activewear, while leggings are loungewear and fashion. Essentially, yoga pants are designed for fitness, so you can wear them to practice any kind of workout.  

Leggings are more appropriate for casual outfits and loungewear. Additionally, they are perfect for the winter. They allow you to layer up and keep your legs warm without adding too much bulk to your frame!

What Are Yoga Pants?

What Are Yoga Pants

Yoga pants are one of the most popular alternatives to pants. They are the best bottoms for yoga practice, but they can be used for any other fitness-related activities. After all, they're activewear! Yoga pants are known for their durability, comfort, thickness, flexibility, and form-fitting fit. 

It's worth noting that flared leggings vs yoga pants are a common debate because flared leggings are very similar to yoga pants. When it comes to exercise, yoga pants, whether flared or not, are always the most appropriate option. 


· They are thick and not see-through.

· They are stretchy but stay in place when you move.

· They are super comfortable.

· They hold their shape well.

· They don't absorb sweat. 

· The waistband is thicker.

· They are not restrictive. 

· They can make great casual outfits.


· They are more expensive. 

What Situation Is More Suitable for Yoga Pants?

As mentioned before, yoga pants are best for fitness. Thanks to the thick and comfortable fabric, they allow you to get into any position without restricting movement. Here are the most popular types of yoga pants and their uses: 

· Yoga Leggings 

Yoga leggings are the most traditional kind of yoga pants. They are designed to fit tightly and extend from the waist to the ankles. They hug your body well and allow you to move freely. They will stay in place, wick moisture away, and keep you comfortable. 

Here are the three best options: 

1. Lululemon Align HR Pant

Lululemon Align HR Pant

2. Decathlon Seamless 7/8 Yoga Leggings

Decathlon Seamless 7/8 Yoga Leggings

3. Girlfriend Collective High Waisted Pocket Legging

Girlfriend Collective High Waisted Pocket Legging

· Yoga Shorts

Yoga shorts are another popular kind of yoga pants. They're perfect for warmer conditions or more intense, sweaty workouts. They're comfortable, flexible, durable, and they will stay in place. Additionally, they're available in different lengths. So, some offer more coverage than others. 

Here are the three best options: 

1. Lululemon Align High-Rise Short

Lululemon Align High-Rise Short

2. Vuori Rib Studio Short

 Vuori Rib Studio Short

3. Athleta Stash Pocket Short

Athleta Stash Pocket Short

· Yoga Capris Pants

Yoga capris pants are another popular kind of yoga pants. They hit just below the need and they are as durable, flexible, and comfortable as regular yoga pants. If you don't like skin-tight fabric, this is a great alternative to yoga leggings. 

Here are the three best options:

1. Jockey Store Slim Capri Flare Pant

Jockey Store Slim Capri Flare Pant

2. IUGA High-Waisted Yoga Capris With Pockets

IUGA High-Waisted Yoga Capris With Pockets

3. Alo Yoga High-Waist Airbrush Capri

Alo Yoga High-Waist Airbrush Capri

Top 3 Yoga Pants Brands


DOULAFASS women camo yoga pants

If you're on a budget, the DOULAFASS yoga pants will be great for you. They're not expensive, but they check many important boxes. For example, these DOULAFASS women camo yoga pants are a great option!


THE GYM PEOPLE high waist yoga pants

If you can afford to spend a little more, THE GYM PEOPLE offers the best mid-range yoga pants. For example, these THE GYM PEOPLE high waist yoga pants with pockets are durable and will keep you comfortable. 

· Lululemon

Lululemon Align High-Rise Pants With Pockets

When it comes to high-end, expensive yoga pants, Lululemon is often at the top of the list. Their outstanding yoga pants are made with ultra-high-quality Nulu-fabric. For example, these Lululemon Align High-Rise Pants With Pockets are a great option. 

What Are Leggings?

What Are Leggings

Leggings are thicker than tights but thinner than yoga pants, so they are comfortable, delicate, and perfect for lounging and adding layers during winter. Before they became popular as loungewear, leggings were used as undergarments. Nowadays, you can use them for casual outfits and style them in many different ways. They're not meant for athletics, though, because they are seethrough, they don't stay in place, and they're not stretchy. 


