The main distinction between yoga pants and leggings pants is that yoga pants typically include high-performance sports fabrics, suitable for activewear.
On the contrary, the fabric used in leggings is softer and less performance focused, which is why it's suitable to wear leggings every day.
The pricey material used to create yoga pants typically means that they cost more than normal leggings. A further difference in yoga pants is that they may have different cuts, whereas leggings are generally tight leg covers.
But let’s see the differences between leggings and yoga pants in detail - especially if you're planning to wear them to the gym or yoga studio.
What are Leggings?
They were initially designed as an option to combat the cold winter months. They were meant to be worn below your pants to provide an extra layer to keep you warm in winter, like long Johns.
This is why leggings are referred to as skin tight. The most commonly used materials for leggings include lycra, cotton, spandex and polyester, and nylon.
If you've seen anyone performing squats or squats with ordinary leggings, you'll quickly realize that they were not designed to be used for exercise.
Leggings are transparent when stretched, and it is easy to see your underwear. High-quality yoga leggings will not cause you to be in that situation.
Pros of leggings
The major benefit of leggings is that they're typically cheaper compared to yoga pants. They're made with lighter materials and do not have to endure the same strains as yoga pants.
Being budget-friendly, they can easily bring variety to your closet and you can find them in an assortment of patterns, styles, colors, materials, etc. Another benefit is that they're comfy. Stretchy pants like leggings are generally more flattering and more comfortable than jeans.
Cons of leggings
As we mentioned earlier, leggings are cheaper and softer than yoga pants. But if you’re thinking of wearing leggings at the gym because they're less expensive than yoga pants, you might want to reconsider. The thinner material used in athletic leggings does not hold well when stretched and can reveal your underwear particularly in the bright gym lighting.
Plus, the waistband on leggings wasn't made for sports, which means they're prone to fold inwards instead of staying in place when you exercise.
They're not a problem for everyday clothes, however. If you're looking for casual wear throughout the day, there's no reason to be worried about them. They're cheap, comfortable, and look stunning.
What are Yoga Pants?
Yoga pants are ideal for exercising because their fabric stretches without showing through. The best yoga pants have double layers of fabric in specific parts (for example waistband and gusseted crotch) and their material is sweat-wicking, to help regulate your body temperatures.
The majority of athletic brands have expanded their yoga pant designs to meet the demands of fashion of the modern-day consumer.
Pros of Yoga Pants
The most important benefit is that when you wear yoga pants, they're usually squat-proof and remain in place during complicated yoga poses. Additionally, they're better than leggings in keeping their shape and after long use and repeated washes.
The biggest drawback of yoga pants is their price. Not all yoga pants are costly, but certain brands and types of yoga pants will be more expensive. The offset of this you'll get the value you spend, and they usually last much longer than leggings.
In details: more differences between yoga pants and leggings.
Leggings, as a rule, stick to the legs throughout the entire length. However, they may end just below or around the ankle. Yoga pants can be found in a loose, boot-cut style or the more common footless tight style. And they come in different lengths, like 7/8, Capris and full length.
Type Of Material
Yoga pants come in a variety of styles, which means they use a wide array of materials across their ranges. Different materials will feature in different stylisations, such as in yoga tights, yoga sweatpants, wide leg yoga pants and yoga capris.
Yoga pants and leggings are both made with elastic fabrics. However, yoga pants usually have a thicker and more durable fabric than leggings.
Yoga pants are usually made with four-way stretch or high-performance sports fabric. The material can stretch easily to allow for a more flexible motion. It has excellent elasticity that can hold its shape even during yoga and hiking or jogging hours!
Leggings can also come with special fabrics, such as stretch denim or faux leather used. The typical leggings comprise the softest and thin version that is knit. This kind of fabric feels lovely against your skin but cannot stand against the force of extended exercise.
Like any other garment, the quality and type of fabric chosen can affect durability and most of the time, wearing yoga pants offer more durability than normal leggings.
In addition, fashion leggings that are worn regularly, such as jeggings, have exceptional durability because of the more durable nature of their denim material! In general, however, when you compare yoga pants made from athletic fabric with leggings constructed from jersey knit, they will endure longer and are more elastic.
The general rule is that athletic clothing tends to come at an increased cost than casual clothing due to the premium fabrics used in athletic wear. Of course, everything depends on the brand and the quality of the clothes themselves.
It’s not unusual to find leggings that are very expensive, made with premium material and cheap yoga pants, made with low quality fabric.
Leggings and yoga pants for special use.
Certain pants and leggings have their own specific functions. For instance, you would not like to do heated yoga in yoga pants made of cotton. Instead, you'll need to wear a moisture-wicking fabric or nylon for this type of activity.
Also, you can buy specific hiking leggings with pockets for phones as well as more durable materials to withstand the outdoor elements. They may not be as comfortable at home, but they'll last longer in the field!
While historically there’s a difference between yoga pants and leggings, today the two terms are quite interchangeable and it’s not uncommon to call “yoga pants” also “yoga leggings” or even “yoga tights”.
In any case, during the last years the best athleisure brands started to design yoga pants with softer materials and fun shades that allow to easily move between the yoga studio and the street.
You could say that the difference between the two terms is getting thinner and thinner. Just like their fabrics.