It’s been a review-heavy couple of weeks around here (and this isn’t even the last one I have in the queue!), and next up is Outdoor Voices warmup leggings in deep sea.
I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Outdoor Voices around social media and even from commenters on this blog. They’re a very much up-and-coming brand within the activewear world and I’d been wanting to try them out for a while. OV offers free shipping and free returns, so I had nothing to lose by trying.
Outdoor Voices strives for a minimal yet chic aesthetic. One thing that differentiates them from the activewear crowd is that they’re not marketing toward hardcore athletes. In their words, their wares are for the “casual jogger babe”. Their tagline is “apparel for recreation”, which has a way more chill vibe than the more aggressively athletic emphasis you hear from other brands. One more interesting nugget: their founder and CEO, Tyler Haney, is a 26-year-old woman. I admit I’m partial to woman-owned activewear brands, plus I find it really impressive that she’s built the brand into what it is at such a young age. If you’re curious, you can read more about her and the really interesting strategy behind the OV brand in this article from Racked.
Anyway, back to the review business: I went with the warmup leggings in deep sea. I was drawn to the beautiful blue tone, and the full length would be useful moving into the colder months.
The first thing I noticed when I took these out of the package was that the color was a bit darker versus how it appeared online. (That said, most of my photos did turn out a tad darker than how things looked in real life.)
I like the seaming details on the leggings. They don’t get in the way or hit any uncomfortable spots, but I like the styling that they add. Not quite sure how I feel about the seam across the bum, but the rest I love.
I definitely had quite a bit of extra length on these. You can see in all of the photos in this post that there’s quite a bit of bunching at the ankles. In addition, I noticed that the knee seemed to hit at the wrong spot on me, like my knee was supposed to land a bit lower because of how they’re cut. You can see what results in this pic: some weird wrinkling below the knee. These are pretty clearly made for someone taller. :)
By the way: this photo is probably the most accurate representation of the true color.
I bought my leggings in an XS. The fit felt mostly true to size, maybe slightly to the smaller side of XS. The waist, however, definitely runs small and felt more like an XXS. If you’re thicker through the waist, proceed with caution, as you may find this uncomfortable. The hips and thighs felt pretty true to size, and the rise was pretty much your standard mid-rise, about the same situation you’ll find on most activewear bottoms.
I had been a bit wary of OV’s bottoms because they use a polyester blend fabric. Poly is often an unreliable fabric, and can feel unpleasant to the touch and/or have sheerness issues. Since I’d heard good things about OV, I wanted to give it a try anyway, especially since all their fabrics are space dye, which I thought might mean it would turn out better than your usual poly blend.
The fabric ended up being softer than most polyester. It still has a fairly smooth face, but not quite slick. The finish is pretty matte. As far as opacity, I’d call it around 85% opaque in a deep squat/bend. If you wear dark underwear, or if you purchase a lighter color of the leggings, you may be able to see some show-through, but it’s subtle and generally pretty workable.
Ultimately though, I opted to return these. Although I don’t think the leggings themselves are bad, the fit was just off for me, both in terms of how they felt and how they looked. Lots of kudos to OV for their seriously painless return process, though. As I mentioned above, both shipping and returns are free, and a prepaid return label is even included in your package. On top of that, there’s no time limit on the return window (so long as tags are attached and all that jazz). I was really pleased with how easy and painless the return process was (literally, I don’t think it could’ve been any easier). I’d love to see more brands follow suit here.
Even though these were a no for me, I’m not giving up on OV just yet. They have some other styles that look appealing, their prices are reasonable compared to their competition, and their purchase and return processes were very user-friendly, so it’s worth another try or two. Maybe next time I’ll find something that works a little better for me.