With the weather heating up (seriously 100+ heat index before June?!?), I figured some of my female readers might be on the lookout for some summer threads that will keep you feeling (and looking) cool! I’ve been putting my new Athleta gear to the test over the past few weeks, which culminated in a sandstone-filled sauna in Tennessee a few weekends ago. I’m happy to report that most of it passed with flying colors! Here’s a quick sum-up of the clothing items I received as well as my honest and un-biased thoughts about the summer collection. Again, my apologies to the guys for the estrogen-heavy post – but you could use it as an excuse to pick up some cute workout wear for your woman!
ZIP LINE TANK: This is a great tank. Open in the back for unrestricted movement without compromising support, and a scoop neck front that is flattering without worry of flashing my belayer. I like how the tank is long enough that it lays flat under a harness without riding up.
CRITERIUM TOP: This is one of my favorite tops from Athleta so far. I loved the beautiful and feminine design on the front/sides. It fits like a glove and is supportive enough to run in. There are stash pockets on the back that are perfect for holding an iPod during my runs, but lay flat when not in use.
STRIDE TOP: This is a close second to the Criterium top, and actually might be a little more versatile. The fabric is called “meryl skinLife fabric.” It hugs the body and wicks like a baselayer, but is pretty enough that you’ll want to wear it alone. Again, I liked that the length was long enough to not ride up in a harness. The “razzle purple” a beautiful shade of deep purple/maroon. I climbed in this top multiple days in 90 degree weather and though I myself didn’t smell like a rose, the top didn’t seem to absorb any climbing funk.
MUSCLE UP TANK: I liked this shirt because it had a pretty pattern on the back, but I didn’t like the fit – it was too baggy, and not long enough, so it looked a little awkward in a harness.
OASIS BERMUDA: These shorts looked like they’d be a good balance between cute and comfy, but I ended up returning them. The fit was good, and they certainly were comfortable, but I thought the stretchy Pilayo material made the cargo pockets stick out and look a little weird. I exchanged them for the Kickbooty Bermudas…
KICKBOOTY BERMUDA SHORTS: I’m not sure why I didn’t try these before, considering how much I love the pants version. These shorts are fantastic! The length is great for climbing, and the wicking Pilayo fabric is comfortable enough to wear everyday, but durable enough to take a beating on the rock.
BETTONA BERMUDA SHORTS: These shorts are similar to the Kickbooty’s, with a few key differences. The fabric is the same, but the Bettonas have a slimmer fit and a little bit more “decoration” – back/side pockets, side slits on the legs. They are very comfortable, and perfect for wearing around town all day, then heading straight to an afternoon workout session.
DIPPER SHORTS: I love the Utility Stretch fabric Athleta used for these shorts. Not too thick, but very, very durable. They are perfect for climbing/hiking, and I love that they come in lots of fun colors instead of the standard black, navy blue, and brown (I got “hot tamale” ).
DIPPER PANT: Since I loved the shorts so much I opted to snag a pair of the pants as well. Same great fabric, same great color options, but I was surprised that the fit was not the same -the same size in the pants seemed to be about a size bigger in the waist than the shorts. Nothing a belt couldn’t fix however – these pants quickly moved to the front of the climbing pants drawer.
TEMPO HEATHER SEAMLESS BRA: Okay, okay, so I know I said last time that the Sprint Seamless Bra was the best sports bra I’d ever had, but now I’m not so sure because this one is pretty darn close…What I like about it is that its not as bulky looking – it does the job but has a soft, feminine look (one that doesn’t include a uni-boob.) The straps are adjustable, making for a more personalized fit, and the color choices are fun.
BATHING SUITS…Okay so I haven’t ordered any bathingsuits this year (yet). But that’s because the 2 that I purchased 2 years ago (well before I joined up with Team Athleta!) are still almost as good as new! Although I will probably end up picking up at least one before I head to the beach in August, that review might be a little late for you ladies that are in the market for a cute suit now! The great thing about Athleta bathingsuits is that they function like a perfomance, athletic type suit, but look like a cute, strappy bikini! (or tankini, or one-piece, whatever suits your fancy…) They are great for people who actually like to use their bathingsuit for something other than lying around on a sandy towel (I was always a little too A.D.D for that anyway). They cover up the essentials, but not so much that I have ridiculous tan lines when I wear a V-neck shirt.
All in all, I’d have to say that my summer allotments were even better than my spring ones! In my spring review I mentioned that there were some sizing inconsistencies. This time around I was delighted that I didn’t have to exchange as many items. I’m assuming it’s because I’ve gotten a feel for what fits my body the best, which would probably have happened faster had there been a local store. It’s too bad there’s not an Athleta store in Charlotte, although it was just recently announced that there will be one opening at Southpoints Mall in Durham in the near future (so Triangle peeps, start saving your pennies now!) The next best thing to a store however, is a friendly customer service call center who not only keeps the return/exchange process running smoothly, but is also very patient while I’m reading out my item numbers amidst a very loud background of Cragbaby singing the ABC’s. Are these clothes cheap? Certainly not. But I’ve come to learn in my old age that you really do get what you pay for. I would much rather have a few high-quality pieces of workout wear in my wardrobe that I’m confident in using day in and day out, than dozens of cheap substitutes that may or may not get holes on Day 3 of a climbing trip (hypothetically speaking, of course ;))