For the next installment of Black Friday purchase reviews: Alala!
Captain crop tights in pewter
Ok technically, these weren’t a Black Friday purchase, I’m just a bit late in getting this review up. I paid full price for these bad boys before the sales (scroll to the bottom, though, and you lucky ducks can get these for WAY less than full price!). They’re part of Alala’s special edition holiday theme featuring metallic shine. They also come in full length, but I opted for crops since I can wear them year round.
These crops are comment (compliment?) magnets. You can’t not make a statement in these. I wore these to the gym one day and even though only about 15 or 20 people were there, at least 5 of them said something about my pants. Granted, I’ve become kinda notorious at my gym for wearing the craziest, most unusual activewear, but even so, this was way more comments than usual. I love the costume-y aspect of these crops, since they’re nothing like anything else in my workout wardrobe.
The pewter fabric is black on the inside, but coated with silver on the outside. The metallic finish makes these crops thicker than Alala’s usual fabric. That means they are absolutely opaque, which of course is a big plus. That said, I’m not sure if this will affect how the fabric breathes. I did work out in these and was totally comfortable, but it’s winter (temps overnight have been in the single digits this week, guys) which means it’s brutally cold in my gym. I don’t really work up a sweat even during high-intensity workouts. So, I can’t really speak to the fabric’s performance in really intense conditions at this point.
The finish does have quite a different feel to the touch, though. It’s rubbery and almost “sticky”, as opposed to silky like their usual captain crop fabric. If you’ve encountered metallic lamé fabric in other contexts, it’s basically like that. The mesh at the back of the knees also has some metallic (really fine glitter?) in it, though it does transfer a bit and may eventually wear off.
The fit on these is basically like other captain crops, maybe *slightly* slimmer through the legs (and I mean slightly). I would call them true to size. Like other captains, the rise is medium and stays in place very well, even though they don’t have a drawstring. There is a zip pocket in the back as well as some subtle reflective detail at the waist.
In these closeups, you can see that if you stretch the fabric quite a lot, you’ll start to see breaks in the silver. Also, the silver isn’t perfectly uniform. There are areas with “veins” or spots that look slightly irregular. Some readers who also bought these crops expressed concern over these potential issues, which I definitely understand. In my experience, though, I thought those quirks weren’t all that noticeable and I didn’t mind them too much. Note also that these will wrinkle if you leave them unfolded in a heap for a few days like I did, BUT those wrinkles disappear when you put them on.
Do keep in mind that these pants are labeled as hand wash only. I’m guessing rough machine washing would eventually wear off the lamé and thus shorten their life. You can either literally hand wash them in the sink, but I realize that’s kind of a crazy suggestion for many people. If you have a washing machine you trust and you like to live life on the edge, you could try putting these in a mesh laundry bag or tied-off pillowcase and putting them on the most delicate of delicate cycles. (And of course, use cold water, and I would never suggest you put these in the dryer.)
Overall, there is some uncertainty about how this unique fabric finish will hold up over time. I know I’m taking a little bit of a risk with the longevity here. But, I really love the unique look. That ultimately wins out, so I’m keeping these!
Btw, I also got the blocked crop tights in pewter! These arrived later, so a review of those will be coming later on. I’m keeping both though, because I’m hopeless. The blocked crops a good alternative for those who like the metallic look, but want something more subtle.
The pewter captain crops are available via Revolve, Bloomingdale’s (on sale!), Bandier, and Alala’s site (15% off: AA15). The full length version of these is also available via Carbon38, Neiman Marcus, and Alala’s site.
In a snap bra
The in a snap bra is normally priced at $80, but I got it for about $45 via Revolve (it is no longer in stock there) over Black Friday. Score!!
The #1 thing I love about this bra: it is SO comfortable. No pinching anywhere!
Here’s the rundown with sizing: I have a very small band (measures 27″) and this exposed elastic band fits comfortably, though not as firm as the zip it up bra or another covered elastic option (like lululemon’s bras). In my opinion, the XS I got should accommodate someone with a band measurement several inches larger than mine, it will just be tighter, of course. I am a small D and it covers enough for me. I think this bra is ideally made for a B-C cup, or perhaps some Ds if you are small like me, or if you size up.
Overall, this runs a little bit bigger than the zip it up bra (review here), but not by a full size, so I’d rate it as overall pretty true to size. This means it’s slightly less supportive for me, but still good enough that I can comfortably crossfit in it.
The nice thing is that this bra is higher coverage without looking dumpy. My go-to sports bra is lululemon’s energy bra, but I do get a tad bit of “muffin” from it. Sometimes I feel self-conscious about this, but I’ve yet to find something that works as well for me so I wear them anyway. This bra covers about as much as the energy bra does in terms of the solid part of the fabric, maybe slightly less, but the additional mesh helps to add a little bit of coverage without it being stifling and/or ugly. This bra is somehow both really spicy and also pretty modest.
I noticed the armholes are cut slightly larger on this bra. It may be hard for you to tell, but it definitely has a bit more room, I would say about 1/4″, in the cut from armpit to collar bone. If you find sports bras creep up into your armpit, this will be a good thing. On the other hand, if you struggle with side spillage, this might not be cut wide enough for you.
I found it easiest to pull it on with the snap still fastened, but then unsnap it before taking it off. By having the snap already done when I put it on, I don’t have to fumble with trying to reach the two sides behind my back. Unsnapping it really does make it easier to get it off, though. It’s a very firm snap, too, so I really doubt it would ever come undone while you’re working out.
One of my concerns with this bra is that I would only be able to wear it with high-neck tops. I tried it on under a lulu cool racerback, and I was surprised that I actually didn’t mind the look at all. The cool racerback comes up just a hair higher than the solid portion of the snap bra, so you’re left with a clean line of mesh. This is mostly how I’ve been wearing it, though I will note that the black mesh looks best paired with darker colors rather than the lighter one I’m wearing here.
My one grievance with this bra is that there aren’t any slots for cups. This hasn’t really been an issue yet, especially since my tops are thicker in the winter, and of course I can always just slip cups in without slots. Still, I always like to at least have the option to use them, especially when I’m buying at a higher price point. Hopefully Alala will add these if they bring this bra back in future seasons.
Overall, I love this bra, especially at the killer price I paid. I would buy another one if there was a color that struck my fancy, though I think the clean look of all black is the best so far.
Alala sale at Bloomingdale’s
Bonus!!! Bloomingdale’s entire stock of Alala, including the pewter/metallic collection, is 30% off right now! These prices are good through Jan 1. Then, on top of those already great prices, you can get an additional 15% off marked prices through the 24th. The cherry on top is you’ll get free shipping and free returns, too, so it’s a pretty low-risk shopping situation. Too bad I already bought my pewter goodies, because these are seriously some of the best prices I’ve seen! They don’t have Alala’s full collection, but if there’s anything here that you want to try, I definitely recommend taking advantage of these deals! A few pieces are below, or you can shop all Alala at Bloomingdale’s here.