Fabletics–to join or not to join

So spoiler alert–I joined.

I hadn’t heard of Fabletics–or even Kate Hudson’s affiliation–until the winter of 2015, when a lovely lady in a musical I was working on recommended it to me. She had recently joined and was really digging it. She was in the process of becoming a yoga instructor and needed new outfits and found it to be both a good deal and liked the product.

Strangely, it had been years since I had purchased workout gear. Not since Jess and I had started running together and I went through a serious Nike phase had I acquired any new pieces. Which at the time, was probably five years earlier.  So the timing was right for her recommendation to really register with me.

me running in my favorite Nike running capris in 2013. *photo courtesy of the best running partner ever, Jess Boggs

Plus I like trying new things AND love getting mail! So honestly–it wasn’t a hard sell.

But what is Fabletics, you ask?

Basically, Fabletics is a monthly subscription service that puts together a variety of work out outfits you can choose from that include between two to three pieces. An outfit could be a sports bra and capri pants. Or a sports bra, shorts and a tank top or maybe a jacket. Prices for an outfit generally ranged between $49.95 to $89.85 depending on the pieces. Probably six months into the subscription, Fabletics started to incorporate more athleisure wear like dresses, sweaters and outerwear. So you could fulfill your monthly commitment sticking with the work out gear or selecting more of a general daytime piece.

And if you nothing looked good that month, you skip it. I don’t think there was a penalty for skipping as often as you wanted. But if you didn’t select an outfit or skip by the 5th of the month, you would be charged for an outfit. I never missed the deadline, so I never had to worry about it (years of columbia house and bmg training put to good use!) but my understanding is you would just have a credit to use for another time, if you missed it. (you can read the official explanation here.)

When I joined Fabletics, the two things I was really in need of were running pants and yoga bras. I don’t like wearing a sports bra with a shirt for yoga class–I hate when the shirt flips up. So I just like the long sports bras and yoga pants for yoga. And for running, I like capris, a sports bra and tech shirt. As I previously mentioned, all my running capris were going on five years old, so it felt like time to get new ones and I feel like I’m always in need of more yoga bras (not because i go to yoga so much–i do laundry so rarely.)

here’s an outfit i ordered that has a yoga tank as one of the pieces

At first, Fabletics worked great! I was getting geared up with some new yoga bra/capri pant combos and I felt like for $49.95, I was getting the capris for half of what I had paid for the Nike ones AND was getting a yoga bra on top of it!

But then they had less and less yoga bras. So I branched out into other things. A sports bra/tank top/ shorts here, a cozy dress there. Next thing you know, I’m two years in and have way too many work out clothes I won’t ever wear.

But do I recommend it? Perhaps.

Here’s what I see as the pros:

1. Price: I do think the price is pretty good for what you get. The clothes are good quality–I never had them fall apart or tear or anything. And seriously, a pair of Nike running capris will set you back at least as much as a Fabletics two piece outfit.

2. Reward program: Fabletics has a fantastic reward program. You get points for purchases AND for reviews. (just like birchbox USED to be.) I ended up getting lots of nice things using my points by putting quick reviews together. (and i love writing reviews, obviously!)

3. Convenient: There’s a reason it took me five years to get new workout gear. I rarely go into stores to buy workout gear–not even at Target. And I generally don’t buy workout gear online because it’s not where I tend to shop for stuff. So it was super easy to log on once a month and pick out an outfit and have it come automatically. Plus I can’t tell you the number of times I ended up wearing one of the Fabletic deliveries to yoga class the day it arrived because I had forgotten to pack an outfit to bring to work.

4. Nice selection: There are a lot of different options through Fabletics. And tons of combos. I also generally liked their featured prints.

5. Amazing sales: Not only did I buy stuff as part of the monthly subscription, but I bought a lot through their sales periods. Seriously–jackets for $15.  Sweatshirt for $10. Sports bra for $4. Nice stuff, too!

i got this cute jacket on sale for $18!

6. Skip feature: You also didn’t HAVE to buy anything. I just always did.

Which leads me to the cons:

1. Unnecessary purchases: Really–just because it’s a good price and on sale doesn’t mean you need it. I struggle with this. I also have a general “make it work” attitude, so I would select outfits as part of the monthly subscription that I wouldn’t need or wouldn’t even really like with the understand that I could figure out a way to make it happen for me. That has left we with a number of items that have gone unworn or are the ones that signify it’s time to do laundry.

seriously. when am i going to wear this bright orange pants with light orange mesh panels? so far the answer is never.

2. Website issue: For an online store, you’d really think the website would be better. I had lots of problems with the search functions as well as the sorting options. Many times I just wanted an outfit that included a yoga bra and that was hard to find. Or I’d want to sort the collection by ones with three pieces and it would time out before it would actually show me the ones that fit that request. So I found the website problematic and not fun to use. And online shopping should be fun!

3. Fabric: I know I said that the clothes were good quality–and I think they are–but I don’t love the fabric. I find it to be too thick. It’s kinda hard to explain, but the pants especially have a very heavy material with really bulky seams. The pants are not going to come apart, but you also shouldn’t notice seams when you are working out. So I don’t love the pants to run in. For yoga they are fine. But I still reach for the Nike capris first–even though they are getting pretty ratty.

Really–that’s it with the cons. Overall, I did like Fabletics. In the end, I had to quit to stop myself from buying more stuff I don’t need. And I started to feel like they were stretching with their designs. Just a little too special and not enough functional. And I don’t really wear athleisure so that segment of their line is less interesting to me.

But if you’re someone who needs workout clothes or has an affinity for athleisure at a good price, I would recommend Fabletic. I would just caution you to only get what you need and to skip months when you aren’t in the market for any of the combos they are offering.

I’m glad I did it, but I wish I would’ve either canceled sooner or had more restraint and said no more often. But thanks to Fabletics, I do have a lot of nice work out gear, especially the pieces designed for yoga. I also have a lot of stuff I haven’t worn and need to clear out of my closet!

Have you tried Fabletics? What was your experience? Have you tried other subscription clothes services like Stitch Fix or Just Fab? Thoughts?

I spent too much of my own money on Fabletics. And all photos are from fabletics.com unless taken by Jess Boggs.


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