I’m not exactly sure when it became OK to charge over $500 for reflective tights… or even when reflective tights became a thing. But at some point between Jane Fonda’s fitness craze of the 80s and the yoga pants of today, fit fashion has gone from $5 “scrunchy socks” to $90 for tights! Yes, if you hadn’t heard, some of the most popular brands are selling pants that we pour our sweat into for about ONE HUNDRED dollars!
Even in the midst of my complaining, I am still a huge fan of the major brands in fitness, especially Nike and Under Armour. I browse these sites at least once a week, and I even put things in my electronic shopping cart, hoping they will magically appear at my front door. When that doesn’t work, I usually ask for these brands for my birthday because I just cannot bring myself to handle the regular price tag that comes with my favorite thermal leggings, or sweat-wicking tanks. Luckily for me, and now for YOU, I’ve found the ultimate loophole: DISCOUNT DEPARTMENT STORES!
If you’re new to this whole world of discount retail, I’m here to help! It can be daunting to sift through 100s of hangers for a great find.
Deals on Deals on Deals
You certainly know about these stores. America’s favorite discount retailers. The Trinity. The Holy Grail. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx! Just this week, I had not one, but TWO small shopping sprees where I ended up with one pair of Nike tights (original price: $90!), a colorful print Adidas top, Nike wrist bands, one pair of KOS USA capris (typically $$40-$60), and a Camel hydration belt. My total for my two-day shopping spree at Ross and TJ Maxx came to a whopping $65! That’s less than the original price of my gorgeous Nike tights! (Scroll down for a picture, and be jealous).
While there’s nothing wrong with picking up the latest trends in fitness fashion, if your money is running low and you still want to be cute during your next race, fitness class, etc., then pay a visit to the “active” section of one of these stores. Trust me, all your gainz just look better in cute clothes and EVEN BETTER in cute clothes that don’t break your bank!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Discount Shopping
If you’re new to this whole world of discount retail, I’m here to help! It can be daunting to sift through 100s of hangers for a great find. These stores aren’t always as pretty as your local Nike shop. BUT if you’re willing to give it a little effort, I promise you’ll get the hang of it and find crazy deals all your own.
- DO Shop during off hours. The last thing you want to do is go to a Ross or Marshalls right after work, or on a weekend afternoon. It will ruin the whole experience for you. Try going on your lunch break or around 2 or 3 PM, or of course when the store first opens. Empty aisles are your friend, and they help you breathe a bit easier.
- Don’t Get Specific: One thing that is next to impossible to do when discount shopping, is finding a specific piece. Don’t go in the store looking for a green pair of Reebok tights. Instead, go in with the goal of getting some new shorts, or a sports bra, or weight lifting gloves. Your chances of success will increase when you broaden your search a bit.
- DO Keep trying: Depending on your store, the inventory will turn over with the quickness. So if you didn’t find what you were looking for on Tuesday, don’t think twice about going back on Saturday. You can ask an associate about when shipments come in, but usually it’s ALL THE TIME.
- Don’t Hesitate: Because these stores are purchasing left over items, or last year’s styles, you aren’t going to have the luxury of a huge inventory of those running shoes you just discovered at TJ Maxx. You might also strike out when you look online, because it’s from last season, and therefore harder to find. So when you find a good deal, just scoop it up before the next shopper snags your gear! (You can’t always return it if you change your mind.)
- DO Be Choosy About Store Location: If you find a discount retailer in a fancier, or busier neighborhood, don’t walk, but RUN to that store! The inventories tend to be larger and restocked more frequently. I also just find more high end brands in the more popular neighborhoods, like Georgetown in D.C. for example. However, I did get my tights from a Ross in less fancy neighborhood, and I’m not ashamed!
So there you have it, my secret to the cheap but great gym gear! Use it wisely! Got your own tips? Leave a comment below!
Here are a couple of my latest finds:
As always, keep it moving (and yes, shopping counts!)
Copyright August 2015