On a start-up salary, there is no reason for me to spend upwards of $100 on a workout tank or pair of pants…that I’m only going to sweat in over and over again. As a former athlete I know the importance of good fitting/quality workout gear. I’ve found a few great brands that fit-into my non-existent budget and have actually been mistaken for lululemon before! So I’m spilling the beans!
The C9 by Champion brand can be found at Target. They do a great job of mimicking popular designs of the more expensive (*cough lulu/nike) brands. The same tank and bra styles can be found at lululemon’s (energy bra & no limits tank) and will run you a combined $112. vs. C9’s $36 for the set.
I did some re-con on department store athletic sections and I approve. Macy’s & Dillard’s both offer some great finds! J & I did a quick mall run yesterday to try to find new UT game day attire (fail), but instead I discovered a new hidden gem inside Macy’s: Ideology Athletic Gear (not pictured) I fell quickly in love. Ridiculously soft fabrics (I made J feel like 5 different tops, he approved) These Under Armour Gather N’ Give Capri Pants are at Dillard’s for only $52 vs Lululemons’ Inspire Crop II pants $86.
BCG brand can be found at Academy and have really stepped up their dry-fit game. Their running shorts are a steal. Only $12.99 and cute color combos (bonus)! The whole line is super affordable and you don’t have to hunt through messy racks to find anything. BUT, if you DO feel like hunting through messy racks…I highly suggest TJMaxx.
TJMaxx is my go to for random home decor treasure hunt days, but recently a lot of workout clothes have made it out the door with me. (For you Austinites, the one on Brodie Lane is great) My current obsession is a brand called MPG Athletic Gear. They have an online presence with a higher price point, but they are always at the Maxx on the cheap. I have 4 pairs of their double yoga shorts, they have built in little spandex shorts and a back pocket and are SO soft. I’ve picked up several great workout jackets and sweaters for under $30. (My MPG jacket has been mistaken for Lululemon several times)
I get the whole Lululemon thing. I get the “anti-bacterial” fabric thing, “amazing-fit” thing…”quality” thing (even though they recalled a run of their yoga pants because they realized they were see-through when ladies were downwards dogging and have had several other blunders including false claims) But when you really boil it down you are paying for that tiny logo. It’s a status symbol. And I’m not going to break my bank and spend my entire paycheck to just “look expensive ” while I sweat like a pig and can’t really afford it.
Right now I’d rather spend my money on supplements and nutrition that actually make me look/feel good. I’ll stick to my off-brand, comfy, soft, dry-fit, stylish, affordable gear.
(note: I was NOT paid/endorsed by any of these brands/companies for this post. I genuinely own all that I’ve featured and obviously don’t own any lulu’s. I’ve linked everything accordingly where possible.)