The best velour pants

Julia Austin

Mass production of velour dates back to the 1840s. Its creation correlated with the emergence of cloth bolts -- cloth that is woven on a loom or created using a knitting machine.

Velour has become an increasingly popular fabric for athletic and loungewear, particularly for pants. Thanks to its knitted nature, velour is quite stretchy, which makes velour pants ideal for exercise or for times when you just want to be comfortable and not feel restricted by your clothing. It’s also soft to the touch, warm and easily washable. 

Whether it’s something cozy you want for movie nights at home or something that will let you move freely in your yoga class, velour pants are a great choice. A form-fitting but flexible pair like the prAna Women's Pheonix Jogger is well-suited for workouts.

What to know before you buy velour pants


One reason so many people enjoy velour pants is their versatility. Unlike simple polyester or Spandex athletic pants, velour pants have a slightly dressier look thanks to their high-sheen fabric. While they’re good for the gym or a workout class, velour pants can also be paired with a jean jacket, stylish sweater or fitted T-shirt and a pair of sandals for a day around town. If you need something that can easily transition from the gym to lunch with friends, velour pants are a smart choice.


If you have a long day of travel ahead of you, you might not want to wear stiff jeans or chinos. Between running around an airport to catch a flight, napping on hard benches and trying to get comfortable on tiny airplane seats, structured fabrics like denim or khaki can become very uncomfortable. Velour pants are stretchy and warm, so they can keep you cozy when you need to catch a nap during a layover or when you have to jog across a terminal to catch a flight.

Flattering fit

Thanks to their elasticity, velour pants are flattering on most body types. Some are made to be form-fitting and can show off curves or muscles, and others are designed to have a looser fit. People of most body shapes and sizes can look good in velour pants.

Velour pants features


Most velour pants have either a drawstring waistband or a simple pull-on design without any sort of closure. A drawstring waistband is a good choice for those who want a little more flexibility out of their pants. If you’d like to wear yours over long johns in cold weather, a drawstring closure allows you to make room. If you’re someone whose weight fluctuates slightly from day to day, you might also appreciate a drawstring closure. A simple pull-on closure can be nice for those who don’t want to fuss with a drawstring. It also creates a smoother aesthetic.


Because velour pants are popular for activities like jogging, walking a dog or simply running errands, it can be useful to find a pair with pockets so you can stash items like an iPod, doggy bags or a wallet. You’ll typically find either slant pockets, cargo pockets or both on velour pants. If you’re only carrying a few things, having adequate pockets can allow you to leave your purse or backpack at home.

Flare vs. elasticized vs. straight legs

When looking at the different velour pants available, you’ll encounter a few main leg styles: flare, elasticized and straight. Each looks good and functions in different settings and with different outfits. If you’re looking for something that won’t get in the way when you’re exercising, elasticized legs are great. They grip the ankle, so they won’t sway when you run and are easy to tuck into boots or keep out of the way of athletic shoes. Should you want something that looks good with a pair of sandals or casual shoes, flared or straight-legged pants are a better option.

Velour pants cost 

Velour pants range in price from $20 on the low end to $100 on the high end. Those from top-name designers have a high price tag.

Velour pants FAQ

Is velour the same as velvet?

A. While velour and velvet look and feel quite similar, they aren’t the same fabric. Velour is a knitted fabric made from a combination of polyester and cotton. This blend gives it its comfortable stretch and is what makes it machine-washable. Velvet is typically made from cotton, silk or other synthetic fibers and is not as stretchy as velour. Velvet should not be machine-washed.

Is velour durable?

A. Velour is a very durable fabric. It has a short pile and no loose threads so it doesn’t easily snag on other items. Plus, it holds up well in the washing machine.

Which velour pants should I get?

Best of the best velour pants

prAna Women's Pheonix Jogger: available at Amazon

Our take: A high-rise cut and pull-on waistband give these pants a clean aesthetic.

What we like: Thanks to pockets with concealed zippers, these pants make it easy to keep a few small valuables safe during a jog. Their elasticized pant legs slide easily into boots and keep the cold air out.

What we dislike: They’re only available in one color.

Best bang for your buck velour pants

Ekouaer Women's Athletic Basic Velvet Jogger Pants: available at Amazon

Our take: These cozy pants have a drawstring closure that allows for a comfortable fit and they come in several colors.

What we like: A relaxed fit and elasticized legs make these pants equally appropriate for lounging or exercising. They have two slant pockets in the front and an adjustable drawstring that’s also made from soft velour. Plus, they’re available in many colors, including a fun tie-dye option.

What we dislike: They run slightly big.

Honorable mention velour pants

Polo Ralph Lauren Plush Velour Slim Pants: available at Amazon

Our take: These classic straight-legged pants are great for the gym or lounging at home.

What we like: The straight legs on these pants mean they look good with sandals or athletic shoes. They have the Ralph Lauren logo prominently sewn onto the front and come in navy blue or black.

What we dislike: They don’t come in a size large.

Julia Austin is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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