Hey. Hi. Hello!
I’m in the midsts of an eight day work week, so let’s all say a silent prayer that I make it out of this alive so that I can make it to the Food and Wine Festival in one piece!
If you’ll remember, over a month ago I posted about my favorite brand of workout clothes, along with my opinions on a bunch of other brands that I had tried. While I absolutely still love the Victoria’s Secret brand, I’ve hit a rutt with them. They’re not producing my favorite leggings in new colors, and NOW A LOT OF MY LEGGINGS ARE DEVELOPING HOLES IN THEM!
Yes, it’s a dire time, so I figured drastic times called for drastic measures. I decided I was going to use my hard-earned dollars, and the month of August, to test out some brands of activewear that I’ve never tried before. Some of them are brands that have a huge following of die-hard fans, others are brands that are fairly new!
I’m planning on doing an activewear round-up like this every few months (once my bank account has bounced back from this Disney trip and my compulsive spending these past few weeks). There’s so many brands of workout clothes out there, and I wanted to give my honest opinny on what’s worth it and what’s not. So, if you care about me at all, read on!
Workout: LISS & HIIT Cardio
Products Tested: Pacesetter Tank, Power 7/8 Leggings, Stamina Bra
I first heard about Sweaty Betty when I moved to New York last year, because for some odd reason I was invited to a private event they were hosting??? Yeah, I’m confused, too. Did I go? No because I had a big girl job I had to be at. But, here we are, a year later, reviewing their activewear.
The first thing that struck me was THE PRICE. I paid $110 for a pair of leggings. These leggings are marketed at being “butt-lifting” but was that enough to warrant the price? I was crossing my fingers that they would be like a gift hand-woven by a thousand angels or something.
Well, they certainly delivered. They have a ton of fun patterns and colors, which I love because TBQH I hate plain-colored workout clothes. The leggings fit so well, and are super flattering! They feature an adjustable elastic wasitband, and elastic around the ankles so you can make sure the pants aren’t going anywhere. They have a zip-pocket at the back, which is a weird place, but still a good-sized pocket!
The top is a pretty basic top, but features some weird reflective panneling on the back, but a nice burnout detail on the front. The sports bra was not anything remarkable, just a classic sports bra. It held up well to jumping around during HIIT, which is all I ask.
There were two major downsides that I noticed. The first is obviously the price. I paid over $200 for three items. While they were really nice (these leggings are now my go-to), I just don’t think I can justify paying that much money for things that I really wear for only an hour. The other downside was that throughout the day the leggings started to chafe my inner thighs. This was an unexpected turn of events because the leggings fit really well, but all good things come to an end I suppose.
Price: $$$ (Total: $234.76)
Overall Rating: 7.2/10
Workout: Compound Leg Day
Products Tested: Lighter Than Air Tank, Race Day Bra, Race Day Crop
I didn’t know Amazon made workout clothes, but here we are! Their selection isn’t as expansive as some of the other brands I looked at, but they do have some nice staple pieces. Shopping their clothes is super easy because they have the same styles for normal and plus-sized women which is nice. They have one pair of leggings that are “customizable” in that you can select the waistband and the length. Those weren’t the ones I selected because they were “yoga” leggings and I wanted to make sure I had a pair that was squat proof.
The quality of their clothes was really, really nice! The pants and the sports bra have really good compression and hold you in during the workout. The top had a weird cut on the bottom hem, so it was difficult to tie up, but I did my best.
My absolute favorite part of the leggings are the waistband. It’s an elastic waistband but instead of being just one loop like regular leggings, they have two strings to tie the waistband, so you can make them tight during workouts, but still untie them to pee! Love that!
The leggings are definitely squat proof, but they have a lot of elastane in them so they don’t look like they would be. BUT THEY ARE. The pants and the sports bra also both have pockets, which is great for running (which is what they’re marketed as).
I wore these for a whole day and by the end of it, the sports bra was cutting into my sides, probably as I got fatter throughout the day, but hey what are you gonna do. After wearing it for the first time, I didn’t have that problem again so who knows. Definitely great quality items and a good price-point (plus free two-day shipping with prime!)
Price: $ (Total: $93.00)
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
Workout: Lower Body
Products Tested: Love Tank, Align 7/8 Pant, Time to Sweat Bra
This brand was a little controversial for me. It’s definitely a yoga brand, so I didn’t really want to buy it because I need things that are going to hold up to all sorts of activities. However, some of my favorite fitness bloggers rave about the Lululemon align pant, so I had to try them out for myself.
They’re a pricey company, not as much as some of the other brands I tried, but paying $98 for a legging was a lot. When I got them, I wanted to love them, but absolutely HATED them. The tag says they have a “naked sensation” and they’re 100% correct. I literally felt like I wasn’t wearing pants and felt so uncomfortable.
