Friday, August 22, 2014

REVIEWS: Athleta Interlude pants and Aspire pants

I'm so excited about this sporty pant trend, especially now that I found my Interlude pants!  I have always loved Athleta products, and when I decided I wanted to try the this trend in a higher quality option than my initial Marshall's cheapie pair (which already had to be repaired once), I knew Athleta was the place to go.  I had planned to get the Aspire ankle pant, then later the City Jogger pant, but these Interlude ankle pants were half-price in the store (and online, I see!), and looked great.  I got them in black and dark gray, but they also come in a very light gray.  I also tried on the Aspire ankle pant while I was at the store, so I am reviewing that as well, even though I didn't purchase it this time.

So here's my review of each of these pants, in case you've been considering either of them.  They look relatively different from one another in person, but online and in the catalog, it's difficult to tell the difference between any of them, so perhaps this will help you decide what you're looking for.

PS Not a sponsored post.  I'm just really a fan of Athleta's products, especially when a sale brings them into my price range!

Size: True to size - I wore my regular size.  
Fit:  The pleats on top make it feel a bit more relaxed and comfortable (but not super loose), then it tapers down to a slim calf area (those with heavier calves may have issues). 
Fabric:  Light, drapey, great-feeling, quick-dry "featherweight stretch" fabric.  I think it will perform like a sport pant, but look presentable for regular life.
Length: This basically fits me like a full-length pant, but I'm 5'2" with a 29" inseam.
Quality:  Feels very nice, as expected from Athleta
Overall:  This is the perfect mix of performance fabric and real-life style.  I shied away from even considering these pants online because I was afraid of the pleats, but because the fabric is so drapey, the pleats don't stick out or add any bulk.  These will be great for biking in the city!!  SO glad I bought them.

November 2014: Additional note after owning these for 2 months.  I love these pants!  They are great for running and especially biking, since they are so narrow at the bottom.  And, because of the extra fabric at the top, it wasn't really obvious I was wearing bike shorts underneath.  I'm really glad I bought 2 pairs!  

Additional note added late November 2014: I just wore these to play tennis - they are PERFECT for a cooler day low-intensity game.  I wore them to the store to pick up some tennis balls and didn't feel like a total frump, then found that the pockets are great for holding balls.  (Why doesn't everyone put pockets in everything?).  Plus, the fabric was light enough to stretch, move, wick sweat and all around work perfectly!!  So happy I got these, once again!

Note added April 2018 (seeing as how this is my most popular blog post to date): I still own these pants, both in gray and black.  I still wear them semi-regularly (I forget them because I don't store them in either my "regular" pant area, nor in my "workout" pant area), they still look great, and are still my go-to pants for light family biking or tennis in cooler weather.  I've drooled over other cute pants of this type, usually also by Athleta, but since these are both in such great shape, I can't justify buying another pair!

Size: Runs a tad on the bigger/more relaxed side, as the reviews online stated.  Not huge, though.  I tried on one size down, and it felt a bit more fitted than I wanted at the hip (probably because this style isn't pleated), but the legs fit right.  The rise was still a bit long for me (I am short-waisted).  When I tried my regular size, the rise was droopy and the legs felt overly baggy at the calf.  So, I think I will order the petite option in my regular size, which may solve the rise issue.
Fit: These are less roomy in the hip area, since it is a flat front, but more roomy in the calf area - more of an old school sweat pant vibe.  That's just how they are supposed to fit in this style, so keep that in mind depending on what you're looking for - fitted vs. relaxed.
Fabric:  Same great recycled "featherweight stretch" fabric as the Interlude pants.  Drapey, light, wicking, opaque and flattering!
Length:  These ran longer than the Interlude pants, I thought.  They are adjustable in length, however (mine were extended to the longest length).  I will probably order them online, in petite, since the regular length felt a bit longer than I wanted (even though I could probably adjust it up).
Quality:  Very good, as expected.
Overall:  I liked the feel and look of these pants, also.  To me they are a bit more "edgy" than the Interlude pants, because of the zipper pockets and the fit.  They remind me a little of these J. Crew pants (pictured bottom right in the layout above), for less, of course!  I may go back and get these pants raisin or navy color later if I end up wearing the Interlude pants a lot. 

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