Honest fabletics review - me posing in athletic wear
Reviews

Honest Fabletics Review – Is VIP Membership Worth the Money?

Fabletics’ ads have been peppered throughout my Facebook newsfeed for years now. 

I’ve always been curious about the brand, and from time to time I’ve clicked through to their website to look around.

But I was wary of the VIP membership, and the discounts seemed a bit too good to be true, so I resisted the temptation to buy for many moons.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

Which is when Fabletics had a massive sale on their site, offering 70% everything. I’m not sure how common these kinds of sales are, but on this occasion, the sale caught my eye.

Maybe because earlier that same day, I had just noticed after working out that my ten-year old running crops from Lululemon had a tear forming along the inseam, and I realized it had been quite some time since I last updated my athletic attire. (Not ten years, but at least two.) 

So after three years of Fabletics incessantly flirting with me through their ads on Facebook, I finally caved in and gave them a chance to woo me.  

Keep in mind I live in Canada, so you can consider this Fabletics review the “Canada edition”. 

That is to say, I can’t say for sure if the shopping experience is quite the same in the US or other parts of the world.

NOTE: This is an unsponsored post. I just really wanted to share my honest thoughts and personal experience with the brand! 

First, What is Fabletics?

Before we get to the Fabletics review, here’s a quick overview of the company.

Fabletics is a clothing company co-founded by actress Kate Hudson in 2013. They offer a VIP membership, which is essentially a monthly subscription service where you can buy outfits at a discounted price.

They sell a variety of athleticwear including leggings, tops, jackets, sweatshirts, shoes, and accessories.

How Does Fabletics Work and What’s the Deal with the VIP Membership?

You don’t have to be a member to shop on the Fabletics website. However, if you buy without subscribing, you’re paying full-sticker, which puts these items in the realm of Lululemon in terms of cost. 

If you subscribe to the VIP membership, you get considerable discounts on the merchandise along with a few other perks. 

But it’s really, really important to understand what it is you’re signing up for. 

Here’s how it works:

  • You create your account and sign up at the time you buy your first discounted outfit
  • You complete a short style quiz which gives Fabletics an idea of what kind of clothes you like in terms of fit, colour, and style
  • At the beginning of each month, you check out your curated outfits and purchase one if you want
  • If you don’t want to buy anything, you hit the skip button by the 5th of each month and you won’t get billed anything
  • If you don’t hit skip and don’t buy anything by the 5th, you will be charged $49.95 USD, which is kept as credit towards your next outfit that you can use any time
  • If you want to cancel the membership, you can do so using the website’s live chat or by calling their 24-hour toll free number. 

There’s also a Rewards Shop where you collect points on each purchase and then you can put those points towards money off certain products. Save up enough points and you can even redeem for an outfit valued at $49.95

How do I personally feel about this?

Honestly, I don’t really like it.

It feels like it’s relying on the customer’s inertia, ignorance, or forgetfulness to make money. (Although to be fair, that is pretty much every subscription service ever.)

But the thing is, you just know there must be a ton of people who fall into one of two camps:

  • They skim or don’t fully read the details on what the VIP membership entails and end up getting billed when they aren’t expecting it.
  • They read the rules but are too busy or forget to check in at the beginning of the month and end up getting billed when they really would have preferred to skip. 

Having said all that, I feel that the website is pretty upfront with how the VIP membership works.

And considering how good the discounts are, it seems like a fair enough tradeoff. 

I am a new member so I haven’t gone through this monthly process yet, but I’m committed to staying on top of it. 

Although Fabletics says they will send reminders, I have taken it upon myself to set up reminders in my phone to bug me at the start of each month!

My Fabletics Shopping Experience

The first time I clicked the ad to get to the site, I actually couldn’t get through. 

The sale was supposedly so hot that the website couldn’t handle everyone who wanted in. I was placed in a virtual queue of sorts, but there was no indication given on how long it would be so I gave up after about 10 minutes.

Later on, I tried again and got through to the website right away. 

What I wasn’t expecting was the timer that popped up in the corner of my screen, telling me to hurry because the 70% off offer would be off the table in an hour.

I do not like to be rushed when I shop. But I suppose they are trying to get you to take action and not think “I’ll just come back later”.  

