Like a love affair, my relationship with athletic clothing line Ellie has had its ups and downs.
Ellie.com started as pv.body, which took excess inventory from top brands and sent a surprise top and bottom every month to subscribers for a low price.
It had some problems then—customer service was slow, returned gear was plenty—but it worked pretty well. I was happy, I loved the surprise and when I did return an item, I got something in exchange. I loved it enough to become an ambassador for the company (using this link to buy kicks money back to me).
The company then morphed into its own line of gear, called Ellie.
This was even more exciting, from an ambassador standpoint, because I felt like I knew things first. It was also promising—they touted themselves as a cheaper, better lululemon (without actually name-checking lulu). And indeed, my initial reviews were endlessly positive: I loved their long sleeved tee so much I ordered two and a friend stole one; the shorts were so great I ordered a second pair in a different pattern and they remain my FAVORITE shorts; the sports bra is also one of if not the favorite of mine. The Ellie subscription model of $49.95 gets you two pieces a month—you pick them from each month’s collection, or they mail you surprises if you don’t pick (or skip) by the 7th, which is a lot of fun and seems like a great deal.
They started coming up with this “Signature” line, which includes a $120 hoody—isn’t that what we were railing against? Prices are creeping up steadily with each new collection (released monthly). A few months ago, I ordered two pieces that were “Dry Clean Only.” Are you kidding me? Athletic-wear that’s dry clean only?
Some people say that any Dry Clean Only tag is just companies covering their backs. Ok, I thought, I’m going to wash these and see what happens. Because I won’t dry clean them anyway.
Maybe this is no surprise. But when retail is $59.95 for a TANK TOP for athletic endeavors, I expect it to stand up to a few washings. And that’s something Ellie as a company promised in its first manifesto.
Perhaps unfortunately, these workout clothes are my current favorites. The bottom line is this: Unlike some of their competitors, I do think Ellie makes clothes that are remarkably flattering on lots of body types. I ordered again, when the next collection included a new pair of shorts ($45.95) and a sassy long-sleeved, drapey tee ($69.95). And like most of the items before the dry-clean ones, these two items are awesome—the shorts are super soft, very flattering, and already inspired compliments and inquiries. Shorts are really hard to buy online without trying on, but Ellie has managed to go 2/2 for me. The tee is the same soft fabric that inspired the thievery of my original tee, and I’ll probably need to safeguard this one as well.
They’re still working out the kinks, but so long as Ellie.com maintains the subscription model, I’ll likely stay a fan. $25 per piece is a good deal (Fit Fashionista Club subscription is $49.95, but you save 20% with this link), and there are a few steals even at their retail pricing—Hot Tropic sports bra, I’m looking at your $34.95 price tag.
EXTRA! Ellie is currently running a giveaway: click here to enter to win an Ellie Outfit & Yoga DVD Set. The DVD set in the giveaway features 12 DVDs that make up a 108-day yoga program from Travis Eliot, a nutrition plan, and program calendar.