If you’re thinking about signing up for the Fabletics VIP membership — or ordering from Fabletics in general — you may want to reconsider. In theory, a monthly athleisure membership sounds like a good idea, but when faced with quality and sizing inconsistency and the potential to accidentally rack up a large amount of store credit, it’s a terrible use of your hard-earned cash.
Sure, the monthly styles are cute and Kate Hudson always looks fab (pun intended) in her company’s monthly lookbook, but after trying Fabletics’ VIP membership for three months straight, I can assure you that you’re better off paying full-price for higher-quality activewear at Outdoor Voices, Lululemon, or — my personal favorite — Do Lyfe Activewear. (They have the best leggings!) Find out why ahead.
1. The quality is inconsistent
I’ll admit, before registering as a Fabletics VIP member, I always ooh-ed and ah-ed over all the affordable styles. But now, I see their affordability as a big red flag.
Ironically enough, the first pair of leggings I ordered are the only decent quality pair I received. The rest look — and, more importantly, feel — cheaply made. And there’s nothing worse than sweating in cheap fabric.
That being said, their leggings aren’t the only thing that need some help in the quality department. I ordered a couple of sports bras and a crop top from Fabletics and was deeply disappointed by their quality, too. Unlike the leggings, all the sports bras and the top that I ordered were made of cheap fabric, were itchy, and fit super weird (more on that later). I’ve found sports bras and workout tops at Forever 21 for better quality (and better prices).
2. The style fits are unpredictable
After ordering outfits for three consecutive months, I can attest that none of them — I repeat, none of them— were consistent in size. Without a doubt, I am always the same size in leggings and workout tops. However, of all the leggings that I ordered, only one pair fit how I wanted them to. They were all similar in style — and had the same size and inseam — yet, one was extremely long, another extremely baggy, and the other extremely tight. I’m not quite sure how an activewear brand that sells their product exclusively online can be so inconsistent, especially when they have you choose your preferred size when signing up for their membership.
3. Their auto-payment plan is sneaky
When signing up for Fabletics VIP Membership, they make it clear that they will charge you $49.95 once a month and you always have the option to skip the month. But, when it comes time to skip that month, figuring out how to do so can be tricky.
After scouring their website, I figured out that you can skip between the first and fifth of each month by clicking “Skip the Month” on the “My Outfits” tab. However, if you shop on the regular outfits page or are browsing through any other section, this button will not show up.
4. It’s easy to rack up store credit
Store credit is something consumers typically fawn over. But, when the store takes said credit out of your account every month, it’s not as fun. If you forget to skip your auto-payment between the first and fifth of each month, the brand will charge your account $49.95 on the sixth of every month. That can add up pretty quickly.
5. Their live chat is unreliable
If you need help with anything on the Fabletics website, don’t waste your time with their live chat. I once sat there for 30 minutes, waiting for a customer service representative to assist me. After growing impatient, I decided to give their customer service phone number a try. Fortunately, the spandex gods were watching over me, and I was able to reach a representative without any hassle.
6. The sales don’t always apply
If you’re a member of the Fabletics VIP program, you may have noticed how the amazing sales don’t always apply to you. For example, if their sale offers 75% off of everything on their site for non-VIP members (the catch: they must sign up for the membership upon checking out), VIP members won’t get that same incentive. Instead, the VIP sale will be something along the lines of $30 off $129.95.
7. It’s a wasteful way to shop
Let’s be honest, how many leggings and workout tops do we really need? I personally have a drawer spilling over with them and only wear a handful. In an era where we are more conscious about consumption, a fast fashion company with mediocre quality — that thrives off of the monthly subscription model, no less — seems a bit backwards to me.
Instead of purchasing a new, cheaply made outfit every month, save your money and treat yourself to a high-quality outfit from athleisure brands that treat mother nature with love. Case in point: Girlfriend Collective. The activewear brand carries athleisure made from — get this — recycled plastic bottles and eco-friendly dyes. Not to mention, they treat and recycle every drop of water used to dye their fabrics. Now, that’s a purchase you can feel great about.