what to wear to hot yoga - lululemon sign and headband

What to wear to hot yoga

Hot yoga certainly is hot right now… But what should you wear? You’re guaranteed to sweat and burn a lot of calories, which is great for those looking to lose weight. And because it’s yoga, also works on your muscle strength, so it’s also great for those looking to get stronger. So, what to expect when you take your first class? And… What do you wear to hot yoga!?

For hot yoga, and for Bikram yoga, you should wear breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that is form-fitting, but not too tight, and doesn’t restrict movement.

Thin, calf-length pants may be more comfortable than thick, ankle-length yoga pants. Women should wear a sports bra, as in any yoga class. Some hot yoga shirts come with built-in sports bras. Breathable fabric is best for all your hot yoga clothes!

This article will go into detail about the best clothes to wear when you go to hot yoga. We will also discuss some extra tips to keep in mind for your hot yoga class. It will be helpful for those who are nervous to try it for the first time and will also help those who are familiar with hot yoga but want to maximize the experience.

what to wear to hot yoga - lululemon sign and headband

What kind of bottoms/pants should I wear to hot yoga class?

Microbial yoga pants

Get antimicrobial bottoms. Regardless of what kind of bottoms you wear, as long as they are antimicrobial, they will soak up the moisture of your sweat. It will also decrease the chances of sweat stains on your clothes and decrease odor. Both of these can be super embarrassing when you do hot yoga.

What about shorts?

Beware of wearing shorts. Shorts may sound like a great idea since it’s less fabric on your body. However, with nothing to absorb sweat, you will now have your skin to contend with on your yoga mat. Shorts won’t be very comfy and can leave streaks of sweat behind. If you do wear shorts, you’ll want to pack a towel to wipe off your mat and legs routinely throughout the class.

Avoid heavy bottoms

Make sure your bottoms are lightweight and tight. Heavy clothes can be uncomfortable as well as attract more heat. Lightweight clothes will be more comfortable and breathable as you sweat. It will also make moving around much easier, giving you a full range of mobility. This is especially important if you are flexible enough to make more advanced yoga poses. Tight clothes can also retain less heat, depending on the fit and type of fabric.

Choosing leggings for hot yoga

Look for leggings made specifically for hot yoga. Read reviews about leggings before buying them! Many will be listed as hot yoga leggings. Some may not, so reading reviews is your best friend. Many people will praise the leggings for help with sweat, breathability, etc. Most are honest as well, so if the leggings didn’t do well, reviewers will tell you! Skip any lined leggings (save these cozy ones for cold winter walks).

Also, bring a change clean of clothes for after yoga class! If you are heading out to do anything after class, you’ll probably want to get out of your sweaty clothes.

What about tops/shirts for hot yoga?

Tank tops

You can’t go wrong with a lightweight, tight-fitting tank top. Tank tops are great for being breathable as well as light so you can move around easily. It’s also tight-fitting, so you don’t need to worry about it retaining heat during hot yoga (or falling when you do the downward-facing dog!). Tank tops can also help instructors see your form and offer help if you need it.

One thing to look out for is making sure the fabric isn’t see-through! You want to feel comfortable during your practice.

Sports bras

You can wear only a sports bra if you’re comfortable, too. If you’re comfortable in just a sports bra, that can be a great option. Not only is it more breathable than a tank top, but it also is great for instructors to offer advice on your form. It’s also why most instructors only wear it so students can see exactly how their form is when trying to copy them.

You can also wear a cropped tank for the best of both worlds. Too shy to wear only a sports bra, but want to wear less than a tank top? A cropped tank top is the perfect in-between option to wear. The material is light and can help give you better coverage than just a sports bra. You want to be extremely comfortable in hot yoga, that’s why it’s so important to think about what you’re wearing!

Pack a change of clothes

Packing an extra tank top and sports bra is a great idea too. Regardless if you wear the tank top while working out, having an extra packed in your bag is a great idea. Especially if you are going out into the real world right after your class, while a sports bra can be appropriate for hot yoga, it may not be when you go to get groceries or pick up your kids.

What kind of bra should I wear?

The best bra is the bra that you feel most comfortable wearing to class. A sports bra can be great if you are comfortable with it. Some sports bras may not give you enough coverage or support while working out. Wearing a bra underneath the sports bra for added support can be a great idea. You may sweat right through it, so you’ll want to pack an extra.

If you’re worried about coverage, do a little test run in your living room! This way you can make sure you’re comfortable during your workout session.

Bralettes

Bralettes can be a great option. Bralettes are becoming more “in” fashionwise to wear with a cute cardigan or even on their own. So, it’s a great option for hot yoga since you can walk out afterward and not feel too out of place. Most are breathable as well, so they’re great when you know you’ll be sweating lots. It never hurts to pack an extra towel and bralette to change into after class too.

Similar to your tops and bottoms, you want antimicrobial material. So, a bra like Y-7 Studio’s sports bra is perfect. It gives you both support and soaks up your sweat. It’s also fast-drying, which means you can leave class with it and not worry about soaking your street clothes. It also has multiple reviewers who rave about how awesome it is.

Above all – Don’t feel pressured to wear any specific workout clothes. The important thing is that you feel comfortable, giving you more time to focus on your hot yoga class and less on hot yoga clothing!

Any extra tips I should know about?

Pack a towel

Pack a towel with you to help wipe off any sweat that bothers you. It can also help wipe away sweat from your mat or body – It gets slippery otherwise! The last thing you need is an unnecessary injury that you could have prevented. It will also help after class if you have to run errands after class.

Bring your own mat

Bring a supportive mat. You’ll want to pack a yoga mat that is both supportive and sweat absorbent. You also want one with a good grip so you can make moves like a downward dog without having your hands slip. Especially since you’ll be sweating and your body will be extra slippery.

If you’re just trying out hot yoga, maybe give the studio a call and see if they have extras available! Then you can wait until after the first class to see if you will actually use one.

What about my hair?

Keep your hair out of your face. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it will help keep the sweat off your face (especially if you have long hair). Your hair can create more heat around your face and neck, which is both uncomfortable and can cause overheating. Pack a hair tie or come to class with your hair already up to prevent this and have a great class!

Wash your face

Wash your face before and after class to keep your face from getting irritated. Washing before and after hot yoga can help keep your face from getting red. You can also bring a washcloth and soak it with ice water before putting it over your face to reduce any redness on your face. Or, you can get an anti-inflammatory cream to put on afterward.

Stay hydrated

It is so important to stay hydrated during physical activity… This is especially true for hot yoga classes! Hot yoga sessions take place in a heated studio… So it’s super important that you bring a water bottle and that you drink as much water as you need.

Deciding what to wear to hot yoga

So, we’ve discussed what you can wear to hot yoga for the best experience. You’ll want to wear tight-fitting and lightweight clothing to keep your body as cool as possible. The point of hot yoga is to sweat, but you have to prevent overheating as well. You also want to be as comfortable as you can be so you’ll want to come back for another class.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a digital content creator and mom of three. She is also an engineer and bit of a plant nerd too. She has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, and Family Handyman.