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Old Navy

I completely understand the appeal of higher-end athleisure (“You can actually wear them outside the gym.” “Think about price per wear!” “It’s not a brand; it’s a movement.”), but my budget has a harder time hopping aboard the pricy, Lycra-swaddled bandwagon. When it comes to dropping a pretty penny on clothing, I’d rather invest in a coat that’ll ferry me through fourteen mild Birmingham winters than a glorified crop top. As a result, I’ve tried all kinds of inexpensive activewear over the years, but when I take stock of my favorite pieces, the ones I go back to again and again and will wear until they’re threadbare, they’re nearly all from Old Navy.

Yep. The place that’s become synonymous with denim for the whole family and $5 T-shirt deals churns out some pretty fantastic activewear. Their collection runs the gamut, offering something for every kind of fitness fiend: Think lightweight packable puffers that trail runners will love and high-waisted, color-blocked leggings perfect for the home yogi. They never miss a trend either, so you can stock up on matching sets, if you favor a more streamlined look over ye old mix-and-match.

There’s a lot to love about Old Navy’s entire fitness line, but I’m especially a fan of their tops, as many of these actually can go from Saturday morning workout to a Sunday movie matinee without looking sloppy (Take that, high-end-athleisure pushers!!!). Another reason to try their athleticwear? Many of their tops and leggings come in petite and tall options (a dream come true for those of us that struggle to find a good fit with regular sizing).

One downside to note: I don’t like the way the shorts fit, but that’s likely a more personal woe than an Old Navy problem. A 3-inch inseam has never worked well for me given that I’m 5’10,” but it probably works just fine for lots of folks.

If you pay full price for Old Navy’s activewear, you won’t be spending a boatload, but I’d still recommend keeping your eye on the sales. I’ve scored many a $7 workout tank that way. Happy shopping, happy sweating.

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