Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Product Review: Prismsport Jacquard Print Leggings & Tank

A few weeks back, a friend of mine from the gym gave me a new lead for fitness fashion.

Well, more than a friend, really.  She's the reason I'm instructing group fitness today.  Instead, I suppose I should call her a fitness goddess.

I'm sure she's secretly rolling her eyes at this.  So I'm going to push the envelope all the way and portray her as the ultimate wood nymph forest goddess type... since I imagine there are lush forests surrounding her new home (she recently moved far, far away - boo).  Oh, plus she has kids.  And, I guess she's in some hoity-toity, super vegan community now. 

Yeah, this seems like a pretty perfect portrayal of that scenario:

Anyway, I digress.

So, this fitness goddess who moved to a new town, found out about a new brand of fitness clothing in her super vegan community and knew it was totally me.  And guess what?  She was right!

That's how this review begins.  Thanks to my friend, I came to learn about a company that seemed to be made for me, Prismsport

A visit to their website will show you right away why it's a fit:

I mean, look at that total seizure enduing collection of print and color.  Me to a T, right?

Of course I was SUPER excited to start shopping immediately... until I was hit with sticker shock.  Since I've been buying mostly amateur stuff off of Etsy or via instructor discount (remember my fitness fashion post), I'm a little spoiled to paying full retail price when it comes to fitness gear. 

And I have to say, at $84 per pair of leggings, these were a bit on the high side of the price spectrum.  Especially since I had no idea what the actual quality would be like.

Not to worry, after a very impressive quick email exchange with the company and submission of my fitness certifications, I was set up with an instructor discount here as well.  Plus, they were going to mail me some literature to provide my students so they could shop in the future.  Score!  Let's get shopping, amirite?

I struggled for quite some time debating how many pieces to buy, and ended up waiting a week or two to make my purchase.  I wanted EVERYTHING!  However, I've learned my lesson in buying too many pieces from a new brand off the bat (had some fit issues with a different company and ended up making a return), so I went conservative and only bought one outfit.

Here's what I bought, the Jacquard Print Leggings and coordinating X-back top:

Upon arrival, I immediately loved the stuff.  The print is super cute, the overall fit is great, and the leggings are cut so that they actually cover the area just below the belly button, which is great for a taller person with a long torso like me.  (Side note, has anyone else noticed how most "cute" fitness bottoms are cut with a super low rise? So annoying!)

Also, the sizing seemed to be pretty true.  Yes, I used the size guide provided on their website, so this should be a gimme.  But that hasn't always guaranteed something would fit me via an online purchase, so kudos to the company for staying true to what they post .

My only two hesitations prior to wearing them for a workout were that the pants are cut a little slim in the thighs and that the top's built in bra wasn't nearly enough support for me.  BUT - to be fair, I have very strong, athletic thighs (too much running and squatting, if there is such a thing), and I also should have probably purchased a size down in the top for a more snug fit.  No worries, I just added an extra compression bra underneath, and I was good to go for a workout.

Since I never wear new clothes on a day I teach (incase of any unforeseen wardrobe malfunctions), I decided to take my gear for a spin last Thursday.  It was a double day for me, which meant I needed to get in a quick 2 mile run and then would be attending TBC group fitness.   That's Total Body Conditioning, for those of you not in the know - a class that combines intervals of high intensity cardio with active recovery periods that incorporate strength moves. 

As you can see, I ran, I jumped, I pumped and I stretched, so I put these babies through the gamut.  And really, I don't have too much negative to say.  Yes, the thighs were still a tad tighter than I'd have liked, but didn't cause any issues.  The only thing I really didn't like was on the tank.  For some reason the built in bra and cups didn't like to stay in place - and they are flesh toned, so if the top ever shifts while you're working out, this peach fabric starts peeking out along the bust line and in the armpit area.  Not very attractive.  I would prefer if the liner was made in the same color as the tank itself.

Everything also appears to have faired pretty well through the wash.  Although I haven't yet worn them again since washing.

I bet, at this point, you're thinking this is a positive review.  Unfortunately, though, my overall impression has been a bit marred despite the good product.  Here's why...

First, remember what I said above about getting in touch with the company?  Well, the stuff they were going to mail me for my students never arrived.  Which wouldn't be a deal breaker, since word of mouth would have been ok... but...

Second, not even 5 days after I made my purchase, they put everything I bought on 50% off clearance.  Literally, my shipment arrived the same day that I got the email about it being on clearance.  They even still had everything in stock in my size!  Ugh.  To make matters worse, when I emailed them about this, their customer service quality magically declined.  I had to contact the company three times to request a cost adjustment... which they begrudgingly gave me minus a shipping and handling surcharge.  Their validation for that was that my order would have been charged shipping at the new discounted rate.  What they didn't realize was, I would have bought many more pieces of their product had everything been on 50% off sale, thus been a walking billboard for them in a market that doesn't know their product.  Oh well.

So, what says the Great Oz Natalie?

As it stands right now, I'm torn. 

The product is cute, although a maybe little expensive for the quality (fabrics are lighter weight and less compressive than other leggings in this price category, for example). 

Also, you know I'm all about supporting great businesses, and avoiding those whom use business practices that I don't agree with.  (Remember this post about Lululemon?) 

In the end, I guess my conclusion is this: if you can afford this stuff at full price, or can catch it now on the 50% discount, and don't anticipate wanting to make a return or request a credit for some reason... then go for it.  The stuff is cute, the quality is pretty good, and you'll get lots of complements.  But fair warning, don't expect the customer service to be great if you have troubles on the back end.

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