Remember when Lululemon set a high budget barre of $100 for yoga pants, and we all gasped in shock? What used to seem outrageously expensive is now pretty common for a durable, stylish bottom with the high-tech performance attributes required for rigorous workouts and no-fuss yoga flow.

As workout gear has taken to the streets mixed with our everyday wardrobe, a slew of high-end designers and boutique brands have entered the scene with fashion-forward fitness capsules—some for “athleisure,” some for the fashionista who gets her sweat on and expects her pieces to perform. With the designer label comes the premium price. Yes ladies, the budget barre has been raised.

While I don’t own any designer duds, cute new workout clothes are a motivator for me. I love a good fashion trend, and a good deal. So when I’m on the lookout for something fresh, you’ll find me window-shopping at online boutiques like Carbon38, Net-a-Sporter and Lace Up Style, and checking in with fit, fashionable bloggers and Instagrammers for outfit inspiration. Then, the hunt begins for something that doesn’t break the bank.

Budgets vary in my community of fitness and fashion-minded friends, so here are a few lux trends alongside some frugal alternatives.

Grayscale Graphics

Do you like printed leggings, but shy away from the bold, colorful designs because they’re too loud for your taste? Enter the toned-down trend—monochrome prints that are fun in an understated way. I like grayscale prints that pair nicely with a solid top of any color, and easily cross over to street style. The Norma Kamali Marble Legging is covetable, but even at the markdown price of $150 it’s a leap. Check out this range of alternatives that won’t over-stretch your budget.


Get Strappy

Fitness Fashion - Michi Helix Bra

Featured: Michi Helix Bra

Sport bras have come a long way style-wise, especially for low to medium impact activities. I’m loving all the “business in the front, party in the back” designs with cute strap details. If you have a champagne budget, the Michi Helix Bra has a 360-degree party going on. Strappy bras look great layered under a sheer or peek-a-boo-back top. And they’re definitely cute enough to wear outside the studio.

P.S I searched high and low to find strappy options for us bigger busted gals (D+), and came up short. (Note to sport bra designers: Opportunity.)

Fitbit Bling

If you’re wearing a fitness tracking device 24/7 it has to be cute, right? I got all excited earlier this year when I heard about the Fitbit x Tory Burch collab. If you’re looking to spruce up your Fitbit Flex on a lighter budget, check out the options from Etsy sellers—super cute at a fraction of the price.

Fitness Fashion - Fitbit Bling on Etsy

Featured: (left and right) Style for Miles Jewelry and (center) FUNKtional Wearables.