In Defense of “Yoga Pants,” aka Cute Workout Gear.

I had a different post planned for today but then I got inspired. Yesterday, Brianna posted this article to the community page, which sparked a really interesting conversation over there. I then shared it to my personal page… more conversation!

The article was written by a senior staffer at the NY Times (though many speculate it’s a pseudonym) who missed sweatpants and was upset by the influx of spandex and as she put it “sexy” workout clothing. She asserts that yoga pants are “bad for women.” Oof. It made feel a lot of things. At first I thought it was funny and cute. YEAH! Why can’t we just be a little messy at the gym? As someone who goes to a fancy gym where everyone looks so good all the time (tanned, toned, and in perfectly coordinated workout gear), it can feel a little intimidating  at times.

It also made me feel a little bit guilty, as I have spent so much money at Outdoor Voices over the past couple months as I get my @$$ back in shape. Like more than I’ve spent on regular clothes. But I love their stuff and live for their matching sets (this crop + these leggings + this tank = my go-to uniform).

But then I started to think a little more about it and actually started to feel angry with the author – and the piece in general.

First of all… LOLZ. Who works out in sweatpants anymore!? (Note: I am so sorry if you are reading this and you do, but also if you do, enlighten me?) They just aren’t functional! Sweatpants get SO hot, they’re baggy and get tangled if you are on the elliptical, or they bunch up over your legs if you are doing downward dog. And I don’t take spinning but could you even imagine trying to take a spin class in sweatpants? A big fat NOPE to that. I have three pairs of sweatpants (Aviator Nation makes the best ones, for the record). Sometimes I’ll wear them over shorts or capris as I walk to the gym but I certainly don’t work out in them. My sweats are reserved for introvert time at home and trust me, I get a lot of use out of them but no actual sweating happens while wearing my sweatpants. Even the author referred to sweatpants as “basically towels with waistbands.” If you are getting in a good sweat, how would that be more comfortable!?

Next: I do NOT work out in cute clothing to look sexy for a man. I don’t know a single woman who does this. F*ck no!!! The idea of it made me actually laugh. I work out in cute workout clothing because it motivate me and make ME feel good! My cute stuff also happens to be very functional – designed to help me get a better workout. Since starting to work out in the morning, I have gotten into the habit of laying out my workout clothes for the next day ahead of time. (Just one more thing to save time.) Knowing that I am going to put on a cute outfit motivates me to get up, throw it on, and get my workout in! Perhaps that is superficial but honestly, I have a hard time motivating and if something gets me to the gym, it’s generally a very good thing.

As for working out in tight clothing, I actually think that is a must – especially in yoga or barre where you have to be so careful with your alignment and how you hold your poses. Though my core is far from perfect I wear a crop top + high waisted leggings to yoga as a) I don’t have to deal with a tank top bunching up around my head when we go upside down, and b) I get hot, and c) I can actually see my body, monitor it, and make sure I’m holding the poses properly. It has nothing to do with looking sexy but more with getting the poses right. The idea that we wear this stuff to look sexy and/or dress for men at THE GYM is positively ludicrous.

Also… screw this line! “Women can, of course, be fit and liberated. We may be able to conquer the world wearing spandex. But wouldn’t it be easier to do so in pants that don’t threaten to show every dimple and roll in every woman over 30?” (She says this shortly after saying “It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress.” Yeah, Honor, that isn’t good manners and you’re contradicting yourself a bit.)

Not only is that line insulting to women over 30 (many of us), women with dimples and rolls (all of us), it just comes off as rude and insecure on her part. She has no business telling other women what to wear… insulting women’s bodies, or inferring that once you hit a certain age you’re just doomed. UGH.

So yeah. I hate this article and I will wear my nice workout clothing with pride. I’m proud of my daily workouts, and I like my spandex. If you don’t like spandex, that’s cool too – wear what you want!!! If it motivates you and makes you happy + comfortable, it’s GOOD FOR YOU (no matter what it is), and that’s what you should wear. And I love the New York Times, but given everything else going on in the world, surely, they could have chosen a better Op Ed piece, no!?

Did you read the article? What did you think? I’d love to get your thoughts!!!

photography by Trent Bailey.

Leave a Comment


  1. I actually work out in scrappy clothes, because my cute workout gear is, well, too cute to ruin. 😛 But that’s when I’m running alone or when I know I won’t bump into anyone I know. If I go to group classes, however, I make sure to at least look presentable because it boosts my confidence! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Jess says 2.22.18

    Yes. Just yes to all of this. I’m almost always team cute workout wear, but wear whatever you want to work out- whether that be sweatpants or cute af matching yoga pants and crop tops. Wear what makes you feel good, because that’s what working out is all about! Also, if girls were trying to “look good” for guys at the gym, we wouldn’t be sweating our butts off and emerging soaking wet from spin class. Um, no, we’re doing this for us, thanks very much!

