FASHION WATCH: Budget-friendly workout wear

With an abundance of trend-focused gyms popping up in the region, it’s evident the latest national fitness trends have made their way here. From CrossFit and hot yoga, to spinning and barre classes, there are so many options to stay in shape. Along with this workout culture comes another type of trend — fitness fashion.

With the presence of high-end (i.e. $80 yoga pants) fitness apparel brands Lululemon and Athleta in downtown Spokane, these stores are also now influencing local trends in fitness fashion that have become popular outside of the gym. But what do active, fashion-conscious people wear if they’re trying to look on-trend while maintaining a budget?

We shopped around the city to prove that it’s possible to find stylish and affordable workout wear. Check out our list of finds below.

1. Target

Target is an obvious destination for affordable clothing, and it always carries essential staples for any workout wardrobe. Target’s athletic clothing line, C9 by Champion  is made by the acclaimed exercise brand Champion. This means the clothing is well made and trendy enough to rival other high-end athletic brands without breaking the bank. The brand’s fitness clothing can be found in store or online, and prices max out at about $40. For additional discounts and coupons at Target consider downloading their mobile coupon app, Cartwheel. You never know what daily discounts will be offered.

Men's shorts: $13.59. - TARGET.COM
Men's shorts: $13.59.

Men's Tee: $12.74. - TARGET.COM
Men's Tee: $12.74.

Women's C9 by Champion leggings: $37.99. - WWW.TARGET.COM
Women's C9 by Champion leggings: $37.99.

2. TJ Maxx

This popular bargain chain is constantly circulating new products and top workout brands ranging from Reebok and Adidas to Nike and UnderArmour at up to 60 percent off. Also, a summer sale is currently running both in stores and online, with merchandise at up to 75 percent off. TJ Maxx is also new to the online world, launching its shopping website last year for those customers who hate the hassle of digging through disorganized racks.

click to enlarge Reebok tank, $12.99, and leggings, $24.99. - MADISON BENNETT
Madison Bennett
Reebok tank, $12.99, and leggings, $24.99.

click to enlarge Umbro men's tee, $9.99; and Head shorts, $12.99. - MADISON BENNETT
Madison Bennett
Umbro men's tee, $9.99; and Head shorts, $12.99.

3. Plato’s Closet

The next (and sort of unlikely) destination was Plato’s Closet. For most of the year, Plato’s Closet is a fabulous place to sell and find gently-used clothing by popular youth-oriented brands such as American Eagle, Hollister and Express. During the summer months, though, the store switches things up and accepts more active wear. The franchise's store on North Division has an athletic clothing display right now with brands like Nike, Adidas and Danskin. Prices range from $10-$15.

click to enlarge Plato's Closet activewear display. - MADISON BENNETT
Madison Bennett
Plato's Closet activewear display.

4. Costco

When you think of Costco, most shoppers probably think of food and free samples. But in the middle of the store Costco is always displaying many top workout-wear brands. Tanks, jackets, pants, sports bras, shorts and socks of brands like Nike, Puma and Reebok can often be found. Costco also has its own Kirkland brand of trendy exercise apparel. With Costco, you never know what you'll find when you stop in since its stores are always bringing in new brands. When we stopped by, Costco had Puma workout wear for men and women.

click to enlarge Kirkland Signature men's active 1/4 zip, $17.99; Puma shorts, $14.99. - MADISON BENNETT
Madison Bennett
Kirkland Signature men's active 1/4 zip, $17.99; Puma shorts, $14.99.

5. Northwest Christian Thrift

Last, we decided to challenge ourselves and see if it’s possible to find trendy workout wear at local thrift stores. Surprisingly, after a bit of digging, we found that it is. Northwest Christian Thrift on North Ash at Five Mile has an entire rack dedicated to workout wear. Even though most of it screams 80’s, with a little bit of perseverance you can find a few pieces, with prices ranging from $1-$3 per item. Northwest Christian Thrift also offers 15% off student discounts on Wednesdays.

click to enlarge Nike leggings, $3.99; Champion sports bra, $1.99; Nike tank, $1.99; Trufit (new) socks, $1.59. - MADISON BENNETT
Madison Bennett
Nike leggings, $3.99; Champion sports bra, $1.99; Nike tank, $1.99; Trufit (new) socks, $1.59.

While our shopping trip offers several examples of affordable workout wear, you can find reasonably-priced exercise clothing just about anywhere, especially when keeping an eye out for sales. Other retailers with great workout apparel lines include Gap and Old Navy, Athleta’s sister brands. Also check department stores, like JC Penny. By signing up for higher-end store's email lists, it's also easy to find coupons and updates about online and in-store promotions.

Also watch for discounted summer workout wear, as many stores are already starting to clear out merchandise to make way for fall clothing.