What to Wear Under Yoga Pants, According to Yoga People
Way back in 2013, Lululemon faced some flak for selling yoga pants that were revealingly sheer. As people discussed the see-through pants, a question emerged: what should you be wearing under tight yoga pants, anyway? Standard underwear? Some kind of fancy yoga pants thong?
"Regular" underwear with yoga pants might be too constricting and cause VPL (that's visible panty lines, which some people would rather not display). Thongs take care of the lines but can lead to comfort issues. So do you just go commando?
Sites from Slate to The Frisky have all weighed in on what to wear under yoga pants, but a consensus has never been reached—it is a question of personal taste, after all. But I wondered if, given a large enough sample of practitioners of yoga, I could find a definitive answer to what to wear under yoga pants ... or at least which option was most popular. The results were pretty surprising.
People prefer regular underwear under yoga pants.
Specifically, a classic bikini cut.
(Ed. Note: we personally like seamless bikini yoga panties because they're comfy without showing any lines.)
Before I started, I would have bet that most people would say they just went commando under their yoga pants. To my surprise, it ended up as the least popular choice, and most yogis said they preferred to wear regular underwear, specifically, a classic bikini cut. About 45% of the people who said they wore underwear mentioned that the bikini cut was their preferred style.
So how did we get these results?
The Methodology, AKA, A Really Weird Survey
I created a survey using SurveyMonkey and made sure that anyone who answered it would remain completely anonymous. I advertised it to yogis I knew and posted it on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. The survey asked respondents how old they were, how long they've been practicing yoga, and what they typically wore under their yoga pants, with multiple-choice answers for all three questions.
The third question had three possible answers: nothing, a thong, or underwear (not a thong). If someone chose non-thong underwear, they were asked to specify what type of underwear they preferred (bikini, boy shorts, etc.) in a text box. I also included a text box at the end of the survey where participants could leave comments if they wanted.
Hundreds of People Respond
I had hoped to get about 100 responses so that I could make some deduction about how yogis prefer to dress their nethers. I ended up getting more than 400.
Here are all of their responses broken down in graphs:
Many didn't stress about their underwear style. Though 45% of underwear-wearers (165 people) typed that bikini-style underwear is their go-to, about 23% typed something to the extent of "Whatever I'm already wearing" or "Clean underwear." The rest of the answers were all over the place: boy shorts, hipsters, spandex shorts, briefs, and "anything seamless" all showed up a few times. Some other contributions: "pants with spandex built in," "Cotton [k]nickers," and "Cotton granny panties. Comfort rules!"
Teenagers preferred thongs. The 18-or-younger group had the highest percentage of thong-wearers: 52%, compared to 38% of people aged 19–30 and 22% of people aged 31–50. (Keep in mind, there were only 31 people in the 18-or-younger group, so this might not be too telling.)
... And so did yoga newbies. Of the 79 people who had "just started [doing yoga] recently," 52% chose thongs. Otherwise, 29% said they wear non-thong underwear, and 19% said they wear nothing.
People over 30 preferred to go commando. This group of 86 people had the largest percentage of no-underwear supporters: 40%, as opposed to 23% for the 18-and-under crowd and 21% for the 19–30 crowd.
Yoga teachers had no strong underwear preference. Of the 39 who took the survey, 14 of them (37%) said they wear thongs. Thirteen of them (34%) said they wear nothing, and 11 (29%) said they wear non-thong underwear.
People over 50 were hard to find. I only reached four of them with the survey, and only one of those four left a comment: "Who cares?"
I received 122 notes in the optional comment box and identified a few patterns.
Lots of yogis aren't concerned about VPL.
- "I don't think about my underwear when I do yoga—acceptance of self is a major hurdle for me, so I strive to come as I am and accept that."
- "I don't understand what the big deal about VPL is. Oh no! Someone might realize you're wearing underwear! Who wears UNDERWEAR?!"
- After doing yoga in what I found out later were completely see-through leggings, I have conquered my fear of others seeing my underwear in yoga class. You are supposed to be concentrating on mindfulness anyway!"
This take is pretty refreshing. I think we could all benefit from worrying less about what other people think.
Men also do yoga and many wear yoga pants. Also, they may get offended if you do not mention them in your survey.
- "This survey has significant gender bias. It's insulting."
- "I am male. This survey seems to assume only females practice asana?"
- "I am a male. We can do yoga too you know."
Sorry, dudes! I tried to make the survey's language gender-neutral and didn't think that people who identified as male would skew the results.
Everyone has a different reason for choosing what to wear (or not wear). All of them are valid. For example:
- "I've had to start looking for underwear without bows on the front, which is oddly difficult. They always show through! WHY ARE THEY NECESSARY."
- "I sweat so much during my ashtanga practice that any extra fabric becomes soaked and uncomfortable. So no panties for me! I make sure to buy triple-gusseted yoga pants."
- I wear running shorts under my yoga pants because I'm terrified of getting pantsed ... though I've never been and am unlikely to ever be pantsed."
This article was originally written by Groupon staff writer Mel Kassel. It has since been updated by our editors.