· They are more affordable. 

· They are super comfortable.

· They hug your body well.

· They provide warmth. 

· They are available in many different fabrics, patterns, and styles.

· They are easy to style for casual fits.


· The fabric is not super stretchy. 

· They can be seethrough. 

· The waistband doesn't stay in place. 

· They are not designed for fitness. 

What Situation Is More Suitable For Leggings?

Because leggings are not designed for fitness, they are best for lounging, running errands, and adding an extra layer of warmth during winter. There are many different kinds of leggings, but here are the most popular ones and their uses: 

· Cotton Leggings

Hue ultra side waistband cotton leggings

Cotton leggings are super common and they are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. They are thin, though, and they lose their shape quickly. They are best for adding layers during winter, so you can wear them under dresses, skirts, and pants for extra warmth. Also, they're great for wearing during the day. These Hue ultra side waistband cotton leggings are a good example. 

· Polyester Leggings

polyester leggings

Polyester leggings are very easy to find and they are stretchy. Also, they are sweat-wicking. They can be good for workouts, but yoga pants are better. They are easy to style and perfect for everyday wear. These polyester leggings from the Syrinx Store can be a great option.

· Faux Leather Leggings

Zara faux leather leggings

When it comes to casual outfits, faux leather leggings are a must. They don't seem to go out of style and they are more breathable and stretchier than leather. They can be great for casual night outs and they're easy to style. These Zara faux leather leggings are elegant and super stylish!

Top 3 Leggings Brands

· Yummie 

Yummie Rachel Shaping Cotton Leggings

Yummie specializes in cotton leggings and they are long-lasting, thick, and feel amazing. For example, these Yummie Rachel Shaping Cotton Leggings are incredible and they feel like shapewear. 

· Nike

Nike Air leggings

Nike is a well-known brand, so it's not surprising their leggings are great. They keep you cool and dry thanks to the Dri-FIT fabric technology, and they offer a lovely fit. For example, these Nike Air leggings are great for lounging and exercising as well.

· Onzie

High-Rise Leopard Leggings

Onzie is the right brand for fun leggings to spice things up. They are good quality leggings and provide a great fit. For example, these High-Rise Leopard Leggings are nice and bold! Don't hesitate to browse through their other options. 

Leggings vs Yoga Pants

The takeaway from today's article is that yoga pants and leggings are designed with very different purposes in mind. While yoga pants are meant for athletics, leggings are meant for loungewear. So, if you're looking for activewear, yoga pants will be the best option. If you just want comfortable bottoms to run errands, lounge about, or have extra layers in the winter, leggings are the way to go!


Can you wear yoga pants as leggings? 

Yes, you can. Yoga pants are form-fitting and they can be used for casual outfits and they are so comfortable they can easily become loungewear. Particularly yoga shorts and yoga capris!

How to look good in yoga pants/leggings? 

Styling yoga pants or leggings is very easy. With yoga pants, you can wear sneakers, ballet flats, and even classic sandals. The more understated the shoe, the better. If the yoga pants are tight, boots may also look good. You can pair the yoga pants with tank tops, tight tops and oversized jackets, t-shirts, and more. 

On the other hand, leggings can be paired with t-shirts and they look best with longer tops and jackets. They're often paired with denim jackets and they can be worn with dresses and skirts. For shoes, you want to stick to low-cut boots, sneakers, sandals, and flip flops. They also look great with knee-high boots. Whether you're wearing yoga pants or leggings, avoid heels, pumps, and other formal shoes.

Is it OK to wear leggings/yoga pants in public?

Yes, in the US, it's very common to wear leggings and yoga pants in public. People use them to run errands while staying comfortable. However, they are not meant for the office or formal occasions. It's also worth noting that in places like Europe, it may be inappropriate to wear yoga pants or leggings as casual outfits. If you're traveling, do a little research so you don't clash with the culture. 

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