Women once had a dizzying array of clothing options. There were outfits for day and evening, business and sports, formal and casual. Those days are gone. Now all you need are a couple pairs of yoga pants and you’ve got your ass covered for any occasion.
I’m not terribly fashion-forward, which may explain why it took so long for this phenomenon to register. My first inkling came last Christmas when I texted my brother, Jim, to get gift ideas for my 14-year-old niece, Lauren.
“Yoga pants,” he responded.
“Didn’t know Lauren did yoga,” I texted back, “thought swimming.”
“Not into yoga, just yoga pants. Gotta be lululemon,” he replied.
“Huh?” I inquired.
“Brand,” came the brief response. I didn’t need Skype to see him rolling his eyes in disbelief at what a clueless fogey his big sister was.
The teenager is a hard breed to please, as anyone who has ever had one knows, so I was delighted with such specific directions. I hurried to check out lululemon online. Good thing my bottom was comfortably clad in my usual old, fleece-lined, cotton sweatpants, because that softened the blow when I fell off my chair. The cheapest pair of yoga pants on the lululemon site cost $85. $85!
I texted my brother, “Kid gift limit is $35. And $85 tights for 14-year-old? RU nuts???”
He texted back, “What she wants. Gift card?”
No way. I refused to go the route of trading gift-cards. I was determined to get a real present for her to unwrap, something reasonably priced, and which she’d love. I headed for the mall.
You might gather from my earlier fashion comment that I don’t spend much time clothes shopping. You would be right. I hadn’t been to the mall for the better part of a year, and the changes at the big department stores were a revelation. Retail real estate that once held racks of sweaters, slacks, jeans and dresses now contained mile after stretchy mile of yoga wear. There were bras, tanks, tops, jackets and pants in colors ranging from basic black to screaming primary. None of them were cheap; even the sale items were $30 and up.
I picked out a nice pair of pants for $35 and headed for the register, but stopped before I got there. You and I both know that there’s no difference between $35 and $85 stretch pants, but teenagers can be such brand-snobs. What if she didn’t like them?
I sent a gift card.
Since the scales fell from my eyes, I’ve noticed that yoga gear is everywhere. This is clearly the young woman’s outfit of choice.
My niece Jenny and her family came home from New York a couple of days after my trip to the mall, so I told her about my yoga wear discovery. This was old news to her. Jenny knew all about lululemon, and said they weren’t even the top of the line. She rattled off a list of the upscale workout vendors that her friends wore. She must have caught me sneaking a peek at the stretchy tank top and yoga pants that SHE was wearing, because she quickly explained that she had just come from the treadmill. Also, she added, she only bought the high-end stuff when it was on sale. Nice to know our sophisticated Manhattanite hasn’t abandoned her thrifty, Midwestern roots.
The yoga pants I’ve seen range from actual pants to coverings so sheer they’re nothing more than pantyhose. I was walking behind one young woman at the community college the other day, and the intimate movement of her back-end, revealed for the entire world to see in just such a pair of pantyhose, looked like two cats fighting in a sack. I had to bite my tongue not to blurt out that she must have been in a hell of a hurry that morning to forget her skirt.
I suspect a few women might be dressed this way because they are actually on their way to the gym, but it seems the vast majority are incorporating yoga moves into their daily lives. You’ll see them practicing such poses as:
- Mother Crane Retrieving Toddler Tossed Fruit Loops at the grocery store
- Hyena Writing Term Paper On Abe Lincoln at the high school
- Snow Monkey Hanging Out With Derriere On Display at the mall
I don’t want to be behind the times when it comes to the behind, so I bought myself a pair last week and thought I’d give them a test drive with a brisk walk at the park. The reflection in my full-length mirror looked nothing like the larger-than-life displays of nubile workout mavens at the store; my back-end was a huge, black, shiny, droopy pancake. I added a sweatshirt that reached halfway to my knees to the ensemble.
With the offending bits covered, I felt very hip and modern in my tight, new yoga pants as I started down the path at the park. About fifty feet along, however, the pants’ wide, low-slung anti-waistband started heading south, taking my underwear along for the ride. I reached under the sweatshirt mini-dress and discreetly tugged them back into place. Twenty feet later both pieces of clothing had worked their way up into places where neither belonged. More tugging ensued. And so it went for the next 2 miles.
The great thing was I got a double workout. I walked briskly for 5 minutes of cardio, and then stopped to stretch with such classic yoga poses as:
- Droopy Dog Dramatically Diving for Descending Duds, and
- Crane Creeping into Concealed Crevices.
I’m not sure where this trend will end, but it probably won’t be long before there is a yoga pose (and corresponding outfit) for every one of life’s events, like:
- Bridezilla Gorilla Mendelssohning With Flowers for weddings, and
- Crying Mourning Dove for funerals.
As for me, I’ve retired the stretchy duds and gone back to my usual baggy, cotton sweatpants. The world may cover its ass with yoga pants, but I think all would agree that, given the state of my posterior, my best move would be:
- Water Buffalo Hiding Hiney.