We’ve pretty much all developed a love affair with Lululemon over the years — but our bank accounts are finally starting to revolt (that is, unless you shop the massive “We Made Too Much Section“). What are we supposed to do when we can’t get enough of Lululemon’s sleek and stay-put styles but just can’t bring ourselves to pony up 100 bucks for a pair of leggings anymore?
Thanks to the rise of athleisure (particularly during these times), it’s not too tricky to find brands that are just as good (if not better) than Lululemon. You can find plenty of reasonably priced alternatives that’ll ring up at just $30 to $60—rejoice! And while some comparable brands are still pretty spendy, we’re okay forking out the cash if they’re sustainable and/or offer more inclusive sizing—take newcomer Girlfriend Collective, for example. It’s safe to say athleisure has come a longgg way since the early aughts.
So, if you only have drawers full of Lululemon, It’s time to open up your closet to these other next-level brands that are sustainable, cheaper, and on trend. There’s more to life than Lululemon!
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Gap’s sister brand is a foolproof choice for comfortable and reasonably priced pieces that you can feel good about slipping into. Athleta has every workout item you need to complete your sweat-sesh OOTD—from supportive sports bras to sleek pullovers for outdoor workouts. Not to mention, Athleta is a B Corp, which means they’re recognized as a company that puts people and the planet first through sustainable practices. We’re in.
Girlfriend Collective is a newer athleisure brand on the block, but it’s quickly become one of our favorites. The sustainable brand (and also a celeb favorite) offers anything-but-basic essentials—from unitards to skorts you’ll actually want to wear— made of recycled water bottles. Everything down to the packaging is made with 100-percent recycled materials. Most of all, we love the real bodies modeling their clothes.
Jennifer Garner’s obsessed with Alo leggings, so need we say more? Yes, they are on par with Lululemon’s price point, but if you’re tired of the same old prints, mix things up with one of Alo’s elevated pairs. This pair is made with breathable Vapor fabric that offers light compression, perfect for yoga or lounging around.
Core 10 (Amazon Brand)
Everyone on the internet is talking about how Amazon’s exclusive workout brand, Core 10, rivals Lululemon but is less than half the price. The coolest part about the line is that they offer custom leggings so you can get the fabric, length, and color that meets your exact needs. Leggings start at just $25, so if you do the math, you can roughly get four pairs of leggings for the price of one Lululemon pair. BRB, stocking up.
With leggings that run around $60 and sports bras around $30, Zella just became one of our go-to brands for fitness gear. They’ve got elevated styles—like these edgy moto leggings—that work equally well for a HIIT workout as they do with a sweater and boots.
The Austin, Texas-based brand was one of the first to make streetwear-meets-athleisure a thing on your Instagram feed. Known for its signature color-blocking designs that take movement to new chic heights, this cult-favorite brand is one to add to your closet ASAP. Unlike some workout brands’ leggings, these ones are made of a thicker material to keep you warmer when it’s chilly—and ya know, so no one sees your undies during a Downward Dog.
This company makes absolutely stunning sports bras with fancy backs that would make anyone want to try out a backless top. But they also make perfect leggings for hot yoga that manage to be both effortlessly comfortable and on trend. Oh, and they’ve got face masks too. Sold!
A version of this article was originally published in March 2016.
If you’re in need of leggings in particular, check out these tried-and-true picks:
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