Work your workout gear

SJ has the low-down on where to get the best bargains.

Times are changing. Where workout gear was once only found in parks and on treadmills, it has now crept into our everyday lives. In fact, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the latest fashion trend. Sometimes I wonder if people own ‘street’ clothes anymore. And then of course there’s the big question, are all these people really working out this much? Or are they fitness frauds?

What goes hand in hand with this trend is the fact you are still paying for the ‘label’ when it comes to fitness attire. In yoga classes and around running tracks you’ll see pair after pair of Nike Free Run trainers and Lululemon leggings.

This is the part I cannot fathom. I have been known to spend a lot of time in my gym tights. Not only are they comfortable, but also I figure it increases the likelihood I will, in fact, workout. But paying all that money for attire which is designed to be thrashed? That I honestly don’t understand. So today I am going to share my insider secrets on how to get the latest in workout gear for less.

The Puffer Vest

For those of us in the cooler climates this is probably the key piece and the biggest trend to explode on to the scene when it comes to fitness attire. Originally North Face seemed to have the monopoly on this market, but now you can find puffer vests everywhere. Obviously the more you pay the warmer it will probably be, but I managed to pick up a great one which has served me well all year from Cotton On for around $60. Target also has similar ones in a range of colours for less than $10.


Cotton On Body, Chill Puffa Vest, S-L, $49.95

The Leggings

This essential part of your workout outfit need not cost a fortune, or at least $100, as many of the big name brands will charge. I nabbed my favourite pair from Cotton On Body, for around $40. Target and Kmart also have a great range of sports leggings without the high price tag. If you really want the best in the business I would suggest going to the outlet stores at DFO or similar, where you can find older styles at reduced prices.

Cotton On Body, Speed Running Pant, XS-XL, $24.95

Target, t30 Mod Performance Leggings, 8-20, $35

Long sleeved tops and jackets

You can find great long sleeve basics from Sportsgirl, General Pants Co and Agent 99, which often has great styles. Recently I bought two striped long sleeve tops from Sportsgirl which I have on constant rotation for both street wear and walking attire and they were $15 each. For jackets I would visit Kmart, Target, Top Shop and Cotton On Body. Bonds also stock a great range of basic long sleeve tops and hoodies at reasonable prices.


Bonds, Triblend Hoodie, XS-XL, $49.95

Sportsgirl, Poppy Long Sleeve, XXS-L, $29.95

Tanks and tees

When it comes to tanks and tees I always believe the plainer they are, the better. It’s easy to get over slogans and I strongly believe it is far more sophisticated not to have some brand plastered across your chest. For tanks and tees I head to Agent 99, which usually has two for $40 in its basics or Top Shop and American Apparel.

Sports bras

I used to buy sports bras from Nike, however, my last two have come from Cotton On Body and I have been very happy with them. Target stock a range of colours for $20 and you can now be professionally fitted in many stores. Again, if you want the big name brands, I’d try to pick one up at their factory outlets, after all, who would know if you’re wearing last season’s look?


Target, t30 Sports Crop, 8-16, $20

Cotton On Body, Body Pump Sports Contour, 8A-14C, $19.95


Runners are the one item I would highly recommend paying more for. Consider them your investment piece. It’s easy to focus on how runners look, but the most important aspect is they provide the right amount of support for your feet. Personally I have always found Asics to be the best option in terms of supporting my feet. Athlete’s Foot offers a great service where your feet are assessed and a range of options to best suit your individual needs are suggested. You can get great discounts on runners online, but I would always recommend trying them on instore first.

One last tip, if you can, I always think it’s nice when your exercise attire matches. There’s nothing quite like your sports bra matching your leggings to make you feel on top of your workout!


    To make a comment, please register or login
    30th Aug 2013
    This is good advice. Now that the high tech materials are available in cheaper alternatives such as Target, Big W and Kmart, why pay over $60 for a tee-shirt to sweat in?
    31st Aug 2013
    I'm a size 16 - and find it almost impossible to find reasonably fitting fitness gear that doesn't fit so tight you can barely breath. Had a look at Lorna Jane recently, and nearly feinted... their size 16 - even if you could find items in this size - were ridiculously small. I'm not a size 10, and am not under 30yo, yet most of this sports wear looks as though the last thing you would use them for is to exercise!!

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