Yoga is getting hotter by the minute. With a 29% increase in participants from 2008 to 2012 and $27 Billion spent on yoga products annually, many yoga teachers around the world think this is only the beginning of the “yoga boom." A practice that’s been steadily growing in the U.S., the myth that “yoga is for women” is quickly dying out. More and more professional athletes, sports teams, and all around fitness junkies are giving yoga a try and falling madly in love with it’s benefits. Due to this growing number of yogis (I’m talking about you guys), there are a few companies to keep an eye out for as they are truly changing the game in mens yoga attire. Say goodbye to those old swim trunks, basketball shorts, and running T’s. Say hello to a few next-level companies aiming to bring yoga clothes for guys into the limelight:
Founded in L.A. by the rockstar yogi, hair stylist and entrepreneur Sean Phelps, this company was born as a result of Sean’s journey to finding the perfect pair of shorts. These “dream” shorts would be the perfect cut, eliminate chaffing, and would be extremely comfortable. He wanted a pair of shorts you could wear to yoga, during yoga, and after yoga. Shorts you could live your every day life in. When the search yielded zero results, Sean took matters into his own hand and launched Easton-West apparel (link website to title words). Sean was kind enough to let us at YTT interview him and what his new clothing line is all about-take a look below
Yoga Travel Tree: On your website you have a video talking about how you pick the fabrics out yourself. Where do you find such beautiful and unique designs?
Sean Phelps: Everything comes from the Downtown LA Fashion District…I use recycled fabric so we’re not contributing to more waste. Companies throw out a lot of “scrap” material, so I go through and find fabric that fits the needs of what I’m looking for in a pair of shorts. Then we make a few pairs, test them out, wash them, check for shrinking/wear and tear. Once it passes, we typically run about 20 pairs of pants or shorts per fabric until it sells out. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. We pride ourselves on selling limited batches of clothing in order to keep the line fresh and different.
YTT: Whats your process from start to finish when creating a pair of Easton West pants or shorts?
SP: It’s long! First we find the fabric. Then I cut a piece. I wash it, dry it, make sure it doesn’t shrink or stretch out too much. Then I make a sample pair, wear it, make sure it doesn’t fall apart. There’s a big learning curve. When we first started, we ran into all kinds of issues…The lengths would all end up being the same for all sizes, so shorts were getting wider, not longer as you went up in size…One of my favorite parts of the pants and shorts are the spandex liner…Super soft and stretchy and designed for maximum comfort.
YTT: Do you plan on releasing any sort of T’s or Hoodies in the future?
SP: Yeah. For sure, it’d be stupid not to!
YTT: What are your plans for the future of Easton West?
SP: Right now we are starting to merge with local yoga studios, which means slightly increasing the number of clothing we put out in each run. We’re also planning on doing a style of swim trunks, something super stretchy with zippers thats made to go literally anywhere.
Check out the website for more.
2. Pure Balance
Pure Balance clothing, founded by Portland-based yogi Patrick Beach, was created to build clothing for the active lifestyle movement. With an emphasis on minimalist sleek designs, this clothing was created in order to allow anyone to build a style unique to their needs. The clothing is made with an exclusive “PureMotion” fabric, engineered in the USA for an ultimate movement experience. The goal of Pure Balance? To bring a sense of confidence and awareness to all who wear the clothing.
Check out the website for more.
3. Lululemon Mens
I know, I know. The company constantly ridiculed for overpriced pants, that whole “see-through” pants episode, and the fact that they are practically monopolizing the yoga clothing industry made it to this list…However, I do need to say that aside from these instances, Lululemon IS trying their best to put out cool, attractive, and well-made apparel for men. They are even going as far as opening up their own stores solely for guys. I’ve had the chance to try some of the clothing Lululemon offers for men, and I must say although they seem a bit “overpriced”, the design and comfort is well worth the ticket.
Tops: The 5-Year Basic V is one of their more affordable offerings. I wear this shirt constantly, both on and off the mat and I must say it’s probably the most comfortable shirt I own. What makes this purchase worth it is the fact it’s made to last 5 years. It’s light, comfy, absorbs sweat, and looks plain great. These are made in a few different colors that change with the seasons, so pick up a few and be prepared to never buy another shirt for the next few years.
Bottoms: The On The Mat Pant is one of the slickest pair of pants I’ve owned. Perfect for practicing in, these also look great on the street, and again are made to last a while. It’s a toss up whenever you're debating dropping a $100 on a pair of pants, but realize this: These pants will last a long, long time. They're perfect for traveling, as they’re very light and are made of a material that won’t distort no matter how many down dogs you drop into on the mat.
4. H and M
If you’re looking for yoga clothing on a budget that still fit the bill for being stylish, unique, and edgy, look no further. H and M has recently opened up it’s online shopping experience for North America, and has a wealth of options that will allow you to rock your asana off both on and off the mat.
Tops: Take this basic tank for example. You can’t go wrong dropping 20 bucks for three of these 100% cotton tanks that allow you to practice in comfort on the mat, on a stroll on the beach, or when relaxing with friends. They come in a variety of colors, perfect for grabbing multiple pairs to incorporate in your wardrobe.
Bottoms: One look at these pants and you’ll notice they’re already styled similar to the open thigh, tapered leg silhouette similar to what you might find with a more expensive brand. The fast drying, breathable and functional fabric has an elastic drawstring waste band perfect for keeping you comfortable in those inversions and arm balances. These pants feature a mesh key pocket, side pockets and back pocket so you’re good to rock these before or after class.
Guys, the future is bright for mens yoga gear. Keep an eye out as more and more well known companies begin the journey in producing top of the line yoga apparel that will keep you stylish, comfortable and inspired to go beyond your perceived limitations.
Feature Image Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli