The Really Honest Fabletics Review

I wrote this honest Fabletics review because I couldn’t continue to pretend like I loved the company when its customers service and messaging was going against what I value. I’m committed to being transparent with my readers, and once I had severed my relationship with the company, I was free to write this. Here’s my Fabletics Brand Ambassador story.

In July 2014, I excitedly became a Fabletics Brand Ambassador, joining the program known as the Fabletics Fit Squad. I officially left the Fabletics Fit Squad in October 2015. During that time, I experienced both the good and the bad of the company. This post is about my experience as both a customer and a brand ambassador.

The Really Honest Fabletics Review: How Fabletics failed its Brand Ambassadors and the general public | Activewear | Workout Wear

Fabletics Positive Review, Pre-2015

Initially, I was attracted to Fabletics because of the price point. I was impressed with the general quality and comfort of the items, especially the Lima capris, Ayni bra, and Sintra bra. There were a few missteps, but I loved almost everything I purchased from the company. Even some items I felt skeptical about, like the Suva Run Shorts and Suva II Run Shorts, and the Salar capris, outperformed my expectations. The fit was true to size as well. In short, the Fabletics line could hold up to my workouts very well.

The price point was also a selling point for me. When I first joined Fabletics as a VIP member, and partway into my time as a brand ambassador (or “Fabletics Fit Squad” member), you could buy an entire outfit for $49.95. That included a top and a bottom, and sometimes, even a sports bra.

Needless to say, when I was asked to be a member of the Fabletics Fit Squad, I was thrilled. When I joined, it was incredibly well-run. The Fabletics ambassadors seemed hand-picked and ranged from fitness enthusiasts and instructors to a couple of ladies just beginning on their fitness journey. Most of them actively posted on social media and embodied what Fabletics was about at the time: healthy living, fitness, self-improvement, and looking great while doing it.

I was having a lot of fun, hosting events, trying new styles, and promoting what seemed like a great brand. But all good things must come to an end, and here’s the honest truth about everything that went wrong with Fabletics and the Fit Squad program, starting at the beginning of 2015, and the rest of my honest Fabletics review.

Fabletics Review 2015: It’s All Downhill

As I mentioned, Fabletics started going downhill. All of those good things disappeared. I’m not going to rehash every single problem I’ve had. That’s counterproductive. Instead, I’m just going to note a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering joining Fabletics as a VIP Member in this Fabletics review.

Declining Product Quality

Starting in 2015, I noticed a marked difference in quality from the first pieces I’ve ordered to pieces from more recent collections, so I’m writing that Fabletics review here. For example, the tropical print Salar Capris from an early summer 2015 collection were stitched in such a way that the white from the reverse side of the fabric shows through the seams. I also several unresolved issues with Fabletics quality:

  • The Weston Pullover started unraveling at the thumbholes after maybe two trips to the washer.
  • The stitching on my Joni Jacket (a sleek winter jacket that could pack into itself) started unraveling after normal (e.g., wearing it daily as a winter jacket) wear.
Damaged Fabletics Caicos Capris

There are more, but to its credit, Fabletics did replace a couple of the items that ripped (Sintra Bra and Caicos Capris, pictured above), bled (Juneau Bra), or otherwise couldn’t handle everyday wear and tear (Loveland Hoodie). However, there is a part of me that wonders if those items would have been replaced had I not been in the Fabletics Fit Squad. I’ve seen customers posting on Facebook begging for resolutions, and Fabletics customer service routinely ignores them.

Vanity Sizing

When I used to order an XS tank, whether it was an Oula or an Aventura, it fit properly. It wasn’t too baggy or too long (I mean, it was longish, but I’m 5’1″). It was the Baby Bear of tanks. Then Fabletics hopped on the vanity sizing bandwagon. All of a sudden, the Aventura tanks fit like mediums and the Oulas were dresses. The Aruba wrap was gigantic. All of a sudden, I couldn’t order tops because the returns process was always so slow that the item I’d be exchanging my too-large top for was sold out.

And then it spread to the pants. I made the mistake of picking up a pair of the Polaris pants (a soft athleisure-style legging) on sale, and the XS gaps at the waist. Can I return them? Of course not; Fabletics knew the pants were poorly sized, which is why they were on sale. I can’t bring myself to order an XXS. I am not that small.

Customer Service Is Abysmal

It’s hard to know where to start with this, because customer service went extremely south in 2015 – even worse than before. Part of the problem is that Fabletics set up its call center in the Philippines. Right away, that creates a language and culture barrier. I’ll just provide three examples:

