Finding clothes you love in sizes that fit is a challenge for pretty much everybody. And it’s doubly true for those of us with body shapes outside the narrow band of small/medium/large sizes that have dominated retail clothes since, well, pretty much forever. Fortunately, more and more brands, like Athleta, are stepping up to make clothing more inclusive, no matter your size or shape.
This spring 2021, Athleta continues to go all in on inclusivity. Known for fashionable athletic and athleisure wear, the brand is also dedicated to designing expertly crafted styles for active women of all shapes who’ve never believed that one size fits all. And, unlike some other companies, Athleta is building its most loved styles up to size 26 (XXS through 3X). In fact, 70% of the entire Athleta collection will offer more inclusive sizing. Even better? You can find them in the same spot you’ll find your size 6, not some back corner of the store or separate section of the site.
The commitment to inclusivity runs deep. For the last two years, Athleta designers and technical experts have been working with thousands of women to reengineer and expand the brand’s extended sizing offering. That process of constant iteration, with feedback from real women at every step, has meant each style’s fit, comfort and function is tailored to look, feel and perform the same, regardless of a woman’s size.
It doesn’t stop there. Athleta locations will feature size-inclusive mannequins for more accurate representation of styles and fittings. And all store employees will be bodySTRONG® certified, thanks to mandatory inclusive sizing training that teaches the principles of body-positive-appropriate language and tools for assessing comfort level — all to better serve customers.
OK, so there’s lots to love about Athleta’s 500-plus Inclusive-Size Collection styles — and the ethos behind it. But how do the clothes look? And, just as importantly, how do they hold up when it’s time to break a sweat?
Pretty darn good, if you ask us.
Here are a couple pieces we have our eye on, just in time for peak spring.
Conscious Crop D-DD+ ($59; athleta.gap.com)
In the old days, shopping for a sports bra often ended up as a game of compromises. You could pick two: comfort, support or breathability. But getting all three? Good luck. Fortunately, it’s 2021 now, and Athleta’s Conscious Crop sports bra isn’t about making compromises. Thanks to a high-coverage neckline and buttery soft Powervita™ fabric, the Conscious Crop keeps you snug and supported, but without the intense compression that can make it hard to breathe. Quick-drying fabric and wicking technology pulls sweat away from the body and to the surface for easy evaporation and increased comfort during high-intensity workouts. The cool racerback looks are just the cherry on top. D-DD+ not you? Check out the A-C version here.
Zephyr Print Tank ($69; athleta.gap.com)
Breezy and beautiful, the Zephyr Print Tank is perfect for spring runs — or tooling around the house between WFH video calls. We love the semifitted silhouette and high neck, which flatters in all the right places. The Featherweight Stretch™ fabric feels like you’re wearing air, skimming easily over the body for silky smooth comfort. We’re big fans of the length too — perfect for covering all our, um, assets while also playing nice with leggings.
Elation 7/8 Tight ($89; athleta.gap.com)
If you want tights that keep you held in and supported in all the right places, the Elation is your next go-to staple. With a snug fit that sits at a natural waistline, the unpinchable three-layer waistband streamlines and supports while offering plenty of stretch for full range of motion and comfort. No side seams means no distractions, and a drop-in pocket at the back packs enough room to hold all your essentials. Quick-drying, breathable and wicking, these leggings are already making fans, judging by the bevy of ecstatic online reviews.