According to the 2016 Yoga in America Study, 36 million Americans participate in this popular activity. That’s up 50% from 2012. Their spending grew, too: from $6 billion to $16 billion during that same time.

Yoga practitioners are a passionate and, clearly, growing crowd. They don’t need much to practice their beloved pastime, either. A mat will do.

However, the breakout star of yoga’s popularity may be the actual pants that have become synonymous with it. “Athleisure” clothing was a $35 billion market in 2015. A large portion of that is thanks to yoga pants – practitioners are crazy about them.

Of course, there’s nothing like custom yoga pants that fit your body perfectly and look great. In this definitive guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to create the perfect pants for your practice.

CONTENTS

Matching the Right Yoga Pants to the Kind of Yoga

Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Custom Yoga Pants

Understanding Sizes

Special Features to Add to Your Custom Yoga Pants

Customizing Your Yoga Pants

Using Your Yoga Pants for Branding

Considering All of Your Options

I. Matching the Right Yoga Pants to the Right Kind of Yoga

Before you dive into the design process, you need to start by thinking about the kind of yoga you prefer. Different types require different pants.

Here are the most common forms of yoga and the types of pants that work best for them:

Basic Yoga

Also known as “Level 1”, these types of yoga classes cover a wide variety of poses and usually serve as an entry point for beginners. If this is your current preference, don’t over think which yoga pants you wear. The priority should be comfort. Later, if you choose a specific form, it will be worth looking for a specific type.

Hatha

This form encompasses a number of variations (including Yin), but they all have a calm and gentle nature in common. As such, practitioners opt for comfortable yoga pants that pair well with its poses. No one wants to hold Pigeon Pose for three-to-five minutes in pants that are going to feel constricting.

Instead, look for:

  • Soft materials (e.g. cotton or cotton blends)
  • Loose cuts
  • Full lengths

This still leaves you with plenty of options, none of which will impair the tranquil movements and stretches of Hatha yoga.

Astanga or Vinyasa

On the other side of the spectrum, more vigorous forms of yoga require pants that are streamlined and tight to the body. You still want them to be breathable, of course, but the pace that this kind of yoga pushes is significantly more athletic. A tighter fit will keep up with that quicker pace and prevent the uncomfortable feeling of loose pants clinging to your sweaty legs.

Hot Yoga

Speaking of sweat, if you like your yoga with a healthy helping of heat, then forget about the pants altogether and go with booty shorts. Capri pants would be comfortable, too. The less fabric holding in your body heat, the easier you’ll find it to get through these grueling sessions.

II. Choosing the Right Fabric for Your Custom Yoga Pants

If you don’t choose the right fabric for your yoga pants, the kind of style you choose won’t matter. Yoga can be very challenging at times, even for veterans. The last thing you want when you’re moving through positions is to feel like the fabric covering your lower body is getting in the way.

Here are the best materials for Custom Yoga Pants:

Cotton

As we mentioned earlier, cotton and cotton blends are perfect for Hatha yoga. This comfortable fabric is soft but also does a great job of absorbing moisture. However, this makes it a poor choice for those of you who like hot yoga or other demanding forms where you’re definitely going to be sweating a lot. Cotton won’t wick away the moisture at all.

Technical Fabrics

This is probably the most popular group of materials for yoga pants because they’re so versatile. Supplex® and Lycra® are two very common examples of technical fabrics used in yoga pants. They’re stretchy, breathable, and wick moisture away. Polyester-spandex blends are an affordable alternative that falls into this category, as well. Technical fabrics also lend themselves to the types of styles people enjoy wearing outside the studio, too.

Eco-Friendly Fabrics

Currently, there’s a trend toward wearing yoga pants made from recycled materials, like plastic bottles and organic matter. The results can be surprisingly comfortable and accommodating. There are too many varieties to list (with more on the way), but your best options will use cotton, hemp, and recycled polyester.

III. Understanding Sizes

Even the loosest fitting yoga pants tend to run pretty close to the body, so it’s important you know your size before making a purchase.

