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Read This Before You Shop for Workout Clothes: Where To Save And When To Splurge

By January 18, 2016Live

There is nothing quite like the feeling of slipping into new workout clothes. The stretchy spandex that lies perfectly over your legs (let’s be real, we love to show off that squat booty), that sweat-wicking top that keeps you dry on your long runs… Is there anything better?

Workout clothes are a great staple of every college girl’s wardrobe, but those bad boys can also get really pricey really quickly. While it’s nice to splurge on some new leggings every once in a while, your wallet can only take so many new pairs of Lululemon pants before it starts to cry. So we have to decide: when is it a good idea to splurge, and when can I rely on a better deal somewhere else? 

Never fear. I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite worth-it splurges and some more price-savvy pieces that can fit any budget. 

Sports Bras

Out of all the items in your fitness wardrobe, this is one where you’re better off splurging. You wear it for every workout, and let’s be honest, probably also to class, going out, on lazy days… you get my point. Without a supportive sports bra that’s right for your body, things will get real uncomfortable real fast.

Plus, putting the extra couple of bucks towards a nice-fitting and supportive sports bra will save you money down the line when you don’t have to constantly replace your cheaper ones. My personal favorite is the Incredible by Victoria’s Secret. This sports bra ranges from $52 – $60 (though I’ve gotten some for half that price during sales), provides great support, comes in tons of fun colors and patterns, and (best yet) holds up so well. I’ve had a few of mine for years now, and they’re still holding up during my workouts.

workout clothes

Incredible by Victoria’s Secret $52-$60


Athletic tops made with breathable and sweat wicking fabric have become the norm for any store that sells athletic wear, which means they’re easy to find for super cheap! I tend to hit up Forever 21 and Old Navy for my tops, and can almost always find them for under $20. So while that Nike no-sweat top might be really tempting on the shelf, you might be better off scouting for similar options elsewhere. 

workout clothes workout clothes

Forever 21 Active Graphic Tank $12.90

 workout clothes

Old Navy Go-Dry Graphic Tank $14.94


As much as I hate to admit it, I’m kind of a leggings snob. As a runner, it took multiple trial and error runs to find the perfect pair of leggings that provides compression where I want it and actually stays up at the waist while I run. I mean, who wants to spend their whole workout constantly pulling up their pants? Like many college girls, I am a huge Lululemon legging advocate. In particular, I’n a big fan of their Run Inspire tights, which have gotten me through two halfs and one full marathon– but if I’m looking for a nice pair of tights with a little less sticker shock, I head to Target to check out their Champion line.

workout clothes

C9 Champion Performance Leggings $27.99

workout clothes

Lululemon Run Inspire Crop $86-$96


So now you have your sports bra, shirt, pants, and just need a jacket to tie it all together? I got you. If you’re looking for something super durable that can keep you warm without overheating during your winter workouts, look no further than the Nike Element Half Zip. The fabric is soft and sweat-wicking, it’s available in a bunch of colors, AND it has thumbholes (YES).

My second more budget-friendly go-to for athletic jackets is the Danskin line at Walmart. There is a huge selection when it comes to materials, thickness, and colors, and the price is literally unbeatable.

workout clothes

Danskin Now Active ¼ Zip Jacket $9.86

 workout clothes

Nike Element Half Zip $65


Whatever your budget, you can find great-fitting and cute pieces that will stand up to however you choose to train.

Happy workouts, and happy shopping! 🙂 

Author Marisa Lopez

I'm a finance major with a passion for fitness! I've always been a relatively active person, having been a competitive dancer for 10 years growing up, but really fell in love with trying to live a fit lifestyle my sophomore year at Northeastern. That January I decided I would run a marathon, having never been much of a runner before, and nine months later I crossed the finish line in Philadelphia, and was completely hooked on running. Training for my first marathon changed my life way more than I would ever have imagined and I'm already looking forward to a handful of races in the coming year. When I'm not running, I love cooking, weight lifting, and playing around with new makeup looks. I love being a Fit University ambassador and hope I can show people how rewarding a fit lifestyle can be!

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