People sometimes ask me “What’s your favorite brand of athletic wear?” And although that should be a really simple answer, it’s not. You see, that depends on what we are shopping for! Are we shopping for leggings? For running shorts? A sports bra? Athleisure that can go from workout to the bar? Asking which brand I love is such a loaded, complicated question. I figured since there are two brands I veer toward most often that I would share what is worth the spend at both places. It’s no secret that Lululemon and Athleta are two of the bigger names in women’s athletic and athleisure wear and I wear both brands. But with a bigger price tag comes the question – what is worth the spend? I get it – believe me. Today I’m sharing which items are worth the spend at Lululemon + Athleta and why. If you’ve ever wondered, today’s post is for you! Items Worth The Spend At Lululemon + Athleta:
Items Worth The Spend At Lululemon + Athleta
First let me just say that I like Lululemon and Athleta equally. I think they’re two great brands and neither one has sponsored this post in any capacity. But if you’re reading – HI HELLO, I LOVE YOU! That said, I shop at them for different things and like certain products at each place. I’ll start with Lululemon.
Items Worth The Spend At Lululemon
Lululemon Tracker Shorts – Tracker shorts were the very first Lululemon item I ever owned and for good reason – they’re the most comfortable running shorts I own. I have 3 pairs that I reach for every single time, because they’re my favorite, so they’ve been washed many, many times. I’m happy to report they hold up very well! I have more muscular thighs, so I don’t really like super short shorts and these definitely fit the bill. I try to stock up on Boxing Day, their yearly “sale day” the day after Christmas.
Lululemon Align Tights – These another one of the first things I ever bought at Lululemon and they are now in my favorites list. Anyway – let’s talk about why these are worth the spend. First of all – fit. The high-rise feature (or super high-rise) on these tights sucks you in at all the right angles and with a waistline that comes up high, it creates a seamless silhouette. It also means you can wear shorter workout tops (you know the ones I’m talking about) without issue. Personally, I like the super high-rise factor, because it makes me feel pulled together without any muffin top snafus. I have the crop length and full length, but worth noting: Lululemon offers free alterations!
Lululemon Run Times Shorts – I have one pair of these and they are HOT PINK. I tried them on in the store one day since they were out of my beloved Trackers and came on good associate recommendation. I loved how they fit immediately, but wondered if the slightly slimmer cut (comparatively to the Trackers) would annoy me. I added them to my Christmas list in 2015 and got them as a gift from my mom. They have been on heavy rotation ever since. The Run Times shorts are definitely worth the investment, particularly if you like having pockets to store a credit card/key/etc.
Lululemon Speed Up Short Long – These are as if Trackers and Run Times had a short baby. I really love that they’re longer in the back and the fit is excellent (true to size). I wear an 8.
Lululemon Cool Racerback – Talk about a versatile tank! I really love the way the fabric feels on this one and I have been known to wear it for both workouts and casual wear. Always good to have clothing that can pull double duty, right? I treated myself to my first one after running my last marathon and it’s been a favorite ever since. Keep an eye out, because they rotate in new patterns seasonally. I have it in black, black polka dots and a really fun grey pattern. They wash REALLY well, too, and don’t stretch out, plus…no stink!
Lululemon Power Y Tank – If I had to star something on this Lululemon list that I use weekly, it would be this tank top. I have it in several colors (black, pink, mint and grey) and there are multiple reasons why I like it. For starters, it’s light support, with a built-in bra, which is perfect for me since I have a small chest, so no need to wear an extra sports bra. It’s also stink-proof (I’ve had 2 of the tanks for about 3 years with heavy wear and sweat – NO SMELL!) and outside of working out, they are excellent tanks for layering or on their own with outfits. The main point here is that with the shelf bra, I don’t have to wear anything else, which is such a nice bonus in sweaty, Hawaii weather.
