Recently, I’ve been biking a lot. It’s been almost a full year since I first started taking Flywheel Texas, but ever since my injury prevented me from lifting, it’s now become the only one of my usual classes in Dallas that I can still take. Meanwhile, Flywheel is currently running a three week “Grab your passport and FLY” challenge, in which participants get a stamp on their passport for each Texas region instructor they try. The combination of these two things means it’s pretty much all biking, all the time – so I was really excited when YMX by Yellowman sent me some cute tanks to try that looked adorable for biking.
So the first disclaimer here: these are not actually cycling jerseys (though YMX has a full line of those, too). However, one of the tops I tried, the Mandarin Tank in the Elemental Air print, had a neat open front design and high collar that reminded me a lot of a bike top. Honestly, I didn’t really like this one when I pulled it out of the package… but when I put it on, I LOVED it.
The fabric is really silky soft and insanely thin (YMX refers to it as “featherlight,” which is a great description), but it also doesn’t cling to skin to make you look like a sausage. I don’t think I have ever found such a perfectly fitting tank, and I loved its slimming properties. The only downside to the form for me was the lack of a built-in bra. There is a second layer of fabric along the bust area (presumably to help hide headlights?), but it’s not in any way supportive, so larger-chested women like me will either need to wear their best sports bra with it or wear it only for low-impact activities like cycling. Fine by me!
It turns out the fabric is an innovative material called MadKool, which is specially made to help you regulate your normal body temperature. In addition to the usual wicking properties, MadKool helps to cool you when you’re hot and warm you when you’re cold. (Since it’s summertime, I didn’t get to test out how MadKool the cold part, but I did think it was better than the average athletic fabric in keeping me cool when I was getting sweaty in the heat – in large part due to just how lightweight it is.) And best of all, MadKool has 30+ SPF protection built right into the fabric! For someone who can get lazy about sunscreen for outdoor sports, this was really great news.
But what I love most about this top is the gorgeous design. YMX was originally launched as an extension of Yellowman, which is based around creating wearable art prints reminiscent of tattoo artwork. I am definitely not a tattoo girl and never will be, but wearing this shirt was rather fun – it made me feel kind of badass without having to actually ink up my skin. And while my fashion sense is frequently questioned by my friends, when I went for a bike ride on Saturday with Theodora, she kept remarking how much she liked it as well.
The other YMX top I tried was the one that I liked most coming out of the package – but I ended up liking it less in the end. While the Mandarin tank had a high collar, the Mesh Neck tank is cut in a more traditional v-neck, but lined with an extra layer of mesh trim to give it some flair. The fabric was still the MadKool, and the neckline was incredibly flattering (and yet provided plenty of coverage), but I didn’t like the Living Peony print quite as much as I loved the Elemental Air – just personal preference.
On the plus side, the tank was extremely comfortable – even the mesh trim was made out of a soft and non-scratchy material, which hasn’t been the case with other brands I’ve seen try to add similar decorative features. I really appreciated and couldn’t get over just how thin the material was. Even completely soaked through, it didn’t weigh me down one tiny bit, and instead stayed completely comfortable through all the workouts I tried with it. I don’t have anything else that’s quite this light!
In general, I felt that both tops were extremely high quality – and while I might choose a different print than the Living Peony, I also thought that both tank styles were extremely flattering. After browsing around the website, I found so many designs that I’d love to try – like the Infinite Phoenix or Elemental Earth. I think it’s really fitting that the brand’s hashtag is #LifeArtSport, because all these tops are just so artistic and eye-catching – they’d be great to wear to a race and help your friends/family spot you! There were also some long sleeved ones that I’d love to get for winter running – check out the Infinite Flower, the Infinite Geometry, and the Living Sun. A bunch of the designs reminded me of Athleta designs (like the Athleta Twist Top which is one of my favorite long sleeves of all time), and I soon learned that YMX actually partnered with Athleta to both sell some YMX items in Athleta stores, and design some Athleta-branded items based on YMX. I love Athleta so it gave me even more confidence in YMX to see that they were working together!
The only downside? I think most people would say there is no downside, but for me, it’s the price. The long sleeves seem to be about $98 each, while the tanks are around $59-69 depending on the design. That’s about the same price as Lululemon, but honestly, I have only bought Lululemon items when they go on sale (so infrequently, I know!). I get so many free shirts from races that it’s hard to justify spending $100 on something else to wear to workout – but I guess that is exactly why I had to do a month-long fashion challenge 🙂 In spite of the high-to-me price, I think these are a lot more eye-catching that anything that Lululemon offers, and I found the quality of the material to be even nicer. It all really comes down to what you are comfortable with, but if you already pay these prices at Lululemon, I would definitely encourage you to check out YMX by Yellowman instead.
Note: YMX by Yellowman provided me with product samples for testing, but I received no other compensation for this review, nor was I pressured to write a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.