Zella Spring Try-on: The Hits + Misses


I’ve been a long time fan of Zella’s sporty, casual jackets and joggers and tanks. I wanted to check out what fun new pieces they had for spring…and when I saw this gorgeous robin’s egg grey-green color (they call it Grey Thunder LOL) I knew I needed to do a try-on. So, I ordered a handful of items from Nordstrom to play with.

Trying Zella’s Sporty New Pieces: What To Buy & Skip

As with most try-ons, there were some hits and some misses as far as style and fit. I do find Zella’s fit to be kinda tricky for me sometimes, hence why a full try-on seems necessary. My favorite clothing item? This cargo jacket. My least favorite? These joggers. Ugh-ly fit on me. LOL. But I tried about 10 pieces in all, so let’s check out the deets on my favs and the others that didn’t work out.

Jacket (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

I will say again, Zella can be tricky with fit since they don’t offer various lengths or extended sizing. I wish they would, because I love their overall vibe. One thing they do get right? Color. That’s what initially drew me in.

Shop All the Zella Pieces I Tried

The Hits: 5 Best New Pieces I Tried From Zella

It’s always nice when you do a big try-on and DO find some winners. There were honestly two really stand-out pieces and then a few other semi-basics, we’ll call them, for workouts or everyday-wear that I liked.

1 | Zella Freeform Cargo Jacket

Jacket (M)

This jacket in this color is just so lovely. I feel like this could be a fun update to the go-to denim jacket. It’s not weatherproof, but would keep the wind out and it looks fab on.

I adore all the details from the cargo styling to the inner drawstring to add some cinching at the waistline. And the under $100 price is right!

What I Love: Packable, super lightweight, cute details, inner drawstring waist for shaping, room in sleeves to push them up.

What I Don’t Love: Not waterproof or resistant, I don’t think. But would be fine in light rain.

Jacket (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

2 | Zella Vantage High Waist Ankle Pant

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

These pants are such a cute go-to sporty but versatile style in a technical fabric and classic styling that could take you just about anywhere. Sorry I know black is tough to see the details here, but click through and there are close-ups.

What I Love: These would be phenomenal for travel, would hold up to multiple wears at a time and be comfy enough for everyday while still able to take you to the office or even date night. They have a faux zipper placket that makes them feel much more like a trouser than an activewear pant. Love. TTS.

What I Don’t Love: Allllmost too high in the rise for me, but the rest of the fit is so good this didn’t bother me much.

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

3 | Zella Quilted Side-zip Bomber Jacket

Jacket (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

This jacket is SO cute and I adore the side zippers and the overall style. But I do think I like the color, fit and details of this Athleta bomber jacket just a little bit better.

What I Love: The style, the color, the weight, the side zips.

What I Don’t Love: The length on me. I wish it came in Petites.

Jacket (M) | Pants (M)

4 | Zella Luxe High Waist Rib Flare

Jacket (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

These ribbed flare leggings are great. They’re a little thicker than I might like to workout in for spring and summer, but they’re a super cute comfy everyday pant.

What I Love: The ribbing, the slight flare, the quality, the fit, the comfort factor.

What I Don’t Love: Slightly thicker than I want for working out.

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

5 | Zella Breathe Active Tank

Ok I chose this pic because I wanted to show the tank half-tucked. Disregard my funny look, it was frustration with the pant fit. LOL. See below.

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

This tank is one of my go-to styles. It’s breezy for workouts, covers just enough without getting in the way and looks cute for everyday. I’ve had it in another color for over a year now.

What I Love: The fabric, the fit, the cut. It’s lightweight and breezy and looks cute but is cropped just enough to not look dated.

What I Don’t Love: Nothing! Ok, well, maybe it could also be offered in Petite sizing for the absolute perfect length on me.

The 5 Misses From My Zella Try-on

The frustrating thing about most of these pieces below is that they were almost great. But if the fit is off, the fit is off. And on this type of clothing, I don’t want to have to worry about alterations, etc.

If you aren’t short-waisted like I am, or have a straighter figure (ie. less junk in the trunk), all the pants will probably fit a bit better. It’s always a tricky balance for me with pull-on style pants. Typically, the rise is too long and they pull at the hips because of my booty.

I’ve found other brands that offer more of a variety in sizing (thank you Athleta!) but with Zella I tend to run into this often. Their style keeps me coming back but the fit…eh. It’s tricky. (Tricky…tricky!)

1 | Zella Scout Adjustable Cuff Cargo Pant

Jacket (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

Case-in-point, here, with these cargo pants. They’re cute and versatile and comfy but the rise and length are too long on me.

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

They’re also a bit sheer (not SUPER sheer, but still.) And they pull juuust a bit at my hips/butt. That might relax with wear, but on a technical fabric I never know for sure.

Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

And I loved the versatility of the drawstring cord at the ankle, but I needed to be a little taller than 5’4″ for this to really be a wearable.

What I Didn’t Like: The fit in the hips/butt, the too-high rise, the sheer fabric.

What I Did Like: Versatility of styling at the ankles.

2 | Zella Studio Luxe High Waist 7/8 Leggings

Jacket (M) | Leggings (M) | Sneakers

Well, I failed to take a pic of the waistband on these leggings, but the fabric was WAY softer and lighter than the Zella Live-In leggings I tried in my recent leggings search. They still rolled but not as much.

What I Didn’t Like: Waist rolled down.

What I Did Like: The fabric is soft and awesome! Not too thick, not too thin. And, that color again. These kinda belong between Hits + Misses, honestly.

3 | Zella Live-in Pocket Joggers

Jacket (M)| Tank (M) | Joggers (M) | Sneakers

I had such high hopes for these joggers. I initially liked the fit when I first pulled them on but then they just didn’t lay nicely on me. Perhaps sizing up would help here? But then I’m afraid the rise would be all off on me. This color though is what drew me in! And I’ve liked other Zella joggers in the past, but I now realize other brands fit me much better.

What I Didn’t Like: The thin fabric that pulls and shows everything.

What I Did Like: The color, the length, the comfy waistband, comfy fabric.

4 | Zella All Day Everyday Joggers

Jacket (M) | Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

What I Didn’t Like: Just about everything here. Fit, rise, fabric was kinda scratchy, color. I thought the color (due to the name) would be more like the bomber above, but alas, no.

What I Did Like: Um, they’re well-made and I like the seams.

Honorable Mention Goes To…: This Luxe Rib Racerback Support Tank. The fit was good! It was also a little thick for workouts and didn’t have any lining in the cups, but adding my own would make it pretty great.

Jacket (M) | Tank (M) | Pants (M) | Sneakers

5 | Zella Studio High Waist Leggings in Red Cayenne

Jacket (M) | Leggings (M) | Tank (M) | Sneakers

Ok, but how cute is the color combo? Good, yes? Gah. I don’t know why this color didn’t look as good as the Grey Thunder but gah. It really highlighted the mom pooch or whatever we’re calling it (i refuse to say apron belly ughhhh) Maybe the grey had been stretched a bit with try-on? The seam at the waist in the front on these was just ugh. I’m sorry I didn’t get a clear picture but I really just took them off pretty quickly.

What I Didn’t Like: The waist fit + seam

What I Did Like: The fabric feel and the fun color.

As always TME friends, I hope this try-on was helpful. I’m feeling all kinds of ways about how my body keeps changing but I just keep telling myself I can still express myself through fun styling and rad haircuts.

This season of life is teaching me so much about body positivity and loving myself and trying to quiet the voices I grew up hearing in my head from movies, magazines, etc. Solidarity, my perimenopausal peeps.

It’s frustrating to be working out, getting strong and still have my body look and feel 100% different from even just a couple of years ago. But it’s beyond helpful that we’re all here in this together, eh? This is me sending virtual hugs all around. We’re badasses, y’all.



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  1. Oh how I feel this! Thank you for the last statement. That is 100% how I feel. And it kinda sucks. But yes to solidarity! And I’m with you on the problem with the rise, pulling across the hips and booty. I love having a booty… but good lawd, I wish the rises would come down a bit. Thank you for doing the Lord’s work here.

  2. Cute try on! i find colored leggings to be daunting and have given up buying them for the most part. The irony of being a pilates instructor who doesn’t love athlesiure! (however you spell that…)

    I know i’ve said this before, and even within this space, but there’s a light at the end of this frustrating tunnel! The body is an amazing machine and really seems to sort itself out, especially when you send it good loving vibes 🙂

    One more thing in this leveling up season of life as we all make peace with it…another challenge is that many of us humans of a certain age seem to develop new and different (and for sure not delightful) sensitivities/metabolic challenges that were never there before! (Personal Example…me and cheese? NO LONGER friends and DEFINITELY not for socializing lol!). It’s amazing what some little tweaks to nutrition can accomplish for body, mood and soul! And for sure not one size fits all…

    Also please note: this is anecdotal information based on personal experience, learning, studying and real life clients’ results and definitely NOT advice (medical or otherwise) but possibly can be used to someone’s benefit if they so choose.

  3. helpful as always! following right along with you here on the perimenopausal journey, and a body shape similar to yours… youre saving me all kinds of try-on time, so thanks! and greetings from Bentonville 🙂

  4. I feel you on that final paragraph. I just started reading Next Level: Your guide to kicking ass, feeling great, and crushing goals through menopause and beyond. Lots of good info on nutrition, exercise, & sleep in it… Let’s see if it makes a difference!

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