Purpose of the pants: Exploring the motivations behind wearing yoga pants

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Photo by Erica Emert

Freshman Ellie Bodker shops for BVN yoga pants in the Mustang Stampede. Bodker believes that yoga pants are just a comfortable clothing item. “I wear yoga pants two or three days per school week because they’re very comfortable,” Bodker said.

A 15-year-old boy is walking down the hallway, minding his own business. Suddenly he looks up, and just a few feet away is the girl he has had a crush on all year. And she’s wearing yoga pants. The pants show off her hourglass figure, sparking the boy’s interest.

What are yoga pants really worn for? Comfort, appeal, exercise? Girls at North have many different reasons as to why they wear yoga pants.

“I try to wear yoga pants sparingly, but when I do, I wear them for comfort,” junior Lauren Schwartz said. “Most women wear yoga pants to work out or for comfort, but when you really look into it, it is tight clothing on your body.”

Some girls feel that yoga pants are worn for more than comfort.

“I believe girls wear yoga pants to show off their figure,” senior Megan Schultz said.

This fashion trend can have a negative effect on young men.

“I think it is more difficult to focus [for boys] when girls wear yoga pants,” social studies teacher Shana Stites said.

Administration treats yoga pants the same as all clothing.

“Any piece of clothing can be revealing if it doesn’t fit appropriately,” Assistant Principal Shanon Adams said.

Students believe that yoga pants are acceptable up to a point, but then they become provocative.

“Of course yoga pants can be revealing. I’m sure it’s not the intention of most people to be revealing, but it just so happens that along with comfort comes your body to be exposed to others,” Schwartz said.

Students feel that girls wearing yoga pants can be too much to handle.

“I think there should be a ban on wearing yoga pants for some people for reasons of public decency,” senior Jack Lindsay said.

If yoga pants can be revealing and stir up controversy among male students, then why are they sold in the school store?

“I think the students like the style, and I know they wanted something with the Nike sign on there,” business teacher and school store supervisor Barbara Lewis said. “For students, if they have the correct tops on, then I just don’t think that yoga pants are that much of an issue.”

In the school store, supervisors and staff stress values that make their business thrive; they believe selling yoga pants is not an ethical problem.

“One of the things we try to teach in the store is ethics, and obviously we aren’t going to sell anything inappropriate,” Lewis said. “Clothes don’t make the woman, the woman makes the clothes.”