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