Learn What to Wear to a Yoga Class

Starting off in yoga can be quite an intimidating thing. It’s more than likely as you step on the mat for the first time you will be practicing with other yogis that have a lot more experience than you do once classes become a thing again. The great thing about Yoga is that there are limited tools that you need to practice. The most essential things are a mat, yoga blocks, and some comfortable yoga clothes.  

Do they have to be Yoga specific clothes to class?

Absolutely not, you do not have the latest leggings from Lululemon or clothes that have been specifically labeled as Yoga clothes. The clothes you wear should cover a few elements

  1. Comfortable 

Yoga can be a strenuous exercise that works both the body and the mind.  With any exercises, it’s integral that you are comfortable in the clothes that you are wearing. Sometimes exercising can be hard to get yourself up for, so don’t let uncomfortable clothes be a scapegoat. 

  1. Moisture Wicking fabric 

You definitely work up a sweat when you’re on the mat. So having clothes that regulate your body temperature and keep you performing throughout your practice is needed. Moisture-wicking fabric is a really impressive technology. It will keep sweat off your body by absorbing the moisture and storing it on the outer edges of the clothes. That will enable the moisture to evaporate at a quicker rate compared to other fabrics. So, double-check that the clothes you were planning on using are moisture-wicking.  

  1. Wear clothes that are form fitting and allow you to move 

Yoga is a physical activity and it requires a diverse range of motion. The clothes you wear should enable you to perform all of the poses and move with you. Ideally, you should go for clothes that have a little bit of a tighter fit. If you wear baggier clothes they can sometimes get in the way. For example, if you’re wearing a baggier t-shirt and perform poses such as a forward fold or downward dog. The top will ride upon you and it can be very distracting, so make it easy on yourself and wear form-fitting clothes.  

Great options for women to wear 


We advise that you go for a sports bra no matter what you plan to wear or not to wear over it.  For Vinyasa or Hatha yoga the poses gradually progress so at the start of class you may be a bit chilly if you’re just rocking a sports bra. Wear some layers and as you get hot be sure to stay cool and comfortable. 

  • Singlets/Tank Tops
  • Sports Bras 
  • Moisture Wicking T-shirts of the long and short variety 


If you’re going for leggings we suggest that you go for the high-waisted variety. Yoga is demanding in the type of stretches and movement that it requires.  So make sure your leggings let you move with freedom.  For shorts, the most important thing is that they aren’t loose or too short. As you twist and contort your body will be in all sorts of positions, so best to keep somewhat covered up so you feel comfortable in all positions. 

  • Yoga Leggings
  • Shorts 

Great options for men to wear 


The main thing is that they are form-fitting and moisture-wicking. Everything else is good to have but not necessary.  

  • Moisture wicking t-shirt 
  • Tank top 
  • Long sleeve t-shirt


Leggings are actually becoming a more and more popular choice with men these days.  So, don’t be afraid to wear a pair of leggings if that’s your vibe. 

If you’re going for shorts it’s better to go for a longer pair of shorts. So, the 7’ or 9’ options are probably the best choices. For shorter shorts of the 5’ and below we suggest that you go for cycling shorts or compression underwear to keep everything in place. With all of the lunges and lifts, you want to make sure everything stays compact. 

  • Shorts 
  • Performance tracksuit pants 
  • Leggings

What not to wear to a Yoga Class 

  • Avoid clothes that are heavy and will cause you to overheat. There are many different styles of yoga from Hatha, Vinyasa, Power to Hot yoga and they get the heart rate going in different ways, but no matter what type of yoga you are practicing the need for heavy clothes such as hoodies and sweatpants is unnecessary.
  • Avoid materials that absorb water.  Materials such as cotton and wool are a no-no when it comes to practicing yoga. 
  • If you’re going with leggings make sure that they are opaque. You don’t want to be giving the other people in the class a sneak peek of your undies of choice.  

No socks required

This is actually one of the elements that a lot of beginners are most uncomfortable with when they start yoga. In order to get a good grip when in your downward dogs and most poses the going barefoot is the best option to maintain most grip.

Even if you’re uncomfortable with not wearing socks, just power through the initial feelings. Everyone goes barefoot.  It will make the class easy for you. If you are totally against the idea of going barefoot in a class you can get yoga socks that have an additional grip on the soles.  Even these will not provide the same traction as going barefoot though. 

Tops tips 

  • Be Comfortable, the most important thing is that you are comfortable in what you are wearing, so if that’s wearing completely the opposite of what we recommended above then go for it.  
  • If you’re doing Bikram or hot yoga wear shorts. For the ladies go for a fitted short that goes down to around midway up the thigh.  
  • As your moving from the changing rooms to the studio, be sure to bring a pair of sandals  or sliders 
  • Wear light layers, yoga starts relatively slowly and progresses so if you’re doing Hatha or Vinyasa flow it’s important to layer up for the early stages of the practice. 

Written by Emma

A yogi at heart Emma is a keen practitioner of Yoga.

Essential Yoga Equipment for Beginners

What to Get the Yoga Enthused Man in your Life