Workout Pants That Aren’t Skin-Tight: My Search At Athleta

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Before trying the latest Athleta styles, my search for the “best workout pants that aren’t skin-tight” landed on these Zella joggers and these lightweight dance studio joggers.

You may be asking…what’s wrong with regular workout tights, Linzi? What’s the obsession with workout pants that aren’t skin-tight? I get it…if I was doing a spin class or jogging or even going to a gym to do the whole equipment thing…sure, I would likely sport workout tights. That’s not, however, what my “exercise” looks like these days. 

Athleta Joggers & More: The Search For Workout Pants That Aren’t Skintight

I have three main move-my-body activities right now. I am forcing myself to do quick Zoom strength training sessions with my gal friends, but the workouts are EARLY, and I’m lucky if I change out of my pajamas. When I do feel motivated to wear workout clothes, I am DEFINITELY not wrestling my body into tight leggings at that time of day. My dance classes are now very public … outdoors next to the playground. So wearing tight leggings while perfecting my Latin dance hip movements? Not really my thing. And then there’s the never-ending afternoon “schleps” with the kids…I am totally counting these as exercise. I would prefer to wear jeans in the afternoons, but I find myself keeping up with the skateboarding and biking and scootering more easily if I embrace “schlepping” as a true form of exercise and wear workout pants. Tight workout leggings every single afternoon, though? No thanks.

Now enter issue #2. As I mentioned, my go-to pants for all of these activities have been the Zella Live-In Joggers. They’re soft, comfy, reasonably priced, fit perfectly, and work great for all variations of “moving my body”. They’re definitely a basic black jogger, though. I also wear my Dance Studio Joggers quite a bit (and they come in a lined straight-leg version as well for you ladies who get cold) …but once again…definitely a basic black jogger. After trying on tons of black joggers last year, I am bored and very ready for a fresher take on workout pants. So…I of course ended up on Athleta’s site…the reigning QUEEN of cute styles for workout pants that aren’t skin-tight.

Some successes and some “hmmmm, maybe nots” and as always, pros and cons of each in my review.   

1. Venice Jogger In Shale

PROS: Super-comfy; Very soft fabric; Useful zippers and pockets (2 zipped pockets in the back, as well as a small zipped pocket in the front too); Stretchy and cool enough fabric (breathable, moisture-wicking and quick-drying) that I could actually work out in these; Petite, regular, and tall sizing.

CONS: I love the shale color, but it’s probably not as flattering as if I would stick with black; No other negatives…these are GOOD.

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Venice Jogger In Shale
White Tank **Plus Sizing Available** | Cream Sweatshirt | Black Zip Hoodie **Plus Sizing Available** | Matching Shale Hoodie
Everyday Mask | White Sneaks | Black Sneaks **Sustainable** | Backpack **Sustainable**

2. Salutation Jogger in Black Olive

PROS: Gorgeous green color in person…so so pretty (much better than these photos); Lots of other color options as well; Buttery soft (Athleta’s awesome Powervita fabric); Super-comfy; Breathable; Moisture-wicking; Quick-drying; Would TOTALLY do a strenuous workout in these; Regular, tall, petite, & plus sizing.

CONS: Plus sizing doesn’t come in all colors; Side pockets open a bit when moving around (doesn’t bother me, but would some people); I’m self-conscious about the crotch area in these pants…I guess maybe because the XS fits more like a tight on me than a baggy jogger…I’m considering trying the S, although I do like a more fitted jogger for “real workouts.”

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Salutation Jogger in Black Olive
Camo Tank | Black Zip Hoodie **Plus Sizing Available**| Cream Sweatshirt | Beige Cardigan
Everyday Mask | Black Sneaks **Sustainable** | Backpack **Sustainable**

3. Salutation Garment-Dye Jogger

PROS: Unique color and pattern; Interesting and cool texture; Super-comfy; Breathable; Moisture-wicking; Quick-drying; Would TOTALLY do a strenuous workout in these; Regular, tall, & petite sizing.

CONS: Not as buttery soft as the green olive color, but still plenty soft and comfy; Like the olive green ones, the side pockets open a bit when moving around (doesn’t bother me, but would some people); Similar to the olive green, I’m self-conscious about the crotch area in these pants…could be because the XS fits more like a tight on me than a baggy jogger…considering trying the S, although I do like a more fitted jogger for “real workouts.”

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Salutation Garment-Dye Jogger
Camo Tank | Black Zip Hoodie **Plus Sizing Available**| Shale Hoodie | Cream Sweatshirt
Everyday Mask | Made-To-Move Mask | White Sneaks | Backpack **Sustainable**

4. Farallon Jogger


PROS: Cute subtle side stripe; Easy-to-wear style and fit; Soft; Comfy; Lightweight; Organic cotton; Pockets; Regular, tall, & petite sizing.

