Yoga Pants are for Work(outs)!!

Last fall, Vancouver got burned with being labelled by MSN Travel as the 3rd Worst Dressed City in the World.  What it came down to was our love affair with Yoga pants.  According to MSN:

There is one reason, and one reason only, why we’ve decided to include Vancouver on this list of the sartorially damned: yoga pants. We blame you, Vancouver, birthplace of a certain, insanely popular yoga gear brand which will go unnamed, for spawning a street trend dreaded by all women with wobbly bits and fat deposits in the wrong places. Really, what gives with the whole wearing of bum hugging workout gear to every other place except the gym? On behalf of women with hips and thighs everywhere, who like their pants to have buttons and zippers thank you very much, and who are of the opinion that yoga pants are a ruse worn by lazy pseudo-fashionistas, we beseech you: unless you plan to do a downward dog within the hour, spare us the yoga pants and put on some real trousers.


Now, as a mom of two and someone who lives an active lifestyle, I really, really appreciate the virtues of yoga pants.  They are comfortable and most people consider them flattering (still up for debate – you really need to click here and here to see what I mean – trust me).

Here’s my two cents:  Yoga pants are called “Yoga” pants for a reason…they are for, you guessed it, YOGA!  In Vancouver we embrace our outdoor lifestyle.  We love our hikes, snowboarding, kite-surfing, Pilates and yoga.  There are many places here where it is totally acceptable to wear casual, workout-style clothing to work.  Some employers actually encourage “dressing down” and, if it fits with the corporate culture, fair enough.  If this is the case at your place of work, so be it – go for it! Embrace your inner yogi and stay super comfortable all day long while you get the job done (I, by the way, am very envious!).

But, if you work in a professional environment, where you meet with clients and executives – take heed! It is usually expected (and I’m not sure when this became a grey area) that you dress appropriately.  Take a look around your workplace.  The old  “When in Rome” adage is probably a good place to start.  If your colleagues are all dressing casually and wearing flip flops and t-shirts, it is likely part of the corporate culture and, hey, that’s cool.  However, if your workmates are dressed in sweater sets, blazers and dress pants…well, you get the picture.

People…unless you get the okay from your employer, work-out clothes should be for working-out.  And…please, please don’t try to compromise by pairing your Lululemons with heels!!  Seriously….are you f#%@king kidding me?

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  1. C’mon, you cant be surprised that Vancouver has been named third worst dressed city in North America

    I live in the same area as Tojo’s and Vij’s, two pretty good restos. I have seen countless times people going in with cycling gear or trucker’s hats (out of style ten years ago). I’ve been carping for yours about how anyone could wear sweat or yoga pants outside of the gym or yoga class. I forgot to mention Ugg boots and those long MEC rain jackets. I can go on and on. Thank g-d I saw my therapist (psych, not physio, for that injury I got while playing ultimate or disc golf)

    See you in Blends

  2. When we lived in Vancouver, I totally remember that… it was like people moved from wearing flannel PJ pants to yoga pants because somehow they were more acceptable. Best casual dress policy I ever saw was “if you can wear it to the beach or the gym, you may not wear it in the office.”

    I’d say that about sums it up :)

  3. Wearing gym clothes to work is crossing the line, even if your company lets you do it. There is a difference between wearing comfortable clothes and wearing clothes that are just plain ugly.

    Swap yoga pants for dark denim, swap your tee with a polo. Sneakers are ok at work, but trainers are not. Replace those with leather converse, or wing-tipped sneakers like creative reaction Defeo, or with casual drivers. And for heaven’s sake buy a decent raincoat, you are in Vancouver, it’s not like rain is going anywhere. It will payoff.

  4. Here here!! Couldn’t agree more! I am a born/raised Vancouverite and can’t believe what a “go to” yoga pants have become. Now can you please do a bit on UGG boots. These boots are ridonkulous. If anyone over 25 is wearing these in Vancouver (b/c by this point your brain should be fully developed (suede in rain??? really??) that halfway up your shin soppy boot is NOT attractive ladies!

  5. I totally agree! Lululemon has gone a long way to bring style into activewear, but it doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for every occasion. Agree heels and yoga pants combined is a definite fashion faux pas!!!

  6. Pingback: Momcabulary Monday: Workouts... - the thirties grind

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