I Will Not Stand For This Takedown Of Yoga Pants

I Will Not Stand For This Takedown Of Yoga Pants

I, for several obvious reasons which include me being a man, will never fully have a grasp on women’s fashion. While I do believe I know more than your run-of-the-mill guy has no idea what the difference between a clutch and a tote is, I’ll still never understand why women insist on tying top-knots that rest atop their hair and look unfinished, nor will I ever grasp why they’d choose to wear a lipstick that takes five minutes to scrub off a wine glass. But alas, I’m a generic white guy who should neither attempt to tell a woman how to dress or question the validity of her fashion choices.

But this has gone too far. Much too far. So far that The Washington Post’s Kerry Folan has published a column claiming that yoga pants are “an assault on manners and a nihilistic threat.” And I, generic white dude, am here to stand up for all those who wish to wear yoga pants and athleisure in their everyday lives.

Having recently left New York City for Washington DC, our author admits that she never saw women in New York casually wearing the black, stretchy pants that adorn the streets of DC. “A suburban thing,” she calls them, insulting anyone who leaves the house “gym clothes.” While claiming that this is fine if you’re actually going to the gym, she insults those who insist on wearing them more casually – “Moms with strollers, undergrads on campus, girlfriends meeting up for coffee dates or errands.” If I’ve learned anything about writing on the internet, it’s that you do not go after moms with strollers or girls who wear yoga pants.

She further compares the vibes of New York City and Washington DC, expressing that New Yorkers “put in a little extra effort, never taking the easy way out.” I don’t know what part of New York she lived in, but there’s really no shortage of people in joggers or men and women who use a large jacket to cover their otherwise bland outfits. I, for one, did just this last month and received all of zero weird looks. She claims that when getting dressed in New York, “10 million” people are always watching. Up until this point in my life, I was under the impression that you were to dress for yourself – not others.

As a former fashion editor, Folan uses this to establish credibility when skewering the pants we’ve all come to know and love. And as a someone who has looked at his fair share of yoga pants out in the wild, I’d venture to guess that my credibility stacks up pretty well. She considers herself to be “someone who cares about fashion” and would “vote for jeans over yoga pants,” pointing to the reason being “manners.” But whether you’re wearing stretched, dirty jeans or discreet well-fitting yoga pants, I’d guess that the black and barely-there yoga pants are probably more discreet (and easier to pair things with) than the same pair of jeans that rarely go washed.

But she continues:

What we wear sends a message to the world. An Hermes handbag makes a statement about wealth and luxury. A pair of four-inch Louboutin heels makes a statement about sex and power. Yoga pants make a statement about comfort and modernity. When we board a flight or run to the grocery store swaddled in cotton-lycra, we are saying to the people around us that our own comfort is our first priority. We are expressing a new kind of modern vanity where dressing down, rather than dressing up, is the power move.

Not that I’d want one because again, I’m a generic white guy, say that I did want an Hermes bag or a pair of Louboutin heels. I’ll freely admit it – couldn’t afford either. So what would I do? Oh, I don’t know. Buy something more practical, re-wearable, and durable? Like, ohhhhh, I don’t know… fucking yoga pants? It comes to a point where “dressing up” isn’t necessarily about actually dressing for the occasion, but dressing in the way that you think is appropriate for whatever you’re attacking that day. Call me a modernist, but grocery shopping in the same clothes you wore to barre class seems more reasonable to me than tossing on some designer heels and stumbling through the snow.

She compares the notion of wearing yoga pants to how pretty much everyone that doesn’t live in New York dresses like they don’t care. But as someone who desires to not live in New York and not dress as if I’m going to run into 10 million people on a daily basis, I think it’s fair to say that everyone – male or female – should be able to dress however they want.

Besides, workout clothes are pretty fucking comfortable (and flattering).

[via Washington Post]

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Will deFries (Twitter / Instagram) is a Senior Writer at Grandex and the world's foremost authority on Sunday Scaries (Twitter / Instagram). Email me at

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