What It Is: A well-known leader in sports bras, Champion also makes a complete line of athletic apparel—workout tops and bottoms—for men and women.
What You Might Not Know: Champion is part of HanesBrands, the company that also manufactures apparel for Hanes underwear and Wonderbra. No wonder Champion does the sports bra so well.
Feelin’ the Love: When I first got the invitation to test-drive a complete Champion outfit—bra, tank, jacket and pants—I really didn’t know what to expect. Up until then, I was heavily invested in what I call my fitness apparel “inner circle,” i.e., those four or five brands that I shop for and wear most often. Champion wasn’t one of them.
I knew about Champion, but, you know, I had my “inner circle.” I’d just never thought to check them out before. Now I know better.
Let me review each of the four items Champion sent me in order of how much I love them. I’ll save the best for last.
- Champion Absolute PowerFlex Women’s Workout Jacket Soft fabric, gorgeous color (they call it Plum Dream). There’s a contrast color—sort of a bright orange—on the zipper and pockets that adds interest to this otherwise straightforward layering jacket.
- Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra One of their best-sellers, this comfy racer-back bra was designed to provide medium to high support for A to C cups. Speaking for B-cuppers, I’d say Champion’s support claim is accurate. There’s a good amount of curved inner padding that eliminates the dreaded mono-boob, but I still felt like it flattened my chest a bit.
- Champion PowerTrain Women’s Heather Tank Love at first touch. This tank feels ultra-soft like pajamas, but, I assure you, Champion’s Vapor® technology performs at a high level as you work out, wicking away sweat and drying quickly. Airy and cool (and nicely loose around the middle), I can already tell this will be my go-to gear in the hot summer months. Plus, its sleek racerback cut is cute and feminine.
- Champion Balance Capri Make way “inner circle” brands. These are now among my most adored workout pants/capris. Made from what Champion calls “supportive powermesh”— which sounds like the stuff of superhero clothes—the double-layered waistband feels like it’s holding you in without squeezing you in. The result is a fit that flatters the abs. Champion’s Balance Capris also passed the ultimate test in fitness pants: They’re stretchy but not see-through when you squat or bend over.
If I Could Change One Thing: Most Champion sizes for women start at Small and go to XL. I usually wear XS or S and found that the size Small tank and jacket would have fit me better as XS.
The tank in particular gapes a bit just under the armholes on my 34B frame, making it ideal for someone with a larger bust than what I’ve got going on. I’d love to see Champion include XS in their sizing options in shirts and jackets for those of us who are less curvaceous on top. As for bottoms, my beloved capris fit perfectly in size Small.
Should You Buy It? Yes, especially with such a reasonable price point. Tanks for 20 bucks. And at $48, those Champion Balance Capris are half the price of many other fitness pants and just as nice, or nicer! Available in major fitness apparel stores and online at Hanes.com/Champion.