Sweat-ready styles that won't break the bank

Last year, I confess I spent more on workout clothes than I did on everyday attire. A winter performance top for $65, $50 for one pair of pants, and $15 for special wool socks … it adds up. And I won't even get into the sticker price of sneakers. Is it me or have workout clothes become downright expensive?

I mean, I love Outdoor Voices and Lululemon as much as the next millennial, but a pair of tights that set you back $85 can be a bit of stretch (pun intended) for most gals on a budget. Yet, this is not without reason; high-tech synthetic fabrics that provide sweat-wicking performance and body heat regulation can be expensive for brands to manufacture. Clothes designed for bodies in motion also needs to be very durable, especially since we launder workout clothes twice as often as we do our regular clothes.

It’s no wonder performance-wear doesn’t come cheap. But there has to be a better way, right? I think so, and that is why I decided to round-up my favorite pieces of inexpensive workout gear, because comfort and quality should not have to come at a high price. I hope this helps some of you who are looking for affordable performance pieces and encourages you to stay the course on your exercise routine in 2019!

Tops

Bottoms

Money Saving Tips for Buying Performance Gear

  1. Take care. Since workout clothes can be expensive, you want to replace them only when necessary. Avoid washing your gear in hot water and drying them on high. This can loosen the elastic in your clothing and make them wear out quickly. High heat temperatures can also reduce the effectiveness of the sweat-wicking technology in performance fabrics.
  2. Look for a customer loyalty rewards program. My sister Jilene signed up for Fabletics last year and loves it. The Fabletics rewards program allows her to earn 50 percent off on most everything. But no matter what program you sign up for, be sure to read the fine print, make sure you’re using the points you accumulate, saving your email coupons, and that you aren’t being charged unnecessarily for anything. A little vigilance with a customer loyalty program can go a long way to save some cash.
  3. Buy what you need. I know, I know, there are so many cute colors and floral prints tights to choose from, it's easy to get carried away with buying more than you need. Trust me, you don’t need as much as you think. I’m a minimalist have just two pairs of tights, one pair of fleece-lined workout pants, and one fleece jacket for cold days, and it's enough for me to run three to four times a week all winter. Assess your workout schedule, the weather (if you exercise outdoors or indoors), and buy just the number of staples you need. If you do laundry during the week, instead of waiting until the weekend you may find you need even fewer items than you thought.