I'm constantly on the lookout for quality activewear and I had been hearing about Sweaty Betty for a few months but didn't have an opportunity to check out the merch until last weekend, when I was in London.
I'm going to be honest. I really, really like (well, liked) Lululemon. Of all the activewear brands I've tried (and I've tried a lot) - very few can even come close to how great Lululemon's leggings used to be. (For the record, Athleta is the closest I've found. And I recently discovered another brand that I'll share soon.)
Lululemon's pants used to be a thick, yet breathable material, with flat seams and a flattering waistband. The design smoothed out skin and was super supportive. Their leggings made me feel good. Now that their quality has plummeted, I feel like it's time to move on. I'll still wear my old, high quality Lululemon leggings, but I'm always on the lookout for a better brand, hoping I'll find something similar or better one day.
I went to Sweaty Betty with these pants in mind. They looked like they ticked all the boxes - flattering design, wide waistband, gusset....but unfortunately, in person it was a different story. The material looked really cool from a distance but up close I wasn't impressed. It was a soft material, but almost plastic-feeling. It seemed thick but when I tried them on, the material just sort of sagged and bunched in weird places, and felt somewhat cheap. Even though I could've taken 20% off the $95 price tag with my yoga teacher discount, it didn't seem worth it for a pair of pants that I didn't love.
The next pair of pants I looked at were specifically marketed for yoga. They were a pale blue, and initially looked like they might work for me, but once I put them on, I realized the material left a lot to be desired. They're made from a cotton blend and again, bunched in strange places and I could tell they'd lose their shape quickly.
So the leggings were out, but I tried on a bunch of other pieces, and wound up really liking the tank tops they offered and this sports bra. In fact, I would say both the tank top and the sports bra were better than my Lululemon versions.
I compared the Sweaty Betty tank top with my Lululemon cool racer tank top (review here) on the left. They're essentially the same cut, but the Lululemon material is thicker. For me, while the shirt worked well when we shot my SWEAT yoga DVD because it didn't ride up, it also felt a bit constricting, stiff and heavy. The Sweaty Betty version is a lighter weight material, is long, and doesn't ride up in downward dog. It's really comfortable, and works for both yoga and for working out at the gym (as seen here). So I highly recommend the tank.
I am in love with this bra! As mentioned before, I have a tough time with bras because my torso is small but my cup size is large so I generally wind up with an ill-fitting bra or an ugly bra. (Side note: For any ladies with similar issues, I'd love to know your preferred sports bra brand!) I particularly love that this bra is supportive (perfect for a run!), and is also cute. Half the time I find a supportive bra, it winds up pretty low on the style scale. #notarealproblem
Anyway. When it comes to Lululemon, I have two styles of their bras. The first, is a yoga bra (read: very little support). You can't even compare that one to this, because they're just totally different since the Sweaty Betty one is made to offer a good amount of support. The other Lulu style I have is this one, which I initially loved for its bright color and quality. But the color has since faded and the Sweaty Betty one offers the same amount of support with a cuter design, which feels kinda nice since normally support bras are a little dowdy.
Sweaty Betty Picks
The pieces above are items I checked out in store and loved. They're all high quality and well made, so I wanted to pass the recommendations on to you in case you were in the market for some great yoga clothes. The best part is that they have a US site and a European site, so click below depending on where you're reading from.
Let's talk What activewear brands do you prefer? Is there any one item you're having a hard time tracking down? The perfect hoodie? The best running shorts?
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