Cool Workout Gear You Can Actually Afford

by Amy Roberts

Ah, Lululemon. So incredibly aspirational, with your chic yoga pants and neon sports bras. One thing Lululemon could never call itself (not that they'd really want to) is an affordable workout clothing brand. And, hey, that's OK! Some people enjoy the motivation that comes with spending a little extra cash on your running tank. I, for one, am not of that camp. Still, I do like to wear actual gym clothes to the gym, rather than an old high school T-shirt, so I've gotten pretty good at tracking down workout gear that's really cool-looking, but also pretty cheap.

If you’re searching for equally fashionable, functional alternatives to the ever-popular Lululemon athletic brand’s workout clothing, there are a number of great options that are also a bit more accessible for the average girl’s budget. These chic workout apparel lines will make you actually want to hit the treadmill or spend some time on your yoga mat, and you won’t have to take out a loan to afford them — which means lots of extra money for a post-workout cheeseburger.

1. Calia by Carrie

Our girl Carrie Underwood just launched her own line of fitness gear this March! With prices ranging from $12 (for headbands) to $110 (for sweet gym bags), Calia by Carrie has really cool workout apparel for just about everyone.

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This discount retail website is well known for its incredible deals on name brand shoes, which makes it a great place to search for Nike, Adidas and other pricey sneakers for more than half of their original cost. also sells an ever-changing selection of athletic apparel from the same name brands, and although you’re usually at liberty of which sizes they have in stock, you can find some really amazing deals if you’re willing to hunt for them.

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3. Urban Outfitters’ Without Walls

Urban Outfitters’ brand new fitness apparel line is just as hip and street style-influenced as the rest of the store’s clothing, but it’s also functional enough to give anything from a sporting goods store a run for its money. And speaking of money, while Without Walls may not be a discount line, it includes fair prices one some truly unique athletic apparel items (where else will you find black hot pants decorated with screenprinted deer skulls?)

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4. Target

If you’re of the mindset that anything you can’t buy at Target is not worth having, then you’ll love the popular supercenter’s various lines of affordable athletic clothing. The C9 by Champion line includes seamless camisole sports bras for less than $17 a pop, while RBX offers jersey quarter-zip pullovers in bright, splashy prints that are perfect for spring. If you’re not too picky about your athletic shoes, you’ll even find an affordable selection of sneakers starting at around $30.

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5. Fabletics

The impossibly fit Kate Hudson’s line of athletic apparel is one of the very best bargains out there today. It works like this: Sign up on the easy-to-use website and you’ll get your first full outfit for just $25. There are a variety of different styles to choose from, including yoga-ready leggings and slim-fitting tanks to capris and long-sleeve shirts perfect for your early morning run, and they come in your choice of colors and patterns as well. Throw in free shipping and you’ll see why Fabletics is everyone’s new favorite workout brand.

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6. Old Navy

If you’re like me, Old Navy may give you unpleasant flashbacks to back-to-school shopping trips as a child. Nowadays, the affordable mall staple has much more to offer than just performance fleece, and its athletic section is truly a hidden gem. You’ll find floral print tanks with built-in bras, pretty solid compression tights and all of the no-show gym socks that you can imagine. Plus, their selection of plus-size workout apparel is one of the best around.

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7. H&M

You may wonder how you’ve never noticed H&M’s great selection of affordable workout apparel, but I don’t blame you for not thinking about your early morning at the gym as you scour the racks for great deals on maxi dresses and oversized sweaters. Everyone’s favorite trendy clothing store does, in fact, carry a wide variety of workout apparel as well, and it includes everything from colorblock sports tanks to yoga pants that double as your late-night-grocery-run outfit of choice.

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Images: jolopes/Fotolia; Courtesy Brands