US Size Waist Hip Inseam Capri Inseam Long Legging
XXSmall 0-2 30"-31 1/2" 32-34 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
XSmall 2-4 32"-33 1/2" 35"-37" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
Small 4-6 34"-35 1/2" 38"-40" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
Medium 6-8 36"38" 41"-43" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
Large 10-12 39"-41" 44"-46" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
XLarge 14-16 42"-44" 47"-49" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"
XXLarge 18-20 45"-47" 50"-52" 21 1/2" 27 1/2"

Remember: if you choose cotton for your custom yoga pants, you need to be very careful about washing them or they’re going to get much tighter.

IV. Special Features to Add to Your Custom Yoga Pants

Yoga pants have come a long way from their streamlined origins. These days, many people prefer their yoga pants come with one or more of the following features:

Gussets

These are diamond-shaped or triangular inserts in the crotch of the yoga pants that keep them from being pulled up in one direction (never comfortable). The shape of the gusset disperses the pressure being applied to that area, which makes the pants much more comfortable.

This little piece of fabric can also make your yoga pants last longer for the same reason. As you move around in them, the “pull” is diffused instead of concentrated on one area that may eventually give in.

While gussets are still considered an optional feature, that’s quickly changing. Most yoga pants are now made with them as they make a big difference in terms of both comfort and durability. You’ll definitely want one included in yours.

Pockets

Yoga doesn’t really lend itself to pockets – at least not keeping things in pockets. You can’t bend every which way if your keys or phone keep jabbing you in the hips. Still, plenty of people like wearing their yoga pants out in public, which makes having pockets very handy. As empty pockets shouldn’t cause you any problems in yoga class, you can always include them in your pants so they’re there in case you need them.

That said, be careful of bulky, obtrusive versions. Their presence might be subtle, but when you’re trying to enjoy a yoga session, they can be really annoying.

Waistband

There are three options for the waist of your yoga pants:

  • Low
  • Mid
  • High

Those last two options are the most popular. Between them, it comes down to comfort: where would you rather have your waistband end? A mid-waist will be right at the navel. A high-waist will go an inche or two above it.

Low-waist yoga pants will actually end about two inches under the navel. This version is usually worn by petite body types. Otherwise, they’re prone to slip down during yoga.

Seaming

Seams, in this context, are largely an aesthetic feature. Obviously, your yoga pants need seams. However, you can also add them to give your lower body a certain look. Many yoga pants now feature a seam going down the rear and/or across the hips, for example.

Sometimes, seams can prove uncomfortable, though. Basic poses like Down Dog will pull them against your skin and can end up leaving marks, so make sure you’re investing in high-quality seaming.

Contrast Stitching

Similar to your seams, contrast stitching can be applied anywhere on your yoga pants to create stylish contours. They also don’t run the same risk of leaving noticeable imprints on your skin.

V. Customizing Your Yoga Pants

If you like to wear your yoga pants outside of the studio, it can be fun to customize them and add a bit of style. Even if you don’t wear your yoga pants around town, bringing a touch of personality to class can be a nice break from wearing the same all-black version over and over.

You can do this by using:

Standard Print

A simple design added to your yoga pants can still make a stylish statement. You can also use this option to brand your yoga pants. Adding a standard print to the fabric is a quick and affordable way to stand out in class or when you wear your pants out.

Dye Sublimation

If you really want to break away from tradition with your yoga pants, dye sublimation is the way to go. This refers to total, full-color customization of the fabric. You can dye one specific area – like the waistband – or the entire thing. Either way, there’s really no limit on the type of artwork you can paint across your yoga pants.

VI. Using Your Yoga Pants for Branding

If you’re ordering yoga pants for branding purposes, you’ll want to add custom labels to them. This will turn these pants into billboards for your studio or gym.

However, people are only going to see them if your students are wearing these yoga pants out in public. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that the pants plenty comfortable and stylish enough that people will enjoy wearing them during other activities.

You can also add custom hangtags to your yoga pants to give them a truly official feel.

VII. Considering All of Your Options

Are you a bit surprised to learn there are so many different ways to make yoga pants?

All these options can definitely prove overwhelming, so take your time considering them all. Think about the type of yoga you enjoy, your body type, and your overall style.

If you’re ordering yoga pants for your studio, speak to your students first. They’ll appreciate the sentiment if they know you’re personally invested in their comfort.

Then, it’s a simple matter of creating the perfect yoga pants for your preferences from the options we listed above.