Cool clothes for hot yoga

I practice hot yoga a few times a week and am always on the search for workout gear that performs well. I like my clothes to wick moisture, to look dry, to keep me cool, and to be machine washable. Fun colors and a flattering fit are added bonuses, but are firmly second on my list — I have lots of cute workout clothes that are useless because they leave me feeling sopping wet after a heated class.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find clothes that fit the bill on all accounts. I’ve found that even many of the popular higher end brands like Lululemon and Alo Yoga can be a bit inconsistent. Some items work great, and others are see-through, don’t wash well, or are terrible at wicking moisture. As a result, I have to try individual pieces and hope they work. I want to share some of my favorite finds with the hope that you can save some time searching for quality items.

Outdoor Voices Steeplechase Sports Bra
I have sports bras from Under Armour, Nike, New Balance, and Target, and my OV sports bra is my favorite by a mile. It is flattering, keeps me supported with zero smooshing, and keeps me nice and cool. There are removable pads and a cute keyhole opening above the band that allows for a little more cooling. If you like practicing with just a sports bra as your top consider this cutie: it offers great coverage and stays put even during vinyasa practice. OV is always adding new colors to their basic neutral varieties, so keep an eye out for fun pastels and jewel tones.

Alo Yoga Chromatic Long Bra

I’ve been on a quest for bra-tank combos to help me simplify my pre-yoga routine. This Alo tank is perfect for that purpose. It fits snugly enough so that I’m not constantly readjusting my shirt in inversions, but it’s not so tight that it traps heat. The mesh strip along the spine provides extra breathability, and removable cups offer additional coverage when necessary. I also love that the tank works well under a jacket for that studio-to-street wearability all the kids are raving about these days.

Alo Yoga Big Waves Short

I never saw myself as one to wear short shorts during yoga. I like to be pretty covered up, and I figured with shorts I’d be fighting a constant wedgie battle. But, shorts are the obvious choice if you’re looking to stay cool in a heated class, so I set out to find a great pair.
I’m so glad I found these Alo shorts at Chrome, a local store that ships internationally. These shorts wick away moisture, and the exposed leg helps me engage my core muscles in arm balances (as opposed to relying on the friction of my yoga pants). Plus, the bright pink was a welcome change to the greys and blacks that dominated my workout gear.

Interestingly, the shorts perform much better than my Alo leggings; while the leggings are great for running errands and practicing yoga in the cool environment of my home, they feel suffocatingly hot during heated yoga. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that these yoga shorts kept me nice and cool. They even seem to perform better when I’m sweaty, somehow managing to stick in place without looking drenched. Bonus: they’re on sale right now on Alo Yoga’s website!

Lululemon Ebb to Street Pant

Lululemon is ubiquitous in our yoga studio. Many of our yogis praise the brand’s flattering silhouettes and high-performance fabrics. As with many brands, though, the quality can be inconsistent, if the reviews on the Lululemon website are any indication. Some bottoms are see-through, others rip along the seams, still others pill after a few wears. I’ve heard some of these complaints even from Lululemon sales associates.

But there are plenty of gems at Lululemon, the Ebb to Street Pant being one. I tried on several pairs of Lululemon pants before settling on this pair. Recommended by a Lulu associate, these pants have a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric that makes me feel like I’m wearing next to nothing. In a vigorous flow class, some moisture is visible. However, the leggings dry so fast that after savasana, they are bone dry again. The big bummer is that the ebb pants are sold out now and don’t seem to have a similar style as a replacement.

However, I’d definitely try Lulu again, especially if I could try on the pants in-store. The sales associates were so friendly and helpful in suggesting the right pants for the style of yoga I practice. They even gracefully steered me away from pants that had received customer complaints. I’ve rarely had such good customer service in shopping, much less in shopping for workout clothes.

New Balance Dry Legging

I picked up these leggings on a whim during a TJ Maxx visit. The leggings looked comfy, they weren’t black, and they were inexpensive, so I figured: Why not? I’m so glad I purchased them. They are lightweight, cool, and they keep their shape even when worn all day. I never feel like I’m sweltering during hot yoga and these leggings always look and feel dry during practice. I wish I could find another pair but finding such awesome gear in the sea of clothing at TJ Maxx is a bit like finding a unicorn!

Hopefully this roundup of workout clothes will save a bit of time when you’re looking for high-performing hot yoga gear. If I discover some new favorites, I’ll be sure to tell you about them!

What are your favorite clothes for the style of yoga you practice?

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