Is it just me or is buying interesting yoga clothes very hard work? I appreciate this is a ridiculous modern day issue, but I’ve been doing yoga for about twenty years and I’ve yet to find a brand that make my heart beat faster.
I had a momentary ‘thing’ with Lululemon on a trip to New York a while ago and the leggings and vest I bought still look good, they are clearly made of indestructible fabric. But its newish shop in Covent Garden is a awash with black and grey, not to mention some suspect prints (what is it with sportswear and hideous prints?) and the price tags are high -£108 for a pair of lycra leggings, however firm the hold, is a hard sell.
There’s also, it seems, an assumption by brands that I can’t wait to tear off my T shirt and expose my flat stomach with a crop top and teeny bum with low slung hipster shorts. Hello? Yoga designers…. Back in the real world of the over 40 (ahem) yoga bunny (rabbit?), I’m actually looking for stylish reinforcement, extra long coverage and warmth, as our yoga studio is often darn cold in the winter. And a bit of draping, why does everything have to be sausage-skin tight? Some of us are still on the (very, very long) road to a show-off body.
After consulting with my friend and yoga instructor Lindsay, she pointed me towards Manuka, a UK company that does reasonably priced and excellent quality yoga clothes, that are mercifully free from nauseating neon. I have bought the grey seamless jacket (£65) with pockets (essential) and good long length, and the racer back top (£48) with nice wide straps, firm but not crippling support and bum-covering length. I’ve opted for grey marl, although I was really tempted by the rich tomato red, I might still go back for the yoga pants in this colour, which work cheerfully with the ruby T shirt.
Why aren’t there more interesting colours done in yoga clothes? We don’t all want black and grey, or hippy-dippy-purple or muddy turquoise. And too many neon inserts can make you look like a lumpy festival glow stick if you move fast in your salute-to-the-sun.
My research for a bit of pleasing colour took me to Net-A-Sporter (obvs) but TBH, I wasn’t bowled over. It might have been more appealing if I was a recently retired dancer looking for ballet pink work out clothes (yoga tutu anyone?) I did find adidas by Stella McCartney, a girl who understands the difference between an LA yoga studio and a rattling old church hall/part time nursery school where the real world practises their downward dogs. I like the grown-up rose-pink hoody (£90) and the adjustable strapped sports bra (£40) -essential for those of us with actual breasts.
Another brand I noticed on NAP was WearGrace, (founded by a former Gucci image director) mostly for this Alchemy wrap cardi (£175) above, which is made from warmish merino, although I suspect the dangling ties might get on my nerves. The long sleeve T shirts are pretty.
But I’m not raving about any of it. Where is the flattering, well made, elegantly designed yoga brand I need? Much as I want to love Sweat Betty, I struggle with the fabrics and the fit, I don’t want a brand name emblazoned on everything and I don’t really want to look like I’m off for a triathalon training session. I bet Trudi Styler doesn’t have this problem, anyone know what she wears?