I can be honest with you, right?
Because what I’m about to say might sound a little strange, given the focus of this post, but bear with me.
Athleta has never really been my thing. I’ve always wanted it to be, so many of the ladies here at TME sing such high praise of their favorite pieces. Yet, every time I would make an order to try for myself, nothing spoke to me. And I could never nail my sizing.
Over this past year, something changed. Gap quickly rose as one of my favorite retailers, and each time that I would make a purchase, I’d be tempted to click over to Athleta on the quick tabs. The outfit styling of each new product drop was so spot-on, and the new seasonal color releases just kept getting better and better.
My curiosity, despite my history of disappointment, got the best of me.
Athleta’s Flare Pants Are A Tall Girl’s Dream Come True
So, I decided to give Athleta another go. And, friends, I’m not quite sure what happened, but I fell hard for a few of the items I tried on, specifically with the pants.
I don’t want to undersell my enthusiasm here, and I’m trying so carefully to make sure you understand how truly iconic some of these items are (and if you’ve never heard of Athleta’s Brushed Nirvana material — OMG, just wait).
Did I change? Did Athleta? I’ll never know (JK, it was certainly me). But one thing is for sure — this pair of flare pants is a tall girl’s/long-legged gal’s DREAM come true.
I’ve been drawn to long, drapey flare pants for a long time. On my Pinterest boards, you’ll find dozens of pinned images of super-long trousers and stretchy flares styled in a very casual, off-duty look. The common denominator to every pair of pants I’m drawn to is the length.
I love when the bottom of the pants pools around the shoes. I have tried on what feels like a hundred pairs of pants trying to style a similar look, but when it comes to stretchy flares, they’re always too short.
Well, until now.
Something For Everyone: Athleta’s Flare Pants Are Available In Petite, Regular & Tall
Let’s address something off the bat, while I am tall, I know I’m not the tallest of girls out there. Actually in my family, I’m considered very average, hovering right beneath 5’10”. I’d love to note that my sister, who’s 6’1″ while slouching, adores Gap and Athleta for their extended inseams — they’re her go-to for pants (if only I was in the know sooner).
I’m just at the baseline height that is recommended for “tall” inseams on most websites, but because my specific body shape is a whole bunch of legs — and simply because of my style preferences — I almost always want a longer-than-average inseam measurement. THIS is where Athleta shines for me.
We’re talking “disco ball at a dance party” kind of shine.
But you don’t have to be my height to be in love with these pants. Athleta has everyone from petite to tall covered (one of my fave things about them).
Venice Flare Pant: Perfect For The Couch, Office & Everything In Between
Athleta’s Venice Flare Pant is exactly what I’ve been looking for: stretchy, fitted in the waistband, and slightly loose throughout the bum and legs.
These flare pants are the epitome of versatile. Rock them at the office with a blazer, throw on a sports bra for a long walk, or pair with a worn-in sweatshirt for travel days or afternoon errands.
They are the unicorn pants that can do most everything, and the exaggerated side split hem makes every shoe a catwalk moment.
While I grabbed Athleta’s Ascent Seamless Top mostly due to the matching colors, I was immediately drawn in by the soft, stretchy fabric.
Instead of the shirt having that classic performance-material sheen and feel (not something I personally love), it’s actually made with merino wool. The fabric composition is delightful and cozy while still feeling very movable and breathable.
And thumbholes!? A total bonus that I’m starting to notice is common practice with Athleta’s tops. More, please!
Fit Notes: I’m wearing a medium in the top and a *small* tall in the Venice flare pants. After reading reviews, I sized down (typically a medium in pants) and am so happy I did! With lug-sole boots, the pants just hover above the ground. Worn barefoot or with a flat shoe, they gently trace the ground in a way I adore, yet not so much that I feel like I’m going to trip over them.
Elation Flare Pant: The Most Flattering Fit + Color Options
First up is the Elation Flare Pant in the most seasonal-perfect hue I didn’t realize I would love so much.
Spiced Cabernet is shockingly flattering, but then after another pass through at all of the available colors, and I think it might be the most gorgeous lineup in pants I’ve ever seen.
The Elation flare pants are stretchy like leggings, fitted through the waist down to the knee, and then just opens up as the fabric falls to the floor. The waistband is described as an ultra-high rise, which some reviewers didn’t love, but I honestly didn’t notice. I’ll take the highest of high rises, always. And high-waisted flare leggings?? Yes, please.
