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  • On a mission to “empower women and girls”, Athleta was founded in 1996 by Scott Kerslake, though it was absorbed by Gap Inc. in 2008. Though its first store opened in California, it can now be purchased all over the world, catering to the needs of sporty women and athletes everywhere.

    Athleta has a focus on not only physical well-being, but also mental health, advocating for the importance of movement by creating clothing that is designed for women. With that in mind, the company is most well-known for its selection of athleticwear.

    But, all of their athletic clothing also doubles as loungewear. You’ll find cozy sweats, fitted leggings, and loose, comfortable tops. That being said, customer reviews praise the comfortable, lightweight, moisture wicking materials that hold their shape, as well as some fun color options that add a little brightness to their days.

    At Athleta, loungewear prices are on the affordable end of the spectrum, ranging from $34-$159.

    • Wide selection of activewear and loungewear
    • Affordable pricing
    • Soft, high-quality fabrics that are breathable and quick drying, including nylon and modal
    • Casual and simple designs
    • Plenty of different color options
    • Sales and promotions held often

    The brand sells a wide range of women’s activewear and accessories, catering to all your sportswear needs. Since Athleta places a heavy emphasis on the importance of movement to both physical and mental health, it has the best leggings for getting your groove on.

    Reviews gush over the pops of colour Athleta leggings added to their workout uniforms, as well as a fit that holds its shape and moisture-wicking material that promises to be the athletic woman’s dream.

    As a teenager, shopping was never an enjoyable experience for anyone. Stores rarely carried unusual sizes and, because they didn’t fall in the XS to XL range, you were often felt left out while your friends tried on their armfuls of cute clothes. While there were—and still are—stores that carry solely plus sizes, it’s not the same as shopping in the “regular” stores with your peers.

    Fortunately, over the past few years, many brands began making an effort to be more size-inclusive, especially in the fitness space. Popular retailers like Lululemon and Athleta now offer plus sizes to fit customers of all different body types, shapes, and sizes.

    Athleta introduced extended sizing from XXS to 3X for hundreds of its styles both in-store and online in 2017. As of March 2021, the retailer says it now has over 500 styles—the equivalent of 70% of the brand’s spring collection—available in plus sizes.

    Great workout leggings are a sartorial Swiss Army knife: a technical powerhouse while in motion and a comfortable go-to when pants don’t appeal. Performance wear is expected to do double duty, providing both support and comfort, on the go and at rest. We worked out (and worked from home) in numerous pairs, scrutinizing fabric, fit, performance, and style to find the best pair of workout leggings for however you choose to move.

    The flattering lines and structured fit of the Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise pleased nearly all of our testers. Our panel consisted of four testers: a 5-foot-2-inch petite tester who typically wears a size 4; a 5-foot-2-inch plus-size tester who typically wears a size 16–18; a 5-foot-9-inch tester who wears a size 2; and a 5-foot-10-inch tester who wears a size 6–8. These leggings have more seaming than other, simpler pairs we tried, but that contributed to their nice shape.

    These leggings have more seaming than other, simpler pairs we tried, but that contributed to their nice shape. These leggings are stretchy instead of structured, with light compression. They were so comfortable that most of our testers forgot they were wearing them. Our panel consisted of four testers: a 5-foot-2-inch petite tester who typically wears a size 4; a 5-foot-2-inch plus-size tester who typically wears a size 16–18; a 5-foot-9-inch tester who wears a size 2; and a 5-foot-10-inch tester who wears a size 6–8. The Beyond Yoga Spacedye Caught in the Midi High Waisted Legging is available in XXS (0–2) to 4X (26–28) and in one length, Midi (25½ inches for a size M). And the super-soft fabric has a luxurious, almost sueded texture.

    These stretchy leggings feel nice on the move and are comfortable enough to wear all day. They’re good for working out, but we think they’re truly ideal as a layering piece or a comfy alternative to pants.

    The Bottom Line

    Choosing a luxury workout brand is very difficult. It almost feels like you’re trying to decide over Swarovski encrusted apples and oranges! Thinking about quality, each product they sell has a lengthy list of options when it comes to fabric, each designed to offer different fits, levels of compression, and levels of movement. When considering sustainability, Athleta certainly makes a conscious effort to choose more environmentally friendly materials and recyclable packaging, as well as working alongside various charities.