$100 tank top VS $15 tank top

$100 tank top VS $15 tank top

By: Pearl Maalouf BS, FMSC, CPT, CF-L1

Are expensive workout clothes better than their cheaper alternatives? 

The fitness wear industry has grown exponentially in the past few years. I remember when I went to the gym for the first time years ago it was normal to see people working out in brand-less sweatpants and basic tank tops. Now if you enter a gym you will see a huge assortment of fitness brands and high tech moisture wicking fabrics. In fact, even if you go out the grocery store, cafes, or airports you will see people clad in sporty leggings and shirts. The fitness clothing world has really transformed it self from basic cotton tees to high fashion clothing with intricate designs and vibrant patterns.


Victoria’s Secret sports bra and Nike shorts for my photoshoot

Now when it comes to the higher-end lines of workout clothing such as Lulumeon’s famous Wunder Unders ($82-$102) to more boutique style brand like Olympia Activewear with their Alpha Active Tank ($92) people often ask me, “Are they worth it?”. Lululemon’s cult-like following of customers would probably respond with a “YES” and look at you like you’re crazy if you don’t agree. But, for me….I’m a little bit torn because there are chains like Forever 21 and Gap, who are known for more reasonably priced clothing, dedicating more floor space in their stores to active wear.

A lot of people justify their expensive legging tastes by saying that the quality is superior than what you would get at Forever 21. I have an Old Navy top that I got when I first started working out in 2008 for about $18, which still looks great! On the other hand I really love the softness and thickness of the fabric of my Victoria’s Secret capris and sports bra which I splurged on for a photo shoot when we opened our gym. I will not pretend that I know anything about seams/fabric/etc so I can’t talk about that. But for the untrained person I think that although there is a difference in quality and feel of the fabric, I have gotten great wear out of both my cheap and expensive clothing.

So can I justify that my $60 capris function better than my $18 top from Old Navy? I think both are equally great in the gym or outdoors!

At a fraction of the price, you can get double the number of outfits from Forever 21 compared to what I could get at other retailers. So even if they fray or fade you have other outfits to replace them with.


Forever 21 from top to bottom!

I’ve been lucky to find really great styles that flattered my body at all different price points. Having funky clothes or clothes that I felt good in made me comfortable and more confident in the gym. So don’t feel like you have a $200 outfit to look good in the gym. There are lots of great brands out there that offer quality workout clothes in trendy styles that won’t drain your bank account!

If you know of a great brand that I should check out, PLEASE let me know….I’m due for a shopping trip soon 😉


Pearl Maalouf

Pearl Maalouf

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