    I think this speaks to the larger problem of women having all these opposing expectations- be skinny, but eat cheeseburgers at every meal! Look flawless, but don’t look like you put any effort into your look! And on and on. Thanks for posting this, it seems like such a small thing but this really resonated with me!! Keep wearing your cute workout clothes & kicking butt.

    xo Jess

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Oh god the opposing emotions drive me crazy. If I see another teensy instagram model posing with a burger I’m going to scream. 😉 Appreciate the feedback + comment! xo

  3. Carly A. Heitlinger says 2.22.18

    I also think it’s worth mentioning (tbh I didn’t read the article so it may have been mentioned…) that the fabrics used right now are HIGH-PERFORMANCE fabrics. Aka they’re designed for sweat, heat, and movement. The sweatpants of yesteryears definitely are not.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      YES, Exactly!!! We wear them for a reason… not to be sexy! Thanks Carly 🙂 xoxo

    • MarciaMarciaMarcia says 2.23.18

      Exactly. Was coming to say the same thing. People used to work out in cotton tees and sweatpants because that’s ALL there was, before technical fabrics were created. I love my Nike sweatpants to death, but I’d never work out in them. The cute factor is a bonus, but I wear tights/shorts and tanks etc, because they’re comfortable when I’m out on a hot, sweaty trail run. It’s definitely NOT about being sexy, it’s about not overheating, not chafing (!), and being comfortable even when you end up a hot, sweaty, mess.

  4. Susan says 2.22.18

    This is so funny to me Grace because I remember when I was in high school, every single girl wore sweat pants. I went to an all girls school and the girls would wear them underneath their skirt everyday in the morning and after school, and I remember wanting to feel good in them and look “cool” with them like my sister and the other girls and just didn’t! Weren’t flattering on my body and weren’t comfortable for me (I know how weird that sounds), but I was always hoping there were other options! When I first joined the track team in high school, again, everyone wore sweats and I followed suit. The minute this really fast runner started wearing “runderwear” (aka the workout leggings of today), I remember telling my mom we had to find a cheap version of them somewhere! After that, I never turned back and started wearing leggings under my skirt after school! I agree with you, tights are just more comfortable and better suited to workout in for just about every workout out there! Glad they have rested in peace for actual workouts!! This author of the article seems a little crazy!

    • Amy says 2.22.18

      I’m so glad to hear someone else finds sweatpants uncomfortable! I always wanted to wear them to look “cool”, but they never fit my body right. Yoga pants and workout tights have become my go-to’s over the years because they fit my body well and I feel good in them. Everyone should be able to wear what they want without feeling shamed – something the author clearly doesn’t understand.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      HAHA YES SAME!!! For us (I was a cross country and track runner) it was these windbreaker like pants that were lined in fleece from a brand called Boathouse. I loved them and we wore them on big meet/race days. We’d do our runs in them and I still remember the swishing sound they made as we ran in them.

      I think it was maybe senior year when people started wearing running tights and I remember feeling SO intimidated by them… it was scary! And that’s hilarious because back then I was teensy tiny from running 40 miles a week and racing competitively. We all felt so naked in them but now it’s totally the norm!

      Anyway now they feel totally normal (and those old track pants would feel so bulky) but this was fun little walk down memory lane.

  5. Emily says 2.22.18

    I could not agree with you more! Wear what you want!! Honestly who cares?? If it makes you happy, go for it – spandex, sweatpants, whatever. The most important thing is that you are moving your body and staying healthy. 🙂

  6. sharon says 2.22.18

    What was the point of that piece??? Seriously. In one breath she says that we should not tell women how to dress then says that we should wear sweat pants. Are there women who were cute workout clothes for men? Sure there are. Just like some wear cute workout clothes for other women and some just for themselves. Why should I care what other women wear and why they are wearing it? Why should I care what women are spending their money on? What classes they take? This piece says a lot more about the author than any women who goes to the gym in cute workout gear. Guessing that she is not feeling the best about herself at this point in life…. these types of pieces just scream insecurity to me. Why do women do this??? Would men ever write a piece about some other guy’s workout gear??? No, just no. We have a long way to go.
    I also agree that with everything going on in the world, is is disappointing to see that this is what was printed.

    • shannon says 2.22.18


    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Yes yes yes!!!

      And agreed, another reader said the same thing… “Would men ever write a piece about some other guy’s workout gear???” NO! Hahaha. We do have a long way to go!!!

      Thanks for sharing your view Sharon! x

      • Lisa says 2.24.18

        I’d have to disagree with “Would men ever write a piece about some other guy’s workout gear?? and the response of “no” – as that could possibly (and probably) has been written about. That’s the beauty of an opinion piece – everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions! 🙂


  7. Christina says 2.22.18

    Oof. I felt the same…at first, it was resonating because seriously who has time / the desire to get dolled up for the gym, especially in the morning? But as I read on, it became annoying, patronizing and even a little bit holier than thou. Of course women should feel good about wearing whatever they feel like to the gym. What matters is that you go and take care of your body! But that’s not the message in her piece…the message seems to be that if you do enjoy wearing yoga pants or cute workout clothes to the gym, you are somehow setting women back and leaving yourself open to objectification? Her line that you pointed out above – “It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress.” – it’s more than just not good manners. It’s rude and accomplishes the exact opposite of what (I hope) she set out to do by putting down other women for something of a physical nature. Thank you for sharing this!!