CONS: A tiny bit too long for me (wearing XS Regular); Breathable cotton, but not moisture-wicking, so would likely not do a strenuous workout in these; I don’t think I would wear this white color regularly (I’m too messy).

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Farallon Jogger
Cream Sweatshirt | Camo Tank | Shale Hoodie | Black Zip Hoodie **Plus Sizing Available**
Made-To-Move Mask | Backpack **Sustainable** | Black Sneaks **Sustainable**

5. Cosmic Pants

PROS: Super-soft & comfy; Lightweight and fantastic drape…feels like you’re wearing nothing; Very versatile (Laura wears hers many different ways); I will ALWAYS feel like wide-leg pants are more flattering on me than joggers, Regular & tall sizing.

CONS: Too long on me, but petite sizing sold out (hoping for re-stocks); I would wear these for dance class and walking on the trail, but the floppy wide-leg would annoy me for anything more strenuous than that.

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Cosmic Pants
Camo Tank | Shale Hoodie | Watercolor Tank | Beige Cardigan
Everyday Mask | Backpack **Sustainable** | Black Sneaks **Sustainable**

A Few Athleta Pieces That Just Didn’t Work At All

The Too Long Shirt

Oh man, I had such high hopes for this top. I LOVE the fabric and the color and the pattern, but it’s too long for me. I like it so much that the thought crossed my mind that I could have it shortened, but don’t think it’s worth it. Maybe for you tall ladies or those of you who like a longer top?

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Blue Camo Tank | Cosmic Pants | Black Sneaks **Sustainable**

The Too See-Through Shirt

Yep…too see-through for me. I may try the black because I liked the feel and cut…super lightweight and soft.

Bored & ready for a fresh take on workout pants, I searched Athleta for cute joggers & workout pants that aren’t skin-tight. Behold my try-on...

Tank | Cosmic Pants | Black Sneaks **Sustainable**

Shop Joggers, Face Masks & More Athleta Workout Gear

Any favs from the pant selfie sesh? Other fav not skin-tight pants that you can exercise in from Athleta? Or anywhere else??

-Linzi

9 COMMENTS

  1. You MUST try the Hermosa pant from Athleta. They are amaze-balls! Not too tight, super flattering, nice thick material hides the bumps lumps and rolls, functional pockets, cute flare at the bottom (but subtle), I’ve worn them a bunch already this week- you will LOVE them!!!

  2. I really do need the Cosmic pants. They are so flattering! And really, one can never have too many wide leg black pants, right?! I really love the watercolor tank and the cardigan/wrap/sweater, too! Totally what I feel like wearing at all times these days!

    • NEVER too many wide leg black pants for sure! Or beige cardigans. 🙂 I really liked the watercolor tank too…I was just surprised b/c for some reason I was expecting it to be less “work-outy”…was kind of hoping it could be a top that I wear as “real clothes”, but it’s definitely a workout top. Thanks, Elizabeth, for commenting.

  3. I have so been wanting that amazing black bra with the cutout! And you look super cute in everything, but the wide-leg pants with the see-thru top is my favorite–so flattering on you!

  4. Linzi, never apologize for not wanting to wear workout tights! You are the boss of what you wear for exercise, and anybody who tries to tell you there’s only one thing for it has obviously never seen photos of, like, tennis players from the early 1900’s, am I right?

    I have the Venice joggers in black and the Farallon joggers in camo. I’m wearing the Farallon joggers right now, actually! I’m 6’0″ tall, so Athleta is my go-to for exercise clothes because they actually have TALL sizing. (But who am I kidding — they’re actually work-from-home while facilitating distance-learning clothes — not that much exercise happening here lately…) That said, I love being able to run around outside with my daughter during her breaks, and these joggers are perfect for this new reality of constant context-switching.

    Love the Cosmic pants on you! You look cute in all of them, but I especially love how you’ve styled those. I’ve been hemming and hawing over those, and now I might have to head over and see if they have my size in stock…

  5. Linzi , thank you so very much for covering the “not skin tight” work out pants . My work outs these days consist of 2 mile walks and playing on the floor chasing after my 2 year old granddaughter. It’s just more comfortable being in a jogger instead of something skin tight.
    By the way, what ever happened to the proposal of a 50 something contributor ? I read TME every morning and would love to see something for “ hot grandmas” 🤣

  6. Linz, which of their joggers would work best for colder days? I’m thinking park days where you are walking a ton, but not really breaking a sweat unless I am pushing my 3.5 year old ( he weighs 37 pounds) up the “big hill.”

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