I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with active wear. Over half of my wardrobe is filled with running shorts, tech t-shirts, and sports bras. Why? Because they are sooo comfortable and I need them for running (priorities, duh). But finding cheap running clothes is hard and finding cheap clothes that are also quality is even more difficult. There are too many brands out there with badly made sports bras or leggings because they’re a “fad” these days. Most of the time they’re not even comfortable! Since I’m a broke teenager, breaking the bank for quality, fully priced $50 shorts or $90 leggings is not an option, I have discovered a few tips and tricks to help you score the most quality activewear for the cheapest prices. (*my budget for any clothing item is under $25).
Outlet Stores: They are a blessing to mankind. Outlet stores are brand name shops (like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Lululemon, etc.) that carry marked down prices on products. Normally these shops are in clusters called Outlet Malls so it’s easy to go on a shopping spree 😉 They are located all over, so all you have to do is google one nearby, if you are unfamiliar. Most of the time, Outlet Stores have 20%-30% off of everything in the store, which is nice, but the clearance rack of the store is where the real deals are at. Clothes on these racks are more like 50%-70% (!!!) off. Seriously, I’ve bought Nike shorts for like $7 and a Lulu sports bra for $23 by scouring these things. It’s impossible for me to leave an outlet mall empty handed! One word of caution, ALWAYS try on anything before you buy it at outlet stores because sometimes they are discounted for a reason; the fit may be a little off or something, but most of the time you’ll be fine.
Online Shopping: My favorite way to shop; scrolling through the sale section with the filter on $0-$30 while eating chips in the comfort of my own home. Hit up your favorite brand’s websites in the off season to find some *killer* deals on stock overflow. I only recommend shopping on your trusted brands website so that you won’t have to worry about sizing if you already own some of their clothes and you already know they carry the quality that you are looking for. I also recommend signing up for email subscriptions for your favorite brands to be the first to be notified of sales (after all, it’s important to shop fast because if it’s on sale, since there is a limited number of items left! The cheapest items are always ones that the company is trying to clear inventory of) and to get secret discount codes (my personal favorite). I also love online shopping because you can read reviews for all the clothes you might want to get to determine if the fit will be right and if it’s what you are really looking for. I commonly shop on the Athleta, Oiselle, and REI sites for the best deals; Athleta never fails to have a good deal!! Note that it will be easier to get the cheapest stuff if you are sizes XS (me!) or XL because you are extra special 🙂
Warehouse Sales: I love a good warehouse sale. Basically, brands (usually smaller) bring all their overflow items to one place, slap a cheap price on it, with the hopes of clearing their inventory and sample clothing. So many good deals in one place can get a little chaotic, but well worth it! Again, it’s important to sign up for an email list or follow your favorite brands facebook to get notified when and where these sales are. Normally, they are exclusive so you will have to apply for entry as soon as you are notified or the attendance will fill up before you have a chance. It helps if you are located in a big city, where most regional sales might occur. So get out there and start searching for warehouse sales near you!
Discount Department Stores: Marshalls, Ross, TJ Maxx, you know the drill. I hate shopping in these cluttered places, but there’s no denying that they can have great discounts as long as you know what you are looking for. Most of the time, the activewear sections of these stores are loaded up with poor quality wannabe brands that carry fashion statement activewear that is neither functional nor long-lasting. But, if you search hard and for long enough, you might just come across a gem (gasp). If you know what brands are quality, you can pick out the quality clothes from the bad ones. There also may be a lot of brands that you’ve never heard of because many indie brands outsource their products to discount brand stores for exposure, some of which are really good, so you can do some research and read reviews on the brand of you are not sure if they make nice clothing. I was shopping at Marshalls once and came across a load of Lorna Jane leggings (super nice Australian activewear company) for $14 each (normally $120 I think) so now I own 3 pairs of them and have no regrets.
Cheap stores that are actually good quality: These are stores that are known for cheap quality but actually have really nice activewear. My two favorites are Old Navy and Target. Old Navy always has super cute active gear that is actually really nice. I had two pairs of yoga pants from here that I wore like everyday, and they lasted me through the entirety of middle school- and I’m pretty sure they were only like $20 each. I also love Champion, the activewear brand at Target. They very recently changed their logo and upped their quality but low clothing prices remain the same, especially if you hit up the clearance racks (my best friends).
Many of these things you guys probably already do, but I’m a passionate deal seeker and activewear wearer so I hope that these tips will help you save tons of money while expanding your wardrobe 🙂