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Yoga Style Evolution

Terez Action Bodysuit

The word `Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” meaning “to join” or “to unite.” It is meant to harmonize body, mind, and spirit. The practice dates back to 2700 BC India. As it moved West at the end of the 19th century, yoga became more deeply influenced by Western spiritual and religious ideas. 

It was the 1960s and 70s when yoga schools began to pop up in the U.S. A yoga demonstration even opened Woodstock! The vibe was grassroots, crunchy granola and meditative. The practice wasn’t about what you wore, but what you felt. While many are still in tune with the spirituality of it today, the new generation is putting its own spin on the yoga of today — faster, hotter, wellness-focused and fitness-based. There are apps and accessories, social groups and retreats. Yoga is everywhere, from gyms to studios and outdoor venues, and sometimes it is even interactive with animals (cue goat yoga). 

As yoga-influenced themes have evolved in the fitness world, so too has the apparel being worn, both in the studio and outside of the studio.

“With new forms of yoga, there are a variety of classes to choose from,” notes Breanna Sayre, sales manager for Pacific Manufacturing. “Anyone can partake in a class and you don’t have to be a master yogi to practice.” The firm’s Pointe Studio brand offers socks with a cushioned grip to help wearers maximize their poses. New for Spring/Summer 2023, the Happy Grip Full Foot offers compression arch support, full foot PVC grip, a midweight terry footbed and padded ankle rest. A wearable accessory for every size and body type, the brand’s socks offer a form of expression with tie dye styles, animal prints, smiley faces and abstract art. 

The Fashion Mantra

When Noli Yoga Wholesale Coordinator Erica Chifici gets dressed, she focuses on “incorporating pieces that make me feel put together and confident, while still being comfortable.” The brand’s Liquid Legging is moisture-wicking, compressive, has four-way stretch and are fit for any level of intensity. “When class is over, they look amazing with any top sweater or blazer,” she suggests. Looking good means feeling good, putting emphasis on one’s well-being. “With mental health becoming more important to discuss, practices like yoga have become more mainstream.”

“I believe yoga today is perceived as a tool or practice to become a better you,” comments RectoVerso Brand Manager Emmanuel Liebaert, adding, “It’s a way to become more resilient, self-aware and balanced; ultimately making you healthier in both mind and body.” Liebaert, like many participants, uses yoga techniques to conquer stress and anxiety. While he remembers baggy cotton yoga pants as he first began his practice a few years ago, the look is more structured today (yet he doesn’t rule out a baggy pant resurgence in the future!). A slim fitting ensemble allows for better movement and is generally more comfortable. 

Versatility is key, with RectoVerso positioned as a slow fashion brand crafting pieces that are easy to pair with other pieces currently in your closet, for maximum wear. The new Robin collection for Spring/Summer 2023 includes the brand’s signature mesh fabric with a ribbon effect. The Robin Legging is high-waisted, sweat-proof and squat-proof. Emana smart fibers are smooth on the skin and optimize blood microcirculation by converting human body heat into far infrared rays. Robin is ultra-durable thanks to its unique knit structure and composition. 

Find Your Drishti (Focal Point): 

Daywear vs. Activewear

Beth Lefferts, VP of sales for Terez, has witnessed yoga attire “really evolve from a technology, fashion and end-use perspective.” The brand recently launched a new Action fabric which is its most compressive offering yet, while still allowing great recovery. The fabric is sweat-wicking, has four way-stretch and allows for seamless hems in bras, leggings and onesies (yes, onesies are in!). 

Consumers want active pieces that they can incorporate into their wardrobes and wear often. “While it’s important to practice in styles that have performance properties, if those styles are also comfortable and fashionable, the price value proposition will drive the consumer to convert and purchase,” explains Lefferts.

“Yoga is no longer merely an activity, but a lifestyle, and the clothes have followed this trend,” says Olivia Barnaby, brand manager for North America at Lune Active. “You can practice in the morning and go about your day without having to stop and rethink your wardrobe. Matching sets have become popular, as have sustainable fabrics and layering. The brand has one collection that is made for daily living and another that’s more performance-based, but the exec suggested “the lines are blurred and you can mix and match as you wish.” The Stevie Wide Fit Tank Top is crafted of 100% Tencel, for a soft touch and refined look. A wide fit and crew neck make it accessible for many figures. The recycled nylon River Legging is high-waisted with a second-skin feel and matte, velvety vibe.

At the studio level, where a group class can be upwards of $30, your look better be on point. Bandier’s Specialty Store Sales exec Alexandria Silano sees it as a runway of sorts. “People are definitely more fashion forward – wearing sets, catsuits and testing out trendy and bold pieces. I think a lot of women look forward to putting on a new set they just purchased and show it off!” Silano likes practical, yet comfortable, typically going for a fun pair of leggings with a two-in-one tank and layering piece. The leggings must have a pocket to put a phone in après class. For Spring 2023, the Bandier Front Row Tank is actually an elongated Front Row Bra – a double dip equating to more bang for the buck. “I think in the future, we’ll see lots of evolving and new trends to wear in and out of the gym,” says the exec.

Lune Active Stevie Wide Fit Tank Top and River Legging
RectoVerso Robin Sleeveless Hoodie and Legging
Noli Yoga Liquid Edge Bra and Liquid Legging
Pointe Studio Happy Grip Full Foot