Save vs. Splurge: Athleisure

By Emily Effren – May 7, 2020

AFM’s take on popular athleisure brands.

Living in one of the fittest cities in the world, wearing athleisure is the norm. Grabbing lunch after running around Lady Bird Lake? Athleisure. Going shopping after a spin class? Athleisure. Wanting to go out looking cute but also comfy? Athleisure. 

Even though many Austinites spend most of their time wearing cute and comfy athletic clothes, sometimes it can be hard to justify dropping money on a single pair of leggings or top you plan to also sweat in. Your money could be better spent on additional yoga classes or even a beauty procedure.

So, that’s why we’ve rounded up some common brands to explore whether they are worth the splurge… or not. 


There is a reason this brand is unstoppably popular. Yes, their famed leggings may come with a hefty price tag — but this one is worth it. Lulu prides itself on selling bottoms and leggings that are sewn to perfection that will prevent “pilling”, or when a seam will come undone and start to ball up and fall away. In addition, this brand’s leggings are breathable, and most importantly, stretchy. If you are on the hunt for a new pair of high-waisted-hold-you-in leggings, this high-quality brand will last years in your closet and not let you down in the slightest. Our findings? Lulu leggings are worth dropping a few dollars on. (Tip: since Lulu can last for a long time, hit up Ebay or other used clothing sites to find some used pieces that still look new, but have a friendlier price tag for your wallet.)


Checks over stripes, right? We’re kidding, but Nike is one of those brands that you can rely on for good quality, durability and chicness.. all at the same time. Ever since the boom of athleisure and the trend of chic-sweats (Thanks Kardashians!), Nike took this new trend in full stride for both of their men’s and women’s collections. Doing athleisure collaborations with stars and influencer icons, Nike stays acutely aware of their audience’s interest. Our rec? The clothes are awesome, but go for the shoes. Nike shoes are worth the splurge and some of the best and lightest finds for running. 


The mastermind behind the brand, Kate Hudson, knew what she was doing when she launched Fabletics, which is now one of the biggest athletic clothing brands in the United States. She’s done collaborations with stars like Demi Lovato and has even turned the brand into a subscription service because… who doesn’t want new athletic clothes every month? In addition, it’s obvious that Hudson knows what her customers want: leggings that are squat proof and will stay up (and not fall lower) while running. Hudson delivered. The body-inclusive brand highlights their high-waisted leggings and ability to mix and match sets (which is why the subscription service can become addictive). Our findings? It’s a more affordable brand but can become a splurge if you forget about the subscription… for a few months.

Outdoor Voices

One of ATX’s favorite brands, Outdoor Voices has some of the best options for men’s athleisure clothes. From hoodies, to shirts to shorts to socks, OV is known to last and prove reliable for any outdoor, Austin activity. The only downfall? OV doesn’t usually come cheap. Sure, one can find other brands to satisfy their athleisure needs, but, like Lulu, the splurge is worth it because the quality will last for ages. 


The fact that Beyonce did a recent collaboration with them is all you need to know about how great Adidas is, but we’ll fill you in. In addition to Nike, Adidas has caught on to the new chic-athleisure trend and come out with versatile outfits anyone can mix and match. Compared to luxury athleisure brands, Adidas is a brand that is stylish and affordable at the same time. You can typically find Adidas items off the rack for lower prices, making it a brand any Austinite can save and splurge on.

Click for Fall Athleisure 2020


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