Well, Athleta’s gone and done it: they’ve created my perfect high-rise flare pants. The elation flares ended up being the perfect petite flare option for me that both look and feel great. A couple weeks ago, I reviewed lululemon’s super-high rise groove pants, but Athleta’s take ended up being the clear winner. Here’s my overall review of the elation flares as well as some petite-specific notes.
Elation Flare Sizing and Features
I’m wearing these pants in XS petite, which is currently my true size in Athleta. The XXS also fit, but the XS was much more comfortable. I recommend your true size, but a size down will work if you are between sizes. These pants are a true flare with a generous leg opening. On my pair, the hem sweep measures 10.5″ lying flat.
One of my favorite features is the waistband. The extra-wide width combined with the angled seaming at the back creates a very flattering effect. The first time I tried these on, my immediate reaction was that I loved how I looked in them. Anything that instantly makes you feel great is a keeper in my book!
The high rise comes up high enough that it just covers my belly button, which is a comfortable and flattering height for me. The rise height looks about the same on me as it does on the models on Athleta’s site. I believe that Athleta’s petite-specific sizes have a slightly shorter rise than the regular version, so bear that mind as you’re choosing your size.
The extra-wide waistband has another bonus: a large slit pocket! I could fit my iPhone 11 Pro (as shown in this photo) fully inside the pocket with room to spare. The opening of the pocket is a bit narrow, but once you get your device or other goods past that point, there’s plenty of space. There are no other pockets.
Petite-Specific Fit Notes
I am 5’3″, so the petite sizing option was my best bet. The petite-length inseam wound up being perfect, just grazing the floor when I stand barefoot. Since I don’t live near an Athleta store, I’m relieved to skip the hemming process. The other advantage of the petite inseam is it means I get a true flare! Usually, I have to settle for more of a bootcut look and a lower knee break since my pants generally have to be hemmed. With these, I’m happy the knee break hits at my actual knee, giving me the full flare experience.
The Athleta website lists the petite inseam as 29.5″, but the actual measurement of my XS P are slightly shorter at 28″. Keep in mind that active pants like these actually stretch vertically when worn. For me, that means the inseam of these pants fits about the same as my 29″ jeans.
Are the Elation Flares See-Through?
The elation fabric (Athleta’s Powervita) rides the line between a light and medium weight fabric. It’s very breathable and feels soft to the touch, not slick. It’s perfectly suited for lower impact exercise like yoga or strength training. The comfort and style also make it a great fit for around town or at home. Note that pet hair does tend to stick to it more than slicker fabrics.
Personally, I found the elation flares to be quite opaque in both the spiced cabernet and tawny rose colors. Even in a deep squat/bend, I did not have see-through issues.
Overall, I (obviously) love these pants and would recommend them. As of this writing, the color selection on Athleta’s site includes some great shades. Besides the spiced cabernet I’m wearing in these photos, I also bought a second pair in tawny rose, which is equally gorgeous.
These pants will run you $99 at full price, but if you’re patient, you may be able to land 20% off during sale weekends or other promos. Even if you pay full price, in my opinion they are well worth it.