Last updated: October 10th, 2023
TL;DR: I recommend Halara clothing with some caveats after testing six pieces of their clothing over the past year. These are the key takeaways from my Halara review:
- Comfort – I found Halara clothing to be comfortable, with soft, stretchy, and smooth fabrics.
- Fit – Halara clothing tends to run small, and there are more sizing issues with larger sizes.
- Style – Halara has cute, fashionable styles like tennis skirts, leggings, and athletic dresses.
- Features – I like the built-in shorts, pockets, and bras/pads that provide support and coverage for many of their clothes.
- Affordability – Halara’s prices average $35 per garment, which is inexpensive compared to similar brands. Plus size items are more expensive, which is annoying.
- Sustainability – It’s still fast fashion.
Sometime last year, ads for Halara started popping up all over my Instagram and Facebook feeds.
These ads focused on a stretchy tennis dress with a built-in bra and shorts underneath. They presented it as a revelation, “the best dress you’ll ever buy” and “you’ll never want to take it off.”
But could it be true?
I’ll admit that targeted social media marketing has suckered me a few times, but I’m (trying to be) a bit more cautious these days about believing a product will be the answer to all my problems.
I’m determined not to be bamboozled by an $18 eyebrow pencil again! Fool me once, as they say.
But, as someone who wears a G cup, I’m always hopeful that someone will invent a way for me to ditch my bra. So, I decided to see what the fuss was about.
If you’re seeing the ads and feeling tempted, first read my honest Halara review and let me be your guinea pig.
Is this the holy grail of comfortable, cute clothing or is it just another fast fashion scam site? Read on to find out!
Note: this article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
What is Halara?
Halara is an online direct-to-consumer clothing company specializing in athleisure, loungewear, and basic, everyday dresses. Most of their garments use stretchy fabric and solid colors.
Halara’s prices are somewhat higher than fast fashion e-commerce brands like Shein but still reasonably low. The average cost for a Halara garment is around $35.
A Quick Look at Halara as a Company
Halara rose to prominence thanks to the viral notoriety of their “In My Feels” dress, a stretchy exercise dress with chest support and pocketed all-in-one bike shorts.
Targeted social media ads usually present an influencer giving a glowing Halara dress review or Halara skirt review.
The “About Us” section on Halara’s site describes them as a female-led company before launching into this vaguely cult-ish rhapsody:
“We believe in self-care through play. Our mission is to build up and inspire health and wellness through those self-embracing moments with the spirit of being yourself, being unique, being original, and being beautiful.”
If this piece of nonsense were describing an organization I was considering joining, I’d call the de-programmers. But since we’re just talking about leggings and tennis skirts, I’ll let that slide.
Jokes aside, this excerpt sums up a lot about the brand, which caters to dewy-skinned, wellness-conscious, Gen-Z influencers and those who aspire towards those aesthetics.
I should note that multiple Halara reviews mention someone named Travis as the brand CEO and founder, which would negate the female-led claims.
However, a quick deep-dive revealed that this Travis fellow actually owns a cannabis brand by the same name (Halara is Greek slang for “take it easy,” so I guess that applies to both brands’ products).
This Halara’s founder and CEO is a woman named Joyce Zhang.
Halara Clothing Review: My Experience With Halara Clothing
The Halara website was pretty easy to use and my package arrived 10 days after I put the order through.
I could see from the tracking that it shipped from China, so I consider that to be pretty fast for international shipping.
I didn’t necessarily expect great customer service support from a company like this.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that the customer service team sent an unprompted email nine days after purchasing to update me and let me know that my order was still in transit.
It arrived the next day, and it was time to put my Halara haul to the test. Below is a look at what I ordered and what I thought of each piece of clothing.
Drawstring Contrast Mesh 2-in-1 Shorts
These shorts are made of a loose material similar to men’s swim trunks with a built-in second layer of soft bike shorts underneath. They have mesh details and raised crossover sides.
I ordered them in a color called Blue spruce, a muted teal.
I’m very happy with this purchase. The bike shorts prevent them from riding up, which is a problem I often have with shorts.
They’re great for wearing around the house, but I still feel dressed enough to run out for quick errands.
