Men’s yoga apparel: a Yoga Nerd Review

I haven’t posted many pictures of late, but I’ve really stuck with the yoga thing. I had to add in some more resistance workouts to balance out my “push” and “pull” muscles, but I’m getting… what do the kids say? Swole? As close to it as I’ve ever been, anyway.

In the last few months, I’ve found a couple of new products I consider worth reviewing, in part because one of them is the culmination of a search that’s been ongoing for over a year…

Yoga Pants for Men for Real

Since I started practicing yoga, I’ve wondered why there were no options for male yoga pants that I actually liked. I’m sorry, but “fisherman” and “harem” pants immediately make me say “do I look like Bruce Lee/Justin Bieber?” It’s rhetorical, obviously. I look like neither. And dressing like one of them would feel like cultural appropriation, and the other like dying a little bit inside.

And then I found cuffed transition pants.

The cut is like tight-ish sweat pants that end right below the knee. I don’t know what “transition” refers to. Maybe they’re halfway between boy shorts and girl leggings. It doesn’t matter, these work. Compared to harem pants (or the gym shorts I wore previously), they’re fairly form-fitting, which you may have noticed is quite the norm for female yoga apparel. Not getting tripped up by your own clothing is really nice when moving from one pose to another, and especially when moving from one vertical orientation to the other.

The benefits of these pants are:

  • They cover the knees, avoiding rubber-burn on contact with the mat
  • The fabric doesn’t billow or get in the way, but it’s also not so tight that any “anatomical” issues become problematic
  • The cuffs and waistband stay put, no need to fiddle and adjust after coming out of a salutation
  • A wide waistband and flat drawstring make it more comfortable to lay on one’s back
  • It’s the right ratio of coverage to breathability so that when the temperature is set for people who wear lycra covering most of their body, you don’t get the short end of the deal
  • They don’t look like running shorts, because it’s hard for me to feel serious when I look like a gym rat

One thing that might be worth noting is that they don’t provide the “mystery” in the groin area that billowy pants or loose shorts do. Do what you will with that information.

I’m told pants of this style are also great for climbing and bouldering, the latter being a sport I’ve been working back up to over the last couple of years.

The pair I purchased was from 4-rth1. I’ve worn them 3+ times per week, washed them regularly, and they’ve held up great. The fit was “as expected” for a 6’ frame and 32”2 waist. It’s a loose-fitting stretch material so you’ve got ample room to grow (and shrink).

I Still Wear Tank Tops

When I’m nervous, I find myself wanting my tattoos showing, which for my body art requires a tank top. It’s weird, but it has a psychological effect that makes me feel more confident even if I don’t constantly recall that they’re visible and have zero evidence that anyone else actually experiences any altered perception of me, for better or worse. So on the first day I ventured into yoga class, I wore a tank. Obviously. Fortunately, it turned out that it wasn’t a crazy idea, and even now — as comfortable as I am with my classmates and my own abilities — I think tank tops are an ideal upper garment for yoga.

I usually just buy my tank tops from wherever’s handy, but a while ago I started looking into some options for better quality at a reasonable price. I’ve been wearing these for a few months now and loving them. Nice fit but enough room to move in, amazingly comfortable fabric (via Bella+Canvas), and a workable amount of shoulder skin exposed on the back, which is ideal for getting traction in shoulder balances (and getting posture correct in bridge… and Shavasana3). And at $14, they’re cheaper than the less-durable (but admittedly good-looking) ones from Express I’d been yoga-ing4 in.

Closing this review out, I’ll also report that the Dragonfly Yoga Performance Pro Mat I mentioned in my 2017 “real stuff” roundup has continued to be great. It’s actually not showing even a hint of wear yet after 6 months of use 3-4 times a week.

Ok, I’m done talking about yoga stuff… for now. Yoga Nerd out. drops yoga block, walks away barefoot.

  1. 4-rth is apparently pronounced “For Earth.” I’ll leave that be.

  2. Well, actually a 31 right now, but we’ll stick with the standard even-number sizings.

  3. AKA “Corpse Pose.” AKA “Just lying there pose.”

  4. It’s pronounced “yoging.” ™ Brett Terpstra.

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Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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