More on the pants: they don’t have an elastic waistband, there was a weird seam that ran up the waistband of the pants that created a weird silhouette along my tummy, and they 1000% were not a 7/8 legging. I had to tuck them up under to make them 7/8 leggings, and even then they kept slipping down during the workout. However, surprisingly they were squat proof, so I guess that’s 1 point to the leggings.
Honestly, I almost sent everything back without working out because of how uncomfortable I felt in the leggings. BUT, when I tried on the tank top and sports bra, I feel in love with them and had to keep them. While I should have sized down on the top because it was slightly too large, it was made of an amazing material, and the sports bra allowed for a lot of movement, while still keeping me in during my workout.
I would definitely love to try out other pants from them, because I think now they’ve expanded their range and have leggings for running and such that would offer more compression than the align pants. But, those were the ones everyone loves so those were the ones I tried.
Price: $$ (Total: $188.00)
Overall Rating: 6/10
Workout: NONE (didn’t feel comfortable)
Products Tested: TechSweat 7/8 Legging, Athena Slashback Crop
This is the one that surprised me the most. It surprised me because of how much I HATED this brand. I know so many people who rave about this brand. One of my friends is obsessed with them. She says they hold up well to cycling, and even their website markets them as being an incredibly versatile company in terms of exercise.
So, I was so so so excited to try this company, and was utterly let down. I’ve noticed a common theme among activewear brands is that they market leggings as being 7/8, but on my 5’1 frame they’re always full-length. This brand is no exception. The up-side is they offer a great color range, and these pants feature an elastic loop waistband.
However, that’s all the good things there are. When I tightened the elastic band, the waist cinched in in a manner that was so unflattering, wow I want to kill myself thinking about it. I’ve never had a pair of high-waist leggings that, when tightened at the waist, excentuated my fat more, and literally appeared to BUNCH IT UP IN THE MOST UNFLATTERING WAY.
On top of that, the leggings were 110% not squat-proof. You could see right through them. No way in hell was I about to go into a gym wearing clothing that was going to show my whole ass. There also wasn’t a single pocket on them shits.
The crop bra was just as bad. The size was fine, but oh my god the cut of it was not. It cuts up high, and wow sideboob alert. I felt like any sudden move and my boobs were going to be on display along with my butt. I didn’t even think twice about working out in these. After taking some pics, I promptly took off these clothes and returned them. They’re probably good if you’re skinny and plan to be sitting on a bike or something, but terrible if you have a single curve and want to do anything other than soul cycle.
Price: $$ (Total: $130.00)
Overall Rating: 3/10
Workout: Upper Body
Products Tested: Racerback Tank, Icon Sports Bra, Mesh Crop leggings
For those who don’t know, Good American is a project that is co-owned by Khloe Kardashian. The brand is most known for their denim, which I’ve heard is incredible for curvy women. As a women who could probably classify as thick, I wanted to try this brand! I was not happy about the price, or the fact that I was supporting a Kardashian, but I did it for the blog and can’t look back now.
During the ordering process, I was baffled. The sizing is 0-6 rather than the traditional sizing we’re used to. I’m a size 4 in bottoms typically, which equated to a size 1 in this brand (which is a traditional sizes 2-4). I orderd the top and leggings in a size 1, but the sports bra is what got me. While I’m a small in tops/bottoms, sports bra’s I usually go with a medium. So, I’d say I’d be a size 6 in a sports bra. However, that’s not an option. It’s either size 1 (2-4) or size 2 (6-10). 6-10?! WHAT A SIZE RANGE!
When everything arrived, I was nervous that the sports bra was going to be too large because of the size range it encompassed, but it fit pretty well. It had the same high cute as the Outdoor Voices crop, but was wider so that it didn’t expose any sideboob. There was some wiggle room there, but it held me in enough to get my workout done.
There’s nothing special about the top, it’s quite literally just a plain black racer back that was unremarkable and quite honestly I probably could’ve gotten away with wearing just the leggings and the sports bra.
The leggings themselves were nice, but a bit of a struggle to get the mesh panels over my thigs. They have nice compression to them, and are definitely squat proof. They actually sit at a 7/8 length, which was surprising. However, they didn’t have an elastic waistband, so I felt like I was constantly tugging at them to keep them up.
I’d say they’re a really good item for curvy girls, once you manage to figure out your sizes. However, they were the most esspensive items I picked up, and the patterns/colors aren’t remarkable enough for my to consider purchasing additional things.
Price: $$$ (Total $253.68)
Overall Rating: 5/10
That’s my round-up of these five brands. Would definitely say Core 10 won this one, with Sweaty Betty being a close second (honestly their leggings are really THAT good). I’m looking forward to reviewing more brands in the future! Let me know if there’s a brand you’re super interested in hearing what I think about them.
Until next time.