In a Democracy, All Yoga Pants are Not Equal


Sitting in the US Embassy this morning, my husband nudged me and whispered, “Not a good look.”

I looked up.

The woman standing in line was wearing a button down shirt, tennis shoes and black tights.  Not only could we see the lumps in her bottom, but her “sport” tights had spread open across her fuchsia bikini underpants.  Her rear was fully displayed for the dozen people sitting in the chairs behind her.  Lucky for her, because the American Embassy is on high-security alert, all mobile phones were left outside at the guard station.


Embarrassing, we say in Arabic.

It takes courage to wear skin-tight pants and go to the gym or a yoga studio with every curve fully displayed, especially in a Muslim country.

women demonstrating see through yoga pants

Yet time and time again, it is usually the most conservative women who lift their legs into happy baby without realizing their tights have become see-through and their full derriere is on display for the entire gym.

All sportswear is NOT made equal.  Nor does the elastic last forever.

“Life lesson 3,459,” I told my teen class.  “Put on your exercise pants, then do a forward bend with your butt facing a mirror.  If you can see any skin color, change your pants.  It will only be worse in a lighted studio.”

Buying top brand name exercise gear does not always solve the problem.  My kids gave me several NIKE yoga outfits for Mother’s Day.  I have no idea what Nike was thinking.  Only standing tall like a statue, without any lights on, do the pants provide coverage.

Even my $90 Lululemon capris with the cute, peacock feather trim are iffy.  I tried them on in the dressing room as I always do, bending over, spreading my cheeks, to see if any skin showed.  They looked fine in the store.  The first time I wore them, while driving to class, I noticed the knee on my driving leg had a tinge of beige in the sunlight.  I was so angry.  Now I wear them to women only classes.

see thru downward dog see through pants

Lululemon recently lost 67 million dollars in their see-through pants scandal.  Downward facing dog took out CEO Sheree Waterson.  She was fired in April 2013.  Lululemon claimed the incident was for product delivered in March 2013.  I say quality has been an issue for awhile.  I purchased the peacock pants in the summer of 2011.  I also noticed, after a couple of washes, the elastic in my other Lululemon pants frayed and pilled, opening up the fabric’s weave.

The point is women beware!  And follow these key tips.

1 – Test your pants.  Make a fist and press your hand into the fabric, if you can’t see your skin, try on the pants.

2- Next, with the pants on, bend over and look at your butt in the mirror.  Swing your hips.  Do you see any hint of skin?

Don’t bother asking your husband, he will be mesmerized by the swinging hips.

And don’t trust the salesgirl.  Many are paid on commission and are trained to say, “That’s looks fantastic on you.”

Best person to ask?  Your teenagers.

woman sweating

3- If you are going to a hot yoga or ashtanga class, imagine yourself in a wet tee-shirt contest.  What are you exposing in drenched clothes?

kino doing yoga

My ashtanga is not the same yoga, ashtanga-diva, Kino practices.  As a result, my hot pants are not her signature hot pants either.  I sweat and wear good-quality, black capris that hide the rivers running down my legs.

Even black pants with a high cotton content tend to absorb sweat in the creases around your groin, only emphasizing your femininity.

4 – White generally is see-through and covers like a bedsheet pressed against your body.

marilyn monroe in a sheet

In yoga class, white is especially tough even as sweat pants.  One student wears the same, white sweatpants every week.  And every week, we know what color underwear she has on.  I never told her since it is a women-only class.

5 – If you go for colored cotton, look for the little skirts to provide another layer of bottom coverage.


And again, consider what type of yoga class you attending.  Almost any color besides black shows sweat.

iyengar in white shorts

6 – Be bold.  Who cares what everyone else is wearing?  Don the classic yogi attire – an adult diaper.

5 responses to “In a Democracy, All Yoga Pants are Not Equal

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s