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Many New Yorkers Scoff At Montana Proposition To Ban Yoga Pants

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Should yoga pants be banned in public?

No, no one will arrest you in New York City or state for wearing them, but the subject is getting some national attention.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, yoga pants may be the perfect fit in the yoga studio. But some argue that the clingy clothes are too revealing to wear in public.

"If they outlaw yoga pants, I'll have to walk around naked," one yoga pants enthusiast said.

But a state lawmaker in Montana says yoga pants are a little too close to being naked for real, and he would like to make it illegal to wear them in public. Rep. David Moore (R-Missoula) introduced a bill in the state House in response to a group of naked bicyclists who rolled through Missoula in August.

The proposal would expand indecent exposure law to include any nipple exposure, including men's, and any garment that "gives the appearance or simulates" a person's buttocks, genitals, pelvic area or female nipple.

Moore said tight-fitting beige clothing could be considered indecent exposure under his proposal.

"Yoga pants should be illegal in public anyway," Moore said after the hearing.

Moore and Walt Hill, a retired professor in Missoula, initiated the drafting of the bill after the Bare as you Dare bicycle event outraged some residents of the Montana municipality last summer. Fearing that denying organizers an event permit would breach free speech, city officials allowed participants, many of them completely nude, to ride through downtown Missoula on Aug. 17, 2014.

Moore said he wouldn't have a problem with people being arrested for wearing provocative clothing, but that he'd trust law enforcement officials to use their discretion.

"I want Montana to be known as a decent state where people can live within the security of laws and protect their children and associates from degrading and indecent practices," Hill said Tuesday in support of the measure. "I believe this bill is written preserving that reputation."

Back in the Tri-State Area, cycling enthusiast Sandy Goldfarb took strong exception to the idea.

"Why would politicians even get involved in what we wear?" he said. "Don't they have better things to do like balance the budget?"

A Practice Body Mind Soul in Roslyn, where the uniform in class often doubles as daywear, psychologist Lisa Langer-Asnis said the practice of wearing yoga pants in public is healthy.

"Everybody's used to it," Langer-Asnis said. "And it's a great uniform, especially in this weather."

Many others agreed.

"I think yoga pants are the new jeans," another woman said. "Everyone's wearing them."

"I also like to wear it outside," a man said. "It's just comfortable, and it's fashionable."

But can clothing that punctuates the private parts cross the line? Some people say tyes.

"I think if you have a cute little figure its good, but I think most of the people don't," one woman said.

"Get a little more creative," another said. "Put your jeans back on."

Fitness fashion retailer Shannon Depew said there are yoga pant dos and don'ts.

"As long as it's done appropriately, where you're covering all your bases – your backside probably the most important -- I think, sure, you can wear yoga pants wherever you go," said Depew, co-owner of Senakerology.

John Rudinski specializes in men's fashion, and is not enthusiastic about yoga pants but not against them either.

"I'm definitely not a big fan but of the look, but I certainly wouldn't walk away from it on my day off," Rudinski said.

He recommended that you save the uber-fitted look for the gym. And yogis say -- in the spirit of Namaste -- focus not on the external, but on what's inside.

The Montana bill to ban yoga pants has met with some opposition of its own.

Montana state Rep. Virginia Court (D-Billings) said she is concerned that the provision prohibiting garments showing the outline or appearance of a woman's nipple unfairly targets women.

"I think you are kind of being a little prejudiced against women," Court said.

And the bill isn't going anywhere for now anyway. It was tabled in committee.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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