Let’s be real, there’s not many things more awkward than being behind someone during Downward Facing Dogs in nearly translucent Yoga bottoms. I take that back…it gets way more awkward when they flip their dog. So I’ve compiled a list of how to shop for workout gear that fits your workout needs…and won’t make your yoga instructor blush during Happy Baby.
1). More expensive isn’t always better!
Spendy workout outfitter Lululemon recently had an estimated $20 Million dollar recall/shelf replacement of a popular, pricey workout pant due to their excessively sheer material (to put it nicely…). I have seen see through fabrics on many big name workout brands. Personally, I have had good experience with multiple bottoms ranging from $15.00 New Balance bottoms that I found at T.J. Maxx, to a spendier pair I bought at Lulu earlier this year (disclaimer, their shelves have been replaced with non-see through bottoms, and I personally love my Lulu gear). I’ve seen 100% see through bottoms from multiple popular lines of clothing that you may not expect. Therefore….
2). Bend Over!
Always, always, ALWAYS do a bend over test in the dressing room mirror (or at home) when you try new spandex bottoms on for the first time. I cannot stress this enough! Many brands use a cheap material that is see through, we know this, but wearing a cheap spandex bottom can result in your mat neighbor seeing all your goods, and also can mean easier seen sweat marks. During your bend over test, if you can see the color of your skin/underwear, put em back! Another easy test is to stick your arm in the leg of the pants, and stretch the material over your elbow. Consider your elbow your butt: if you can see your skin through, put them back!
3). Yoga to running- no single style is safe!
From a sleek, shiny running tight to a looser fitting, matte yoga pant, every style of spandex bottom is subject to be too sheer. Don’t think that just because the fabric is shiny, just because they are a looser fit or because the bottoms were made for running that they are automatically safe. Again, do the bend over test.
4). Beware of color!
Neon/bright colors are all the rage in workout gear. And I love it! But buyer beware- bright colors can be translucent AND can show massive sweat if not made of a good, quick dry material. Even if the spandex is of a high quality, colored fabrics are more apt to show shadows, which means that when I wear colors, the meteor shower that seemingly hit my butt cheeks over night is more prone to show. Regardless of how much or how little cellulite you have, colored bottoms can emphasize any uneven surface.
5). No Muffin-Top!
From fold over tops to thick elastic bands, I’ve tried all the types of waistbands. Here are my conclusions:
Roll over waists are great for disguising tummies. They are good for low-impact activities like yoga, or lifting. Beware though, if you wear them running or on a speedy elliptical workout, they may slide down and you’ll have to readjust. Brands: Old Navy
Thick elastic banded waists (elastic over 1″ thick) are great for preventing bottoms from falling down, but if you already are uncomfortable with any extra fat around your stomach area, this option may feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if the thick waist band is not positioned in the correct spot (ie- you wear your pants more on your hips than on your waist) it can result in a muffin top look. Out of all the types of waist bands, these are my least favorite, but still a fine option. Brands: Fila
Thick topped bottoms without elastic waists are in the same category as roll-over/fold down waists. They can slip down when doing high impact activities if they don’t fit snugly enough. They are great for disguising your tummy, comfortable, and do the trick for many workouts. Test the tightness of the waist to make sure you won’t need to adjust mid Zumba® with a few jumping jacks in the fitting room. Brands: Lululemon, Old Navy, C9- Target, Gap Body, Adidas, Under Armour
Thin elastic waistbands with a drawstring are my favorite. They are form fitting but they don’t fall down. They are great for all activities from running to cycling to lifting, and they are my favorite style bottom to workout in. I never have to worry if they are going to slide down while I run, and they stay in place while I teach barre class. They don’t make a muffin top and they wick sweat away. Brands: Lululemon, New Balance Running, Nike
Spandex Care Tip: Line dry your spandex. The heat from the dryer can break down spandex over time and result in see through material.
Case in point: always bend over in the fitting room, test them with a few jumping jacks and make sure that you’re comfortable with the waistband. Remember: just because some spandex bottoms are expensive doesn’t mean they aren’t see through! Every brand is subject to releasing a poorly constructed product.Don’t shell out the dough unless you know it is a product that won’t show your bum to the world.
What is your favorite brand and style of workout bottom?
Disclaimer, all opinions are that of my own, and I was not compensated for testing any brands above.