  • Customer service is pretty poorly trained. For example, in one instance, the representatives completely wiped out my store credit. I had $56.62 worth of credit in my account before I returned the South Point outfit (which was $59.95 – hello, price creep!). I contacted Live Chat after my return had been received by the warehouse. The rep, Leane, assured me that I would receive my credit in 24 hours. I refreshed my order history, and instead of the return being reflected as received, Leane had wiped out my RMA. I jumped back on Live Chat and got Marco. He wiped out the $56.62 and replaced it with a $59.95 credit. He insisted that I should only have $59.95 on my account. Marco insisted that I did not have a store credit before the RMA was canceled. Eventually, I got this resolved, after spending two hours of my life on Live Chat, on the phone, and contacting the Influencer Relations Coordinator for help.
  • Customer service representatives use condescending scripts – I actually have a chat transcript I copied and pasted where the representative admitted to copying and pasting the wrong response. I could write another opus on this one, but phrases like “rest assured” and “not to worry” smack of script-reading and pasting. There were plenty of copy-and-paste responses in Live Chat that made no sense. Remember the language barrier? It came out in full force here in every single interaction.
  • Returns and exchanges are a nightmare, not “hassle-free.” For a while, Fabletics used FedEx SmartPost for returns, but that took 10 business days just to reach the warehouse. The company switched to Newgistics, which was almost as bad. It was 7-10 business days just for the return items to reach the warehouse, and then another 2-3 business days for the warehouse to process the return. The best-case scenario for an exchange is that you’d get your item two weeks later. For me, it usually took three weeks.

The Fabletics Deal-Breaker

Customer service was the deal-breaker for me, seriously. The Caicos capris had been won as a prize in an Instagram contest, and Fabletics first sent me the wrong size capris, even though I had specified my size in my entry form (and as a long-time customer of Fabletics, the company also had all of my sizing information at its fingertips). At first, customer service wouldn’t replace the capris:

Fabletics Customer Service: Tough Luck.

Great, I now had a pair of capris that I couldn’t wear, even though I provided Fabletics with my correct size. It was only at the behest of the Influencer Relations Coordinator that the pants got replaced. Of course, they ripped, because Fabletics quality isn’t what it used to be. And when I complained, this is the response I got:

Fabletics doesn't stand behind the quality of its products.

It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, because they refused to stand behind their product. I canceled my membership.

Eventually, I did get a call from headquarters, and the company is offering me a replacement pair of capris.

I Was Just Plain Embarrassed

My friends who knew I had an “in” at Fabletics were telling me all the problems they had: delayed shipping, orders canceled without being notified, the vanity sizing, the customer service – all things that I had experienced. I didn’t have a good answer for them as to why this kept happening. I provided feedback on my quarterly surveys, but nothing was addressed. The Fit Squad program was going downhill, too, and I wasn’t being provided with what I needed to properly promote the company. The new Influencer Relations Coordinator seemed to not care at all.

Fabletics also made its foray into “athleisure” at the expense of activewear. Instead of being able to find awesome Lima Capris and Ayni Bras, I was looking at jogging pants meant for lounging at Starbucks, sports bras with too many straps and not enough support, and fussy shirts that would get caught on barbells. The new clothes that Fabletics was trying to sell wouldn’t work for running or CrossFit.

However, I will say that the cotton long-sleeved tees were awesome, and there was a dress I loved in the August collection. But joggers and things like the Darco tank (faded easily, bled on itself, completely an athleisure piece) are pretty worthless to me. It’s all very overpriced, especially for what you’re getting. I’d rather wait to see what shows up in Lululemon’s We Made Too Much section or for an Athleta sale for athletic wear if this is what’s happening to Fabletics. Also, I live 20 minutes away from a Reebok outlet and an Under Armour outlet.

I honestly can’t endorse the brand any longer. To anyone. I’m so, so sorry if I’ve persuaded you to become a VIP member from one of my Fabletics reviews and you’ve had issues like this.

Ultimately, I wanted to be fully transparent with my readers and let them know what was going on at Fabletics. I don’t want anyone else to sign up for Fabletics and be disappointed. Know what it’s really like when you go into it. That’s all I ask.


14 thoughts on “The Really Honest Fabletics Review

  1. So sorry about your experience! I have heard similar reports about Fabletics and I am so glad I never took the plunge. I had similar issues with FabKids including terrible customer service which is part of the reason I didn’t want to try Fabletics and I am so glad I didn’t. I hope you are able to find some other brands that have the quality you are looking for. I love Athleta and pick up things when they are on sale. I also am a big fan of prAna for hiking and yoga pants – again pricey but you can often find on sale on their site or REI.

    1. I love Athleta – I picked up a bunch of stuff on sale with the extra 20% off code. I’m willing to pay more for quality pieces, which also explains my new addiction to Lululemon What the Sport shorts. As my old stuff wears out, I think I’m just going to spend more to get better quality clothes. But judging from the looks of my armoire, it’s going to be a while, especially with capris.

  2. Oh wow! I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. You aren’t the first person I’ve heard complain about their customer service.
    Fabletics sends me products each month for my blog, though I am not an official ambassador in any way. I always write an honest review of the specific products I receive – some I like and some I don’t. If I don’t like a product, I’ll usually give it to a friend or donate it since I received it for free, so I’ve never had to deal with their customer service. I’m really sad to hear that it’s like this. I hope they see this post and consider all the other complaints I know they’ve gotten and up their game!

