What It Is: A new activewear collection for fitness and yoga. The Bench. brand is available in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.
What You Might Not Know: A British-born line that originated as city clothing and street style, Bench. (yes, the period is supposed to be there after the word “Bench”—it’s not a typo) has branched out to multi-purpose attire, including activewear.
Feelin’ the Love: I usually don’t think of this brand for fitness clothes, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stopped in at a local Bench. Canada store.
Their selection of fitness and yoga clothes for women isn’t huge; I had trouble piecing together an entire matching outfit with what was left in stock. But I did find the overall collection to be well-made and appropriate for more than just Millennials (I’ve always associated the brand with teens and 20-somethings).
Bench. Canada offers the usual array of activewear basics: black leggings and solid tanks that are longer than most workout tops. My vibrant Supta Vest in Cerise hit just about at the top of my thighs, covering a bit of butt. This length eliminated my having to tug the shirt’s hem back down as I worked out or did yoga stretches.
In addition to the basics, Bench. Canada also offers more unique-looking items, like the piece that first caught my eye when I was browsing online: the Purna Zip Thru in Griffin Marl. This funnel-necked jacket looked great when I tried it on in the store, thanks to its feminine, shaped back and side hems.
At the gym, the Purna Zip Thru performed nicely because of its weight: Substantial enough to shield you from chilly air conditioning as you’re just getting warmed up, but not so thick as to feel heavy during a cooldown.
The pants I got (Baddah Legging in Jet Black Marl) performed well during cardio and lifting weights and are a good length for my average height (5’5″), hitting at just below my ankles. I think I like them best for yoga, though, because they’re so soft and slightly thick (and not at all see-through).
Made in Canada from 86% Nylon Supplex and 14% Lycra Spandex, these leggings are easily among the most comfortable fitness pants I own.
If I Could Change One Thing: Bench. Canada seems to have the workout-pant category well covered with lots of styles and fabrics to choose from. I’d love to see more variety in their selection of sleeveless tanks, as well. At the time of this post, they offer only one style that I can see (Supta Vest).
Should You Buy It? Bench. Canada’s activewear line is definitely worth a look as long as you’re not bargain shopping. The pricing is similar to or perhaps a little less than other popular fitness brands (around $69 for leggings and $99 for the zip-up jacket).
If you’re shopping online, it helps to know your size in Bench. Canada clothes as some items like the Purna Zip Thru seemed to have a scaled-down fit. I went with size Small across the board.
Available at Bench. Canada stores and online.