Alicia Keys x Athleta Review
Is the activewear collab between Alicia Keys and Athleta in perfect harmony?
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The retailer is also home to several collaborations with inspiring women, from Simone Biles to Alicia Keys. We tested out the new Alicia Keys collection to see what differs from Athleta's usual collections and whether investing in the new line is worth your cash.
What is the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection?
Alicia Keys' Athleta line features its own products designed by the singer-songwriter, as well as new variations and styles of products that already exist at Athleta. You can find, for example, the Elation leggings and bike shorts in new colors like orange and almond brown, as well as old favorites with a twist, like the Aurora silhouette in the form of a bodysuit. New items include a $54.99 crop top, a pair of $109.99 wide-leg sweatpants, a $54.99 bodysuit, a $139.99 robe, a $139.99 high-waisted utility pant, a $109.99 cropped hoodie, a $49.99 cropped t-shirt, and a $159.99 moisture-wicking jumpsuit.
Athleta sent me three items to test: the nylon and spandex crop top, which has a snug, ribbed fit; the sweatpants, which have wide-leg, high-waisted silhouette and made with a lush, buttery polyester-modal-spandex fabric; and the water-wicking nylon jumpsuit, which has cinch-tied ankles, an open back, and a high neckline, with tight ruching around the elastic waistband and snap buttons securing the top.
Pieces in the collection are available, for the most part, in a hot pink shade, an almond-y brown, a buttery yellow, and standard colors like white, orange, and black. You can find sizes XXS through 3X.
Currently, Athleta has most of the Alicia Keys collection on sale. Some pieces from the collection have already sold out.
How I tested the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection
To test the clothes, I wore the crop top, the sweatpants, and the jumpsuit twice each, once for working out and once as I went about my day. I also played around with the purported water-wicking capabilities of the jumpsuit: I let water run over it for a few minutes to see if it would soak through, and scattered some water drops over the fabric's surface to watch how quickly it soaked through and spread out.
What I like about the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection
For starters, the fabric of every piece is lovely. Athleta utilizes great fabrics, and the Athleta x Alicia Keys line is no exception. The fabric on the jumpsuit was, as I mentioned, thin-looking but ultimately durable, with water-wicking capabilities. The fabric on the sweatpants was my favorite overall and was comfortable enough to sleep in.
The cropped mock-neck top is my favorite item of the collection. As someone with a larger bust and wide shoulders, sometimes halter-neck tops can be a bit of a gamble, but I was pleased to see that the top fit true to size and the sizing dimensions were accurately represented. The high mock neck is snug without being restricting, and the fit of the shirt is equally comfortable.
The rest of the collection grew on me as I wore it. I found the sweatpants confusing at first—the high-waist has two panels, which didn't seem to serve much purpose, structure-wise. They looked very strange coming out of the package, but they looked great on—there's a slimming effect to the waist that the interior panel provides. If you're not a fan of wearing high-waisted items as loungewear, it might not be for you, but I spent an entire workday sitting at my desk in the pants and really enjoyed them. My only complaint is that the legs of the pants seemed a little long on me—I'm 5-foot-4, and the hems landed about a half-inch above where my heel meets the floor.
What I didn't like about the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection
The jumpsuit was the item I was most apprehensive about—and ultimately my least favorite item. It's made with a thin, crepe-paper looking fabric and designed with a large backless opening—not ideal for working out because it didn't seem like it would look right with a sports bra. But the moisture-wicking fabric worked as advertised, and the cinching ties and open front made it really appealing as a versatile, stylish one-piece. It holds in some sweat while working out, but the open back provides ventilation so you don't feel totally hemmed in. I could see it being a piece you might wear for hiking, or something chic to wear out on a walk.
That said, the jumpsuit was the item I had the most complaints about overall. The top of it has a familiar problem I associate with a lot of button-front tops as someone with a larger bust. Namely, the two sides of the button-front top pulled across the chest and effected the overall fit of the jumpsuit. If you're in the market for the jumpsuit, and you want to ensure that it will fit as you need, I would consider sizing up—the elastic waistband should mean that you're not going to run into a loose waist in exchange for more room in the top.
Is the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection worth it?
Ultimately, I enjoyed testing the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection, especially the crop top, which I would buy for myself. The sweatpants offer an interesting high-waist style in a supple fabric that feels great for lounging. The jumpsuit might be one to skip unless you're looking for a statement piece, but overall the fabric and overall quality of the pieces is top notch.
Currently, Athleta is hosting sale prices on most of the Alicia Keys collection, too, so now's the time to try it out!
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.