Saturday, July 14, 2012

Running Skirt Reviews (continued!)

Since my original post that did some running skirts reviews, I have tried several others, and wanted to update you on the results.  See photos of all the skirts here.

1. A New Favorite? 
I purchased the "New Balance Cirque-U-Late" skirt from Zappos.com (free return shipping!) and I really like it.  It has two stash pockets built into the sides of the compression shorts, has a good length, is able to be worn pretty high-waisted, has a draw string, and the shorts don't ride up.  It is very reminiscent of the original 2010 "New Balance Eat my Dust" skirt, that I loved but that is no longer made.  One thing I like MORE about this skirt is the light, cool feeling.  The skirt is so lightweight that you can actually see through the mesh when the light hits it right.  The shorts are thin and very comfortable, not constricting at all.  I do fear that because of the lightweight material the shorts are made of, that I will quickly be forced to repair holes in the crotch, like I did with the original EMD skirt, but I am okay with that.  Another feature of this skirt is that it has cinches on the sides to make the length adjustable.  I originally thought this was kinda silly, but I end up wearing it cinched most of the time.  I tried on both a M and a L, and had a really hard time deciding between the two.  The L looked awkward and blousy in the mirror, too big.  The M looked great on, but felt kind of constricting, and the shorts rode up a bit when I tried it on on the treadmill.  I ended up going with the large, and using the side cinches to combat the blousy/flowiness of the larger size.  And to show a little more leg.  Ow-ow!!  One thing I wish this skirt had that the original EMD had, is a wider waistband.  This one is fine, but a wider one would be more flattering, especially if I had gone with the smaller size.

2. Inconsistent Material/Sizing Leads to a Mixed Review
The skirt that prompted my original running skirts review was the RunningSkirts.com Athletic Skirt.  The upshot was that it sucked.  It kept falling down.  Well, Rose wears these same skirts and loves them, and offered to let me try hers (which is actually the exact same size and model as the one I bought).  This skirt fits great!  The material is less slippery than the "Haute Pink" one that I bought on clearance, and the waistband has more elasticity, but not so much that it cuts you in a bad way, which is probably what they were going for.  I am able to wear it high, over my gut, so that's great too.  It doesn't feel like I would have the problem of losing it around my ankles as I run, like I did with the pink one.  How annoying is that?!?  Exact same skirt, same cut, same size, just a different color and it is completely different.  Still, I don't think I will be buying any more of this brand.  #1 they don't have pockets in the compression shorts, just velcro pockets on the skirt, and if you put anything in them it " juts out like a tumor" on your hip.  (That is Rose's quote.  Hilarious as usual, and oh-so-true). #2 I don't love they're giant weird logo that takes up such a large part of the left thigh.  #3 Who knows if the skirt I got would fit if they're so inconsistent??  However, I can see how this could be a very popular skirt, because the fit is good (on the navy one at least) and it is very comfortable, and the shorts don't ride up.  And I think it looks really good on.  It just doesn't have the features that I want.  Maybe if I combine it with a race belt to use for pockets/Gu....or just wear it on shorter run days where Coach Gina will be taking pictures and I don't need to carry anything, but need to NOT look like shit. 
In this photo there are 23 outlines of runners on my outfit.  I counted. 21 on my shirt and 2 on the skirt.  I also have 23 followers on my blog right now.  (14 via google and 9 via email).  Coincidence? I think not.
3. A Long List of Returns
I spent $465 on Zappos to try on skirts and tanks and the New Balance Cirque-U-Late is the only thing I kept.  Here is some of what I sent back.  I'll try to give you some brief reasons why, if I can remember, but some of them I just put on looked in the mirror, and took right back off because there was just.no.way. it was going to happen. 
  • New Balance 2012 Eat My Dust Skirt.  I owed this a try.  I loved the 2010 model, hated the 2011 model.  2012 ended up being somewhere in between.  The waist was just like the 2010, so that was great.  The material was too thin and wrinkly like the the 2011 though.  I don't remember how I felt about the shorts.  I think they were better than 2011.  That was the worst skirt ever.  I also wasn't a fan of the pleat/split things.  Maybe if I was still a cheerleader... (I know, how could that have ever happened?  So not me.  But, it did.  I was. )
  • Brooks PR Mesh Skort II .  I have tried this before in a L, which I felt was too loose, so decided to try it again in both the M and L to compare.  It wasn't terrible, and I know a lot of people live by this skirt, but it wasn't for me.  I don't like the "no-slip" grip bands that they have at the ends on the insides of the shorts.  (It's like a rubbery strip to help keep them from riding up).  Plus, as usual, I was between sizes.  I don't think it had any draw cord or anything, so I couldn't make the large work.  Definitely wearable, but not worth keeping when I had better options.  I think this may have been the skirt that a stash pocket on the shorts, but that was too narrow for my taste, but don't quote me on that.  That me have been one of the other ones below.
  • Pantagonia All Weather Skirt.  The skirt was good on this but the shorts were way.too.booty.  They were basically like those boy-short underwear that are all "cheeky".  Obviously, they didn't ride up, but that's because there was nothing TO ride up.  And obviously there were no pockets on the shorts, because there was no space on the shorts for such a thing.  RETURN. 
  • Nike Power Knit Skort.  Not a bad fit.  Wasn't a fan of the material.  Kinda heavy and cottony.  Wouldn't want to wear that soaked in sweat! I don't think it had the stash pockets in the legs, which is a major must for me. 
  • Spanx Active Power Skort. Um, wow.  First, let me say that this is my first "spanx" purchase.  I thought that it sounded like something I should try (given that I bought several maternity bottoms to help with belly compression, despite being quite-not-pregnant).  Okay, $100 for a running skirt, NO.  Big no.  I knew these were going back unless they were like the most amazing thing I'd ever put on in my life.  They weren't.  At least not in a good way.  The shorts are designed to stick out the bottom of the skirt; didn't like that.  I guess they did the job of being flattering, at least for as long as you can look good before you pass out from being unable to breathe.  Holy tight.  I got the L and to really shimmy to get into those things.  I can't imagine running in them.  Not sure I could really move my legs apart enough to walk...     RETURN.
  • I also got some tanks, and I NEVER find tanks that I like.  Basically the only one I ever get is the Brooks Distance Singlet, and I don't "love" it, but it's lightweight and loose, so I keep going back.  Anyway, it turns out I really like this one from Nike, the Miler.  I ended up sending it back because I'm just cutting up race tech Ts that I don't wear to make tanks to save money, plus it turns out I already got this same tank last week at a local running store, in a medium (see it here) .  I got the large from zappos and it was a touch loose.  That was good news though, and another reason I like this shirt: it seems to be sized appropriately.  I am generally between a M/L (as I am in this tank), but in running tanks it is almost always between a L/XL. Maybe it's just because I don't like them remotely tight.  If a running shirt has spandex in it, there's no point in me even trying it on.  This tank is a nice, relaxed fit.  
That's it.  Don't forget to check out the full photo review, and the original skirt review post. 

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