Athleta Clothing Review: Mass Market Retailer Seeks Niche Appeal

As one of the biggest activewear retailers today, Athleta seeks to offer a variety of styles for active women. The brand has even been praised for its plus-size offerings. The extensive swim line is a must-have—my personal favorite suit is from Athleta. The chain’s no-time-limit return policy is phenomenal, and the seasonal sales provide deep discounts. Without question, the brand is growing at a rapid clip; it’s set to open 35 brick-and-mortar stores. Its growing popularity and wide selection (If I had to guess, I’d say the company probably offers more variety and styles than any other activewear retailer out there) meant I just had to test out their activewear once and for all. The company sent me a handful of pieces from its fall line to test out.

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1.Colorblock Chi Tank Extra Long

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This tank top is so soft; it felt like cotton, but thankfully did not perform like that. It was moisture-wicking and did not collect any sweat. It’s also incredibly flattering. The scoop neck and racer-back would work well for most women. Anyone looking to lose weight or pregnant women—since you will have plenty of room to grow—would probably like this one. I loved the light purple/gray color scheme here too. It is a very plain tank—no pockets or built-in bra here—but this could be a wardrobe staple if you’re the type that loves basic tank tops.

2. Candescent Half Zip

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This is a basic half zip. I wasn’t that crazy about the back—the way it’s cut makes it flair out a bit—but it was definitely not a huge deal. I appreciated the mesh on the arm sleeves and the colorful gray “streak” design on the chest area. Overall, it actually did not breathe all that well. That being said, this is for the fall line and would probably best be suited to cooler temps instead of the 80-degree weather I was exercising in.

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3. Cheetah Chaturanga Capri

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These are fun, fun, fun. I fell head over heels for this flattering, eye-catching pattern. Best of all, these capris are not sheer—they passed the bend test with flying colors. The material felt soft and very stretchy. The high waist also flattens the lower abs—a common trouble spot for many. The capris didn’t breathe as well as I would have liked, so I would also probably only wear these during cooler months or for indoor classes. There aren’t any pockets or other superfluous accessories—but when the capris are this good, sometimes you don’t need any extras. If you own plenty of black tank tops, these would be perfect to add a pop of color.

4. Jammin’ Run Jacket

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I loved the vibrant orangey-red color of this jacket. It is lightweight, making it ideal for running or an outdoor activity. I also appreciated the nipped-in waist—a flattering feature for essentially anyone. The interior doesn’t have a heavy lining, and it doesn’t trap heat like most other rain jackets do. Anyone who has ever run in a jacket knows that you usually sweat like crazy underneath these. But maybe there’s something to those linings. I wore this during a quick walk during a rainstorm, and it leaked. My arms and my shirt were a little wet after I came in. I’d suggest wearing this jacket during light mists or storms and leaving it home if you’re exercising during a heavy downpour.

5. Free to Breathe Thong

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When it comes to workout panties, I thought I was sold on lululemon’s offerings. I should have thought harder. These are fantastic. They are so comfortable that you’ll forget you’re wearing them. They’re moisture-wicking, and you can put them through the washer/dryer too. My only complaint here is that Athleta doesn’t supply a large variety of colors. You’re stuck with just a few choices, but once you have fallen in love with these, it won’t even matter anymore.

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Have you tried any of Athleta’s fitness apparel?



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