Anna Carey is the author of The Boldness of Betty (O’Brien Press), which publishes on 7 September.
Back when socialising was allowed, I visited my older sister’s house for dinner. I noticed she was wearing a pair of very nicely cut, yet extremely soft-looking trousers. Like most older sisters, she has the same taste as me, except she buys the expensive versions — so I wasn’t surprised when she told me these pants were by Sweaty Betty.
As someone who prefers to do my exercising in the comfort of my own sitting room, I’ve never bothered with fancy sports attire. Yet these yoga pants were calling to me. “They’re on sale at the moment,” said my sister, texting me a link. That sealed the deal. The next thing I knew I was ordering a pair on my phone.
In the seven weeks since I bought them, I’ve never once worn my Sweaty Betty Garudasana yoga pants to practice yoga. When I actually roll out the mat and stick on a Yoga With Adriene video, I wear yoga leggings. But on the days when I need something cosy enough to wear while working in bed, and yet smart enough to wear to the shops without worrying I’ll have a (socially distanced) chance encounter with someone I know, I reach for the Garudasana yoga pants. They make me feel pulled together, in a way other loungewear doesn’t.
Like my yoga leggings, they have a high waist with a broad waistband. Unlike them, they don’t cling in a way that could verge on the indecent if seen at the wrong angle (happy-baby pose, to name but one). And while they’re not baggy, they fall softly from the hips, gently hugging the legs before being gathered into long ankle cuffs. The fabric is thinner than that of most tracksuit bottoms but heavier than most leggings, so they can be worn with a waist- or hip-length top. They are also, needless to say, extremely comfortable.
As for the sizing, they run a little big: I’m five-foot-two and a U.K. size eight to ten. After reading the reviews on the Sweaty Betty website, I got an XS despite generally being a ten on the bottom. This was the correct decision. The cuff hits right at the ankle, so if you’re short like me, I’d recommend the shorter leg option.
I don’t really dress them up, as I do with my other go-to lockdown comfy trousers, the Lucy and Yak Alexas. And unlike the Alexas, I’m not dying to show them off on a night out when all this is over. But I’ve worn them so often over the last few strange months that, on a cost-per-wear basis, they’ve been a very good investment. I wear them with my oversize Meuf T-shirt tucked in. I wear them with an oversize sweatshirt when it’s chilly. And a few weeks ago, I even wore them under a sparkly ’60s minidress to stay warm during a back-garden Zoom hangout. I don’t think anyone noticed when I got up to refill my glass. But I wouldn’t have minded if they had.
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