The Fabletics Activewear Conundrum (Or Why I Haven’t Tried It)

Fabletics activewear seems to be everywhere: in my Facebook news feed, in magazines, and on TV. I can’t get away from it, and I admit that I was curious. So I did start investigating, and I’ve realized that I’m not jumping on that bandwagon.

I’m reluctant to take a chance on the Fabletics activewear because it’s all made in Southeast Asia. Quality varies wildly in my experience, so I requested a piece to review. Two messages and over a week later, and I have not heard back from Fabletics at all. And no, not even in my spam folder. Strike one.

Update, 2/20/14: I did finally receive a response from Fabletics. I’m going to request a review outfit to see how it compares to Ellie.

I considered purchasing an outfit using the 50 percent off deal, but the problems with that – where do I begin?

  • The 50 percent off deal on my first Fabletics outfit is good only for 24 hours online. After that, I’d have to call to place an order.
  • All of the outfits are just that: outfits. Unlike Ellie, Fabletics won’t let me mix and match.
  • None of the outfit combinations appeal to me. And none of the sports bras look like they’d be any good for running.
  • The 50 percent off deal only works if I sign up for the Fabletics VIP membership. Being a VIP sounds better than it actually is. VIP members get charged $50 per month, whether they select an outfit or not. There is an option to skip the month, but it looks like the member herself needs to remember to log in to do it. It doesn’t look like Fabletics sends a reminder email. Ellie definitely sends reminder emails and will at least send an outfit if you forget to skip.
  • Canceling looks like a hassle. You have to call to cancel your VIP membership, and feedback on the Fabletics Facebook page indicates that the customer service reps give you the long, hard sell. That reminds me of what I dealt with canceling a JustFab subscription. It’s the same company.
  • Social media “help” is patronizing. Check my spam folder? Gee, why didn’t I think of that?! (/sarcasm) All the responses look completely canned, too.
  • Fabletics uses FedEx SmartPost. I despise SmartPost. It takes too long to get to my front door. Yes, shipping is free, but I loathe SmartPost so much that I will actively avoid companies that use it as their default shipping carrier.
  • And as a non-bonus, Fabletics outsources manufacturing and customer service to Southeast Asia. Kimora Lee Simmons and Kate Hudson may be bathing in Chanel No. 9, but that’s not true for many American families. I actively look for clothes that are manufactured in the United States. I actually switched to New Balance running shoes for that reason.
Wow, that’s eight reasons. Eight. I’m still curious about the quality – the reviews on Facebook and the Fabletics website vary wildly. But for all the hoops I’d have to jump through to get a pre-selected outfit, which is so not my thing, makes me think Fabletics is more trouble than it’s worth.
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