Athleta debuted their powervita fabric last year, as an answer to lululemon’s nulu fabric. It’s designed primarily with yoga in mind, and aims for an ultra-soft, ultra-flexible feel while still being technical.
I first tried Athleta’s powervita fabric on their mesh salutation tight. I didn’t write about it on the blog when I tried them, but they were a bust for me. The fit through the lower legs was all wrong on me. Besides that, the navy fabric was see-through on me in a bend. As the months rolled on, powervita continued to receive good reviews, so I decided to give it another try. I really liked the look of these marble salutation tights, so in my cart they went!
The black rear fabric is very nice and quite flattering. Unlike the other tights I tried, these passed the bend test with no show-through at all. The fabric is similar to nulu, but a bit more substantial. I still wouldn’t describe it as compressive, but sticks to you just a little bit more than the barely-there feel of nulu. If nulu feels too revealing for you but you like the feel of the fabric, you might prefer powervita. It’s not exactly cottony, but not completely slick either. It has a spongy, super-smooth feel.
I purchased my usual Athleta size, XXS regular. Unlike the mesh salutation tights, these fit my very well. The fit is similar to align pants/crops in a size 2. The rise is high, but just a tiny bit lower than lulu’s aligns. They’re a full length tight, not 7/8, so there’s a bit of ankle bunching on me (again, note these are regular length, not petite). I love the pink block on the rear leg. It complements the white and black perfectly without making the design too busy.
There’s a huge side pocket on each thigh. The pocket goes all the way down to the seam where the colorblock starts. It’s very roomy and plenty large enough for a phone. If you’re using these tights for strength/resistance training, you might like the pocket for wandering around the gym with your phone. I wouldn’t recommend them for running since they’re not compressive and the fabric is not made for high-intensity, repetitive movements so it may not hold up well to the task.
Unfortunately, there was one major flaw with these tights. The front white panel, while beautiful, was see-through on me. You could see the distinct line of my underwear while I was standing normally. Since I would mostly use these for things like yoga or aerial class, I’d be doing a lot of stretchy moves that would make the front sheerness even more obvious. Even with skin-colored underwear, I didn’t like how it looked. For me, that was a dealbreaker, so these went back to the warehouse (and I cried a little on the inside).
Overall, the look and feel of these tights was great and I wanted to love them. It’s really such a shame about the white material, because otherwise I would have absolutely kept these. I’ll keep my eye out for more powervita styles, but I’ll have to avoid lighter colors.