An unspoken fashion phenomenon has swept our current generation of moms. I began to notice a particular article of clothing sported by moms in my neighborhood shortly after I landed my new role as a mother: yoga pants. Perhaps it was those first few months of severe sleep deprivation, but my first thought seeing a pair was more jealously than anything else. “Wow! It must be nice to have some time to yourself to exercise.” Quickly, I learned that yoga pants are actually the unofficial official mommy uniform, with or without yoga experience.
A friend of mine would often say her pair was part of her “ninja” outfit. Ninja outfit? Do these hip hugging, wind resistant pants aid in catching milk-filled toddler cups from making landfall on the kitchen floor? Or make you quick enough to prevent a new crawler from entering a cabinet full of forbidden dangers? Fast enough to stop an oncoming battle about toys? Or does its sleek design and color palette camouflage the dirty side of motherhood, for example spit up, food and milk? And, most importantly, if a mom has never taken a yoga class in her life, why is she wearing yoga pants? Has the yoga pant become the new “mom jeans”? Are they the go to apparel for moms of all ages, body types and professions despite season or location? Perplexed and seeking answers on the topic, I conducted research in the places where most of mine seem to occur these days: the internet and the supermarket. And, I asked the experts, ALG style, who eloquently acknowledged that even though “it is unfortunate, yet understandable, a mother’s sense of style should not be overshadowed by the demands of motherhood.”
I recall moms in the late 80s and into the mid-90s always sporting a pair of solid color, high-waisted jeans with shirts tucked in when they would pick up my classmates from school, go grocery shopping or attend a birthday party. Today’s generation of mothers also have a common go to pair: yoga pants. A recent search on my favorite clothing store websites, including LOFT, revealed endless yoga pant options, including a fold over waistline, crop, boot cut, flared, reversible and yes, cheetah print. Has the yoga pant movement gone a little too far, just like mom jeans? Perhaps it does make sense to include a pair of these elastic-waisted workout pants in our wardrobe, or two, or three. Motherhood is at times a sport that includes achieving an array of movement, bending and stretching just to get through the day, so it only seems fit that a mom should sport one around the household, at the supermarket, during carpool and in an array of other motherly duties…or not.
Aimèe Gowland, with ALG Style states, “There is a time and a place for stretchy black fabrics – yoga and workout classes being the obvious answer, chasing and strolling little ones around our beautiful parks, or perhaps lounging on your couch after everyone has finally turned in for the evening. However, have you ever found yourself, on more than one occasion, leaving the house in the morning in your workout attire going to carpool, running your errands, meeting friends for coffee, perhaps working a bit from home, heading back to carpool, cooking dinner and still rocking the Lululemon Wunder Under pants, yet you have never worked out? If the answer is “Yes,” then we need to chat. The yoga pant should not act as pants, since it is not a real pant. This black stretchy spandex is not like putting on underwear or socks; it should not be a uniform of choice.” And, they are not advocating eliminating this piece from your wardrobe either. Instead, they suggest, “taking a few precious moments to pull a look together. ALG’s mission statement is, we want all women to look and feel like their best self at all times regardless if they are shopping at Robert’s or dining at Ralph’s on the Park. There is a way to have both form and function.”
In addition, as the “cooler” months in New Orleans approach, I see these pairs transitioning into a role similar to leggings or tights pared with boots and baggy sweaters around the grocery store. Since I tread unfamiliar territory when it comes to fashion, Aimèe has provided some advice on how to incorporate this pair of elastic waisted exercise apparel in your wardrobe. “The legging look has become a fashion pandemic. A yoga pant can be part of a polished ensemble. If your objective is ease of movement and comfort, we endorse pairing them with pointy toe flats to elongate your frame or wearing them tucked into boots or the very on trend bootie. A fun fitted t-shirt, long enough to cover your derrière, and a great scarf is effortless and polished. Try a chunky knit as a pullover or wrap in cooler weather. Our favorite choice for staying chic in Yoga pants is coupling them with a fitted jacket or blazer. This option, when mixed with accessories and a magnificent shoe, can get you from the witching hour to happy hour without fail.”