Are Lululemon Leggings Worth The Price? Here’s What We Discovered.

Whether I’m running six miles to train for a race, or pounding out push-ups in bootcamp class, I take my workouts pretty seriously. I also take my workout clothes seriously. I care about how well they perform and look when I’m breaking a sweat.

While I have apparel at different price points, many of my more expensive garments seem to “feel” better than the less expensive pieces. I’m not sure how much of this is in my head, but research shows that whether we like it or not, attire influences perception.

But now that I’m a mom, I’m paying much closer attention to my wallet.

In the athletic department, my only purchase this year has been shoes. So as summer approached, I realized the time had come to pick up some new workout leggings.

Thinking about current prices, I wondered if I could still feel as good about myself in a $20 pair of pants from Target as I do when I shell out $100 plus for a designer pair. I also wondered if the quality of my workout would be impacted by my choice.

For years, I’ve been diligently following MindShift.money’s principles, especially to Pay Yourself First. So in August, I cut back in another area of my spending and bought two pairs of Capri Leggings: a Champion C9 pair from Target for $19.99 and a Lululemon Fast and Free Nulux pair for $118.

I can’t deny how badass I feel in a pair of designer leggings. But I totally underestimated how great I’d feel in the less expensive ones.

The $98 dollar difference

The leggings looked similar to the naked eye, each falling just below my knee. For me, that’s an ideal length for aerobics, weightlifting, cross-training and even outdoor runs when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Both had side pockets, which is a must. I need somewhere to stash my phone, when needed.

But there was a slight difference in color. The less expensive Champion leggings were black, and the Lululemon leggings were a dark navy color that could pass for black.

I also noticed a significant difference in the texture of the fabric. The Champions were made of a slightly thicker, starchier-feeling material that seemed to have a tighter compression against my legs.

The Lululemon leggings felt like cool silk on my quads. I immediately felt good about my purchase the first time I wore them.

I thought I’d feel hotter wearing the thicker Champion leggings after my bootcamp class, but I was pleasantly surprised that didn’t happen.

Interestingly, my legs did feel slightly more damp underneath the Lululemon leggings post-workout. I attribute that to the sheerness of the fabric, though the sensation wasn’t bothersome.

I’m happy to say each pair consistently held up through 20 workouts and subsequent washings.

I can’t deny how badass I feel in a pair of designer leggings. But I totally underestimated how great I’d feel in the less expensive ones.

Before you buy anything, ask yourself, ‘Does this add item add meaning to your life or is it just what the people around me expect?

The verdict: Lululemon leggings vs Champion leggings

Your journey to Financial Freedom isn’t about deprivation. It’s about balance.

MindShift.money founding director Dr. Tony Pennells adds, “Before you buy anything, ask yourself, ‘Does this add item add meaning to your life or is it just what the people around me expect?’ If it adds to your life, go for it. But not making intentional decisions in these cases can add years to your journey toward Financial Freedom.”

If high-end designer workout clothes are what you want to spend money on, by all means, do it. But make sure you think clearly about the choice you’re making.

While $118 can buy you a pair of designer leggings that makes you feel better about yourself, you may be undercutting your other goals. If that’s the case, buy a $20 pair of workout pants with good review. You can have it all — minus the label.

I’m somewhere in the middle. While I’m not giving away my pricy pair anytime soon, I doubt I’ll splurge on high-end workout pants for at least a year. In part because I don’t have to!

Both the Lululemon leggings and the Champion’s held up so well, I won’t need to go clothes shopping for long time. There are times when purchasing a higher-quality item is beneficial. But I now know that a less expensive fitness item can look and feel just as amazing.


The views and opinions expressed are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of MindShift.money.

image credit: Bigstock/marjan4782

Marisa Torrieri is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, healthcare and technology. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and resides in Fairfield, CT. Her work has appeared in dozens of media outlets, including LearnVest, Forbes, The Washington Post, Business Insider, TIME and Health.com.

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