  8. Janet says 2.22.18

    Last night I was watching the men’s lacrosse team practice out in the cold and snow in their grey sweats – it did not look comfortable! (Cold weather and fabric that doesn’t wick sweat away? bad combination!). I’m waaaaay over 30 – I’m wearing what makes the most sense for whatever activity I’m doing.

    I didn’t read the article (why use up one of my limited non-subscriber reads on it when everyone else is talking about it) but that’s awfully click-baity for the NYT. For good writing on health, check out Gretchen Reynolds – I got to hear her give a talk a couple of years ago and she does legitimate reporting for the NYT on the latest in health science.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Yes!!! It’s just not high tech and it’s going to get wet and gross… nooooooo!!!!!

  9. Johanna says 2.22.18

    We adult women can wear whatever we want whether it’s totally covered up or half naked. It’s no ones business WHY we wear what we wear. Sick of other women judging what other women wear. We shouldn’t be shamed to wear what we are comfortable in. Women have a long way to go in terms of uplifting each other.
    Thank you for this post grace

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Yes, exactly!!!! Thank you for commenting, Johanna 🙂

    • Lisa says 2.24.18

      I’ve actually thought about this a lot, and although I 100% agree with you on wearing what we want, whether it’s totally covered up or half naked – I personally believe (and I’m realizing yes – this is just my own opinion) in the concept of modesty – and being a role model to younger, more impressionable girls. There are some things that I believe that should be kept private in public, as this can tarter a culture/community, etc and I think societally, that causes a slippery slope. However, again I’m learning that this is just my viewpoint, and modesty may not be important to other people – and that’s perfectly okay!

  10. Cloe says 2.22.18

    Do you have the Outdoor voices sweatpants?!? They are SO soft! I am obsessed with mine and wear them way too much. I would never work out in them, but would definitely lounge in them over leggings. Got my Mom a pair for Christmas as well.

  11. Shelby says 2.22.18

    PREACH IT. i wear my cute workout clothes for ME, i feel motivated and good about myself.

  12. Michelle says 2.22.18

    Honor Jones, herself, describes sweatpants as “basically just towels with waistbands.” Why would anyone want to wear or bring back anything that falls under that description? I type this as I sit at work in my Zella high waisted live in leggings!

  13. shannon says 2.22.18

    that article was absolutely horrendous. judging others for what they’re wearing to the gym? are you kidding me? i didn’t believe it when i first started going to the gym, but no one gives a flying f— what you’re wearing or even doing because everyone is worried about themselves. apparantly everyone except the author of that article. she needs to get off her high-sweatpant-wearing horse & stop putting down other women. ugh this article made me so mad & agree with everything you said, grace! you can’t do yoga or the “contorting themselves into ridiculous positions” as she put it in loose clothing! ugh

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Totally. I was thinking about this today at yoga. It was hot sweaty Y7 yoga and we always end with abs. I was just in leggings and a sports bra and we were in this bowl pose (so hard!) and I looked down and saw a big old fat roll. Oof. This a) reminded me (per my earlier remark) to hold in my core, but b) made me a little self conscious. And then I looked around the room and realized that literally EVERYONE was focused on themselves. No one cared about my fat roll besides me. We’re all just worrying about ourselves!

  14. Leslie says 2.22.18

    I totally agree with you and felt the same way when I read the article! Thank you for your post!!!

  15. Michelle says 2.22.18

    Sweatpants are and will always be “Thanksgiving pants”. Thanks Joey!
    (Commenting as I sweat my spandex-clad ass off on the stair climber!)

  16. Allie Ellenbogen says 2.22.18

    Wow, I could not agree with you more. This article was infuriating! And quite frankly it sounded like the author doesn’t exercise regularly. If she did then then she would probably understand why sweatpants are something most people don’t like to wear anymore. The offerings of workout gear have changed so much from the days of sweatpants and soffe shorts – and for the better! We now have workout clothes that are more practical and have actual benefits like moisture wicking, bacteria control, and ventilation.

    Furthermore, to degrade women who workout by presuming they’re doing so because of society pressure or an effort to look sexy (“when yoga pants are the first thing grown women put on every morning, we can’t help absorbing the message that staying fit is our No. 1 purpose in life”) is just plain offensive. At a time when obesity, type 2 diabetes, and so many other diseases that could be prevented through exercise and a healthy lifestyle are at all time highs anyone who wants to exercise is taking a step to better not only their future but the future of our country by moving toward lower long-term healthcare costs — no matter what they choose to wear.

