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*Updated July 2020
I’ve become an expert at buying fitness apparel.
In fact, if there was a Fitness Apparel Institute of Higher Learning I’d be the Headmaster.
A National Organization of Women’s Workout Clothing? I’d be the Prez
You get the idea.
What makes me an expert?
I’ve been buying fitness apparel for 20 years. Unless I’m at work (where I wear scrubs), I’m wearing workout clothes. My wardrobe is 90% workout apparel and 10% casual wear. I belong to 5 workout clothing subscription programs. I run, lift weights, do aerobics and live life in my exercise clothes.
You should feel confident when I tell you about an athletic clothing program, that I know what I’m talking about.
PRO TIP-Find out about ALL of my favorite athletic clothes subscription box programs in this article:
Now let me tell you everything you need to know about Fabletics and the VIP Membership.
Here we go…
If you use one of my links to purchase something it helps support my business. Thank you! (No hard feelings if you don’t.) You can get more information about that here.
Fabletics is a company that sells fitness apparel and offers a unique spin (I’ll explain this in more detail throughout this article) on a fitness apparel subscription program.
Basically you fill out the style profile and are (kind of) pressured to become a Fabletics VIP member. Watch this video.
VIP Members are given perks every month.
Since you’ll be ordering your own stuff you get to pick how many pieces you get every month.
Watch out for the big push to get you to purchase an entire outfit, though.
If you’re not careful you’ll fall into their well-crafted marketing scheme that steers you headfirst into an entire outfit every month.
You’ll actually think, ‘Do I have to buy this whole outfit?’ (because it won’t be obvious). The answer is: No, no you DON’T have to buy the entire outfit. You don’t even have to buy the items in that month’s ‘custom picks’.
Fabletics sells every kind of athleisure wear you can think of (tops, sports bras, jackets/pullovers, tights, joggers, shorts, socks, panties, and even accessories like headbands and gym bags).
Unlike other apparel memberships, Fabletics only sells their own brand of clothing.
Fabletics offers an awesome range of sizes.
Compared to the other companies I use, Fabletics clothing is well-priced. You won’t pay more for their stuff than you will for other high-quality fitness apparel.
But watch out for the 3 prices you might see when you pull up an item.
This marketing ploy is SO GOOD.
There’s a price for current VIP members, a discount price for people who aren’t VIP members yet (but who will get a discounted rate on those items if they sign up for VIP membership), and then the *sad face* full price.
Who wants to pass up the savings!
But be cautious about the VIP membership. I don’t recommend it.
You can go on Fabletics as often as you want and buy stuff. If you’re a VIP member you’ll get points and ‘special pricing’ for all your purchases.
But the only obligation you agree to as a VIP member is to buy something (of ANY value) every month by the 5th. If you don’t, then you’ve given Fabletics permission to charge your credit card $49.95 (which will be a credit on your Fabletics account).
There are TWO ways to avoid the monthly charge–make a purchase (as I mentioned) OR sign into your account before the 5th and SKIP the month.
They don’t make it easy.
On the 1st of the month a magic box will appear that you can click on to Skip This Month.
To find that red box you have to go under the My Outfits tab. (God forbid they leave that box there all the time so you can skip the month when it’s convenient for you.)
Take Note-For some reason there are times that this route (clicking on My Outfits) won’t work. I’m going to assume this is a glitch in the coding at Fabletics but on several occasions clicking on My Outfits has NOT taken me to the Skip This Month option page of my account, but instead has oddly redirected me back to the new outfits shopping page. Stuff like this pisses me off. I can’t help but wonder if the redirect is intentional.
If this happens to you, clear your cache and browsing history and try again. If you’re still getting redirected when you try to click on My Outfits then I’d call immediately and cancel your VIP Membership.
UPDATE: In late 2019, the ‘Skip this month’ box started showing up on the home page when I logged into my account on the 1st-4th day of the month. Bravo, Fabletics!
I asked Fabletics this question using the Fabletics chat option under customer service.
So, according to Norma, you can skip every single month—forever. (Not sure why you’d do that but you have the option.)
While the website says you can use Chat or make a phone call to cancel your membership, I’d recommend that you call, just to make sure a live person verifies you’ve been cancelled.
But you can cancel at anytime.
Spot on for size and comfort
Nice fit and material, comfy
Run large, unique style options (although some of them aren’t that practical for me…those cut-outs look cool on the model but remember you’ll be the one wearing that stuff…some of it feels too exposed to wear to my kid’s soccer games)
I haven’t purchased any of these yet
I’ve seen some complaints online regarding the Fabletics customer service.
But I haven’t had any issues with them. They’ve always responded to my email/chat questions in a quick and professional manner.
So, when I went to sign in to my Fabletics account on July 1 to ‘skip’ the month and avoid the $49.95 charge, I found that my password was no longer working.
After multiple attempts to reset my password were unsuccessful I decided to contact customer service.
I called the toll free number and spoke with someone at a call center who told me he’d send me a link to reset my password.
I never received that email.
The next day I used live chat to request a password reset and did finally receive a link. Yay! I immediately navigated to my account and skipped the month of July.
