Yes, we've all developed a love affair with Lululemon over the years — but our bank accounts are finally started to revolt. What are we supposed to do when we can't get enough of Lulu's cute styles and oh-so-perfect fit, but just can't bring ourselves to pony up 200 bucks for a pair of leggings anymore?
We find some less expensive alternatives that are just as good, that's what we do. Believe it or not, they're out there.
Go ahead, cling to that $150 hoodie you've got chillin' in your closet for as long as you can, but expand your activewear wardrobe by opening yourself up to some of these other brands that are pretty impressive.
If you're looking for the cutest prints ever, Yoga Democracy will totally be your jam. A butterfly sports bra and birds of paradise leggings? Yes, please. But our current favorite is the Artezen yoga crop pictured above, which are moderately priced at $70. And not only is Yoga Democracy super cute and affordable, but they're also eco-friendly: 95% of what they produce is made from recycled fibers, and their suppliers adhere to high standards of sustainability in water use and greenhouse emissions.
2. Kira Grace
I bless the day I discovered Kira Grace. Their clothing is simple, but oh-so beautiful. The fabric they use is thin enough for hot yoga, but also stands up to pounding it gets from running. The fits are flattering and the tops are supportive. I can't say enough about this brand. The above leggings are $98, which is steep, true. But the quality is high and the price point is similar to Lulu and what you get feels like a whole lot more. These are outfits you truly want to wear to coffee after yoga is done.
3. Om Shanti
Om Shanti is really just for yoga. If you want clothing that also will take you on runs and through a spin class or two, this is probably not the brand. But what they lack in versatility, they make up for in style. These pants have flair for days. My two pairs of these pants get more attention than any other pants I own. They are beautifully cut and their weight, while not versatile, really is perfect for hot yoga — and since I take at least one class daily, that makes them perfect for me. The above pants are $75, but they also have crops that run about $70 and loose fitting tank tops and other great clothing to help bring out the inner yogini.
This company makes absolutely stunning sports bras with fancy backs that would make any one want to try out a backless top. But they also make perfect leggings for hot yoga that manage to be both effortlessly comfortable as well as highly stylish. I get compliments on my Onzie pants all the time. The skull print, in particular, has been a big hit.
Before YogaSmoga, I mostly wore yoga tops with built in shelf bras. These are fantastic for running as well. But what I loved about the tanks I got from YogaSmoga is the fact that they worked almost entirely for yoga. They have tight bottoms that stay put when you invert, but they have loose middles that feel flowing and cool in hot yoga. I also like the open backs that show off pretty sports bras. It's a win all around!
Simple yoga clothing that feels good on, moves with the body, and makes you look hot, too? Sign me up! The pants featured here (Lea Leggings in lilac grey, $74) are incredibly comfortable and also lift and firm the butt in ways I never knew possible. Their comfy tops and sports bras round out the look and their simple covers are effortless and incredibly stylish. Plus they are less expensive than Lulu.
These leggings feel sturdy, which makes them perfect for both running and yoga. They also have a great length, as in, no bagging at the ankles, but they are not crops, either. They have tons of fun patterns and at $89 feel like a little bit of a saving. Liquido also has great tanks, some with writing, that will make you feel perfectly yogic, indeed.
These leggings are as versatile and as high quality as anything Lululemon puts out. If you are looking for an all-around great legging, look no further. Their capris seem pricey at $92, but they really seem like they will last a few years and will carry you through hard cardio, hot yoga and more.
Originally published March 2016. Updated July 2017.