Kit that Fits is Soooo Important

A few weeks ago I put up a post begging asking for some new kit as basically my post pregnancy body means that none of my old running/exercise clothes fit, and basically I can’t justify buying any new stuff.

And low and behold the offers started flowing in with the first package arrived on my birthday.

20130607-100708.jpgThe nice people at EveActiveWear had sent me 3 items to review, from an American brand called ABA which stands for: A Big Attitude. I was sent a workout top and two pairs of pants!! I loved the little labels they had on them – “real women doing big things” that’s me!20130607-101141.jpg

I was real excited to review them but what with my birthday celebrations which lasted for 4 days I’ve just not had the chance to try them until today. However I have somewhat of a hangover so am surprised that I can actually spring a sentence together.

Upon opening the packaging I could tell the items were not exactly high performance, but rather soft cotton with a fair bit of Lycra…and in all honesty I was a little underwhelmed with the way they looked. No bright colours, no reflective stripes, funky graphics, neat pockets etc…these were black and navy/white and a little functional looking but hey beggars can’t be choosers right?

20130607-101130.jpgI put on the cropped leggings or stipe capri pants in a size XL, they fit perfectly and looked fine. The length was good and the waist band was snug without cutting. The purple stripe was supposed to give a slimming effect, the jury is still out on that. Priced at £26.99 I wondered how long these would last in terms of keeping their shape and their depth of colour. These go up to a 4XL to fit – Waist 42-44, Hips 53-55

20130607-101119.jpgNext was the top in a size 2X which looked like a basic T Shirt, but had some give in it and good length which made it extra comfy. It didn’t ride up or pull around the bust which quite often happens. The arms hide my bingo wings too. Going up to a 4XL to fit – Bust 49-51, Waist 42-44, Hips 53-55 this feels like a credible workout top for the larger lady, but would I pay £22.99?? Probably not!!

The clothes didn’t exactly make me feel sexy or particularly young and fit, but perhaps that’s the point…the clothes fitted my body well and were functional for the kind of exercise that overweight women do on a regular basis but I want more from the way my workout clothes look I suppose. (Call me vain if you must)

I figured I had to test them properly though with some low impact exercise in the form of Pilates (my hangover meant anything more energetic was out of the question) and do you know what – after all the stretching, holding in of abs etc I realised the outfit was great and I tell you why, because at no point during the 20minute DVD did I even think about what I was wearing. And that is what good fitness clothes should do. They kept me cool, didn’t ride up and didn’t restrict my movement.

I wouldn’t wear them for running, as I don’t think they have enough support, or give me that “kick ass” feeling needed to get me out in public, but for Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba in the front room even PERFECT

I have learned a valuable lesson this afternoon about the difference between wearing cool looking technical kit that just about fits, and regular kit which fits perfectly and if you think about it I’m a UK size 18/20, there are ladies out there who are a lot larger probably being told by their doctors and friends to lose weight and exercise, and buying fitness gear of the rails in standard sports shops is near on impossible.

So I commend what online retailers like EveActiveWear are trying to do. Their website says

Our range of active wear, sportswear and fitness clothing is made up of some of the best performance brands designed specifically for women who are size 14 and over including US brands which are not currently available anywhere else in the UK.

And also to the brands like ABA, why are there not more brands like this in the UK?

So what’s the final verdict? Would I order from EveActiveWear – yes!!! Will i continue to wear my ABA kit…yes (but probably just indoors for workout DVDs and my WiiFit) Would I prefer to buy from a mainstream retailer that stocks my size – yes!! Why? Well why not, the big fitness brands make billions of pounds a year yet they are excluding the women that need their products the most – it’s not fair!!

I feel a bit deflated writing this review and feel a little ungrateful…but I did promise I would give honest feedback on anything I was sent. So sorry EveActiveWear and ABA if this wasn’t the review you wanted, but please to all my readers don’t be put off take a look at their website and also send in your feedback regarding what you need from fitness clothes in larger sizes to info@eveactivewear.co.uk…they actively encourage it which is more than can be said for some companies!!

Finally – I wanted to end on a more positive note and the Yoga Pant, the 3rd item sent to me… in one word PERFECT!!! Priced at £29.99 and I would say worth every penny. Great length, great fabric, great waist band…they may even encourage me to do more Yoga during Juneathon

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