Based on the size charts, I was between a size medium and large, so I went with the medium, but the waistband is a little tight.
They sometimes get uncomfortable after a really big meal. But I won’t write a negative Halara shorts review just for that since I could have sized up.
Another downside is that they don’t have pockets, not even in the bike shorts. I usually tuck my phone into the (tight) waistband when I wear these, which isn’t ideal.
Many of the other clothing pieces I ordered have pockets I don’t use.
I feel a little silly lifting my skirt to put something in my shorts pocket, and my phone looks so bulky in a stretchy leggings pocket! I would have liked to have pockets in these, however.
Cut Out Twisted Side Pocket 2-in-1 Barre Ballet Dance Dress
I ordered this dress in Lavender frost, a light lavender color. One of the two stretchy tennis dresses I picked out, it has built-in shorts and bra cups.
In general, I feel like removable pads aren’t hefty enough to offer real support.
However, in conjunction with the thick, stretchy fabric, these pads do a decent job, fitting similarly to a sports bra.
This dress almost fit perfectly. My complaint is that the bra pads had a slight pucker, which looked odd.
Although I like the built-in shorts, it does make it a bit confusing to put the dress on–you can’t pull it over your head, so you have to step in through the top. It takes a little bit of puzzle-solving.
This dress also experienced a laundry accident; I’m not sure who’s to blame.
After the second or third time in the wash, it came back with strange, greyish stains. No amount of re-washes or stain remover has helped.
I’m not sure if it somehow ran afoul with some bleach or has something to do with the fabric itself, but it affected my experience with the dress, so I felt I should mention it.
Crisscross Backless Plain 2-Piece Barre Ballet Dance Flared Dress-Venus
The second dress, which I ordered in a seafoam-like Grayed Jade, has two design differences from the first one.
For one thing, the shorts are separate from it, making it simpler to put the dress on.
The back is also more open, which was a tremendous relief during this summer’s heat wave. I could walk around with my whole back exposed to the (very minimal) breeze without feeling self-consciously bra-less.
The downside of this design is that it creates a slightly weird fit in the front. Since there’s essentially no back fabric, the front slumps down a bit at the waist, which can look somewhat unflattering.
That said, I like this dress, and I’ve been getting extra use out of it by wearing the shorts on their own sometimes.
Everyday Crossover Side Pocket 2-in-1 Tennis Skirt-Lucid
This tennis skirt is easily my favorite item from this haul. I chose the baby blue and white Baltic Sea houndstooth, and it’s super comfortable and fashionable.
The crossover design makes the skirt feel light-as-air, the waistband is super flattering, and the built-in shorts feel amazing.
It’s relatively short as far as tennis skirts go, but those shorts underneath mean it doesn’t ride up when I’m wearing it, so I never have to worry that my butt is showing.
This tennis skirt is also excellent for wearing to the beach.
The soft material is pretty much the same as swimsuit fabric, so it doesn’t get awkward wet spots when I slip it on over a damp bathing suit.
And the shorts save my inner thighs from a sandy, salty chafe disaster (if you know, you know).
Cloudful® Air High Waisted Drawstring Side Pocket Plain Full-Length Joggers
These joggers were the only real dud from this order.
I expected these joggers to be a soft, jersey material like they appear to be in the photos on the website.
I was a bit disappointed to find that they’re the same, slightly shiny, swimsuit-like material as everything else.
They’re advertised as being made from a special, proprietary material called “cloudful.”
However, I don’t see a big difference between it and the fabric of the other garments other than the fact that it’s slightly thicker.
It’s also supposed to be moisture-wicking, but as I’ve recently decided to live my truth as a person who hates exercise, I haven’t put that aspect to the test.
Cloudful is also supposed to be “squat-proof,” which I believe means they don’t turn see-through when you squat. So, sure–I’ll give them that!
I ordered Black because I figured I’d get the most use out of them, but to be honest, I’ve hardly worn them.
My biggest gripe is the fit. I expect joggers to be a bit loose-fitting, especially above the ankle cuffs, but these fit almost as tightly as leggings from top to bottom.
Since they’re form-fitting, the deep pockets show lumpily through on the thighs, which is not my favorite look.
