5 Tips for Buying Workout Clothes on the Cheap

All hail Lulu for creating workout wear that every woman wants to wear (and charging for it). I just can’t bring myself to cough up the $80+ for a pair of workout pants (says the girl who buys Old Navy jeans). I know, I know – they will last me forever, the material won’t show my sweat stains, and I’ll LIVE in them, right? That’s all well and good, but I would still rather have 2-3 pairs of different pants vs. 1 really expensive pair. I mean, you still have to wash after wearing, right? If they just washed themselves, then I’d be sold…maybe one day!


I got this Lulu shirt on sale at Exhale

I like to look cute at the gym just like the next girl, but I don’t like to spend my heard-earned dolla’ dolla’ bills to do it.


From the Lululemon website


From the Lululemon website

Here are some tips for finding workout wear on the cheap.

  1. Shop TJ Maxx and Marshalls. TJ’s and Marshalls each have very respectable active wear sections where you can pick up brands like Reebox, Kyodan (one of my personal faves!), Fila, Aviva, New Balance, and others. You’ll even find a few Nike pieces mixed in from time to time. And, if you’re a tennis player, they have tons of cute tennis dresses and skirts as well.

    From TJ Maxx website


    From TJ Maxx website

  2. Shop Target and (gasp!) Walmart. Target has a pretty big selection of active wear as well. I love the C9 by Champion line that Target carries for stylish and affordable sports bras and tops. I hate spending lots of money on sports bras. Yes, I am on the smaller-chested side, so I tend to buy tops with built-ins, and they work just fine. However, I have gotten some really cute and cheap (less than $15) sports bras by Danskin and Avia at Walmart. Just be sure to size up, because they might shrink up a little in the wash.

    From Target website

    target 1

    From Target website

  3. Shop sales at your place of exercise. I’ve gotten a couple cute tops from the places I work out when they’ve had sales. They typically put things on sale seasonally when they are getting in new merch and need to get rid of the old stuff. Take advantage of the % off to treat yourself to a few things.

    Peachtree Roadies Barre3

    The purple shirt was purchased on sale at Stellar

  4. Wash your clothes on delicate. I learned this a long time ago from my mom that the best way to keep your workout clothes from shrinking or getting icky is by washing them on the gentle or delicate cycle. Now, I don’t live by this rule in practice as I’m usually dumping all my clothes in together, but you can extend the life of your Lulu’s by being gentle to them. And always line dry – the dryer will shrink up your spandex quicker than a sinkhole!


    Meg and I both got our outfits at TJ Maxx for our Pink Barre event

  5. Sport an old tank. All the youngin’s in my Pink Barre classes are sporting breezy tanks over a cute sports bra these days. Have an old racer-back from Spring Break? Or an old frat superstar tank printed with something ridiculous, like “Got More Beer?” that you wore to Beach Week? Pull them out of the drawer and you’ll have a conversation started at your next class.tanktop1

Where do you find the best budget-friendly workout clothes? We’d love to hear!


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