    I workout because it makes me feel strong and healthy and I know I’m doing something that’s good for my body. Those things make me feel confident. I certainly don’t do it to please anyone else and looking good because of it is only an added bonus

  17. Kendra says 2.22.18

    I 100% agree with your sentiments! I do pilates, spin and bootcamp classes (that I pay a lot of $ for!). I do these classes because I know I can’t bail on them once I’ve signed up, AND I see results more than when I try to workout on my own at the gym. Besides that, doing any of those classes in lose fitting clothing that doesn’t breath well gets in the way of the movements and makes me uncomfortable! As a 36 yo working mother, I feel that whatever it takes to get me motivated and out the door should be good enough, as long as I’m doing it, even it it means a cute workout outfit! Working out more than her assumed 2 days per week is imperative to both my mental and physical health, and why should I feel guilty wanting to be comfortable (first and foremost) and stylish while doing it!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Exactly! I don’t do that many boutique classes but I have an expensive membership at Equinox and because of that, I go… almost every day! When you are paying for something it makes you actually do it!!!!

      I completely agree with your sentiments. If it gets you out the door, it’s awesome!!! No need for the author to make anyone feel badly about that!

  18. Alisande says 2.22.18

    I would just like to say- I loathe and abhor khakis. How can we take a woman advocating for their “comeback” seriously?

  19. Julie says 2.22.18

    Thank you for this! I see working out as an investment in myself, and that includes wearing clothes that make me feel good. For me, this means clothes that are functional for the workouts I’m doing – leggings, spandex, etc. Yeah, sometimes my leggings show the dimples in my over-30 thighs and my bum probably doesn’t look great when it’s all flexy while doing squats, and you know what? That’s totally fine. I’m not there to look pretty. That said, I have a friend who prefers to work out wearing ratty tee shirts and old shorts because that’s what she likes – AND THAT’S FINE TOO! Women have GOT to stop policing each other, it’s only hurting us (something tells me dudes aren’t looking at other dudes at the gym and thinking “he shouldn’t wear that”).

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Oh my gosh YES to everything you said. We should all just do what we want and no need to judge each other!

      Also, literally LOL’d at your comment about men looking at other dudes’ outfits… HA!

  20. Taylor says 2.22.18

    Grace so glad you wrote about this sad excuse for a NYTIMES PIECE (!?!) I was reading it and thinking what in the actual hell? They are getting desperate for op ed pieces. I always workout in leggings/tanks/t shirts and shorts but never sweatpants. I cannot even imagine! I have never one time heard of anyone trying to look cute for a man in workout clothes at the gym. I found this article so wildly unrelatable and antiquated, and 100% agree with your sentiments!!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      HA right? I mean it’s an opinion piece but COME ON NYT, with all of this week’s news you can do better!!!!

  21. Caroline says 2.22.18

    I love this response Grace! As someone who’s also trying to get back into a healthy lifestyle the idea of putting on depressing boring work out clothes is a no-go. Having a cute outfit to throw on when I go to the gym makes ME happy and more motivated (it’s not about anyone else).

    On the contrary I thought her point about how much money is being spent by women or focused on women in the fitness industry was super interesting. I’m still in a debate in my head about whether this is just the same women spending more money on fashion or if it’s more like the fact that women’s razors cost so much more than men’s razors even though they’re the same damn thing. The cost of some workout classes is insane (and some athletic clothes) but at the same time isn’t is just about what you decide to spend your money on? Sorry for the ramble… just my internal debate!

    Thanks for sharing!

    xx Caroline

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Thank you so much Caroline!!! Yes – it is totally about doing something for US.

      That’s an interesting point you raise (especially about razors, which is so true but something I forget about… and if razors followed the logic of other products, wouldn’t something you use on your face cost more than something you use on your body??) It’s definitely about what you choose to spend your money on. Another reader pointed out that she finds that spending the money makes her actually GO to the gym, which I agree with… because I’m spending so much on my Equinox membership, I make sure I get the absolute most out of it… going almost every day. If I belonged to a $25 a month gym I would probably be less inclined to go every day (although it would likely be a less nice experience, which means I probably wouldn’t WANT to go, the way I do with Equinox…) but definitely something to think about. I also tend to spend my money cyclically. In the Spring when I moved I was all about furniture + things for my home, and right now I am focused on workout gear (bc I hadn’t upgraded in so long). Now, I’m good for a while there. Wonder what the next thing will be 😉

  22. Lauren N says 2.22.18

    I saw an older man (probably 75+ years out) working out at Equinox in corduroy pants once, and he is my spirit animal. Wear whatever makes you comfortable while working out.
    I also like to use new, cute workout gear to reward myself. If I killed my fitness goals for February, I’m going to treat myself to new lulu pants.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Ha! I really love that!!! So cute. I saw a guy in full on fencing gear the other day. Do you!!!

    • Kellie says 2.22.18

      I saw a guy once in jeans and I did judge him. Mainly because that cannot be comfortable, right?

      • Brianna says 2.22.18

        Love this! There’s an older man at my gym who wears jeans as he walks on the treadmill. But hey, he’s walking so you can’t hate.

