Overall Rating - 8.8 / 10
PROS / Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is four way stretch and breathable. It provides the comfort and support needed for various activities from yoga to high impact workouts. The body-mapped perforations keep me cool during exercises. Moreover, the legging flatters body curvatures very well.
CONS / The material is on the thicker side for my taste and it is not as soft as Sweaty Betty Prism Seamless Legging. In addition, the waistband stretches out over time.
BOTTOM LINE / Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is a reasonably priced legging that offers great quality and performance. It covers basic needs for yoga and gym workouts, such as four-way stretch, breathability and muscles support. It also creates a flattering look.
About Zella -
Zella is the Nordstrom in house, exclusive activewear brand. Their clothes are high quality, fashion forward and reasonably priced. There is another line, Z by Zella, which is sold at Nordstrom Rack. Unfortunately, I am not able to find more information about the brand other than the fact that it is Nordstrom exclusive.
Details of Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging -
Top: Lululemon Reveal Bra Precision, Black, Size 4 (true to size).
Bottom: Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging, Black, S (run small).
I bet most of you have heard of Zella. It was one of very few activewear brands I knew when I started yoga in 2010. Back then, I noticed that they sold very similar leggings to Lululmobn but cost only two-third of the price or less when on sale. However, I wasn't very excited about their fit regardless how cute and similar their designs were to Lululemon. It wasn't until 2016 that I decided to give Zella another shot. That time, I was impressed by how much improvements they have made in 6 years. Their leggings not only fitted well (very flattering), they also performed well. Most importantly, they are 30-50% cheaper than their competitors (see comparisons below).
Among these four, my favorite is Lululemon WU HR because it is the only one that comes with flat waistband, whereas others have encased elastic bands. That said, Zella definitely offers the best price-performance value. Even though this article is my first Zella review, I own quite a few leggings from Zella. Anyway, let me introduce you my most recent purchase from Zella, Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging.
The legging is made in Turkey.
Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging performs well for yoga and Tabata, two main exercises I do. The material is four-way stretch, breathable and moisture wicking. That said, it is not made with a lightweight fabric. Some people (like me) may find it too thick for hot yoga. On the other hand, I like the medium compression material. Compared to Sweaty Betty Prism Seamless Legging, which is low compression, it provides more muscles support for high impact workouts.
Zella has significantly improved the quality of their leggings since 2010. The fabric is denser and sturdier. It feels more durable than before. Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is constructed with flatlocking seams with an unlined gusset. After trying more than 10 pairs of seamless leggings, this is one of very few that is not see-through. Thumbs up to Zella!
It runs small and I wear size S. It fits and hugs my body well. It not only shapes my legs, but also lifts the butt. I like the high waist style that provides great support and keeps my tummy tucked in; however, the waistband slightly stretches out after couple hours of wear. Although it doesn't stretch out as much as Avocado Vintage Easy Rider Legging, it is something that can be improved.
The leggings is described as the Ankle Legging, but it is too long for me. In fact, I can wear it over the heel. It would be a better fit (length wise) if it's couple inches shorter. I don't like to have extra fabric gather around the ankle.
After trying so many seamless leggings from various brands, Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is the first and the only pair that does not show VPL (visible panty line), especially the hip crease area.
I especially like the no pinch flat waistband. It provides the comfort and coverage. I notice the fabric is not as soft compared to Sweaty Betty Prism Seamless Legging, but it's comfortable enough for long wear.
Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is by far the first 100% opaque and no VPL seamless legging I've tried. It is flattering. It shapes and lifts all the right places of the body. The material is thicker than I like, but it covers basic needs for yoga and gym workouts. Although the fabric isn't the softest and the waistband stretches out, for $55, it offers a great price-performance value.
Where to Buy -
Zella Essence Seamless High Waist Ankle Legging is available at Nordstrom.
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