Part of my endorsement agreement with Athleta is that I will publish feedback on their products. That’s pretty standard, but ya wanna know the cool thing about it? They weren’t afraid to tell me to be brutally honest – no sugar coating, no last-minute editing by desk jockey executives, just the plain, hard truth. I definitely respect a company with that much confidence in their brand quality. I’ve participated in a few reviews online before on www.chatmeter.com and found it very easy to use and compare my opinions with others. Now,I’m at it again with spring well underway and summer right around the corner, I’ve been psyched at all of the beautiful clothes that have been arriving at my door step. Many have turned into go-to workout wear, others have become everyday staples in my closet, and a couple of items weren’t what I was expecting and got exchanged for more faves in different colors…
Here’s a quick sum-up of the clothing products I’ve received as well as my thoughts on those specific items. To my regular male readers, I apologize ahead of time for the overload of estrogen contained in this post. Keep reading though, as you never know, you might learn a thing or two…not to mention you might come up with some good gift ideas for the ladies in your life. 🙂
KICKBOOTY PANTS: These pants are without a doubt my favorite item out of the whole lot. Advertised as a way to “turn your backside into your best side”, these pants are tight enough to be flattering, without being so tight that random lumps start appearing (ladies, you know what I’m talking about, right?) The flared leg gives these pants some pizzazz that makes them right at home for post-workout endeavours as well. I basically have been living in these pants, and loved them so much I ordered them in another color as well!
ANANDA CAPRI: I was psyched about these capris because I really liked the cute little split at the back of the knees. However, I ended up sending them back because I wasn’t happy with the fit. Nothing all that important, just boiled down to personal preference.
FLASH CAPRI: I replaced the Ananda Capris with these, which I am very happy with. A nice feature is an internal drawstring, so that you can cinch it up a little without adding the bulk of a drawstring on the outside.
PATHFINDER PANTS: I figured there was no better way than to promote the “Power to the She” message at the crag than with a pair of bold, pink pants. The fabric was stretchy and pliable, the color was hot, but even though I ordered my usual size based on the measurements on the size chart, they felt like they were easily 2-3 sizes too big. I couldn’t even keep them on. With all of this freakishly warm weather we’ve been having, it didn’t seem prudent to reorder in another size, so I decided to cut my losses and go with a pair of shorts…but I’ll save those for my summer review, since they haven’t come in yet.
SWITCHBACK TANK: The design on the back is really cool, which is important to me as a climber since that’s the part of the shirt that’s most visible when I’m on the rock. Support was good without resorting to a uni-boob (I can’t be the only one…)
FIRST TRACKS TANK: My favorite part about this top was the color. I got the “Passion Pink” which I was afraid might be too girly looking, but it ended up being a deep, purply color that is feminine without even a hint of prissy.
PAVITRA TOP: What attracted me to this top was the pretty design on it. I was disappointed however to find that it was way too big, so I ended up returning it.
SEAMLESS STRIDE TOP: Of all the tops I’ve received, this one has hands down been my favorite. The fabric is super lightweight and is comfortable enough to wear as a baselayer, but pretty enough to stand alone. I ordered the hibiscus, which is a striking reddish color that works great with any color bottoms.
SLEEVELESS TWIST TOP: I expected this to be similar to the Stride Top that I liked so much, as the fabric and design looked similar, but the fit was way different. I ordered the same size, but this top was ridiculously tight. To be honest I was less than enthused about the real life color than how it had appeared online (fresh lilac). I sent this one back and exchanged it for a sports bra.
SPRINT SEAMLESS BRA: This is the best sports bra I’ve ever had. The support is great, the fabric is wicking and comfortable, and there is just the slightest bit of padding to keep the headlights on dimmer mode. Plus, the funky, stand alone pattern keeps me from feeling like I’m working out in my unmentionables when its hot enough to go sans shirt. This is another one that I liked enough to reorder in a second color.
3 STRAND HEADBAND: Anyone who climbs with me knows that I have an affinity for hair paraphernalia. I’m always on the lookout for something that will not only keep hair out of my face, but also look cute doing so. This headband checks out on both counts. The triple strand design is pretty ingenious – it allows me to place each strand exactly where I need it, and also stays in place way better than similar single strand headbands…I liked it so much I put in an order for three more 🙂
All in all, I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with my haul for spring! Every article of clothing I received seemed to be really well made, even the items I ended up returning. At first glance a lot of the clothing looks similar to something you could get much cheaper at Target or any department store, but online and catalog looks can evidently be decieving, because once I saw the clothes in person I could tell right away that there was no comparison in the quality. In every way possible, Athleta’s clothing outshined other brands that I’ve worn. The fabric was a lot more durable and comfortable, and the support in the tops was plenty good enough to handle a run. A few times I found myself hesitating to wear my new clothes for fear of “messing them up,” but after a couple of months of rough and tumble use, they are no worse for the wear!
My only negative would be that there seems to be some inconsistencies with the sizing. While a few of the tops are fitted at both the chest and the waist, a couple of them flare out at the waist, even though they are advertised as having a snug fit throughout. Now granted I’m not the most curvy girl on the block (I still buy clothes in the juniors section…), so it very well might have been that my rectangular body type was to blame, and that someone with a more womanly figure would have had a better fit. But then there was the Pavitra Top that was way too big everywhere (even in the smallest size they make), but that same size in the Sleeveless Twist Top almost cut off my circulation! I also noticed a discrepancy with the pants. On the one hand I got the Kickbooty Pants, which fit like a glove in XS, whereas an XS in the Ananda Capris felt way too tight – then there were the Pathfinder Pants, where a size 2 may as well have been a size 22. However, the silver lining of all of these exchanging shenanigans is that I got to see firsthand how professional and easygoing Athleta’s customer service department was. A lot of times I hate ordering things online because the return/exchange process is so annoying. But with Athleta, I didn’t have to pay any extra shipping to exchange my items (even though a couple of them were over and over again…), and all the people I spoke with on the phone were very friendly and happy to help. At the end of the day, I got exactly what I needed for a stellar spring workout wardrobe. So ladies, if you’re in the market for some spiffy new workout threads, dive into Athleta’s spring and summer collections – you won’t be disappointed!