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  • BETABRAND YOGA PANTS – YOUR APPROPRIATE ATTIRE FOR LEISURE AND WORK

    If there’s one thing, we can all agree on regarding any possible silver lining of staying at home for the better part of a year, it’s this: Pants have become optional. That is, the kind of trousers, slacks, or even jeans that look presentable in public. Even those of us who work from home can get by with just a tidy-looking top for the occasional video-on Zoom call.

    By this point, the thought of donning any pants without the word “sweat” or “yoga” is a frightful one for many. That’s where Betabrand—a pant that claims to be a yoga pant and a work pant in one two-legged package—comes into play.

    Betabrand is a San Francisco-based clothing company that makes dresses, sweaters, and some kind of midi skirt/capri situation aptly named the “sassiest pant.” Some of the designs are chosen through customer voting and crowdfunding. But its main and original product is pants: the Dress Pant Yoga Pants, that you may have seen in an Instagram or Facebook ad or two.

    Ordering BetaBrand’s yoga pants

    Even pre-pandemic, ordering the Betabrand pants was a surprisingly complicated experience. I purchased our three pairs at once, and a week later, I received one pair (my own, the classic straight-leg version). When the others hadn’t arrived about a week after that, I double-checked the confirmation email—and saw small print stating that the other two pairs were pre-ordered, and thus wouldn’t be shipping for another two months. There was no indication those other two pants were a pre-order situation, either on the site or when I put them in my cart. To me, this is valuable information to know before you spend money on something, not after, and it’s bizarre that Betabrand didn’t have a “pre-order only” note on the items that would take a few months to ship out. Later, I realized that there is a tab on the side of the dress pant yoga pants page where you can sort between “in stock” and “pre-order” items, but it’s not intuitive and I don’t think most people would think to do so their first time on the site. I was able to cancel the order and put in a new one for pants that were actually in stock, thanks to help I received from a kind customer service representative. I’m not sure if or how the ordering process is different now, but it’s a good idea to ensure the pants you want are definitely in stock before you make your purchase.

    What do we like about Betabrand pants?

    Even before I started doing my job from home, I worked in a casual office where cropped flare jeans were more likely to be part of my office uniform than slacks or chinos. But I have seen The Good Wife, and I have been inside an Ann Taylor Loft, so I feel confident saying that Betabrand pants are almost indistinguishable any pair of work pants you could pair with a blazer or blouse. In any case, they are more than appropriate for a day at the office (and thus a virtual one, too)—especially in a casual one like mine. In fact, when I wore them to work, one colleague told me I looked like a candidate for “something.” (This was in the midst of the Democratic primaries, which may have had something to do with that assessment.) “Those pants look really crisp,” said another at the end of the day.

    What's not so great about Betabrand pants?

    Aside from the odd ordering process, we didn’t have too many complaints. At the end of the day, Betabrand pants are dressed-up yoga pants—but they’re still basically yoga pants. This means the stretchy fabric is kind of clingy and if you look closely, you can see clear VPL (visible panty line) if worn with full-coverage underwear rather than a thong. Melissa also felt that the stretchy aspect reduced their overall formality. They were definitely professional-ish, but I wouldn’t wear these to a job interview or anything really important.

    Can you actually do yoga in Betabrand pants?

    Sure, the pants are comfortable—compared to most pants you’d wear in an office. But I wanted to see if they actually held up to the various yoga poses featured so proudly on BetaBrand’s Instagram. So, I put them on before the start of a virtual work day and gave them a try in a yoga class on my own—nothing fancy, just a 30-minute Yoga with Adriene video in my bedroom. And they were … just fine. They stayed in place and allowed me to move to the full extent of my flexibility, even though their heaviness meant they retained more heat and restricted some more movement than my regular yoga pants. I wouldn’t wear them to a high-intensity, high sweat workout.

    The Final Word

    The pants are great. They are comfortable, virtual- and IRL-office appropriate, machine-washable and, if they aren’t the pair to pick for sweaty, vigorous exercise, they’ll do for most activities in a pinch. In fact, they seem to perform for pretty much all occasions.

    All told, getting back to real pants may never be an appealing idea. But if you’re looking for a pair to bridge the gap from sweats and yoga pants to something a bit more substantial—I won’t set a timeline for returning to the rigidities of a crisp denim, although it’s something you’ll probably have to get to eventually—Betabrand is a fine way to get there.