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Choosing Yoga Tops

Picture this: you’re in yoga class, following along with the teacher’s instructions. The teacher calls the class into one of your favorite poses. The stretch is amazing, but there’s a major problem. Your yoga top isn’t keeping up with your body’s movements. It falls over your head, or it catches onto your body in between poses. Whether it’s tightness, a lack of fabric, or uncomfortable materials, a poorly designed yoga top can truly hold back your practice.

In this article, we’ll talk about which yoga tops you can wear to look and feel great during your yoga practice and your life in general. Yoga tops need to meet particular requirements. Here are the basics you should look out for when purchasing a yoga top.

6 Tips for Yoga Tops

  1. It Must Be Comfortable

Never hesitate to test a piece of clothing before purchasing. If you buy over the internet, make sure the website offers free exchanges. Having a yoga top that’s tight across the chest or too short can make a huge difference during your class. Some tightness is desirable because it stops the top from falling over your head during inversions. On the other hand, an overtight shirt can lead to overheating and general discomfort.


  1. It Must Be Flexible

As you progress through yoga training, your clothing will endure more and more strain. Whether it’s touching your toes in a forward bend or sitting on your heels in seiza position, yoga is packed with actions that push your clothing’s limits. The stretches put pressure on the fabric and seams that compose your clothing, eventually leading to breaks and tears. 


Flexible materials such as spandex, nylon, and polyester are perfect for yoga clothing. They blend with other fabrics to make stretchy material perfect for yoga poses. Make sure to test out new yoga tops for flexibility around the shoulders before making a purchase.


  1. It Must Be Breathable

If you’re attending an intense yoga session or hot yoga, it will be important to have a top that wicks sweat and keeps you cool. There’s nothing worse than standing in a puddle of sweat during a yoga class. Even worse, getting drenched in sweat can leave you chilly in the last few minutes when the class winds down.


Cotton is a breathable fabric, but it holds sweat and leads to cooling when too much moisture builds. To improve breathability, try shopping for synthetic blends of short sleeve t-shirts, tank tops, and sports bras. Many of these shirts include venting to further breathability during workouts.


  1. T-Shirts Are Perfect for Everyday Yoga

This is a staple for yogis and yoga rookies alike. You can’t go wrong by picking out a basic Tee with a blend of sweat-wicking materials. T-shirts have the advantage of having a simple and versatile look; it also provides more warmth than tank tops and sports bras. You can purchase a long sleeve Tee with a hood if you’re interested in doing yoga in cooler settings.


Always try on your T-shirt to make sure it doesn’t fall over your head during a forward bend. If you notice the top is falling uncontrollably during your practice, you might look for something more form-fitting. As a general rule of thumb, make sure to remove or avoid itchy tags that will bother you during yoga class.

  1. Yoga Jackets/Sweaters Are Perfect for Cooler Weather
    Adding a jacket or sweater to your yoga outfit is a huge step up in terms of your versatility. With a jacket or sweater, you can layer over a shirt and take your practice to much colder environments. Sweaters or jackets can be especially helpful in the fall or winter. It takes a few extra minutes to warm up for a class after commuting from a cooler environment. 

The extra sweater or jacket can make a world of difference in that first part of the class. It’s also smart to keep a layer handy for after class since it’s normal to feel a bit chilly after cooling down.

  1. Sports Bras/Tank Tops Are Perfect For Intense Sessions
    These smaller garments are ideal for intense yoga workouts when temperatures get high, and you need maximum flexibility. Shoulderless garments are perfect for yoga because they free the joint for a full range of motion. Sports bras are perfect for women who require more support around the chest during classes involving many twists and inversions. 

Many yoga shorts come with bras build into the fabric. However, it’s common to double up with a sports bra to provide maximum support. On the other hand, yoga sports bras do not need to be as tight as those for running. It’s best to try on a few different types of sports bras to find your ideal fit.

Which Top and Where?

Different yoga classes will call for you to wear a different yoga top. Some classes will be more intense, requiring more from your yoga top. Beginner classes with Hatha or Vinyasa yoga are less intense, so you can probably feel safe wearing your basic Tee. 

On the other hand, if you’re on your way to a Bikram yoga class or expect to do many inversions during a class, it’s a different story. These warmer, higher intensity classes require a higher flexibility top, such as a tank or sports bra, to allow for movement with minimal heat and sweat retention.


Whether you’re attending yoga for the first time or heading to your routine class, the right top is essential to perform with comfort and style. You don’t want to show up to yoga class with a poorly fitted shirt. It will discourage you from feeling confident during class and negatively affect your ability to reach certain positions.

With the right combination of yoga tops, you can practice anywhere. You could be doing warrior pose in the shade of a tree or sunrise salutations on a mountaintop. With the right top, you’ll be comfortable in any situation.