22 Affordable Workout Clothes to Help You Stay Motivated to Exercise

Written by Chelsea Raineri | January 4, 2021

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If one of your New Year’s resolutions for this upcoming year is to stay active and move more, buying new workout clothes to workout in will help you stick by your resolution.

According to a study conducted in 2012 by Northwestern researchers, Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky, the systematic influence of clothes has a diverse impact on our psychological processes because of “the symbolic meaning of the clothes" that’s given by the wearer and “the physical experience of wearing them." For example, you might associate a lab coat with someone intelligent or a person in power. This same idea is applied to workout gear. When you wear athletic apparel that embodies your goal—fit, active and strong—and makes you feel good, the combination of what it stands for and how it makes you feel will encourage and motivate your mind/body to commit to working out.

In sum, your workout clothes (or lack thereof) can have an impact on the outcome of whether or not you decide to exercise.

That said, you don’t need to invest in expensive athletic gear. There are plenty of brands that offer great discounts and deals on premium quality leggings, shorts, sports bras, moisture-wicking shirts, and more. From brands that you most likely already shop at, below is a roundup of our most affordable workout clothes and accessories to help you stay motivated to work out consistently all year round. Whether you enjoy long runs, pilates, HIIT workouts, or weight-lifting, there’s something for everyone!

Cardio Junkies

When you’re addicted to fast-paced cardio such as running or cycling, you don’t want to spend too much time fussing over clasps or ill-fitting items. Whether you’re getting your run in before work or spending the weekend biking through trails, these pieces will help you get out the door quickly and let you focus on your workout.

For Her

Perfect for Cyclists
GapFit Sculpt Medium Impact Zip Front Sports Bra, Gap
This sports bra is moisture-wicking, features four-way stretch to allow you move as needed, and is designed for medium impact workouts including cycling, hiking, power walking, and more. If you’re a runner with a smaller bra size, this will be comfortable as well.

For the Morning Runner
Triumph Printed Hoodie, Athleta
If you love to get your workout in before the day’s responsibilities, this hoodie will keep you warm in the chilly mornings. This jacket features easy access pockets to store your essentials as well as thumb holes to keep your sleeves in place.

No Snag Ponytails
Textured Mini Scrunchies (5 Pack), Banana Republic Factory
Throw your hair up with these scrunchies to keep it back in a ponytail without the nagging tug and tightness on your scalp. Choose from neutral tones or blush hues to match your favorite workout outfit.

For Him

Run It
7" Weekend Shorts, Gap
These quick-drying shorts are perfect to take out on a jog. Made from 100% recycled nylon weave, you can enjoy your exercise knowing you’re helping the planet. The shorts are also mesh lined and feature an elastic waistband.

Be Cool
Go-Dry Cool Odor-Control Core Tee for Men, Old Navy
This sustainably-made tee helps you stay cool and dry on your run. Not only is it breathable and lightweight, but it also has odor control so you don’t have to worry about any unflattering smells after your workout.

Yogis and Pilates Lovers

When it comes to holding poses, stretching, and working out on a reformer, avid yogis and Pilates enthusiasts need clothes that won’t restrict movements but also aren’t so loose that they’ll flop over your head when you inevitably enter downward dog.

For Her

Easy Pilates Tank
GapFit Racerback Tank Top, Gap Factory
This lightweight tank is great for any Pilates class. The soft jersey knit fabric is moisture wicking and will let you move with ease. It’s just loose enough that you can style it by tying a knot or let it flow freely.

Soft Leggings for Yogis
Koral Drive High-Rise Cascade Legging, Banana Republic
These leggings were not only made with velvety soft fabric, but they also are easy to move in and quick-drying. Take them out for yoga at the beach as they also have UPF 50+ protection.

Stay Zen Sports Bra
Light Support Powersoft Longline Sports Bra for Women, Old Navy
This longline sports bra doubles as a top, so you can skip piecing together an outfit and enjoy your class sooner. The bra is made of light compression, breathable fabric and features a built-in shelf bra.

For Him

Yoga in Style
PUMA x FIRST MILE Xtreme Men's Training Shorts, Puma
Choose from blue, grey, or black in these shorts made from recycled plastic. This pair is moisture-wicking to keep you cool and dry during hot yoga or even a beginner class. The high-performance shorts will have you looking fashion-forward while you get in the zone.

Top It Off
Men’s Tek Gear Dry Tek Tee, Kohl's
Complete your look for your next yoga or Pilates session with this crew neck. This shirt is flexible enough to move with you while you go through your poses but still stays fitted.

Stay Safe
Adult Contour Mask with Filter Pocket (3-Pack), Gap
Chances are, if you’re taking a class during the pandemic, you’ll likely need a mask. If that’s the case, these cotton masks are made of triple-layer cotton and are contoured to fit your face. They’re also adjustable and washable.

