Sick of spending a fortune to look like everyone else at the gym? Check out these little-known hot spots!
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Want something fun and unique that no one else in your gym will be wearing? Dancewear Solutions may say it's for dancers, but their active wear works just as well for lifting weights or kickboxing as it does for plies and split jumps. While the quality isn't as high as, say, Lululemon, the fit is great and their clearance section can't be beat. Plus, at just $3 -$25 a piece you don't have to feel bad about getting rid of them when you can't get the gym funk to wash out.
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Like Gilt.com but for fitness die-hards, PlanetGear.com has a new sale every day featuring your favorite fitness brands for a fraction of the price. And because they feature everything from ski goggles to water bottles to running shoes, you're not just limited to clothes. The only downside is that like any deal site, once the items are gone, they're gone! Registration is required but free.
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Don't discount this chain store—when it comes to workout gear, their stuff is solid. While you probably won't be the only the girl wearing that cute floral top, Old Navy makes up for it with cheap (but still decent quality) staples like yoga pants, compression tights, and sports bras. And they have one of the largest selections of plus-size workout clothing.
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J.C. Penney: Not just for grandmas looking for their next Christmas sweater anymore! I recently wandered in on a whim and was amazed by how diverse and, yes, stylish their Xersion line of workout gear is. With new stock arriving every other month or so, there's plenty of variety, and the older stuff goes to clearance quickly—you can pick up a sweat-wicking top for as little as $6. Even better, the quality is great. I've been wearing them for years now and my J.C. Penney running capris have outlasted my much pricier pair from a very popular brand.
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I get so excited every time the Athleta catalog shows up at my house. Unfortunately their stuff, while excellent quality, is usually out of my price range. But keep an eye on their clearance and you can find some great deals.
E-Bay and Craigslist
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When nothing but the super expensive stuff will do (and hey, I'm not judging! I once had to have a running skirt that cost more than a week's worth of groceries), go to Ebay.com and Craigslist.org first. Often you can find Lucy, Lululemon, Nike, and Athleta stuff brand new with the tags still on for less than half of what you'd pay at the store. Even the "slightly used" items are usually in very good condition.
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Did you know there are more than 100 ways to cut up an old t-shirt? You can make a halter top or a funky tank or even yoga pants in just a few minutes. You can follow an online tutorial or just let your creativity run wild. And no worries for you non-crafty types, very little sewing is required. Just be careful to do a test run in your shirt at home so it won't accidentally come apart at the gym (like it did for me—thank heavens for sports bras!). Bonus: this one is completely free!