There is a certain irony in the fact that despite “societal expectations” of fat people, plus size activewear is not widely available (pun intended). Some of us can squish into the XXL sizes at Target, others are not so fortunate. I spent plenty of years wearing an old, oversized t-shirt and some basic, loose black pants. Sure, they worked – comfortable, allowed for mobility – but not much else.
With online shopping and the plus size fashion revolution gaining steam, we have more options but usually the basics – black separates, scratchy fabrics, simple cuts. After I transformed my wardrobe from Lane Bryant jeans and men’s t-shirts, to reflect ME, I discovered my active wear was still lacking. It was nothing like my bright wardrobe filled with clothing I loved – but still the same baggy clothes, things that I didn’t want to be seen in.
Lucky for us, Jen has taken plus size activewear to a whole new level. Have you heard of Cult of California? If not, where have you been?!
When I first opened this package, I wanted to die – in a good way. Jen Wilder – the designer behind Cult of California offered to send me a couple of pieces from her new plus size activewear line a few months back and I couldn’t resist. Since then, I’ve bought more…
Fantastic designs and details – those you can see for yourself. High quality. Great fabrics for wicking and support. Reasonable prices. These pieces tick all the boxes for me!
For the first time, I actually don’t mind wearing my gym clothes outside because they’re amazing. To tell the truth, some of my Cult of Cali stuff is now part of my regular wardrobe…
Since we’re keeping things real, here is me – no makeup, dirty hair and ready to go to the gym, so I had Chris suffer through a few outfit combinations. I’ll give the details of the fit below each of the pieces seen here.
For reference, this is my pre-CoC and typical gym attire. Sports bra, sport tank, wicking tank, a pair of yoga pants and a pair of good shoes. When I ditched the baggy clothes a few years ago, I bought these to replace them.
Sports bra – Marika via Lane Bryant, size 28
Sport tank (berry) – Champion via Target, size 4
Wicking tank – Tek Gear via Kohl’s, 3x (for $3, bought five colors)
Pants – FILA via Kohl’s, 3x
Shoes – New Balance via Kohl’s, size 10
As far as sizing goes, the knit tops feel true to size but the activewear seems to run a little small. Granted, my measurements are 4-5″ bigger than their 30/32 on the size chart. If you go by the chart, you should be fine – allowing a few inches either way, for stretch.
The bra top is small on me, but workable. If you have a bigger bust/band size, I’d definitely size up or try a different style. For higher levels of activity, I prefer more support and coverage. There is a brilliant network of elastic inside the layers of fabric that definitely helps.
The capris fit great but are a little low rise for my preferences/body shape and start to roll down if they reach a certain point. Then again, I’m the girl who hikes everything up to her bra and if something is close to my belly button, I feel like I’m losing my pants. Jen has designed an inseam that helps mitigate wear/friction which I really, really love. The fabrics are all top notch, feel great on and wash well. These Black Unicorn pieces also feature hundreds of tiny gems for a little sparkle!
I took them for a couple of trial runs with good results and lots of compliments. I think I need a box of CoC cards to pass out!
Here’s close up of the fabric – a very light, sheer knit. I’m not really an animal print OR neon girl, but I love this top. It fits true to size, this is a 5 or 30/32. Hi lo hem, oversized cut. In these pictures I was having some static cling issues… but that is my laundry fail.
I don’t know how to even begin to write about my love for this top and I purchased it with the intention of wearing it when sweat wasn’t involved. I am already enamored with sheer clothing, adding stripes just sent me over the top.
The fabric on this top is a little scratchy. I have sensitive skin and we did just fine, until I took a walk… humidity + sweat = itchy shirt. I’ve been layering it over bright dresses as the weather “cools down”. I’ll have to do an OOTD.
I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Jen in New York and she is an amazing, passionate, fierce, fashionable woman. There are too many words to describe her. I am so excited to see where life takes her!
I still have a few more Cult of California pieces to show you, so keep an eye out! In the meantime, go forth and shop… or stay up to date with Cult of California on Facebook. Jen has been sneaking a few pictures of her holiday collection. Hint: sequins and velvet.
And the Cult of California tag line?
Worship at the altar of you.
Now that is something that I can agree with.
Have you tried anything from CoC? What are your favorite pieces? What would you like to see in plus size activewear?