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See-Through Yoga Pants Expose More Than Our Butts (And That May Be A Good Thing)

in Lululemon Pantscapade, Yoga Pants


All in all we’re just see-through yogis, living in a see-through world. Are we THAT transparent? Well, yes and no. If you’re talking about yoga pants and the vantage point of the teacher then, um, yes, she/he can see through the threads of your stretchy pants about 80 percent of the time, or at least that’s what NYC based Katharine Goerlich admitted to new yoga pants watchdog Business Insider (and she’s likely speaking for 80 percent of the yoga teachers out there).

“About 80% of my students wear too-sheer pants to class and have no idea,” Katharine Goerlich, who works at Midtown-based Om Factory, told Business Insider. “The teacher is really the only one who notices the sheerness because all other students are in poses and shouldn’t be seeing what’s happening when you bend over.”

“It’s not anything new,” she added. “It’s just the way it is.”

That’s just the way it is folks! We expose so many other vulnerable areas in yoga why not our skin and private bits? There’s really something to be said now for those diaper-dos the Iyengar folks prefer to wear. But what if you’re not interested in lifting that kind of sheath in yoga class?  Your choices are slim pickens. Not even lululemon, the paradoxically oft-erring infallible mega million yoga pants maker, can pull through without the see-through, according to fresh complaints about quality issues in the pants that were supposed to replace the problematic see-through ones from pantscapade 2013.

So who cares? If everyone can see through your pants anyway, what does it matter? Well, paying close to $100 for pair of yoga pants has a special way of changing your ‘so what?’ tune. But besides sheerness, customers are now complaining about pilling, which, if you ask many lulu wearers is just part in parcel with these pants and really nothing new. Ask lulu reps and they’ll probably tell you it has some magical benefit like extra friction in arm balances.

But what is perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of this whole debacle is that lulu customers have been given a free license to complain away til their hearts’ content. Not that they couldn’t before, but now it’s being publicized and there’s safety (and power) in numbers. While Lululemon keeps taking strange marketing decisions one sticky mat faux pas after another, the people are speaking. One might argue the exposure of bad practices and increased demands for better products and better clarity is worth showing your butt a few times in down dog.

Now, yogsters, don’t freak out now every time you have to bend over in yoga class. It’s really only the teacher who gets the peep show, if that makes you feel any better. Zoink. There are other options. You could do yoga in your jeans.

Alternatively, if you’re not sure if your pants are actually pants, please refer to this post, or the chart below.


[Via Business Insider]

top image via suite101.com



14 comments… add one
  • I still don’t want see-through pants. Not everyone is in perfect synchronization in a class and some classes have you work more independently after showing you the pose. I am in a yoga class for people with injuries and often I or another cannot hold a position as long as another person or take longer to get into a position. I don’t understand why there cannot be quality yoga pants that are not sheer. If I am going to pay $100 for pants, they better have some fabric to them.

  • sarai

    The fact that this is even a subject is pathetic.
    Lululemon should be blown to bits. Their last little ad “explaining” the high cost of their pants — see through or not — is pathetic. It’s not important whether you’re wearing pseudo-specially designed pants that absorb moisture and pull it away from your skin really fast. You know who developed that notion? The developers of clothes for skiing, strenuous hiking, and long-distance biking. Why is it important? Because you typically do that stuff for very long periods of time, and if you sweat and stays on your skin, and you get some wind on you, it can get chilly. That’s ALL. If you’re THAT opposed to sweat — even a lot of sweat — don’t do strenuous activity.
    Sometimes I think no one hates their bodies more than females who do yoga.

  • Naia

    Part of me can’t even believe this is a post… But since it is I have to say that I am yoga instructor and I teach very traditional yoga and my students come to learn about themselves, their bodies and philosophy and most wear regular comfy clothes (sweats & a tshirt) and not $100 yoga pants. I think it’s completely ridiculous to have such high priced “yoga” pants with so little material. I think that if more people participated in asana practice to be more in touch with themselves that their body image would improve and they wouldn’t feel the need to buy such high priced practice wear that no one really sees but the instructor.

  • Thom

    Lululemon is for people whose minds are tractible, and will latch on to anything that sounds psudo -spiritual chic. That is why they have been getting away with charging $100 a pop for a $2 strip of Luon with an omega on it .

  • namaste

    I can’t believe I just came across this post! I teach yoga at a corporate setting and was debating to tell the woman (with no underwear + see through pants) that her goodies were hanging out in front of her coworkers. Couldn’t figure out if it was just me that could see. Will keep my mouth shut under yoga teacher oath, but I WOULD WANT TO KNOW!

  • Oh dear Lord. This reminds me of assisting in a class in Bali and getting a LOT more than I bargained for during Supta Baddha Konasana. Mind you, I’ve probably made a similar mistake myself on occasion.

  • christy

    How do women not know their pants are see through??? I always do a mirror check before I buy them! If I can see my “stuff” then I don’t buy them!! Haha!! I think, as a yoga teacher, I can just tell the class as a whole to do a mirror check if they don’t want their goods on display….especially if they are doing things other then yoga in their pants! lol! Its actually pretty funny!!! Lets lighten up and stop being so judgmental over all this. It really is silly.

  • First, thanks so much for linking to my “Tights Are Not Pants” post! As a longtime yoga practitioner, I am totally turned off my Lululemon. I am a large busted woman and was disappointed to have my yoga sportsbra option be only their unsightly Ta-Ta tamer that looked like a fug black 18 hour Cross Your Heart bra. Plus, after a few washes, the clasps rusted and fell off. I can’t remember how much I paid for this piece of garbage but I am sure it was plenty. Regarding see through clothes in yoga, I laugh a but because I used to practice Bikram quite regularly and it’s normal to practice practically naked because it is SO freaking hot in a class. However, even though most men are topless and most women are in the equivalent of bikinis, most people still manage to have their bits and pieces covered, not that it matters- most in the bikram room are too close to passing out to notice what anyone is wearing anyway. So the fact that someone can’t manage to get it together to wear a pair of yoga pants that aren’t see through for a regular class that isn’t in 105 degree heat is hilarious! Don’t people know that more is exposed when you stretch and bend?

  • Okay, so i am now going to be do ing “mirror checks” but ya know, I don’t really care that much. Just about everyone i practice with is there for the practice and not to check out others. Guess I’m just fortunate in that regard. As for lululemon, I just won’t be purchasing any of the products. That’s it. Lululemon is just another corporation that saw a market to go after and did.

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