Of all the pants I tried on, the combination of this style and color choice did a bit of magic on my booty. I’m not sure it’s ever looked better, to be honest.
Now, a quick pause for THIS SWEATSHIRT.
I would be remiss to not explain to you, thoroughly, how incredible it is.
Athleta’s Balance Sweatshirt is made from something it calls Brushed Nirvana fabric, which is entirely better than any other material I’ve probably ever felt — EVER — including but not limited to: Barefoot Dreams blankets, Vuori DreamKnit Performance Joggers, and my favorite old worn-in college tees.
It’s one of those pieces that’s made such an impression that I’ve already decided I need to gift the sweatshirt to all of my friends (just as I once did with both Barefoot Dreams blankets and Vuori joggers, HA).
Let’s put it another way: I’ve already ordered the pullover-hoodie version.
Fit Notes: I’m wearing a medium tall in the pants and a medium in the sweatshirt. Not sure why I had such a hard time with sizing in the past — everything in this try-on has been pretty spot-on.
Elation Split Flare Pant: Unique & Effortlessly Cool
Next, I tried on the Elation Split Flare Pant. These are actually the pants that started this entire try-on because when I saw them on the website, I had to try them for myself.
There is something so unique and a bit effortlessly cool about the split hem at the front of the pants. Every shoe I tried on looked good, from lug-sole boots to sneakers and even slip-on sandals.
I grabbed the split flares in a festive Ancient Mahogany color that I thought would be fun for the holidays.
In real life, the color is a smidge brighter than the online images; however, the golden light coming through my windows in the image above makes them look even brighter than they are (refer to the images below for something a little more realistic). Ancient Mahogany is totally fun and seasonal, but if you’re worried about styling them, there’s always the black!
Paired with Athleta’s Primatwill Blazer (an idea I took straight from the styling on the model), this outfit would be top-notch for handling the holiday madness as you shop for Thanksgiving-dinner ingredients, stand in line at the toy store — all the things.
The blazer is unique with its stretchy athleisure quality, and the ability to cinch the waist is not only distinctive but also very eye-catching. I personally love how the ties look hanging at the sides (or you can tie them up all cute), and the pockets have zippers!
Fit Notes: Wearing medium tall in the pants and a medium in the crop top. Typically an 8, I sized up to a 10 in the blazer hoping for a slightly oversized look, but with my broad shoulders, it just fit perfectly. If you’re broad at all up top, I suggest sizing up!
Salutation Stash Flare Pant: Classic Leggings With A Little More Interest
These pants get a gold star for having pockets. But that star was then docked for the length.
You win some, you lose some.
While I wasn’t getting that skim-the-ground length in these, even in the tall inseam (making me think these would be cropped on anyone taller than me), the Salutation Stash Flare Pant is still wildly comfortable.
In fact (*lowers my voice into the quietest of whispers*), many of these pants from Athleta have a very similar brushed, buttery-soft feeling that could be considered a Lululemon Align leggings dupe. And seeing that Aligns are my favorite… I feel like I’m going to have to do a deep-dive comparison and unpack this. But for another time, yes?
As someone who more or less collects black leggings, there’s something really refreshing about having a pair that still gives the same feel, compression and practicality of classic leggings while having a little more interest with the flare.
I threw Athleta’s Wool-Cashmere Top over the all-black ensemble and loved how it looked. Made from a cashmere-wool blend, the sweater is machine-washable and far more lightweight than I was expecting. The best part has to be the stitching, and every ribbed cuffing and accent felt very well done.
Fit Notes: I’m wearing a medium tall in the pants, but they run short. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone taller than me wanting a full-length look. Wearing a medium in both the top and wrap.
This try-on appropriately gave me a change of heart. While every item was far more impressive than I was expecting them to be, the Venice Flare Pant, the Elation Flare Pant and the Balance Sweatshirt officially solidified my love. I guess Athleta is kinda my thing now.
Let’s be friends on Instagram! Sharing life from my sleepy little beach town, daily style, makeup favorites, Gilmore Girl binge-athons and endless cups of coffee — all with a good dose of adorable toddler content too.
Lookin’ good, Pinners. We made this just for you…