  23. Susie says 2.22.18

    Grace, this post was spot on. I was really bothered by that article too–sure, wear warm clothes to get from your house to the gym (I am all about the LL Bean fleece-lined leggings right now for exactly that purpose), but who works out in sweatpants?? Hello uncomfortably hot and impractical. Plus, anything that motivates you to get to the gym is good in my book (definitely includes cute workout clothes). Thanks for this.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Thank you so much for weighing in, Susie. I totally agree with you. If something motivates you to do something good for yourself, it’s definitely a GOOD THING! xo

  24. Taylor says 2.22.18

    I agree whole heartedly with your response and many of the other comments. I am a hot yoga instructor and I truly do not wear the items of clothing that I choose to wear to teach in because I want to ‘look sexy’. I wear them so I’m not dying of heat 10 minutes into class, and so my students can easily understand the poses and exercises we’re doing. I have an extensive workout clothing wardrobe because I truly believe in the phrase ‘look good, feel good’ – why am I going to wear something that I hate or feel uncomfortable in? I don’t mind spending my hard earned money on clothes that I know I will be excited to wear.

    While obviously the attack to what women wear is is infuriating, I was almost seething reading the part that attacked specific types of workouts – SoulCycle and barre in particular. Why should we be attacked for liking a specific type of workout? At my yoga studio, we believe strongly in our community and how our students define who we are and we try to make yoga for every single person that walks into the studio. We should all be so lucky that we have so many different types of workouts available to find what is comfortable to us and what works for our body. Going to a gym or workout studio can be scary enough, I hate the idea that a woman would refrain from doing so over the idea of being judged by what she chooses to wear.

    Thanks again for your sharing your response, and allowing the rest of us to get our frustration out as well. Glad we’re all in this together!

    xo, Taylor

  25. Jessica says 2.22.18

    I’m so glad you touched on this! My husband and I were cracking up when we read that article!!
    You’re 100% right. Nice choice of topic 😉

    Yoga Pant Addict

  26. Kellie says 2.22.18

    Just read this article and it enraged me. I don’t spend a lot of money on yoga pants (Old Navy works fine!) but don’t judge those who do! If you feel good in them, awesome. I wear mine not to feel sexy but because they make me feel more put together and cooler than sweatpants. Sweatpants are sloppy- athleisure is a legitimate way to be comfortable without looking like you just rolled out of bed. This 35 year old mother appreciates that, dimples and all!

    Also no you can’t do yoga in baggy pants. And many other forms of exercise, which is why tight workout clothing started to begin with. My husband did triathlons in college and rocked his spandex. Olympic athletes aren’t competing in sweatpants. There is actually a functional aspect to this (and the thought of doing hot yoga in sweatpants – yuck!).

    So I agree with you Grace. And this author needs to wear her sweatpants without any judgement on those who don’t (also don’t bring back khakis).

  27. Victoria says 2.22.18

    YEP. I read this editorial over the weekend and found myself rolling my eyes and moving on quickly. The thing that gets me the most about it is WHO THE EFF CARES. You do you, boo. Live and let live. Why does someone else’s workout gear impact you or anyone else (short of showing up naked to Bikram or something)? What a waste of energy to worry about something like that during a time that’s supposed to be for YOU, and taking care of your own body and well-being.

    I also wondered about the byline being a pen name and/or if this person was a staff writer. I almost hope they do write regularly about other topics for the Times. Because if this was a submitted essay and the author’s first published work in such a high profile publication, it seems sad that they’d spend their time (and column inches) on something so trivial. Such a wasted opportunity for your ideas, you know? I don’t get it.

    Separately, have you tried OV’s tech sweat leggings? I think I prefer them over the classic warmup (or multicolor) OV leggings! They’re stretchier and feel like second skin, and are perfect for sweatier activities! I’m on that OV train with you…seriously the best ever.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Yes exactly. Truly, who cares!!!!

      I felt a bit bad devoting an entire blog post to it but it sparked something inside me and I had to do it!!!!

      There is a whole thing on twitter as to whether Honor is a real person or not (it seems that she is!!!)

      And I have tried OV’s tech sweat leggings. Honestly, don’t like them as much as the classic warmup leggings. I think for me what I like so much is how thick the regular OV leggings are… they really hold you in (and no “lumps or rolls” in sight – LOL!)

  28. christina says 2.22.18

    just wanted to comment to say i LOVED your post! i read the article and also thought it was ridiculous (major side eye, NYT) – the topic was ridiculous, the timing was ridiculous, and the viewpoint was ridiculous. but sometimes in your posts i can “hear” you as if you’re just having an off the cuff conversation with “me”, and that’s how this felt, so it was AWESOME!

    do i typically work out in a tennis skirt and an XL men’s v-neck hanes tee? why yes i do, because i am a bum. HOWEVER, whether a person is working out or not, they should have the freedom to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable!!!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Thank you so much Christina!!! And do you! Wear what you want and what makes you comfortable/happy!!!

  29. Lisa says 2.22.18

    I’m no fitness junkie, and I don’t spend a lot on workout gear. But this woman clearly has never tried to do yoga in anything remotely baggy. Made that mistake once when the only clean clothes I could find were slightly baggy, and I spent the whole class fighting my clothes. Never. Again. Honestly I’d wear yoga pants that have been in the dirty laundry for a week before I wore sweatpants to yoga.

    Also, I’ve never been to a yoga class where any one could really see what I was wearing anyway, let alone see all my dimples and rolls.