Or maybe the timer genuinely had to do something with how many people could be on the site at a time. 

I really don’t know.

Regardless, I felt hurried while looking through all the styles, fabrics, and sizing guides for the first time and trying to decide what to get.

With about five minutes left to spare, I ended up checking out with one each of the following:

  • Sync Seamless tank in Lipstick Red
  • Valentia Long Cardigan in Safari (Green)
  • Mid-Rise Capri Black
  • Oasis High-Waisted Pocket Leggings in Black
  • Noelle Bra in Warm Olive (Yellow)
  • The Performance Sock in Black
  • Echo Performance Sneaker in White Multi

With the discount, all of those items together ended up costing $91.31 USD, which works out to roughly $120 Canadian. 

Not bad, considering I’ve spent more than that on a single Lululemon hoodie before.

Revisiting the website after my purchase, I wish I had had a little more time as I probably would have bought a couple more items.  But all things considered, I feel I got a pretty good sampling of what Fabletics has to offer.

Fabletics review - my first haul!
My first Fabletics Haul!

Shipping & First Impressions

My items shipped and arrived within 1 week of placing my order, which pleasantly surprised me considering most packages and mail have been taking 2 weeks or more to get to me since the pandemic started. 

I got an email once the items shipped and everything arrived bundled together in one shipment.

There’s a quality welcome pamphlet in the bag and each item is folded neatly and wrapped in its own eco-conscious, biodegradable bag. 

I definitely appreciate the green approach!

Taking each item out of their bags, I’m immediately impressed with the feel of the fabrics. Not thin and cheap like I was fearing. 

The only exception to this is the shoes, which are sadly made of flimsy material but are none-the-less cute to look at. (More on this below!)

Quality & Fit

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty part of my Fabletics review; what is the quality and sizing of the gear like? 

Despite racing the clock to make my purchases, I did take the time to read a few reviews below each of the items I was considering. 

I was a little unsure on sizing as some reviews reported that certain items run big and others run small. The sizing seems to be a bit inconsistent from item to item. 

I ended up ordering a size small in everything except for the Oasis legging, which I sized down to an XS. 

The shoes I ordered in size 6. 

In case you find it helpful, here are my measurements:

Height – 5’4”

Bust – 32”

Waist – 25.5”

Hips – 32”

Here’s how I made out with my items:

Leggings

I was a little nervous about the decision to size down on the Oasis leggings, and when I took them out of the bag my first thought was, “Oh God, these are too tiny.”

However, they are nice and stretchy and ended up fitting like a glove.

The material is a little bit thinner than what I’m used to but passes the squat opacity test. That said, I did get them in black so I can’t say for sure if the thinner fabric might be more of an issue in the lighter colours.

The material is very soft and the fit is comfortable.

The waist is a lot higher than what I’m used to but I am liking it. I am also pleasantly surprised to find the legs are long enough. (Despite being on the short side I often have a problem with leggings ending ½ – 1 inch above my ankle.)

I don’t plan on working out in these, they are more for day-to-day wear. But I can see myself doing yoga in them. 

The mid-rise capris are made with Fabletics firmest fabric that they offer. 

However, I find the small does not fit too snuggly. In fact, it is very slightly loose around my waist, at the back. 

The crop is closer to my ankle than my knee, and I would have preferred a slightly shorter crop. 

Other than that, the fabric is nice and thick and they are comfy to wear. 

Tank

The Sync tank fits true to size and is comfortably form-fitting. I absolutely love this beautiful red colour! I usually prefer tanks that are a little longer but the length is still adequate. 

I’m also pleased that the scoop neck is high as I prefer full coverage, especially when I’m working out. 

I wish I had bought two or three of these!

posing in athleticwear
Selfie, Shoes, Stretch!

Cardigan

I have to admit, this cardigan is my favorite item from the Fabletics haul. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I am very impressed with how thick and soft the fabric is.

I’m fairly certain I will be pretty much living in this thing throughout the fall and winter. (It’s nice that I will have something to occasionally switch out my purple Scuba Hoodie with!)

The lining material is very plush but I am worried that it will be susceptible to pilling. (If I find that it does pill after a few washes I will update my review accordingly.)