    1. It was the customer service that was the deal-breaker for me. I probably would have kept skipping months until the company realized that it was time to bring back some of the favorites (Sintra, Ayni, Lima) and quit with the vanity sizing, but the customer service was SO BAD.

  3. Thanks for having the guts to admit your opinions. So many bloggers are afraid to publicly admit when a service or membership goes awry. i for one never tried Fabletics, but that commercial was definitely in poor taste.
    I’m a big fan of Lululemon. I’ve had crops and shorts with way more mileage than any of my shoes and they’re still going strong. I say, “Pay for quality and you’ll only cry once.”

  4. I was a brand “ambassador” for PV Body/Ellie a few years ago, not that the ambassador program was much to talk about… It was very similar to this: the company changed several times, the quality seemed good but the customer service was lacking, and the company is now closed. Fabletics will learn their lesson soon. Bad customer service will eventually lead to the company tanking unless someone gets a grip soon

  5. Thanks for the honest review! I have been a customer for 2 years and I really wish I had seen this before getting sucked in with all their slick marketing campaigns. Their quality is declining big time. It’s very ironic that I received a pair of very sheer leggings (you could see the rip tag without even bending) right after the lululemon sheer leggings commercial came out. In Canada, we pay 30% more because of the crappy exchange rate and the prices come out to almost the same as lululemon. I totally agree that if you want bargain stuff, you can get the same level of quality at Old Navy. If you want real fitness wear, fabletics is not the place to get it.

    1. “I totally agree that if you want bargain stuff, you can get the same level of quality at Old Navy. If you want real fitness wear, fabletics is not the place to get it.”

      This is my biggest beef with Fabletics. It grates on me, as an athlete, that they are selling clothing that doesn’t actually help you to be athletic. None of it seems to be geared towards technical performance. It’s all fashion over function, durability, or quality.

  6. I also had nightmare customer service issues with Fabletics….just not worth it. Try Lucy…..I love their pants and leggings!

    1. I’ve become a huge fan of Athleta and Lululemon. And Athleta just released game-changing running shorts <3

  7. I know this is an old post but I’m glad I happened upon it. I have been teetering on joining Fabletics as I already spend nearly $100-$200 a month on active wear. I work from home so I don’t really own any “real” “grown up” clothes and I work out 6 days a week, helps with my insomnia, depression, and anxiety. I’ve been a lulu follower for over 15 years, back then lulu wasn’t even sold in the US and I had to have my stuff imported from Canada. I have found that the quality for lulu has taken a bit of a plunge in the past couple of years. I don’t limit all my stuff to just lulu. I love Bandier and Carbon 38 because they introduce you to so many niche brands. Michi is my new found favorite. I digress here. I mean to say its interesting how it seems the biggest area of contention for Fabletics has been customer service and that’s one thing I’ve felt that through the whole lulu debacle I’ve never had trouble with. Lulu’s customer service has always made it a point to reach out to me to make things right. Although I’ve never really taken them up on it, except once when I owned a pair of leggings for less than a week and they fell apart at the seams. I hate returning things unless I absolutely have to and since I can sew I tend to repair and hem all my own things. I think what a lot of people are looking for is good customer service and companies that stand by their product. Thanks for this very good and detailed review!!

  8. I’m never going to order anything from Fabletics again . I’m very disappointed that Kate Hudson identifies herself with this clothing. The people on the phone are terribly rude and seems like they have NO IDEA what they are doing. I wanted to return something that was NOT what I ordered and the sales slip was NOT in the package with the item. I was told I needed that to be able to make a return. Not my fault they were the ones that screwed up twice, on two of my orders. Beware of getting involved with shopping with this company.

  9. I am writing this circa 2017 and I am so bummed out by Fabletics!

    I spend a lot of time at the gym and have a need for more workout clothes than I own ever since I started doing the very very sweaty work of training for triathlons (you can’t wear it twice between washings). I thought Fabletics was the perfect solution but I’m about to cancel after two months. Here’s why:

    1. As stated above, I concur that the sizing is totally ridiculous. I ordered 3 items my first month and all 3 seemed at least two sizes larger than the norm. They didn’t seem to be cut for athletic figures, which is odd since it’s a workout clothing company. The leggings I ordered were falling off of me while running, the bra was folding over and too loose to be supportive, and the neckline of the tank I ordered gapped and drooped to mid nipple in the front and completely exposed my back (because it was so large, not because it was supposed to). I ordered according to their size chart and in my normal size. I’m not kidding. A medium felt like an XL.

    2. The quality STINKS!!! As someone who is very active and has a lot of experience with leggings, let me tell you, their leggings suck. I too believed the commercials and was excited to see what they had to offer, but you’ll get better quality and cheaper workout gear from Target. So far they have all been too unbreathable, stiff, and hot for serious exercise. The focus seems to be on athleisure (lots of talk about cuteness and how well they suck in your gut), not technical athletic performance (how well does it allow you to physically push yourself to the next level).

    Overall, Fabletics is not really for athletes. It’s about fashion over function, and the fashion that they offer isn’t adult woman level quality. It’s more like the Wet Seal or Forever 21 of athletic clothing.

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