Difference Between Yoga Pants And Leggings?

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Difference Between Yoga Pants And Leggings

Leggings and Yoga Pants: Confusing Similarity but a Lot of Difference Too…

Recent fashion trends has seen a great rise in popularity with yoga pants and leggings, bringing much more out of them and making them going beyond just a clothing item. 

We choose to wear them almost all the time. Whether we go for a run or hit the gym or even running around doing errands. They are so comfortable and agile that they keep us on our toes all the time without them getting in our way.

Both these items- pants and leggings have become a must-have item in every woman’s closet but rarely do we understand the difference between these two.

We often get confused about pants, leggings and even tights since they all look similar to one another.

However, the reality is they are all different!

Each of them have their special features, function and performance and are particularly worn on different events and activities.

There are actually a great many differences between yoga pants and leggings and every wearer should be aware of them so that you are clear about what to wear with what and how.

Both pants and leggings are now ‘functionally stylish but one pro-tip everyone needs to know is that


So, let us first get a glimpse of what they are individually and then we shall go on discussing the difference between them.

What are Yoga Pants?

Yoga pants are extremely popular among women and they have become quite a hot pick in recent fashion trends as women love to wear them for their comfort and flexibility.

All women possess a yoga pant or two even though they do not use them for workout purposes. 

As the name suggests, yoga pants were initially made for physical activities like working out, gymming, running, practicing yoga etc. And therefore, they have specific features and functions which cater to the requirements for such physical activities.

They are specifically made to be flexible so that you feel no pressure of them when you put them on. They are made in such a way that they give you the freedom to move about in complicated poses of yoga without feeling any restriction.

You may like reading our post on Best Yoga Pants for Women

What are Leggings?

Like yoga pants, leggings are also an extremely popular clothing item among women and they are primarily used for layering and combining other clothing items to enhance the style overall.

The initial purpose of leggings was to beat the chills during cold weathers but now the purpose of it has become an entire new story altogether.

Now, they too are manufactured in such a way that they are being used for various physical activities along with wearing them casually and using them for layering purposes as well.

You may like reading our post on Best Leggings For Curvy Figure

What is the Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings

What is the Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings?

Yoga pants and leggings can be differentiated on basis of their purpose, design, function, material and also their color and shape. So, let us delve into each of these categories and find out a little more about their differences.

Pants and leggings are different based on their:-

Difference in Design

As the pro-tip mentions earlier that all yoga pants are not leggings but all leggings are yoga pants.

This holds true because leggings are designed in such a way that they cover your legs and they are styled in such a way that they reach past the knee or all the way to the ankles. Leggings can be worn to accomplish complicated yoga poses or can even be used for other physical activities like working out, or running or squatting.

However, we keep saying that all yoga pants are not leggings because yoga pants come in a variety of styles like – yoga tights, yoga sweatpants, wide leg yoga pants and yoga capris – and these styles of yoga pants cannot be worn as leggings (for layering or combined styling) apart from the first kind which is the yoga tights or leggings.

Difference in Purpose 

Yoga pants are designed specifically for the purpose of doing yoga while all leggings are not designed to fulfil the purpose of working out.

Also, while leggings can be worn casually (alone or combined) not all yoga pants can be worn for such purposes. One way yoga pants can be differentiated from leggings is by considering the reason for wearing them.

Leggings are primarily worn to layer up or combine with other clothing items. However, nowadays women do wear leggings alone and if you choose to do so then it is best to go for leggings which are made of thicker materials. Thin material leggings are great for layering under skirts or dresses.

Leggings can be loose fit, snug, fit or tight fit whereas yoga pants are usually snug to tight fit only to avoid them coming in your way during your physical activity.

Leggings go on stretching beyond imagination if you put them under hard core yoga exercises; whereas yoga pants are designed to retain their shape and will help you transition smoothly from one pose to another.

Pants also come with double fabric construction in specified areas for better performance while leggings are usually devoid of those.

Material- Stretch and Flexibility

In terms of fabric or material, pants can be differentiated too.

While yoga pants are specially designed with flexible fabric and spandex and elastane allowing you to bend and move however you want to, leggings are not always necessarily made of stretchy fabrics and are not always flexible.

Leggings are made of a wide variety of materials from polyester, to cotton, to fleece to denim. Leggings may or may not ensure physical comfort but pants are supposed to be comfortable, soft and smooth when you put them on.

Yoga pants are made of moisture-wicking fabric which absorbs sweat while keeping you dry and reduces the chances of chafing whereas all leggings might not have that capability since they may or may not be made of that special kind of fabric.

Yoga pants must be opaque and breathable so that they do not turn transparent with sweat while leggings may or may not be opaque.

Leggings usually come with a single fold waistbands which refuse to stay put on your waist when your body is under vigorous physical activity.

Pants on the other hand come with broad waistband which helps to keep the pants right in its place, no matter how much or however you move.

Shape and Colour Differences 

Traditionally yoga pants were made all black in colour, fitted at the butt and thighs and flared at the bottom of the leg. However, over the years styles have changed yoga pants have become more versatile with variety of prints, colours and cuts.

Yoga pants have become a popular choice among women not only for workout purposes but also for everyday use.

Leggings on the other hand are usually designed to cover the entire leg- from waist to ankle. However, these too have emerged in various lengths like in knee length and in shin length.

Leggings are also available in vibrant print and colours, but since they are combined with other clothing items they are usually available in solid colours. They also come with embellishments which are a big no-no for yoga pants.


It is true that at a first glance leggings and yoga pants look similar if not the same. But these above-mentioned minute details actually differentiate in a great number of ways. 

Therefore in a nutshell we can say that leggings are usually thicker in material than pants as they are made to keep your legs warm. On the other hand pants keep you comfortable.

So now the question arises, how do you know if the one you are going for is a legging or a yoga pant? Well, all you have to do is ask yourself, ‘will these sustain a hard core yoga session?’

If your answer to this question is yes, then the one you’ve picked is definitely a yoga pant otherwise it’s a legging- better for lounging and combined wear.