For me, the biggest priority when it comes to selecting workout clothes is ensuring I have plenty of pieces. On average (not every week), I try to work out at least five days a week. Now I’m not saying each of those workouts are “sweat-driven-air-sucking-do-or-die” workouts, but I do try to stay fairly active. Due to the frequency of my workout routines (and until the last year, communal laundry facilities), I have always had the need to keep a full stock of workout clothes in my closet. I figured there are plenty of distractions that I have to fight to get outside and workout, but not having a clean set of clothes, shouldn’t be one of those distractions.
In my post-college years, high-end designer activeware giants like Lululemon and Lucy were becoming quite popular. Unfortunately for me, my 20-something salary really couldn’t afford one pair of $100 workout pants, let alone five! As a result, I started having to look for thriftier ways to find some of my workout staples.
Now that I have bridged over to the third decade of my life, my workout budget has expanded a bit, and yet, I’ve realized that there are a few key workout pieces that I wouldn’t rotate out.
Here are some of my budget-friendly staples:
- Forever 21’s Basic Cami ($1.90) – That’s right you read it correctly, weighing in at just under two dollars is one of the core pieces of my workout drawer. Here’s why. First, this cami is extremely light-weight, and despite it’s cotton/spandex composition, it’s quite breathable. It also comes in about every color in the rainbow.
What I Wear it For? This is a major go-to for me when it comes to outdoor warm-weather activities–the style counterbalances the tan lines that I receive from a traditional racerback top. I also love using this as a layering piece for cold-weather activities.
Purchase Tip: I actually tend to purchase two sizes of this top. I buy up by two sizes when it comes to a running top. I like the extra space and prefer a baggier top. I buy up by one size when it comes to a top for indoor activities like a core workout or a yoga class.
- Walmart’s Danskin Now Women’s Tank ($6.86) – I actually learned about this tank on a whim. Prior to our big trek up Mt. Whitney, we were loading up on some hike supplies at the local Walmart and I came across this top by the checkout counter. I didn’t even try it on. It’s such a comfortable top and has the dry-wicking composition which is essential for a sweaty workout.
What I Wear it For? This is by far my go-to top when it comes to a majorly sweaty activity. It truly dries quickly and has a form-fitting style, without being too tight.
Purchase Tip: Not near a Walmart? Consider buying this top online. At just under $7 it’s worth the gamble!
- Old Navy’s 3” Running Short ($15.00) – I have several pairs of these running shorts and really love them. They’re a great length for my petite frame (a bit taller? Consider the 3.5” length) and come in a variety of colors. The fabric is also breathable and dries quickly, and let’s be honest we all live fairly close to an Old Navy.
What I Wear it For? These are my primary running shorts for the Spring and Summer. I also find them really comfortable for hiking and other outdoors sports.
Purchase Tip: Old Navy always has good sales, so take advantage of that extra percentage off and stock up.
- Costco’s Addidas Ladies Three-Quarter Tight ($16.99) – These tights are one of my favorite workout staples because they combine the quality of the Addidas brand with the budget-friendly Costco price.
What I Wear It For? I love these tights when it comes to an early-morning run when the weather is still a bit crisp. I also plan to wear them as layer-paint on an upcoming high-altitude hike that I’m doing in a few weeks.
Purchase Tip: Costco can be tough since you really don’t have anywhere to try the pants on. Consider doing your best to guess your size and rest assured that Costco remains EXCELLENT when it comes to hassle-free returns.
Despite being completely open to saving a buck or two on some of my workout clothes, there are some fitness items that I am less comfortable purchasing at a budget price. Stayed tuned, as I plan to share those items in he future.
When it comes to workout clothes, everyone has their own style. Some people prefer less items but from higher-end designers. The most important consideration is if your workout clothes match your workout style and personal budget.
Do you have a budget-friendly workout staple? If so, we’d love for you to share!