  30. Deirdre says 2.22.18

    Well said. The NYT article was both ageist and sexist. What had the potential to be a funny and sarcastic piece about the plethora of workout gear options out there ended up sounding bitter and hypocritical. Also, sounds like it was written by someone who doesn’t actually work out. Better go buy myself some sweatpants to hide my “over thirty dimples” #eyeroll.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      AGREED, friend!
      And lolz to those over thirty dimples. This woman clearly doesn’t work out on the reg.


  31. Cristen says 2.22.18

    Thanks so much for sharing this Grace. I hadn’t heard of this article but now I too am outraged! Lol. I think leggings are the best thing to happen to gym clothes since dri-fit. There is something about seeing your body move and seeing those places you are working that motivates you. And they also are comforting and keep you cool and don’t bunch like shorts do. I feel like if I were to go to the gym wearing gym shorts or sweats and a big t shirt I would first of all niy feel as good about myself, secondly not be as motivated, and thirdly, be sweating my ass off! I can’t even wear sleeves when I work out due to feeling uncornfotable let alone giant baggy pants with no breathability. This woman can wear sweats if she wants, but I really enjoy my leggings and cute workout gear! They make me happy and excited to go to the gym. And I mean if you aren’t working out to feel good about yourself why are you doing it? I don’t wden go into the convenience of wearing athleisure leggings we pants for running errands because I’m sure this woman hates that, but hey- comfort and you look good, double win!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      I completely agree with everything you said. You need to see your body!!!! Everyone should just wear what makes them happy – and not judge!

  32. Kristen says 2.22.18

    Some days I look cute at the gym and some days I dont. Days I have a little more time I do put the extra effort in, bc in LIFE IN GENERAL, when i have a little extra time i put the effort in. This isn’t for a man, this is for me. When at the gym and I see someone (no matter their size, dimples or no dimples) wearing a cute outfit I internally cheer for them. I’m like yeah girl get it!

    The NY Times op-ed has become this breeding ground of women who are struggling with the fact that younger generations of women arent doing things to seek men’s approval, they do it for themselves (there was a disastrous op-ed about how #metoo would limit work place flirting, ummm WHAT).

    Lastly i take HIIT classes, I need clothes that perform. A pair of sweats? Give me a break, I’d sweat to death.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      You are right about that with your comment about the op-ed section. I hope they can turn things around!!!

      And totally agree with everything else you said. I wear cute outfits to the gym but It’s first thing in the morning so generally I look haggard AF. ANNND if I ever wore sweats to my hot yoga class I would probably actually die!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kristen! xo

  33. Paige says 2.22.18

    LOL at the fact that she thinks we dress cute at the gym for men. Its really that whole idea of “women don’t dress for men, women dress for other women”! I would much rather have another girl at the gym compliment me on my cute workout clothes than EVER have a guy say something to me at the gym!! If you are comfortable working out in your sweatpants, you do you, but I am just as comfortable in my neon leggings or a crop top. I spend just as much money on my workout clothes as I do on my regular clothes and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to show them off 😉 Love seeing posts like this, Grace! You always start awesome discussions.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      OMG YES. That is really funny.. I said I dress for me but I also dress for other women. I do a lot of workout classes with girlfriends or PR contacts in lieu of drinks and whenever I have a workout with a friend I am so careful with choosing my outfit – always a coordinating set – HA!!! Thanks for weighing in, Paige! xx

  34. Lauren says 2.22.18

    Yes! Oh my goodness what a poor Op Ed choice on the part of The NY Times. I cringed reading those judgments on women and what they should or should not wear. Also, I love my workout gear and it truly serves a purpose in my studio classes. It’s based on principles I originally learned in ballet which maintained strict dress requirements to ensure proper form and safe practice.
    And Grace, no shame on your shopping habits. You picked those pieces out to inspire you and make you feel good just like you do with a good pair of jeans, heels, or accessory. I love that content as much as any other items/pieces featured because I 100% wear those items.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Yes, totally cringed!!!

      And thank you for endorsing my shopping habits (JK). The thing is, I don’t feel bad either. I wear my workout gear more than I wear any of my other clothing, and I’m happy that I treated myself to new stuff this winter as it makes me feel good!!!!

  35. ANGELA C TANNER says 2.22.18

    Great article! Very well said. I agree with you about the importance of feeling good in what you are wearing. I am much more motivated to work out when I like what I am wearing.

  36. kate says 2.22.18

    I actually just canceled my online and Sunday subscription to NYT. They’ve really disappointed recently and there are sooo many news outlets (and daily online papers) available. The recent op-ed about the Parkland shooting was terrible as well, in my opinion, but obviously is more controversial than this topic. “Respect First, Then Gun Control”?? They also hired (for a mere number of hours) an opinion writer who was found to have tweeted out racial slurs and homophobic slurs. (the fact that they didn’t find this out BEFORE hiring this person was alarming). So anyway, 100% agree with your opinion, and I’m also just sad that the NYT seems to be in such a weird place right now, especially in their opinion sections.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.22.18

      Oh wow. Yeah, I would tend to agree with you on the Op Ed pieces – they’ve been strange! I still support them but I can see where you are coming from. This piece was a particularly very poor decision!!!

