Leggings vs Yoga Pants: Is There Really a Difference?

Leggings vs Yoga Pants: Is There Really a Difference?

Just a few decades ago, you’d see people wearing leggings only as a second layer to warm up during winter, whereas now people not only wear them as fashion pieces but also for sports and workout sessions. As for yoga pants, they come in a huge variety of styles and materials, including looser designs and those that look exactly like leggings. So, what’s the difference? At ThirdLove, we’ve created this activewear comparison to help you choose the best outfit for your workout sessions and casual outings.

Leggings vs Yoga Pants

Originally, leggings weren’t designed as sportswear - you could rock them with a long hoodie or a skirt, but no one thought to wear leggings at the gym. And why would they? Leggings used to be more see-through than other activewear pants, and the material was less breathable. Modern activewear leggings are perfect for both workouts and casual outfits. They can also shape and support your legs and bums, creating a gorgeous silhouette (check out our Flex Seamless Compression Leggings and Kinetic Performance Pocket Leggings). Yoga pants (that sometimes look like leggings) were designed specifically for yoga practice and other sports activities. They usually feature fold-over waistbands and thicker materials with great elasticity.

Fabric and Material

Yoga pant fabric is stretchy, breathable, moisture-wicking, and elastic enough to feel comfortable during the yoga practice. You’ll find yoga pants made with cotton, elastane, spandex, nylon, polyester, bamboo, and other sustainable fabrics. Leggings fabric is slightly more versatile and includes all the above-mentioned materials, adding fashionable ones like faux leather, velour, denim, and fleece.

Design and Aesthetics

The yoga pants definition is just that - form-fitting pants designed specifically for doing yoga poses. They are usually tight from the waist to the knee and feature flared bottoms. Today, you’ll find different yoga pant designs, including jogger yoga pants, harem pants, maternity yoga pants, and skinny yoga pants. Leggings are form-fitting from the waist to the bottom, offering a great variety of colors, patterns, materials, and cuts, all of which makes them perfect for enhancing your everyday look.

Fit and Functionality

Both leggings and yoga pants should fit you like a glove (unless you’re wearing harem pants which are loose by design). If you want to do some workout or light sports activities like jogging, walking, Pilates, or stretching, opt either for yoga pants or activewear leggings that were designed with all your workout needs in mind. ThirdLove’s workout leggings feature ‘dry feel’ fabric for comfortable and stress-free training, offering a light compressive fit for extra comfort and support. 

Fashion and Style

The leggings definition is simple - skin-tight pants made with stretchy materials, featuring a wide waistband and a variety of styles and colors. They are perfect for everyday wear and can be paired with many outfits - from athletic to casual and evening chic. When it comes to fashion, nothing can beat a pair of bright-colored leggings (or the ones featuring prints). If you compare leggings vs yoga pants, the latter is definitely more suited for workout and sports activities (but activewear leggings are just as good!). That being said, you can also wear yoga pants outside of gyms and yoga studios - just pair them with hoodies, sweatshirts, and other athleisure items for a simple and comfortable look. 

Practicality and Comfort

Both leggings and yoga pants are comfortable and will support you in your daily activities and workouts. They are easy to wash and dry quickly, which makes them great for everyday wear. Leggings can be worn as a second layer during cold temperatures, and they are great as a standalone item to create a memorable look. Yoga pants are ultra-comfy and can be worn at home, at the gym, and outside. 

When to Wear Leggings vs Yoga Pants

Both items are quite versatile, so it all comes down to your style preference. Made with light, moisture-wicking fabrics, workout leggings will become your new best buddy, supporting and shaping your body while you sweat it out at the gym. Fashionable leggings with prints and bold colors will help you show off your individuality and style no matter where you go. Yoga pants are great for gym, yoga classes, and all kinds of outdoor activities.

Leggings and yoga pants can both be great for you, depending on what you want to do. Opt for yoga pants or activewear leggings if you’re planning to get all sweaty and shed some pounds. They will shape and support you during your workout. Fashion leggings will enhance your everyday looks and lounge outfits. They are also comfy, but the material may be less suited for sports activities.