My only other complaint is that the sleeves are a tiny bit on the short side which is only noticeable when I hold my arms straight out in front of me. I wish they were half an inch longer but it’s not a deal breaker. 

Posing in the cardigan
I looove this open cardigan!

Bra & Socks

For the undergarments, I bought them more as an afterthought but am pretty happy with them. 

The Noelle bra is low-support and not really designed for high-impact exercise, but I have been wearing it as a regular bra as it’s really comfortable to wear. I also love the low cut of it because it hides perfectly under my scoop neck tops. (I mostly wear Knix bras which are amazing except for the fact that they are very high cut!)

Shoes

I was happy with everything until I got to the shoes. 

There is pretty much no support in them, and the shoe materials seem really cheap and flimsy. 

I can’t really complain given how little I paid for them, but I would have been upset if I’d paid full pop for these. 

I will also say they are a little big on me, which I somewhat expected. Size 6 was the smallest they have but I have leprechaun feet and sometimes need a 5 ½. 

Functionality

The Sync tank and Mid-rise Capri are really the only two items I bought specifically to work out in, so I took them for a test drive this weekend. 

After a sweaty 30 minutes of HIIT, the outfit has performed well! The material on both the capris and tank felt sweat-wicking and breathable, making it a comfortable workout. (Well, as “comfortable” as a Jillian Michaels workout can be, I suppose!)

The Oasis leggings and cardigan I have been wearing out and about during my weekend errands. Aside from the leggings being a total cat-hair magnet, it’s been bliss. 

The leg pockets for my phone are brilliant!

Even the shoes, which were my only initial disappointment from my order, turned out to be surprisingly comfortable to wear for walking around and running errands.

However, given that they have next to no arch support, I did not (and will not) attempt to work out in them. And I suspect that they will not hold up to continuous use for long.

Fabletics vs. Lululemon: What’s Better?

Like a true Canadian, Lululemon was my first love when it comes to athletic wear, and it’s the standard to which I hold all other brands.

Even though in recent years, I find Lululemon has become a bit “hit or miss”. I will always be a sucker for their Wunder Unders and Scuba Hoodies, but over the years it seems more of their items are falling short of the mark in terms of fit and quality, especially for the premium price tag.

As far as Fabletics vs Lululemon, I would say that Fabletics definitely rivals the quality of Lululemon overall. If pressed to pick, I probably prefer Lulu’s Wunder Unders just a tad more than the Fabletics leggings I bought in terms of fit and feel. 

But these Oasis leggings come pretty darn close.

I suspect that at least some of the Fabletics items I bought might wear or pill after a while, but then again so did my Lulus. 

Therefore, if you can stay on top of your “duties” as a VIP subscriber, I would go as far to say that Fabletics offers more value for your money. 

Fabletics Review Summary

For me, athletic wear isn’t just what I wear for exercise. As someone who works from home, it’s pretty much what I wear 90% of the time I’m not in my pajamas. 

So cute is important, but comfort is non-negotiable.

Fabletics appears to deliver on both fronts.

Overall, I am quite impressed by the quality of the brand compared to its more pricey competitors. 

My biggest worry is that I will now have to fight the temptation to buy cute outfits every month – but I’m just not ready to end my membership yet.

I admit that as a brand new VIP member, it’s entirely possible that I am in the “honeymoon phase” with Fabletics. If my opinion changes after a few months of being a member, I will update this post! 

What did you think of this Fabletics review? What are your favorite brands for athletic wear? 

Pros

  • Super cute activewear in a variety of colors, styles, and fabrics
  • LEG POCKETS!
  • VIP membership makes items very affordable compared to competing brands
  • Most clothing items are decent-to-high quality for the price
  • Green initiatives – Clothing ships in biodegradable bags

Cons

  • Shoes seem flimsy and made of lower quality materials
  • Some may find the VIP membership rules are a bit tricky – make sure you read the rules on the website thoroughly before signing up!
  • The temptation to buy new workout gear every month might be great for Fabletics, but a strain on your bank account.

This is an unsponsored post. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own.

Corrie Alexander is an ISSA certified personal trainer, home fitness advocate, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie shares tips and product reviews with the goal of helping others on their own fitness journey.

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