Designed for wear during yoga or exercises involving stretching and bending, yoga pants are comfortable, versatile pants with elastic waistbands that are often worn outside of the gym. Partially to reflect the push for activewear as a fashion statement, some brands offer yoga pants that look more like casual clothes.
In 2011, The New York Times reported on some mild controversy surrounding the increasing adoption of yoga pants among professional women. Yoga pants have appeared on high fashion runways and made their entrance into the corporate world, but they have also met some pushback from people who consider the look sloppy and unprofessional. To reflect the rising interest of women who want to wear yoga pants as everyday wear, clothing companies offer yoga pants combined with structural elements or made from fabrics that mimic the look of trousers and disguise them. In January 2014, The Huffington Post released a tongue-in-cheek article extolling the benefits of yoga pants, pointing out their versatility and comfort and indicating that yoga pants have become acceptable public wear.
Yoga pants are part of an overall fitness fashion trend that the 2010s are experiencing. Combined with neon sports bras and sneakers, fitness chic sends a message that its wearer is interested in a healthy lifestyle. Sports companies have responded by developing fashionable and comfortable fitness clothing with compression technology meant to flatter.