Remember the picture yesterday when I looked like I was about to rob a bank or a bakery? I wonder how often bakeries are robbed of their cakes and cookies. I don’t hear about it too often on the news. Actually, I have never heard about a robber holding up a bakery. Maybe bad guys don’t have a sweet tooth.
Anyway, besides showcasing the Lulu neckwarmer, the top I am wearing in this picture is my absolute cold weather running favorite.
It is the Lulu Lemon Run Swiftly Tech long sleeve top. And I love every inch of it.
Super soft, lightweight yet warm, sweat wicking, stays in place and washes well without shrinking, losing shape or losing its soft feel.
I would mention the thumb holes but let’s be real- all athletic shirts are now sporting the thumb holes – nothing unique here.
I hate to so highly recommend something when even in my opinion, it is a bit pricey. At regular price it is $68 and considering how often I run, not even I can keep up with doing laundry every single day in order to own only one of these tops.
But I have tried other long sleeve tech type tops in order to save some money and they are JUST NOT THE SAME.
If you know you are going to wear something often and you realize the difference between the item you love and the cheaper versions, there are ways to make this work for your budget.
1. STAY ON TOP OF THE SALES
The first word my mother ever taught me to read was SALE. I remember her pointing out the sale signs in the stores and spelling S-A-L-E. While I don’t really love bargain hunting, it is so totally worth it. Especially when you can score a great savings on your favorite workout gear.
I frequently check out Lulu’s “We Made Too Much” section of the website to see what items they have placed on sale. They also have a variety of sale items in the store as well. Make sure you go through all of the Lulu Lemon racks and shelves; the sale items used to be a specific section and now they have mixed all the sale priced items in with the regular priced items.
I was able to get another Run Swiftly top over the weekend for $54 instead of $68.
**Worth mentioning – The tops I buy from Lulu are sized up from my normal size. I find their tops run small and I like to have some wiggle room. This is quite important if you are going to order online without trying on first. Please note that all sale items from Lulu Lemon are FINAL. My advice – try it on in the store first to know you like it and know your size.
I have also learned to check the clearance racks at other athletic stores, most recently at S.A. Elite (which is the higher end of Sports Authority).
Not only did they have a huge selection of reduced priced Nike, Asics and Brooks running apparel, everything was an additional 25% off.
Among the items I ended up purchasing was this Nike Therma-Fit vest. I had been eyeing a regular priced Brooks running vest but it retails for $110.
You do the math. I saved an additional 25% off of the lowest price of $39.97. Is this even a purchase you have to contemplate?
I already wore it and it kept me quite warm. Is it as warm as the Brooks vest? Not sure but to pay around $31 for a Nike winter running vest I certainly won’t be upset if in the frigid temps I opt to get the Brooks one too.
2. SACRIFICE COLOR IN FAVOR OF PRICE:
Would yellow have been my first choice in the Lulu top? No. I naturally gravitate towards the pink, purple, black, gray….anything before yellow. But, the truth is, who cares what color it is? It is worn to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while you run.
Running and working out need not be a fashion show. I am all for looking cute but when it comes to saving a bit on workout clothes, the color I end up with is of little importance.
Most brands put their colored apparel and gear on sale before the basic white, black and gray.
I guarantee that if you stop caring what color you wear, you will notice a lot more deals on the items you love.
3. LOYALTY PROGRAMS:
Are you familiar with Road Runner Sports?
They have a VIP program and are running a Web-only special: For $1.99 right now, you will receive the following benefits:
- Best Price Guarantee
- Test Run- 3-month exchange window if you decide you don’t like a pair of shoes
- Save 10% on everything
- Free shipping
- Additional sales and discounts
Other stores/sites/brands with loyalty programs that can be used online or in store:
ELITE – The S. A. Elite Loyalty program offers you a point for every dollar you spend at both Sports Authority and Elite. In addition to receiving rewards throughout the program, you receive an initial $5 reward just for signing up.
The GAP family of brands – Gap Fit often runs serious sales just like the rest of the store. If you shop Gap.com, you are often treated to serious sales and frees shipping. The best part is that the sales and deals usually carry over to the other brands on the site – Banana Republic, Athleta, Old Navy and Piperlime.
Bonus – if you have a store credit card, you can save even more depending upon the day and deal at the time.
The bottom line is, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your favorite apparel if you do a little work to find yourself the right deal.
Do you shop around to get the best price on your workout apparel?
Do you swear by any one brand?
Which tops/pants/shorts are your favorite?