Hardworking leggings that perform just as well for running and HIIT classes as they do day-to-day wear.
Broad choice of colours
Membership scheme can be confusing
Lighter colours are on the sheer side
By Jess Beech
VIEW NOW: Fabletics High-Waisted PowerHold Leggings
Fabletics have been making waves in the activewear market since 2013, so we thought we’d put their PowerHold leggings through their paces. Our Fabletics leggings review has all the essential information you need to decide if they’re the best leggings for you.
You’re likely to have heard of Fabletics for one of two reasons. The first, is their celebrity co-founder and face of the brand, actress Kate Hudson. The second, their unusual business model.
Instead of customers browsing and buying as you would from your average online retailer, Fabletics operates via a membership system. The finer details of this vary from region to region, but roughly speaking customers pay around $49.95/£49 per month, which then entitles them to on-site discounts of 20-50%. There are other benefits too, such as early access to new in, exclusive member-only styles and online workouts.
There is the option to buy Fabletics pieces at ‘full’, non-member prices, but bear in mind that these are inflated. As a member, you can pick up a two-piece outfit (top and bottoms) for around $49/$40. Which is, in our opinion, very reasonable—and certainly on the affordable side of activewear. Without membership, the same set would set you back around $80/£100. In addition to the standard members discounts, Fabletics often run extra, side-wide promotions.
Fabletics leggings review: First impressions
Fabletics Powerhold Leggings specifications
Fabric: 88% Polyester, 12%Elastane
Machine washable? Yes
Fabletics speciality is activewear that looks good. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill workout leggings, so expect bold colours, vibrant prints and unexpected details. For the purpose of this Fabletics leggings review, we tried six different pairs, and were impressed to find that all of them boasted a completely different design. Ultimately, Fabletics leggings are not for wallflowers, but if you do want to be stopped on the treadmill by someone asking where you got your kit from, then read on.
We’d heard good things about Fabletics PowerHold leggings, especially the brand’s signature PowerHold fabric. With maximum compression, they offer the firmest fit of all the Fabletics leggings. This not only ensures you feel streamlined and secure during your workout, but helps lessen those post-gym muscle aches too. In addition, the fabric is sweat-wicking, which means it draws moisture away from the body so you stay cool and comfortable. Both of these features make the PowerHold leggings really versatile, and they can be worn for running, HIIT or any other high-impact exercise.
For a first impression of the brand and the leggings, it’s fair to say we were impressed.
How do the Fabletics PowerHold Leggings feel?
The texture of the Fabletics PowerHold leggings is not what you would expect from a pair of activewear leggings. Instead of feeling typically slinky and a touch silky, they have a soft, almost cotton-like feel. We were worried that this would make them too warm to wear during summer or cause them to bag at the knees, but are pleased to report that wasn’t the case.
As for the nitty-gritty, the fabric is 88% polyester and 12% elastane. This gives the PowerHold Leggings a generous amount of stretch for such a form-fitting design and makes them easy to take on and off. We felt comfortable wearing our Fabletics leggings when at the gym, jogging, and running errands, and were by no means in a hurry to take them off at the end of the day.
What do the Fabletics PowerHold Leggings look like?
As we’ve already mentioned, Fabletics more than deliver on style. At time of writing, the High-Waisted PowerHold 7/8 Leggings are available in 11 different colourways. There are variations on shape too, with a choice between high or ultra-high waist and full length or the slightly cropped 7/8 depending on your body type.
When on, the Fabletics PowerHold leggings are seriously flattering, holding and hugging your shape in a way that makes you think you might not even need to go to the gym after all. Especially around the stomach, where the double-lined panel works serious magic.
The lighter colors aren’t entirely forgiving on wobbly bits, and are slightly sheer around the bottom and thighs —especially when squatting. If you’re worried about the opaqueness of the fabric, we’d recommend opting for a darker shade or pattern instead.
Are Fabletics PowerHold Leggings true to size?
Fabletics leggings sizing ranges from XXS-4X, which is equivalent to a US 0-24 and a UK 4-32. Few retailers offer such an impressive spectrum, which really impressed us.
Unfortunately, we found the leggings came up on the small side, so would recommend sizing up if you’re in between. Don’t go too big though, or you’ll lessen the benefits of the clever compression fabric.
Is it easy to care for Fabletics PowerHold Leggings?
The care instructions for Fabletics’ PowerHold Leggings are pretty standard for activewear. Pop your leggings inside out and machine wash cold with similar colors. Once clean, don’t tumble dry and instead lay flat to dry.
If possible, avoid using fabric softener when washing leggings, as this can reduce the fabric’s sweat-wicking properties over time.
What’s not good about the Fabletics PowerHold Leggings?
Overall, the Fabletics PowerHold Leggings get a thumbs up from us. Our main gripe would be the fact you need to be a Fabletics member to get them at the best price.
Although there is the option to skip a month and the brand gives plenty of time to use up your shopping credits (12 months in the US, unlimited time in the UK), not all consumers will like the idea of entering into a membership. Especially if they’re new to the brand. It also means the shopping experience isn’t a seamless one, with pressure to remember to ‘skip’ the next month if you don’t have the budget, or need, for new workout gear.
w&h verdict on the Fabletics PowerHold Leggings
If you’re looking for a pair of supportive workout leggings that can be worn for a myriad of different exercises, as well as for every day, we’d recommend the Fabletics PowerHold.
VIEW NOW: Fabletics High-Waisted PowerHold Leggings
Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC.
She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!
Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress.
The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.
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