  37. Sarah says 2.22.18

    This piece is insane- I read it yesterday and thought all of the same things. I totally rocked the college T-shirt and and umbro shirts to workout back in the day, but never would I go back to that. The lulu stuff I wear to my beloved Shred415 workouts is just amazing, I’m literally dripping in sweat anywhere there’s exposed skin, but my tights and tank top are still comfortable and not overly saturated and wet feeling. Also baggy pants and shirts just get in the way- I may not be the skinniest gal in the class, but there’s nothing worse than a too loose shirt flopping down over your head getting in your way. Why can’t we just let people wear what they want to without judgement?

  38. Nina says 2.23.18

    Don’t be mad at the editor who wrote it, be mad at the patriarchy! If you wear sweats you’re slobby, if you don’t you’re trying too hard… You just can’t win with everyone so you might as well wear what you love and get on with your work-out 🙂

  39. Sasha says 2.23.18

    This post made me laugh more than the original article! The NY Times obviously did their job by using an OPINION piece to spawn conversation of the audience’s OPINION. I think it’s funny that you’re so riled up over someone’s subjective point of view. Wear what you want, and realize that everyone is entitled to free speech, to wear towels, or to bare it all in spandex.

  40. Ashley Drapeau says 2.23.18

    I’m 32, in great shape, 36,26,36 and 5’10.
    I love my yoga pants but I love them because my husband loves them. Otherwise. I $%#@!%^ hate them. I have one comfortable pair but they cost 130 dollars so I only wear them as leggings with dresses and nice tops. The rest of these overpriced Lulemon pants where you can see your ass crack are so itchy after a few washes and you have to spend time lint rolling them. Give me pajamas or Prana swishy pants or Under Armor swish pants without some cheesy scrunch at the bottom where my ankle is and im much happier. No I don’t need to see my calves ever… and I don’t need my pants to stick to my legs all the time.. I’m tall! It looks stupid.

    I don’t want to but I care about my appearance..most of the time. After all, I run a business and know a good amount of people so I just care! I can’t help it. I used to model but now im 32 and I run a crane business with my brothers where I do fairly well. So, I have all kinds of uncomfortable clothing and also “comfy” clothing since normal clothing and construction clotting is believe it or not, just not comfortable.

    So when this lady at New York Times posted this article I thought, “F@#$ yes! Finally someone with some sense. Because after all, I just want to turn to some of these uppity yoga ladies sometimes and tell them to shove it because it’s -20 Fahrenheit in Canada and well…are you for real? Give it a rest. ” They get all dressed up, makeup, hair and all. My niece calls this type of person, “a Try Hard”. Instead of being generally annoyed with humanity, I just do yoga or my TRX from home. Helpful piece of information: I travel 8 to 10 hours by truck to Canada from PA every other weekend to see my husband and I work hard. I wish I could find a group of “anti try hards” where I could just go to yoga with no makeup on in sweat pants and not be judged by all these uppity try hard jerks. PS. Non cotton underwear and tight pants are bad for your vaginal health. So some of you relentless yoga pant wearers probably have a yeast problem. Lol. I’m just kidding everyone, relax! Don’t take yourselves so seriously. Geez! The world is falling apart and everyone is up in arms about yoga pants.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.23.18

      Good for you! The point is that everyone should wear what they want, what makes them feel best and what gives them the most effective workout. If you want to wear sweats, go for it!

  41. A Hiwiller says 2.23.18

    Love it!! And my yoga pants!!

  42. Brent says 2.23.18

    As a man that appreciates beautiful& well kept women, I just watched to say PLEASE don’t get rid of yoga pants !!!!!! I do have to ask that they don’t make them for over weight women because that is a site that men prefer not to see !!!!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.23.18

      Brent, I don’t delete comments but your comment is actually super offensive. Not sure how you found this blog or why you felt compelled to comment but this is certainly not the place for it. I encourage women of all sizes and shapes to wear their yoga pants (or their sweatpants, for that matter). It has nothing to do with “what men prefer to see,” which was the point of my article.

    • Anna says 2.23.18

      Well Brent, in that case I will have to ask in return that they stop making computers for rude men with poor grammar skills, since comments like yours are a sight (not “site”) that most intelligent human beings prefer not to see.

  43. Denáh Laws says 2.23.18

    To each their own, but I like and wear sweatpants to exercise. Maybe I am old school, but a I prefer a thick sweat outfit, socks, and a sweat band on my forehead. I’ve always worn a tank top and paper shorts underneath, just incase I get to hot. I cheered for 16 years between city and school districts and believe me there are females who soley dress to impress. Personally, I feel very uncomfortable in tight work out clothes. Again, to each their own reference.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.23.18

      It’s totally up for you!!! I would be way too hot in that but if it works for you, keep doing it! Thanks for dropping by Denáh!

