7 Best Yoga Pants (When Every Other Pair Is Too Long For You)
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The average U.S. woman’s height is a smidgen less than five foot, four inches. If you fall in this range, the quest for yoga pants that don’t turn into ankle warmers can be challenging. And as you know all too well, any attempts at rolling, folding, and tailoring your way into a better fit can create drama and distraction.
What you need, quite simply, are yoga pants that are designed to bring stretch, style, and sass to pint-size phenoms.
“Legging length is likely your biggest challenge if you are on the shorter side,” says Gabrielle Porcaro, a fashion editor and stylist in New York City. “Leggings that are too long could actually compromise your safety in yoga,” she says.
Standard inseam for most yoga leggings typically falls within the range of 25 to 29 inches. Yenia Hernadez Fonseca, a stylist and contributing writer for Margo Paige, suggests seeking inseams around 23 inches.
Grace Thomas, founder and lead stylist of Built Gracefully, concurs. Thomas recommends looking specifically at the inseam measurement of a new-to-you brand before purchasing to ensure a match, especially since sizes vary across brands.
The experts all agree: 7/8 length is the way to go for those 5’4” and below because the legging typically hits right at the ankle, explains Porcaro. Also, she cautions, “Capri length is not your answer.” They’ll end up stopping below your calf and won’t fit proportionally.
No need to hunt down waistbands that practically reach your armpits. Especially if you have a shorter torso, advises Thomas, who recommends a 10- to 10.5-inch rise. “Mid-rise may be the sweet spot for petites,” she says.
Porcaro emphasizes how your fashion choices can help you maintain your focus, which is essential when practicing yoga. Also, many of us also want to feel confident in how we’re presenting ourselves. “Solids in darker hues flatter all heights and body types,” assures Porcaro. If you fancy prints, subtler styles will flatter rather than overpower your shape. Porcaro and Thomas agree that vertical stripes can visually lengthen the legs. Ultimately, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and empowered, so your yoga attire becomes an extension of your inner confidence.
Essentials• Nylon | Lycra• Side pocket• XXS-3X
Known for sizing inclusivity, Athleta delivers short length options with the Salutation Stash. Designed from Athleta’s Powervita fabric, it feels soft yet supportive and features a side stash pocket, making it perfect for post-yoga activities such as dog walks or brunch. Thomas loves these leggings, which come in an array of colors, and you’ll also find them in at least one of our editors’ closets.$65-$109 at Athleta
Essentials• 75% recycled polyamide | 25% Elastane• 4-way stretch• XXS-XXL
These high-rise leggings are designed for softness and breathability with Vuori’s BlissBlend fabric. Made from 75% recycled material, the fabric manages to keep its barely there texture and shape after regular washing. The “short” option delivers the coveted 23-inch inseam.$98 at Vuori
Essentials• 88% nylon | 12% Elastene• Crossover waistband• XXS-XXL
Part of the Real Me collection from American Eagle, this legging brings all the things: 7/8 length, a seeming weightlessness, and overall comfort. Plus, Porcaro says, there’s the crossover waistband. “The v-shape adds a stylish element that can complement your proportions if you have a smaller frame,” she explains. More bonus points: The legging is currently discounted 30 percent.$31.46 at American Eagle
Essentials• “Micro-performance double-knit”• 4-way stretch• XXS-L
What initially drew our interest to the alo yoga Airlift was its optimal 7/8 length, which Fonseca recommends as pairing perfectly with sneakers or slides. But what held our interest was the comfortable yet supportive fit and 4-way stretch. Perfect for many petites.$128 at alo yoga
Essential• 76% recycled polyester | 24% Elastene• Cust0m-fit feel• XXS-XXXXL
Vitality is committed to crafting body-inclusive, sustainable clothing based on customer feedback, and they’ve nailed it with this pant. The Ascend II boasts a higher waistline than some brands yet stays comfortably in place without digging or rolling down. They literally feel custom-fit to your measurements.$80 at Vitality
Essential• 71% polyester | 29% Elastene• Side pocket• XXS-XXL
We may rename these pants “ankle cuddlers.” Designed at the ideal length for shorter individuals, they offer stay-put support, moisture-wicking, and breathability along with the compressive high-rise fit. Bonus: They’re currently on sale.$70 at Lorna Jane
Essentials• 97% recycled polyester | 3% spandex• Elastic hem• XXS-XL
If you’re seeking the perfect pants for restorative or yin yoga, these joggers might become your new favorites. One review described them as having a “velvet feel.” Practically speaking, the 10.5-inch front rise at the waist means you won’t need to adjust your leggings during deep stretches. And an inseam of 27 inches may seem long, but the ankle ruching prevents fabric interference and enables you to pull the pants down if you get cold during Savasana.
$72 at Carve Designs
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About Our Contributor
An internal medicine physician and yoga therapist, Ingrid Yang has been teaching yoga for more than 20 years and leads trainings and retreats all over the world. She is also the author of the books Adaptive Yoga and Hatha Yoga Asanas. Find out more at www.ingridyang.com.August 30, 2023Ingrid Yang MDAthleta 7/8 Salutation Stash TightVuori AllTheFeels Legging in ShortAerie Offline High Waisted Crossover LeggingAlo Yoga 7/8 High-Waist Airlift LeggingVitality Ascend II PantLorna Jane Amy Phone Pocket Tech Ankle Biter LeggingsCarve Designs Chelsea JoggerEssentials$65-$109 at AthletaEssentials$98 at VuoriEssentials$31.46 at American EagleEssentials$128 at alo yoga Essential$80 at VitalityEssential$70 at Lorna Jane$72 at Carve DesignsAbout Our ContributorIngrid Yang MDRachel LandLua BricenoEllen O'BrienAlex Tzelnic