How I Find Brand Name Gear without Going Broke

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, Ndiscount fitness clothingike 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:

addidas top            nike tights


As always, keep it moving (and yes, shopping counts!)


Copyright August 2015

Comments 20

  1. August 11, 2015

    Good tips. I tend to be more of an internet shopper so I will browse the sale departments of my fave brands as well as sites like Team Estrogen. Sometimes you have to buy off-season, but then you’ve got some great new gear for when the seasons change again!

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 11, 2015

      Nordstroms Rack and TJ Maxx are now online. I don’t think the selection is as good, but it might be worth checking out. And good idea for off season shopping!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. August 11, 2015

    I buy most of my running clothes at TJMaxx and Marshalls! I have had such great luck. A couple weeks ago I found some Asics running knickers for 16.99! I bought 2 pairs. That was a huge bargain.

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 11, 2015

      Asics for $16.99!!! I think you take the prize! Awesome find 🙂

  3. August 11, 2015

    I never pay full price for workout clothes … to date, the best deals I have found was at a Nordstrom rack where there was a huge assortment of FILA clothes which I happen to love. But yes, don’t go at peak times … I have NO PATIENCE for shopping in general, and so that would just ruin the whole thing for me. Great post!

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 11, 2015

      It took me a while to get used to the set up of these store. I literally feel like I’m digging through a bargain bin. But hey, extra calorie burn! Thanks for your comment!

  4. August 11, 2015

    very, VERY rarely do I pay full price for workout clothes. I find good deals at City Sports and other sporting goods stores (they always have sales) and Nordstrom Rack is actually my personal favorite! They have great, great and fun prints etc. tye also carry Under Armour and Nike, Adidas, etc.

  5. August 11, 2015

    All great tips! My best bargain find was a pair of my Mizuno running shoes on clearance at DSW for $46! I didn’t walk into the store with any expectations, and was just shocked when I found my shoes, in my size, on the clearance rack. It was a happy day!

  6. August 11, 2015

    I think I know the reflective tights you speak of. They’re SO cool and I was ogling them but when I saw the price? No way.
    I have found $100 Nike tights at Dicks for $65 plus a $20 discount then more Score Card points for the win.
    Great tips!

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 11, 2015

      They are really cool! Can’t wait for them to be old news so we can get them for cheap! lol

      Thanks for your comment!

  7. August 11, 2015

    I’ve found some great gear at T.J. Maxx & Marshalls. Target, Old Navy and Fabletics also have great workout apparel for less. 🙂

  8. August 11, 2015

    I’m rarely patient enough to sift through the discount stores. In Canada all we really have is Winners and it’s so hit and miss that I tend to not bother and look for sales and coupons instead.

  9. August 12, 2015

    These are great tips! We don’t have any of those stores here in Canada but I’ve heard great things about Ross 😀 We do have Winners though which is part of the same company as TJ Maxx, and I LOVE finding workout gear there!

  10. August 12, 2015

    Great tips. I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls but I don’t have the time that it takes to dedicate to these stores though with two small kids who are home all day. I wish I did!

  11. August 12, 2015

    OMG we are soul sisters. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to spend so much money on something I’m going to sweat in. Have you shopped Mika Yoga? They have super affordable fun stuff!

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 14, 2015

      I haven’t heard of Mike Yoga, but I will be checking it out right now! Thanks!!

  12. August 14, 2015

    I have a serious shopping habit and may need an intervention LOL

    1. Sharita Fit
      August 14, 2015

      Oh you are not alone Deborah!

  13. August 17, 2015

    Oh my gosh – YES. I get most of my workout attire at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. They have amazing deals and such amazing finds! Love your tips!

  14. August 31, 2015

    Great tips! Thanks!

    Ginger, from

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