Lululemon Tees – I was gifted one of these tees last winter and I kind of thought “Oh it’s a workout t-shirt”. But I’m telling you – the design of this particular tee is more than that and this year on Boxing Day I’m stocking up because they are THE BEST. I love it for working out (mine has a HAWAII graphic on the front), but I am not ashamed to admit that the fit is superior to other workout tees OR REGULAR TEES I’ve ever owned. The sleeves are longer-than-normal, which I personally love, and the scoop neck is very flattering without showing your bra straps. I really like that it wicks any body sweat, but also looks and feels like a normal tee.
Lululemon Scarf – I know what you’re thinking – Kait that’s an expensive scarf, but hear me out on this before you roll your eyes at the price tag. Let’s start with the basics – it comes in multiple colors and the fabric naturally wicks sweat without the scarf ever feeling like it gets wet. Believe me, I have tested this one out and it WORKS. Next, it’s got snaps so when you aren’t wearing it as a scarf, it can be made into a poncho, cape or shoulder shrug. And best of all – it makes an absolutely superb head covering/pillow for long airplane naps. It’s my #1 travel accessory hands down and favorite gift to give, so much so I did an entire post on why I love my Vinyasa scarf.
Now that I’ve shared all my Lululemon faves, let’s move on to Athleta…
Items Worth The Spend At Athleta
Athleta Top Picks
Athleta Elation 7/8 Tight – My mom told me about these tights after she dubbed them her favorites, but I was wary. $89?! Those suckers better make me look like freaking JLo. And oh my, my, my. They do. I had heard for years that the Lululemon Wunder Unders were THE ULTIMATE in workout tights, but I’ve got to be honest – they didn’t do it for me. But these Elation Tights from Athleta? OH YES. I have always struggled with full tights, because my legs are so short, which is why the 7/8 is such a win. These go all the way to my ankles (maybe slightly shorter if you’re taller) and there is absolutely no need for hemming. They’re seamless and are so, so buttery soft. They come in a few colors, but you can’t go wrong with black. I’ve worn them to workout (they don’t budge) and on planes (no swampy spandex butt after sitting for 10+ hours). They’re the unicorn of workout tights. You’re welcome!
Athleta Swimwear – Do you want swimwear that lasts, doesn’t show your entire bum, is perfect for chasing a dog down a beach and doesn’t budge, exposing you to the entire beach? Then Athleta suits are for you. I was blown away by the quality of my first Athleta suit this summer. I also love that many of the suits Athleta sells are UV blocking as well! It took me a few years to finally take the plunge on them, but I’m so glad I did and will definitely be ordering another suit this summer.
Now, if there was a winner for overall best athleisure, I’m going to go ahead and hand that title to Athleta. I can’t help it, they just knock it out of the park every dang season with good, quality pieces that I can count on for not just working out, but living my life. I love their tanks, long sleeve tees, sweaters, dresses and sweatpants. A few standouts for me include:
Athleta Faux Leather Tight – I have worn these to every night-on-the-town events I’ve been invited to since I purchased them. They are flattering, high waisted, and don’t require me to do some sort of acrobatic trick to get into them like another pair of faux leather pants I own. They’re a no-brainer for anyone who wants a little bit of an upscale look without 1. spending a fortune on real leather pants and 2. wants faux leather pants that stretch.
Athleta Sweaters – Have you seen anything more cozy? My friend Casey wore a sweater from Athleta on our trip to Iceland and I knew right away I wanted to try it on for myself. The particular one I bought (documented here) runs big, but I think overall their sweaters run TTS. Once I realized that Athleta’s sweaters were a win, I bought a couple more. I can happily report they keep their size, don’t pull and are super cozy. Worth the spend FOR SURE!
The Foothill line: Their Foothill long sleeve and tank are two of my favorite pieces for layering. They come in a variety of colors, have breathable holes in the fabric for fitness or adventuring, are great worn for workouts or athleisure and simply fit very, very well. I asked for the short sleeved Foothill tee for Christmas!
Now that I’ve shared all my favorites, let’s chat — do you shop at Lululemon or Athleta? Do you like certain products at certain stores? Which is your favorite?