When I look up sustainable activewear, I lust after the beautiful pieces that would surely make me feel like I was living my best life of farmer’s market shopping, green smoothies, and yogi flows (Indigo Luna collections, be still my heart!). Sadly, my entry-level work salary does not give me much room to invest in these pieces, as much as I want to.
When it comes to my wardrobe, the outfits I consistently wear every week are my activewear. I go to the gym everyday after work five times a week, which means my activewear takes up a big chunk of my closet. As much as I wish I could be minimalist with this section, I sweat so much that I can’t wear the same outfit again without washing it. And if I want to cut down my energy use, I need at least 42 articles of clothing to get me through a couple of weeks. So when I’m in need of activewear, I make a beeline to my closest thrift store.
Activewear is a hard thing to shop for when thrifting. You have to know where and what to look for, and since you can’t try on things it makes it hard to find pieces you know are squat-proof. After perusing several thrift stores, I found my local favorite to be Uptown Cheapskate. You can sell your clothes to them and they’ll give you cash. They’re pretty selective with what they take into their store, so when looking for pieces you already have that filter before you even get to the racks, which saves me a lot of time. The organization of their store also makes it easy to sift through items, and it’s become one of my favorite places to thrift without becoming overwhelmed.
I’m very particular about what I like to work out in. Nothing too tight, but not so loose that it balloons out when I work out. No sleeves on my shirts or I’ll overheat. The hardest thing to shop for, however, is workout pants. I’m short but have muscular legs, and finding pants that aren’t see-through is the bane of my existence. To this day, my favorite leggings by far are the Nike Pro. I don’t know what it is about them, but the texture and fit are like butter. A couple of years ago I splurged on a pair that I wear to this day and have withstood the test of time. So when I went thrifting the other day, I was hoping to scoop up some second-hand pairs so I didn’t contribute to fast fashion. And boy did I find some!
These camo leggings are the perfect fit for summer. I detest workout shorts so this length is great. I also picked up a longer blue pair which are so cute! Nike Pro leggings usually go for about $50 each, and I got both of these leggings for…wait for it…$13.99 each! Obviously I snatched them up and couldn’t be happier. I also got the white Outdoor Voices workout top, which was a little long on me so I cut it.
Tips for thrifting activewear
Quality over quantity. It’s tempting to buy the $3 leggings that resemble workout gear, but take the time to look at the tag to see what it’s made of. Check if the fabric is breathable as well as durable. While $13.99 is higher than most people think of for thrifting, I know that the leggings will last me and I will get in my cost per wear after just a month.
Know exactly what you want. I know that I love leggings that stretch but are opaque, ankle-length or cropped, and have a wide waist band. I look for these 3 things when thrifting and never stray from it. I do the same thing for shirts and sports bras. By being specific, it saves you from becoming overwhelmed when looking through the racks and ensures you only buy what you’ll absolutely wear.
If you don’t find it the first time, you can always come back. The best part about thrift stores is that they’re always getting new inventory, so don’t feel discouraged if you didn’t find the activewear you wanted. You can check back in within the next weeks, and are sure to find what you’re looking for!
My Gym Essentials