The Athlete

If you enjoy a challenging but rewarding workout such as HIIT or group sports, you need workout gear that can keep up and won’t get in your way. Whether you’re taking CrossFit classes or are on a basketball or soccer team, these pieces will withstand your training needs.

For Her

Support System
High Support Racerback Sports Bra for Women, Old Navy
For a high intensity class, you need high intensity support. This racerback will keep everything in place so you can focus on your workout instead of any wardrobe malfunctions. The padded shoulder straps offer extra comfort and you can customize the fit with the clasps.

For the Athlete on the Go
Ultimate Stash Pocket Textured 7/8 Tight, Athleta
These leggings were made for high impact exercise and include pockets for you to stash what you need to take with you to and from your workout. Don’t worry, the pockets don’t have zippers so you can still do floor workouts.

Go Short-y
GapFit Blackout Biker Shorts, Gap
If you prefer to exercise in shorts rather than leggings, these are perfect for you. Coming in three different colors, the lightweight, high-performance material is moisture-wicking and non-restrictive.

For Him

For the Outdoors Athlete
Adidas Men’s Superlite Hat , Macy's
Heading to an outdoor class or practice? Grab a hat for extra protection from the sun for your skin and eyes. This hat features a moisture-wicking band as well as UV 50 protection.

For the Soccer Player
ULTRA 1.1 FG/AG Soccer Cleats, Puma
Before your next soccer (or football if you aren’t from the States) game, upgrade your shoes to these innovative cleats. Not only are they lightweight, but they’ll also help with your speed and feature a removable sockliner.

Body Builder

For those who prefer to burn calories and build muscle by weight lifting, you’ll want to wear layers so you can break a sweat quickly and then remove the heavier layers (i.e. a sweatshirt). Underneath the top layer, wearing loose-fitting, non-restrictive clothing is key.

For Her

Sweat It Out
Modern Fleece Sweatshirt, Banana Republic Factory
Get warmed up in this fleece sweatshirt that is stylish enough to be worn both at the gym and to a post-workout smoothie. Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, this sweatshirt is 81% cotton and will have you breaking a sweat fast.

For the Long Haul
GapFit T-Shirt, Gap Factory
If you want that added layer to get you warm for your workout, this longsleeve will do the trick. Choose from four colors and six sizes of this soft knit crewneck. It’s loose enough that you can go through the movements of lifting without feeling constricted.

Stay Warm
Sweater Jogger, Banana Republic
Add a pair of sweatpants over your leggings or shorts to get the sweat flowing. These joggers come in several colors as well, and although they’re tapered, you can still layer them as they’re stretchy.

For Him

Get Sweaty
Ultra-Soft Breathe ON Tapered Pants for Men, Old Navy
Wear these over a pair of shorts to get your muscles nice and warmed up for lifting weights. These sweats are available online only and will keep you both dry and comfortable.

Fleece for Fitness
Nike Men’s Club Fleece Full-Zip Hoodie, Macy's
This fleece hoodie works great when layered over a workout tee or tank. Choose from eight different colors to match your fit and zip it off once you’re warm and ready.

Lace Up
Jaab XT PWR Men's Training Shoes, Puma
These shoes feature a flat sole — ideal for weightlifting, training, and offering stability for your workout. They also have EVA foam in the midsole that helps respond to your movements and also offers comfort.

Our Roundup of the Best Places to Buy Cheap Workout Clothes in 2021

  • Banana Republic: Get up to 25% off your purchase when you sign up for Banana Republic emails. Not only is this great for the initial discount, but the emails you’ll receive will also include updates on upcoming sales as well. You’ll also receive special offers straight to your inbox.
  • Old Navy: Don’t stress about added shipping fees. Old Navy offers free shipping on orders $50 and over. With all their fashionable and durable exercise clothes, this minimum is easy to reach.
  • Athleta: Love items from last season? Athleta offers up to 60% off on final sale items. Hurry, you don’t want your size to sell out.
  • Banana Republic Factory: If you shop at Banana Republic Factory frequently, it might be time to invest in their credit card. Once you do, you’ll also be able to enjoy 20% off your purchase. Keep this in mind next time you’re hoping to find a discount on a pair of new leggings.
  • Gap Factory: Although most of Gap Factory’s clothing is already on sale, why not top off your purchase with an additional discount? Take up to 10% off your purchase on all discount orders so you can indulge in the discounts. Throw in that extra sports bra or pair of shorts because you can.
  • Gap: Join Gap’s rewards program and you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend. If you’re an avid Gap shopper, this deal is perfect for you. Sign up today and start earning.
  • Macy's: Create a Macy’s profile and you’ll receive 25% off your purchase. With just a few easy steps, this might be the quickest way to score a deal. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy faster checkout as well.
  • Puma: If you’re a doctor, nurse, or first responder, Puma honors your work with 20% off all orders. All you have to do is verify your status with ID.ME and you’ll be able to enjoy the discount. It’s quick to do so and you can use it instantly.

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