For a moment, I thought I’d chosen the wrong size, but they’re indeed a large, my usual size, and the waistband fits comfortably, so it’s not that they’re too small. Halara sizing is a little wonky, which I’ll discuss more later.
All up, they’re perfectly fine as pajama pants, but I won’t be wearing them outside.
Patitoff Pet Hair Resistant High-Waisted Crossover Plain Leggings
I’m pretty much always covered in cat hair, thanks to my sweet, one-eyed cat Gertrude, who is usually purring in my lap.
She is here currently as I write this. And her fur is also all over my face, laptop, phone, and, yes, my clothes.
I chose Black for these Halara leggings to put them to the ultimate cat hair test.
As leggings, these are pretty solid. The crossover waistband is comfortable and flattering, and they have sleek outer pockets on the side (although I don’t use them much).
But how do they fare against Gertrude? Decently, but not spectacularly. I can brush most of the fur off with my hands, but a little bit of fur does remain.
They’re not exactly pet hair resistant, but they’re smooth enough that I can keep them relatively fur-free.
Still, I consider these a win.
Pros of Halara Clothing
By and large, everything I purchased from this brand is quite comfortable.
Not only is the fabric stretchy and smooth, but the open-backed dresses provided serious relief for me during an absolutely brutal heat wave. Plus, those crossover waistbands are flattering and non-constrictive to wear.
Across the internet, customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive regarding the brand’s aesthetics.
I’m not the biggest athleisure person, but these garments are simple and cute.
I especially love the houndstooth skirt, but everything in this order was pretty flattering (except for the joggers).
While there are a few aesthetic issues with the fit of some of these garments, they do function pretty well.
The shorts don’t ride up, which is a major plus.
And although the removable cups have some weird dimpling, they provide reasonably good chest support, comparable to most low-impact sports bras.
Quality is decent
With fast fashion, good quality products are not a guarantee, but all of these garments have soft, stretchy, supple fabrics.
I recently reviewed another TikTok famous fast fashion brand, Emery Rose.
Most of those items were scratchy, suffocating polyester that reeked of chemicals when they came out of their packages.
By comparison, these pieces smell and feel fine, with good-quality stitching and sturdy construction.
Cons of Halara Clothing
Sizes run small
Halara has mixed reviews across the internet, and the biggest complaint many customers mention is not the quality, but the sizing, especially if you’re not a size small.
For me, everything fits reasonably well and corresponds to the size chart on the website.
But while I’m generally between medium and large with other brands, I’m definitely at the upper end of large for Halara.
Halara does have a plus-size section. However, a Halara standard large is roughly equivalent to a US size 10, while plus sizing starts typically at size 18.
Customers wearing an in-between size either have to head to the plus section when they usually wouldn’t or are left out of the equation.
And the plus size version of each garment is more expensive than the standard size, which doesn’t speak well of how inclusive this brand is.
There are some fit issues
I have a few fit issues with some of these garments. The joggers fit like leggings, and every lump and bump of the pockets show through the form-fitting stretchy material.
The removable padded cups are sometimes puckered, resulting in a nipple-like bump (which kind of defeats the purpose.)
Across other reviews, fit problems seem to increase as the size increases, with plus-size customers finding the most issues with how the clothing fits.
Claims might be exaggerated
The description of the Cloudful® fabric reads a bit bogus to me. While the quality is fine, it feels like the same material as all the other non-cloudful pieces.
Halara’s advertising is also aggressive. Since I started writing this article, targeted Halara advertisements have appeared in full force on my social media, and the tone of these ads is “These are THE stretchiest, BEST clothes you’ll EVER buy, ever.”
While they’re good, standard, stretchy clothes, they aren’t quite life-changing.
It’s still fast fashion
Here’s the thing. Fast fashion is bad for the planet and the workers who produce it, but it’s cheap and accessible and provides easy access to trendy clothes for lower-income people.
Regardless, at the end of the day, Halara is still a fast fashion company. They don’t seem to make any effort to reduce product waste, environmental impact, or unethical manufacturing practices.
Halara is also not that cheap. While the price of their everyday dress is decidedly lower than, say, Lululemon, it’s still on the upper end for fast fashion.
