As a size-24 woman, there’s little more frustrating than the gap in the market of great plus-size workout gear, and the cacophony of very concerned people who think that I should work out to lose weight so I can cease being fat in their eyes.
Listen. The average American woman is a size 16, but a lot of workout brands stop at an XL (usually a 12–14).
That means that if you’re an average American gal, and you need workout gear that’s well-fitting and — dare I dream? — actually cute, you’ve got a tough task ahead of you. Many of the most popular and well-known purveyors of stretchy pants for athletic adventures, like Lululemon (famously), GapBody, J.Crew, and other straight-size athleisure lines don’t deign to dress bigger butts — or, if they do, only go up to an XXL (roughly a size 18–20). Even plus-size brands often stop at a 3X/24, leaving anyone larger potentially pantless and definitely frustrated. I've been wearing my faithful black Old Navy compression leggings for years, but variety is the spice of life — and my thin friends always have so many more options. Still, now more than ever, there’s a growing selection of plus-size workout gear. But I was skeptical — would they be as cool as the pants my smaller friends can rock?
I tried out six pairs of leggings at a variety of price points to come up with an answer to the eternal question: What’s a fat girl who wants to get her barre on to do?
Danskin (1X–4X) — $13.96
Fabletics (1X–3X) — Two for $24
Torrid (00x–6x) — $54.90
Yogaletics Wear (XL–6X) — $68
I LOVED the lined crotch (which means you can skip the undies for hot yoga with no worries about flashing anyone), and though these were very patterned, the pattern didn’t stretch weirdly or become sheer when I pulled them on. These are expensive, but very pretty, and felt high quality.