This was July 2, so I was well within the 5 days where I could still ‘skip the month’ and avoid the subscription fee.
On July 8, I received an email that I’d been charged $49.95 for my monthly subscription to Fabletics. WTH?
I’ll be cancelling my membership. But I encourage you to read the rest of this article (as well as the comments below it) before you decide what’s best for you.
While the VIP membership is a little ambiguous in my opinion (possibly designed that way), the website is easy to navigate and the products have great images.
High Quality Apparel
The materials are all nice with vibrant colors that I don’t think will fade.
There aren’t a bunch of loose threads hanging around or weird seams.
There’s room for improvement in the sizing but the overall quality of the clothing is very good.
The other fitness apparel subscription programs I belong to (refer to the list at the end of this post, please) work differently.
The other programs also have a style profile that you fill out to get started. Then (with those programs) you sit back and wait for a stylist to send you hand-picked items based on your profile.
You’re not sent (or pushed to purchase) entire ‘outfits’ but rather individual pieces.
Other programs typically charge a style fee of $20-$25. That money goes towards the cost of the items you keep. (If you send everything back, you’re out $20-$25, depending on the program). Whatever you send back is shipped for free in an envelope provided for you.
I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of the Fabletics style profile is (maybe to gather data about the customers who visit their site?) because the best I can tell I just get an email every month telling me about the newest styles (outfits) for the month.
There’s nothing that feels personalized/custom/hand-picked about it (there’s definitely not a stylist in contact with me, like with other programs).
Also, returns at Fabletics aren’t free. Think carefully before you order anything.
Honestly, Fabletics has the Google market on the keywords ‘fitness apparel subscription’ (and really good marketing) but that’s not really what their program is (in my opinion).
Fabletics VIP membership feels a lot more like a monthly reminder service to go shop at Fabletics than anything else.
Kate Hudson is the co-founder and face of Fabletics. She’s also adorable and looks great in all the clothing they sell. No other company has a Hollywood endorser. Without Kate, Fabletics wouldn’t be as big as they are.
At Fabletics, we create clothing that inspires you to stay active, whether that means competing in an iron(wo)man competition, sweating in the studio, or chasing after your kids. Our on-trend designs are high in quality at prices you’ll feel good about. This is where the inspiration starts. Beyond the clothing, we foster a community of people who embrace our mantra – “Live Your Passion” – every day.
Backorders and ship delays—this has happened to me several times
Something about that $49.95 that hacks me off (compared to a $20 styling fee)
I can’t seem to find the sweet spot at Fabletics for my size. I’ve had to send a lot of stuff back (which hacks me off further because I have to pay that return shipping cost).
Lots of promo emails. Be prepared to have your Inbox blow up with Fabletics advertising.
To be fair, you CAN adjust your email settings under your account.
I originally found the VIP Membership confusing. I had to email and get an explanation regarding that $49.95 fee.
I know I’ve already been over this but here’s a recap of how the VIP charge works—I thought I had to spend $49.95 every month to meet the criteria for the VIP membership and its perks. Turns out you just have to buy something (at any price) every month (by the 5th) to avoid the $49.95 charge. (OR you can get online and SKIP that month and avoid the charge and the purchase requirement).
You have to pay for those returns/exchanges
Yep. If you order something and then want to exchange/return it (for any reason) you’ll have to pay $9.00. ( The VIP Perks under the FAQ section claim that exchanges are free but I had to pay shipping.)
No pretty box, no personalized/hand-picked apparel (despite the claim otherwise)…it just feels like I get a monthly reminder to go shop…which isn’t terrible, mind you, but not the same as other programs
Don’t fall for the Perks
Remember all those perks that Fabletics uses to lure you in to their VIP membership?
Well, the discounted price of each item and free shipping for orders over $49.95 are the only perks that matter.
The point program shouldn’t entice you in any way.
You’ll need at least 300 points to redeem them for anything (and as of the time of this posting there were only 16 items in the 300-point category and you could argue that there were really only 9 because several of the items are just variations of the same items…for example, 2 different kinds of water bottles, 2 different sock styles, 2 baseball caps, 3 different hair ties, etc.).
The big items require 700-2000 points but the choices are still slim-pickings (maybe overstock? Clearance items?).
This page should have the answer to any question you still have.
I love reading about how a brand or company got started. Read this to get the story behind Fabletics
Don’t immediately sign up for the VIP membership. I know, I know it’s SO TEMPTING! Afterall, I signed up and have yet to cancel it.
But what I recommend is that you order one or 2 items (yes, at full price *gasp!*) and see what you think before you commit to the VIP membership.
The clothes are really nice but if they don’t fit you then a VIP Membership isn’t a good option. And remember you’ll have to contend with those return/exchange fees if you don’t keep everything.
If you’re looking for an actual workout clothing subscription program then try Wantable or Sweatstyle. (Check out the full articles below for all the information about these fitness apparel subscription services.)
You can get every detail about each program in these articles:
If you’re just looking for a place to buy some new fitness apparel then definitely check out what they’re selling at Fabletics (but be wary of falling into the VIP membership vortex).
Thanks for reading!