The quality is decent, so it’s not that you aren’t getting your money’s worth, but if shopping sustainably is super crucial to you, this brand might not be for you.
Halara Sizing Tips & Fit
Despite their stretchiness, Halara clothing runs on the small side. The size chart is accurate in my experience, so you should be fine as long as you know your measurements.
The stretchy material gives you a little wiggle room, but pay attention to sizing, especially with garments with a waistband.
I sized down when I ordered the shorts, and the wide elastic band is tight.
If you wear a size small, you probably won’t have sizing issues, but those on the cusp between standard and plus sizing might have more difficulties.
How is the Quality of Halara Clothing?
Halara’s quality is above average for a cheap brand. The fabric is stretchy, soft, and smooth.
Most items have a slight sheen, and the fabric reminds me of a thicker version of bathing suit material.
The stitching is neat and the pieces feel durable. The average price per garment is affordable but not dirt-cheap, and the quality reflects that; it’s pretty good.
Halara Return & Exchange Policy
According to reviews, a lot of people run into problems with returns.
Halara accepts returns within 30 days of purchase. That said, there are a lot of hoops you’ll have to jump through to receive your refund.
As with many brands that have China-based warehouses, the shipping return process is a little tricky.
You’ll need to use their online portal to submit your return claim or you can email customer service.
You’ll also have to pay the Halara return shipping cost unless you’re returning due to a quality issue.
Sizing issues, loose threads, and color disparities don’t qualify as quality issues, and items must appear unused and still have their cardboard tags.
Halara Discounts & Coupons
The main draw for a brand like Halara is affordable prices, so they have numerous sales throughout the year, constant clearance items, and new customer incentives.
Halara offers 20% off your first order in exchange for your email address.
Additionally, when you navigate to the website for the first time, there’s a pop-out “wheel of fortune” that will grant you a discount code or a free gift if you enter your email address.
Also, perhaps it’s common sense, but you can find numerous Halara promo codes at any time of the year with a quick Google search.
So, if you’re shopping for something from Halara, check all discount options to ensure you get the best deals on your purchase. It’s likely rare that you’ll have to pay the full price.
Other Halara Products
In addition to the dresses and bottoms I purchased, Halara offers a wide range of apparel, and it’s not all activewear.
Where to Buy Halara Clothing
As a direct-to-consumer business, you can only buy Halara brand clothing from their website, and it’s not available from any third-party retailers.
FAQs About Halara
Is Halara similar to Lululemon? How about Girlfriend Collective or Outdoor Voices?
When you look at Halara vs Lululemon, there are a lot of similarities.
Lululemon focuses more exclusively on activewear, selling mostly leggings, sports bras, and a few exercise dresses at about twice the price of their Halara equivalent.
I’ve never owned anything from Lululemon, so I can’t give you my firsthand opinion of how they compare in terms of quality.
Lululemon has a section on its website dedicated to its social and environmental impact, but they use a lot of vague and general language.
Some digging reveals that Lululemon falls short regarding labor conditions, but they have a program to transition to sustainable materials gradually. So, that’s marginally better.
Girlfriend Collective, however, is very transparent about its practices, and I’m incredibly impressed with its commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing.
Their merchandise is along the same lines as Lululemon and Halara, but everything uses recycled materials.
They’re also SA8000 certified–that’s essentially like a Fairtrade certification for factories rather than farming.
Their prices also fall below Lululemon, so while they’re not as cheap as Halara, they’re still somewhat affordable.
Outdoor Voices makes the original Exercise Dress and seems to be the brand after which Halara is styling itself.
Their dresses come in a wide array of styles and pattern variations, and the price is about double what Halara charges.
In terms of sustainability, Outdoor Voices uses numerous recycled and eco-friendly textiles and is working towards increasing that number.
How long does Halara shipping take?
If you shop more than $39 worth of merchandise, Halara offers free standard shipping, which took 10 days for me.
For orders under $39, standard shipping costs $8. Express shipping is $13 and promises to deliver your order in 6-8 business days.
If you make a purchase of over $199, you’re eligible for free super express shipping, which should take 3-5 business days.
