Is Wearing Yoga Pants Outside of Yoga a Full-Blown Assault on Manners?

A Washington Post piece called yoga pants "an assault on manners." Comfort-loving commenters strongly (and hilariously) disagreed.

Here in Be Well Philly Land, we are big supporters of wearing yoga pants whenever you damn please, be it to an actual workout class (go, you!) or to Whole Foods, where speeding through the aisles while dodging the trillions of kimchi- and kombucha-hungry strangers crowding them can turn into a workout of its own. My only “but” to this unabashed support of yoga pants is that they shouldn’t be see-through and, unless you work at Lululemon, you probably shouldn’t wear them to work. Ever. But otherwise, I say stomp through all parts of life in your stretchy pants. A writer who just penned a piece for the Washington Post titled “Yoga Pants Are Comfy. They’re Also an Assault on Manners and a Nihilistic Threat” disagrees, though.

A snippet of the piece below:

“What we wear sends a message to the world. An Hermes handbag makes a statement about wealth and luxury. A pair of four-inch Louboutin heels makes a statement about sex and power. Yoga pants make a statement about comfort and modernity. When we board a flight or run to the grocery store swaddled in cotton-lycra, we are saying to the people around us that our own comfort is our first priority. We are expressing a new kind of modern vanity where dressing down, rather than dressing up, is the power move.”

In case you were confused, to the writer, prioritizing one’s comfort above all else is not a good thing. You can read the full post here, but in short, the writer’s argument is that wearing yoga pants outside of a workout class at best displays a lack of trying and at worst shows a lack of respect for others (because dressing up for others is one way of showing respect).

Many comfort-loving readers didn’t take this assessment so well. The post has nearly 1,000 comments, some in support of the writer, who used to be a fashion editor, and some not. And let me tell you, people are passionate about their stretchy pants. Comments range from “If living in yoga pants is a nihilistic threat, just start calling me Nietzsche,” to “I’ve already let my children know anybody who shows up for my funeral in jeans is not to be allowed in.” It is quite the rousing debate, if I do say so myself.

The last line of my favorite (level-headed) comment reads, “I agree that certain times/places call for clothes a bit less revealing than those ubiquitous Lulu pants, but I would never fault a 21st century woman for wanting to be comfortable when they’re out there making the world go ’round.” Hear, hear!

We’ve written about what wearing leggings as everyday pants says about you before (read that here), but we figured — since clearly the topic is quite divisive — we’d check back in: In your opinion, is wearing yoga pants outside of a workout class totally fine or is doing so, in fact, an assault on manners? Holler in the comments section.

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