With scores of yoga pants now hovering at the $100 mark, proper garment care for the fitness wardrobe staple is really essential. We need these pants to last through thousands of yoga classes, just as many Central Park runs, plus grocery trips, brunch dates, and uber-casual Fridays.
Many manufacturers promise their bottoms will last several years, including Lululemon Athletica, a brand now synonymous with the three-figure yoga pant (and whose second-hand gear sells for 60 percent of the retail price on Ebay). So we asked Liz Eustace, Lululemon’s East Coast community guru, the secret that ensures this guarantee: Turns out, it’s all in the wash. (And not so much the dryer.)
Here are Eustace’s tips on how to make your pants every bit as indefatigable as the New York women wearing them.
1. Don’t share a load with your towels. Don’t throw your towels in the wash or dryer with your Luon pants. (Luon is moisture-wicking nylon-lycra blend that’s proprietary to Lululemon, but same goes for any synthetic fiber.) The cotton pills will latch onto the Luon fibers and will be utterly impossible to remove. The last thing your $99 long-lasting pants need is to look like an old sweater after the first washing.
2. Synthetics stand alone. Make sure to wash your Luon pants with other synthetics to prevent any snags from rougher fabrics—and be mindful of zippers. Similarly, wash cottons with other cottons.
3. Go easy on the detergent. You need just enough to get the grime off your gear. Filling your co-op’s Maytag front-loader with bubbles is not necessary and can facilitate the breakdown of the fabric.
4. Don’t use fabric softener. Who knew? This kills your high-tech pants’s wicking capabilities.
5. Use a cold water cycle. Synthetics don’t like hot water (and neither do your wholesome organic cotton and bamboo pieces), though they don’t mind hot yoga. What’s good for your pants is good for the environment, says Eustace. Go for the cold.
6. The dryer isn’t your enemy. If it’s time to claim your spot in yoga class and you can’t wait for your pants to air-dry, then fine, throw them in the dryer. All of Lululemons pants are preshrunk, says Eustace. “But if you tossing your pants in the dryer every time, there’s a chance they might shrink about 2 percent more.”
Got any secrets for treating your yoga pants right? Tell us, here!