Otherwise, this expedited shipping will cost you about $21 on top of the price of your order.
Is Halara a trustworthy brand? Is Halara a credible site?
If we’re not talking about environmental impact and factory conditions, then yes, Halara is trustworthy and credible.
The products generally arrive as they look on the site, and shipping seems to take the amount of time promised.
Customers agree, with most reviews giving them five stars for quality and aesthetic appeal.
Are the clothes from Halara actually good?
Yes! Halara’s clothes are soft, comfortable, and generally pretty flattering.
They’re not perfect; I have a few minor qualms with some of the items, but they’re pretty good. I give them a B+ when it comes to overall quality.
Where is Halara based? Is Halara from China?
Halara’s headquarters are in New York City, but their factory is in Hong Kong.
According to the shipping number tracking, my order originated at a warehouse in an unknown location and then arrived at the first sorting facility in Shenzhen.
Does Shein own Halara?
No, Halara isn’t a subsidiary of Shien, which seems to set the lowest bar for fast fashion.
They outperform Shein when it comes to quality and customer satisfaction, though it’s debatable whether they’re any more ethical or sustainable.
In terms of price, Halara is definitely more expensive than Shein, although it’s still quite affordable.
Does Halara do returns?
Yes, Halara accepts returns, but their policy is pretty stringent. I suspect this is intentional to discourage most customers from returning or exchanging things.
While reviews are generally positive when customers address Halara’s quality, there’s more than one Halara review that mentions problems with customer service.
Is Halara only an online store?
Yes, Halara is online only. You can’t purchase Halara products from third-party retailers.
Is Halara fast fashion?
Yes, Halara is fast fashion. While they’re not the worst offenders (looking at you, Shein), their clothes are probably not ethically or sustainably made and come at a bargain price.
Their offerings are ever-expanding and mimic designs from higher-end brands.
Conclusion: Is Halara legit and worth it?
Halara is a solid choice if you’re looking for a brand where you can shop the best deals on comfortable, fashionable sports bras, exercise dresses, and leggings.
Overall, they have slightly mixed reviews, but the leading detractors are customer service and the fit and sizing, particularly with Halara plus-size clothes.
Several plus-size customers’ reviews complain about dresses rolling down, fitting too tightly, or the chest being oddly loose in a sports bra or tank top.
But if you’re a standard size and shopping for affordable leisure-wear options, you’ll probably be happy with your Halara purchase.
I give Halara 4 out of 5 stars for quality and fit.
The clothes are soft, and I feel good wearing them. I love the tennis skirt, but I dislike the joggers, and everything else falls somewhere in between.
My Favorite Halara Alternative
There’s one big caveat with Halara, and that’s the fast fashion aspect.
I try to stay away from fast fashion, but admittedly I break my own rule frequently, especially when it comes to basics you can’t get at a thrift store, like a sports bra or a tank top.
Ultimately, it’s on corporations, not individual customers, to take meaningful steps toward better practices. Not everyone has the means to shop only for the best, most socially-conscious brand.
However, if you do have the means and you’re committed to shopping and wearing ethical brands, here’s what I recommend instead of Halara:
As I mentioned, Girlfriend Collective is extremely upfront about how they treat their workers and the environmental impact of their materials.
I appreciate that their sustainability page isn’t full of vague, meaningless jargon, and that’s because they have nothing to hide.
Everything is recycled–even their packaging–and they have the receipts to prove it.
While decidedly higher than Halara, their prices are lower than other comparable brands.
So, if you have the extra funds, spring for Girlfriend Collective because this brand delivers on basically every front.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elina Ansary is a writer, visual artist, and avid traveler. She grew up in San Francisco, CA, and spent her childhood camping up and down Northern California. These days, she visits artist residencies around the world and has lived in Amsterdam, Australia, and now Brooklyn, NY.
Looking for more honest apparel and product reviews? Check out these related articles below!
Pin this image for future reference
- Christmas in California: 17 BEST Places to Go in 2023 - November 29, 2023
- Top 20 Travel Essentials For Women You Haven’t Thought Of - November 25, 2023
- 30+ BEST California Gifts for 2023 [Themed & Souvenirs] - November 22, 2023