Outdoor Voices is quickly gaining a foothold in the activewear market with their minimalist, hipster-chic designs. Unlike most fitness fashion brands, Outdoor Voices takes an openly laid back approach. They align themselves with those who casually enjoys “doing things”, rather than those with a more relentless athletic mindset. I think this is a really clever approach, since it makes their brand seem more approachable. Plenty of people just work out for fun, after all, and don’t necessarily need or want the intensity you find in brands like Nike.
I tried a pair of Outdoor Voices’ leggings last year, but they didn’t work for me. I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on OV yet, though. Plus, their shipping and return process is so painless that I figured it couldn’t hurt to give them a second chance. I really like their tri-tone warm-up legging design, and decided to try this pair in graphite/ash/dove. This time, I went for the 3/4 length instead of their full length. Here’s what I thought of my OV do-over.
My memory of last year’s pair is fuzzy, but this pair seems a bit softer to the touch. The fabric on the warmup leggings is their signature heathered jersey fabric, a polyester/spandex blend. It’s smoother than cottony fabrics like lululemon’s luon, but not quite as silky as slick-faced performance fabrics like lululemon’s luxtreme. It’s somewhere in the middle. I would classify it as a medium weight, or slightly to the lighter side of medium if anything. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on performance since I only tried these on.
OV says this fabric is a “compression” blend, but I thought it had only moderate compression. It’s more supportive than casual leggings, for sure, but not a high-performance compression.
My previous pair of warmup leggings in a dark blue were very slightly sheer in a deep bend. However, this pair was opaque, even in a bend. Hooray! Between this and the comment above on softness, it seems like they’ve made some subtle improvements to the fabric since last year.
There’s nothing remarkable to note about function from OV. Their leggings have flat seams and a simple slit pocket at the waistband, but no other features. They get the job done, but don’t come with any bells and whistles.
My pair is an XS, but they fit a little bit smaller than most other XS out there. It’s not enough to warrant a full size up, but if you’re in between, I’d go with your larger size. The rise is a comfortable medium. Based on the model photos, the length is supposed to hit low calf, but on me they’re just a hair short of full length (I’m 5’3″). With a listed 23.5″ inseam, in my opinion they’re more like 7/8 length than 3/4.
Although it’s a small gripe, you can see that the fabric doesn’t lay smoothly around the knee, which is made particularly noticeable by the lighter color fabric. If these were darker, you probably wouldn’t notice as much.
Last time I tried a pair of OV, I they seemed to be cut for someone much taller. That pair was a bit awkward at the lower legs. Unfortunately, I ran into similar issues with this pair.
The leg opening is cut very large, likely because it would hit at a wider part of the leg on a taller person. I can deal with a tiny bit of hem looseness, but the large gape on these made me feel like I was wearing flare pants. I don’t like that the loose hem disrupts the clean line, and I really don’t like the floppy feeling.
The leg opening issue was too annoying for me, so I decided to send these back.
Even though I haven’t had luck with OV myself, they’re still an option worth considering if you’re looking for more low-key, casual activewear. If you’re taller or don’t mind possible leg opening issues, even better! It’s getting increasingly harder to find stylish, quality leggings under $100, and OV’s top out at $95. (This pair is $85.) With that in mind, I’d also rate them as a pretty good value considering what you’re getting. They also have a free and very painless shipping/return policy, so giving them a try is easy.