  44. Caroline says 2.23.18

    Big yes to your response Grace! The writer started with a premise that all women dress for men and never looked back. I’m a middle-aged woman and I am serious about my Yoga and workouts. I wear yoga pants for performance. Period. I don’t care if who has to look at my middle-aged rear end :). Doing any workout in sweatpants is horrible. Did it occur to her how great it is that women have high-performance workout gear? I see it as an advancement that a random middle-aged woman like me can take her workout seriously and demand the “right” workout wear. That article was crazy and beneath the NYT. Especially with everything going on this week, including the Olympics.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.23.18

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Caroline!!! Have a great weekend. xx

  45. Michael Egan says 2.23.18

    I was a bit hesitant to put in my thoughts here because I am a guy. However, I am a proud cross dresser and have been most of my life over 30 years. Feeling my absolute girly best is important. Leggings and yoga pants are a vital component in that regard. Whether to the gym or for out and about. I love how I look and feel in them. I wear a lot of really bright colors and all fabrics. I as well don’t wear them to provoke a reaction, however it comes with the territory. Nevermind that it is obvious that I am a crossdresser. The bra top and panties I have on are a pretty good clue duh! But I get comments on my leggings? Why can’t people let other people just be happy? I love being me and dressing how I want and I love wearing leggings and yoga pants. If you can see my panties through them on occasion, well, at least I wear cute ones!

    • grace at the stripe says 2.23.18

      Oh my gosh Michael, I’m so GLAD you did share your thoughts! Thank you!!

      When I saw a guy’s name I got a bit nervous as we also had “Brent” come by and share his opinions… I don’t know how you found my blog but I’m glad you did. 🙂 I completely agree. Definitely just let other people be happy. What other people wear does not affect you!!!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! xx

      • Michael Egan says 2.24.18

        The article showed up on my FB feed actually. Probably do to my online shopping. I appreciate your kind response. It is refreshing. Thank you

        • grace at the stripe says 2.24.18

          So interesting!!! Well, thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend Michael. xx

  46. Courtney says 2.23.18

    I hated this article!! I don’t know if it was supposed to be tongue in cheek, or even if it was made to have this kind of reaction, but ugh!! This type of article to me is so much more going against feminism than I think the author realizes, this type of article just shames women.

    As others have mentioned, this is about the fabrics themselves and really it isn’t about the other people. I enjoy pulling together outfits for working out that I enjoy. Also, the barre studio I go to is essentially all women, so no men there to impress…

  47. Courtney says 2.24.18

    UGH stuff like that article drives me NUTS. Too frequently women will say it’s not okay for a man to tell them what to do/wear but then turn around & shame other women for their choices and tell them what they should be wearing instead. Can someone please explain to me how that’s any different than a man saying the same thing?! All that aside, my overweight over-30 self is going to keep rocking my spandex to workouts, dimples, rolls, and all. Like you pointed out, it’s just not functional to wear loose, baggy sweats and tees for so many activities. I do a lot of yoga & HIIT-type workouts. Those require a lot of movement and I hate feeling tangled up or smothered by my clothes! Honestly, I don’t care if there are men there or not. I just wanna be able to do my best during my workouts & I’m not going to sacrifice that because a NYT OpEd told me to haha.

    • grace at the stripe says 2.24.18

      I totally agree – drives me nuts too!!!!!! You do you and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks!
      Thanks for weighing in – have a great weekend! x

  48. Fast and Free says 3.1.18

    A guy’s thoughts here –
    First of all, thank you for posting this. Very well articulated.
    I honestly envy the workout gear designed for women — it looks to be super functional and well done unlike men’s gear. There are new features that I would love to get in men’s clothes, for example, Lululemon has a tank top with a built-in pocket on the back for cell phones. Looks awesome. Why can’t I have that?
    I have started running in tights because I hate the feeling of my phone or keys hitting my legs with each step. But men’s tights honestly suck. So I have switched to women’s. Zippered pockets on the back – solid. Side pockets – thumbs up! Those tiny key pockets in the waistband – genius. Everything moves with me. No distractions from loose stuff whatsoever.
    Today’s women’s athletic gear is top notch and is absolutely the right choice for the gym and out and about. Sweatpants? Give me a break.

    • You are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. You’re right… we are so lucky in all of that functionality!!! xx

      • Fast and Free says 3.2.18

        Thank you!

        It is not so much luck, but the benefit of incredible amount of innovation and attention to detail in women’s gear.
        I guess what I am trying to say is that spandex gear is a result from active research and development rather than from an attempt to produce cute clothes. So that it happens that the most functional gear is cute, is a side effect of them being form-fitting and emphasizing the female’s physique. There – if you want the best, it turns out to be also cute 🙂

        As an aside, all these articles about “30 things about men over 30” and “40 things about women over 40” are so ageist and conservative. Seriously, where do their authors come from? The world is changing every day. Stereotypes should be a thing from the past.


  49. All the responses to the original article taught me that when many people say “yoga pants” they are talking about leggings, running tights, and form-fitting spandex workout attire. This entire time I have thought “yoga pants” referred to a specific style of athletic black pant with a bootleg or slight flare at the bottom. Mind blown.