EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Elizabeth’s take on Crane Ladies Performance Shorts. To get Rachael’s take, click here.
Aldi just keeps rolling out the clothes, and I keep picking them up. I can’t help myself: I’m a sucker for a bargain and for cute clothes. So once again I threw caution and $6.99 into the wind to try out their latest fashion offering: Crane Ladies Performance Shorts, a recent Special Buy.
The shorts come in sizes ranging from S (4/6) to XL (16/18). My Aldi was well stocked in M (8/10) and L (12/14), but I combed through two boxes looking for a size S before almost giving up. Then, as I was picking past the Ms, Ls, and misplaced tank tops, a small package came flying over my shoulder and landed in the box in my hands. I turned it over, and miraculously, it was a size S pair of shorts! I turned to see who had tossed me the exact thing I was looking for and a middle-aged woman shook her head at me. “Sorry, I was just trying to put those back.” She turned away before I could thank her and kept shaking her head, as if disgusted that a pair of athletic shorts had somehow worked its way into her cart.
Aldi can be a strange place. But I digress.
The shorts come in a few color choices (mine have orange piping), and they advertise a variety of features on the front: Hidden Pocket at Inside Waist, Dry Quick (oh, the grammar!), Inner Brief Wicks Moisture and Dries Fast (better grammar), and Mesh. They don’t specify where the mesh is on the front, but the back cover provides a helpful diagram (it’s on the legs).
The shorts run true to size and fit my own “sometimes I’m a 4, sometimes I’m a 6, depending on how recently I ate tacos” pants’ size. They also feature a very wide elastic waistband, which I find more comfortable and flattering to my “and I’ve also had 2 kids” stomach than a narrow waistband.
The material is 100% lightweight polyester, with 12% spandex added to the waistband for stretch. The package instructs you to machine wash cold with like colors, tumble dry on low, and do not add fabric softener. It also says you can use a cool iron if needed (but why would you?) and not to dry clean (but really, who dry cleans athletic shorts anyway? or anything?)
The length is extremely short, in the tradition of women’s jogging shorts. They look fine standing up but virtually disappear when I sit down, so I probably won’t be wearing them to the local coffee shop (I hate it when my legs stick to the chair in public). I really just wanted them for wearing around the house / doing yard work anyway, so that’s not a problem for me.
The attached panty is an interesting feature and would be comfortable for actual athletic activities, like jogging, but I would like to wear these more than once before washing them, so I’ll stick with my usual underwear. The mesh provides a little extra ventilation on the legs, which is nice in this summer heat.
I’ve only had these a few hours, so I haven’t sweat in them enough to thoroughly test the grammatically painful “Dry Quick” claim. But I did intentionally dribble a little tea on them while writing this, and yes, it did dry quick(ly). (These are the sacrifices of a writing life.)
The hidden pocket is a puzzling feature. First, it’s not nearly big enough for my small iPhone or even my drivers’ license. Yes, I could fit a folded up dollar bill or my ubiquitous Aldi quarter in there, but since it’s on the inside of the waistband, I’d have to stick my hand down the front of my shorts to pull it out. No, thank you.
Most importantly, they don’t ride up when I’m walking/ moving around (they definitely do when I’m sitting.) I hate it when athletic shorts worm their way up your thighs while you’re casually going about your business — and they often do. These don’t, perhaps because of the attached panty or perhaps the material. I don’t know why, but for some reason, they stay put in exactly the place where other athletic shorts fail.
If you’re looking for inexpensive women’s athletic shorts that are comfortable and breathable, then I definitely recommend these. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t disappear when you sit down and/or has a functional pocket, then these aren’t the shorts for you.