The Rise of Affordable Athleisure

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “athleisure” flying around in the fashion and fitness world. Gone are the days where going out in leggings or sweatpants are faux pas but are being considered as chic. Merriam-Webster defines athleisure as casual clothing — like yoga pants, sweat pants, and hoodies — that are designed to be worn both for exercising and for doing (almost) everything else.

The Rise of Affordable Athleisure

So what does this all mean? Well with big brands vying for marketshare in the athleisure world, there are a lot more options available for us consumers. Not only are there more cute pieces for us to choose from, they are many affordable options too!

Forever 21

With pieces starting from the low price of $7.90, Forever 21 is a great place to pick up trendy pieces! The pieces are surprisingly sturdy and you can find dupes of your favourite high end pieces here. Here’s a pair of leggings that I picked up that were dupes of Lululemon for under $20!

lulu vs forever21

Old Navy

Similar to Forever 21, Old Navy also has a bunch of Lululemon dupes. However, they do have a lot of their own designs that are very affordable. Combined with the 35%-50% off sales that Old Navy runs every month or two means you have shop to your heart’s content because *sale* is *guilt-free* haha. One of my favourite long sleeve running tops is from Old Navy (pictured below). The quality not only matches but goes above some of the bigger brands! I’ve had items that I bought for grade 10 gym class that are still in good condition.

Race Report: Mississauga Half Marathon, Mississauga, 2016


Yes, the place you go for bulk toilet paper, Costco. My friend has some extremely cute outfits that she got from Costco and I’ve heard some rumours that they are made just like the Lululemon items in British Columbia.


Somewhat recently, H&M launched their own activewear line. I’ve been dying to check it out and now that they ship in Canada, there’s a good chance I’ll be checking it out! They have basic tanks, bras, t-shirts, and socks. The collection is not as large as the Forever 21 one but it has everything you would need to work out.

Joe Fresh

Thanks to Ange over at Cowgirl Runs, I now know that Joe Fresh has their own line of active wear. I cannot comment on their quality as I haven’t tried it first hand but based from what I see, they have some super cute prints!

The Rise of Affordable Athleisure

QODT: Where do you get your active wear from?


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19 thoughts on “The Rise of Affordable Athleisure

  1. I’ve spent $$$$$ on “high-performance” run shorts and am always going back to my old navy shorts over anything else.

  2. You know I’m a sucker for the bigger brands but I have tried Forever 21 and I also have some sports bras from Target. Both good quality for sure and the prices are amazing. Hard to say if the quality is AS good as other brands because I haven’t owned them for as long as some of my other stuff. Not sure how things will wear after a lot of washes. Time will tell!

  3. I’ll definitely check out some of these spots for shorts. Since every race gives me a new running tee, I only ever need to up my shorts wardrobe 😉

  4. I’ve got a bunch of Gap stuff I like and some Champion stuff from Target as well. Joe Fresh is very hit or miss. I skip any of their activewear with cotton in it and the swim suit I bought from them stretched out really quick. I bought a pair of Oiselle shorts from Mec and the fabric was nice but the design wasn’t anything special and the ends of the elastics aren’t coated so they actually itch. Details like that are worth paying more imo. I have been dying to try Tracksmith and Outdoor voices but shipping costs too much. Wish Jcrew would launch activewear too.

    P.S. When you say dupe it would be helpful if you specified how they are dupe (same fabric content for example).

  5. Great post! I love Costco anything, so will be have to try out some off their comfy athletic clothes 🙂 I have to admit that I am a big fan of Athleta when it comes to distance running though. It is a little pricey, but it lasts and does not chaffe. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. I’ve never heard the term “athleisure,” but I think it’s pretty funny! I love getting workout gear at Old Navy – everything is sturdy, comfy, priced well, and stylish! I stock up every time I go.

  7. Costco is my jammmmm. I have a few winter running items from there which cost like $20 and have lasted forever.
    Usually i buy my stuff from the Nike Outlets, The Bay or Winners. Or more recently i’ve been lucky enough to be sent stuff, so I try to avoid spending more than I need to (altho sometimes it’s impossible =P)

  8. Costco has been a godsend for workout clothes. They’re so cheap and they seem to really last, all for about 1/5 of the price of high-end, mainstream stuff!

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