Despite my substantial activewear collection, somehow I’ve ended up lacking good options for hoodies and casual jackets. With the weather cooling off, I decided to spring for Athleta’s stronger hoodie to see if it fit the bill.
I took the tags off this jacket right before 4-day trip to southern Utah a couple weekends back and I ended up wearing it literally every day. Since then, I’ve worn this jacket on repeat for errands, work, and pretty much everything else. It looks perfectly casual with jeans or leggings alike.
I bought this jacket in XXS. I purchased the regular fit, not the petite, due to XXS not being available in petite sizing. The fit is relaxed, but tailored. In this size, I definitely have room for layers underneath. If you are between sizes and/or you want a closer fit, I recommend sizing down.
For color, I settled on cassis heather, which is an absolutely gorgeous shade of wine red. Take note that the photos on Athleta’s website make it look washed out a bit. In real life, it’s a rich shade that’s more of a purple-red than a brown-red. I love shades of burgundy, not to mention it’s got that fall vibe going.
In terms of warmth, it’s on the medium-to-heavy side. Obviously, it’s not as warm as a peacoat or a puffer, but it’s definitely a substantial hoodie, not a lightweight one. The inside is fleecy and extremely soft, including fleece in the pockets. The cotton fabric has stretch, making it extremely comfortable to move around in, not constricting at all.
The back of the hoodie has a subtle high-low, scooped hem for more bum coverage. The jacket is a mid-low hip length, which makes it an ideal warmth level for this time of year. The length isn’t too overwhelming on a more petite person like me, even though this is not the petite length. The petite length is 2″ shorter, so if you’re short but don’t want to sacrifice warmth, consider going for the regular length instead. The sleeves are pretty average length for non-petite clothing, which means they’re a bit long on me, but not excessively so.
The sleeves have horizontal thumbholes (i.e., parallel with your wrist crease) that are comfortable when worn but not noticeable when you’re not using them. The two pockets zip closed and the zippers tuck into a little flap of fabric to keep them streamlined. The hood is fully lined and has a collar sewn in in addition to the hood, both of which give the jacket a bit more structure than your typical hoodie. Note that the collar is sewn down to the lapel; you cannot pop the whole thing up without zipping the jacket up. When zipped up, the front comes up just over my chin.
The hoodie also has a few stylistic elements to spruce it up. There’s subtle shoulder patches with quilting details, ribbon details down the sides in inner sleeves, and subtle reflective details arced across the front and rear shoulders.
I’m sure some of you must be wondering how this hoodie compared to lululemon’s scuba hoodie. I admit I haven’t tried a scuba hoodie in a long time, so unfortunately I can’t compare them in much detail. I gave up on scubas because of two main issues. First, due to the tighter material of the ribbed cuffs, I can’t pull the sleeves back past the crease of my wrist. That means when I’m doing experiments in my lab at work or even just washing my hands, I’m constantly frustrated by the cuffs being in the way. That impracticality made my scubas not so fun to wear. Besides that, the recent iterations of the scuba hoodie have looked a bit oversized and sloppy on me. The stronger hoodie has no such cuff or fit woes. Overall, I think it’s a slightly sleeker-looking hoodie, at least on me. One other difference that isn’t obvious from photos is that lululemon’s hood is a bit deeper and larger than Athleta’s.
Overall, I absolutely love this hoodie and would definitely recommend it. It was well worth the cost for me, and I will be on the lookout for other colors that catch my eye.