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WW Active: The Good, the Bad, and the WTH? | Manolo for the Big Girl

WW Active: The Good, the Bad, and the WTH?

So. Yesterday in my inbox, I found an announcement of Woman Within’s new WW Active line. It’s a collection of activewear, exercise equipment, and blog for fat… er… plus sized women. So far the blog only has two entries, so I can’t say much about it other than it’s got cheerful graphics of straight-sized women and has not yet specifically mentioned weight loss.

While I haven’t seen the clothes up close and personal, I did take a bit of a gander at the offerings on tap to see what I thought of them. Overall, they look practical and comfortable. Most of the pieces do include polyester and/or spandex, but I did find a couple all-cotton shirts, which is nice. Let’s encourage more of that, shall we? And most of the pieces in the collection do seem to include some cotton along with the synthetics.

Most pieces offer color choices, some of them a positively dizzying number, which pleased me to no end. For instance, those yoga pants shown above? come with your choice of twelve color combinations. Okay, all that changes on these is the color of the stripe down the leg, but many pieces come in eight, twelve, even sixteen completely different colors.

Speaking of choices, most of the pants come in petite sizes as well as regular, and quite a few also come in tall. And while the largest size I found among the pieces I actually looked at was 6x – and I only found a couple of those – the size chart tops out at 7x. I have high hopes that that means we’ll soon see attractive, reasonably priced activewear for women up to size 46w/48w. Most of the pieces in the collection seem to go up to 5x, though I did find a couple pantsuits that only went up to 1x. Still, if you’re super sized, there’s a good chance you can find something to wear in this collection. And chances are it will come in a pretty color. I even found athletic shoes up to a 13xww!

Another thing I appreciated was the fact that the line includes exercise equipment. On the downside, nearly half the section is made up of scales and juicers, with only a couple actual pieces of exercise equipment. On the very upside is the unfortunately named Love Handles Exerciser.

What do I think is so great about this machine? Well, basically it consists of two handles which, according to the write up on the site can be attached to nearly any chair or wheelchair. Yes, this site is actually willing to acknowledge that an inability to walk doesn’t necessarily mean you have no interest in fitness.

On the downside of the fitness equipment is the constant talk in the write ups about fat burning, which, I know, is to be expected, but still disappoints my little activist soul. On the even more downside, many pieces of equipment are designed to hold no more than 250ibs. and the treadmill is only rated up to 225lbs. I hope that more equipment for the super sized will become available as time moves on. As things stand, I would break the treadmill, since I’m somewhere in the 240 range.

So yes, there are some downsides. But compared to what has been available for the larger athlete (aka: virtually nothing), Woman Within has done a pretty darn good job, and I applaud them for it.

Oh, and right now? Most of the items in the catalog are on sale. Plus, to sweeten the pot, WW is offering a 20% discount on your entire WW Active order with sales code WWActive20 until 2/28/12.

Let’s support a good effort, and keep our criticisms constructive.

4 Responses to “WW Active: The Good, the Bad, and the WTH?”

  1. Tracy January 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I completely understand your love of all coton/natural fibers, but at the same time, cotton workout wear doesn’t wick, and once you start seriously sweating you really do need the wicking fibers – especially if there’s any chance you might chafe, and those of us who are not a size 4 somehow seem to have more areas that chafe… It’s a big problem (haha, no pun intended) that workout clothes aren’t made above maybe a 1x usually. I think this is awesome!

  2. Emma January 22, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    I came here to defend non-cotton work out clothes. I exercise in synthetics, because they wick.

    I run long distances, and have the worst chafing in cotton. I ran a half-marathon in a cotton singlet, and it looked like I had taken a cheese-grater to my arms. Big agreement with Tracy.

    If you’re going to exercise for more than 45 minutes, or sweat significantly, I’d recommended specialty synthetics. (I wear natural fibres all the rest of the time, though!)

  3. raincoaster January 22, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I have to agree with the commenters above. As a recovering marathoner, I can say I was a cotton holdout but one day I was down to my last workout top and it was a synthetic gimme shirt I’d never worn. Well, after working up a sweat in it, I never looked back. My cotton tees are still in the drawer, good as new ten years later, but all my tech fiber gear has worn out because I wore it for up to four hours a day.

    Richard Simmons is not an intellectual man, but he did say something smart, which is that if you’re working out, your underwear has to get soaked, and not just because Viggo Mortensen is on the spin bike in the row ahead of you. If you sweat, you need tech fibres.

  4. teresa January 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    A good source for fat lady, ahem, “plus-sized” fitness wear is Junonia. They also have cold weather gear(a must here in Northern Maine). Quality is good, prices high tho. Another source for fitness wear, although selection is sometimes full of clothing overly endowed with sequins, bugle beads, fake gems and grommets is Ulla Popken. They also have some nice classic stuff, though they must learn how to resist the temptation to tack lace on garments which don’t need them in an effort tomake them “trendy”(or something).