How to Be Comfortable and Fashionable in Yoga Pants

Yoga pants don't have to look like you just stepped off the mat.
Yoga pants don't have to look like you just stepped off the mat.

Ah, comfort. You can't beat it. After a long day at the office -- or anywhere else that requires zippers, snaps, buttons, pantyhose or jewelry fresh from the safe deposit box -- slipping into a pair of yoga pants feels fine. For the uninitiated, yoga pants are exercise pants designed for freedom of movement. That translates to major comfort, too. They're usually outfitted with wide elastic waistbands and made from stretchy, knitted cotton or synthetic materials. They may not be much to look at -- usually -- but who cares, right? There are some exceptions to the Plain Jane rule for yoga pants, though. If you have a very nice body, a snug pair can look like a second skin. In that case, you're supplying the style.

Yoga pants have hit the mainstream in recent years. Workout pants in black stretchy materials may be fine for the gym or for relaxing around the house. But newer styles made from fancy fabrics or sporting interesting embellishments can fit in around town without risking the wrath of the fashion police. They're considered crossover pieces that will look at home in places where your classic workout pants won't.

As a fashion choice, yoga pants are still somewhat controversial, but there's no doubt they've moved out of the gym. Movie starlets pose in them, new moms practically live in them and stylish young things show off their curves in them. Forward-thinking fashion designers want to make the world a more yoga pant-friendly place, which may be ruffling some feathers and putting strain on traditional dress codes for work, school and even dress casual functions in some parts of the country.

On the next page, let's take a look at the future of yoga pants -- and maybe pants in general. With a few modifications or some clever accessorizing, you can still look wonderful without sacrificing comfort.