The 5 Best Places to Buy Cheap Gym Clothes for Men

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We’ll get to my picks for the best cheap gym clothes for men in a second, but before we start, I should make something clear:

It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting the weight room regularly or making use of at-home workout equipment. Working out – like, at all – is a hell of a lot more important than what you wear while doing it.

Man wearing compression gear
[image: Anastase Maragos / Unsplash]

But with that said, it’s also true that the look good, feel good philosophy definitely extends to the gym.

So once you’re in the groove and feeling pretty good about your fitness, dressing a little better while working out can provide an added dose of confidence.

But for the stylish aspiring exerciser, there’s one slight problem:

Gym wear brands like Nike, Adidas and New Balance would have us believe that men’s gym shorts and women’s sports bras should cost more money than cashmere sweaters and luxury handbags.

(And that’s not an exaggeration, by the way. This pretty basic pair of shorts from Nike’s Dri-Fit line costs a whopping $110, while Nadaam’s 100% cashmere sweater costs just $75.)

Price Tag, Shmrice Tag

Don’t be fooled by the high price tags you find at specialty sports stores like Lululemon.

Recently, affordable retailers have gotten into the gym clothing game, and proven that you can look good while breaking a sweat, without breaking the bank. (Word play!)

Below, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite places to find cheap men’s workout clothes.

But First, a Quick Note on Fit:

When it comes to men’s workout clothes that both look good and move well, remember that the normal rules of fit apply.

You want a shirt that hugs your body well, pants that don’t billow out too far and shorts that hit above the knee.

Pretty much all of the below recommendations should fit the bill – and your bod. (God, I am just the worst.)

The Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men

Rounding Up the Best Places to Buy Cheap Mens Workout Clothes


Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men
Sure, you could spend 80 bucks for one Nike shirt… or you could spend 30 bucks for three Neleus shirts

Amazon is easily our top pick because it muscled its way (pun very much intended) into the menswear game a few years back, and now sells a wide range of men activewear.

While you can certainly find all the aforementioned big-name (and big-price tag) brands here, you’ll also find a ton of cheap mens workout clothes that you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else.

Ever heard of brands like Ouber, Neleus, Baleaf or Monsta?

Me neither, but they all offer stylish-looking gym clothes made from the same sweat-wicking, breathable fabrics as my favorite brands, but at a much more reasonable price.

And the best part might be their in-house Amazon Essentials line, where you can find go-to basics like a sweat-wicking long-sleeve shirt for less than 20 bucks.

One advantage of ordering your workout gear online is that active wear can be much more forgiving when it comes to fit.

I wouldn’t want my favorite v-neck sweater to hug my body so tightly that you can see my abs underneath.

But if it happens with my favorite workout shirt I won’t mind at all, which takes a bit of the risk out of ordering online. 

Plus, on Amazon you get free shipping if you have Prime, which is another

Check Out Amazon

Old Navy

Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men
Old Navy: we’re like the Gap, but blander! (That exclamation was a typo)

Old Navy is best known for making even more affordable (if slightly more bland) versions of the American staples offered at it’s big brother brand, the Gap (more on them below).

And in the case of its fitness gear, that’s a decidedly good thing.

In my humble opinion, Old Navy makes some of the best workout shirts, shorts and tracksuit bottoms that you can get at the sub-100-dollar price point.

Their stuff might not be quite as soft as really high-quality activewear from expensive brands like Lulemon, but it’s made from the same moisture-wicking fabric and can hold up to even the most intense workouts.

A Quick Note on Sizing:

Like much of their offerings, sizes here will run large, and you may want to consider sizing down, especially if you’re on the skinny side.

(When you’re already working your ass off to add bulk, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re drowning in your shirt.)

At 5’9″ and 170 lbs I usually wear a medium shirt/sweater across all Gap brands (i.e. Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic), but in Old Navy workout gear I opt for a small.

But as long as you choose the right size, Old Navy offers everything else we’re looking for:

A perfect cut, a logo so small and bland that you’ll barely notice it and the ability to wear the shit out of them.

I stocked up on shirts and shorts a few years back and I’m still wearing/washing them multiple times per week, with little evidence of wear and tear.

Check Out Old Navy


Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men
I’ve personally never felt like blue camo was vital to my workouts, but to each their own, you know?

As noted, Gap’s stuff tends to be just one step above Old Navy’s in terms of both style and price, and such is the case here.

Their GapFit line of workout clothes will cost you significantly more than their Old Navy counterparts.

But for those who are a little more particular about style and color, it may be worth it.

Gap sells everything from recycled tank tops to fleece hoodies with long sleeves, all in cuts, colors and styles that are modern and of-the-moment.

That’s great if you want to look modern at all times, but keep in mind that hyper-modern stuff doesn’t always age well.

I have a few boring-but-timeless workout tops from Old Navy that are less trendy, but have held up for years.

Whereas more on-point trends and limited edition releases might look a lot hipper right now, but run the risk of seeming dated and out of style a few years from now.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Check Out Gap


Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men
At first glance, this doesn’t say “H&M.” Until you notice how pouty this guy’s lips are…

And speaking of places that sell trendy clothes that may not hold up in the long run…

I know, I know. The first words that pop into your head when you hear “H&M” probably aren’t fitness routine or peak performance.

But hear me out here.

The Swedish brand’s line of sportswear has been something of a revelation to me.

It may not be the top choice of most fitness experts, but in my experience their stuff looks great, easily allows for freedom of movement, breathes well in the gym, and holds up after repeated washes.

Crucially, most of their stuff is also free of logos and corporate branding.

That’s a real boon for those of us who don’t want to look like walking billboards (or admit that we buy our workout clothes at H&M).

Of course, H&M certainly isn’t for everyone. For one thing, it’s at the forefront of the fast-fashion industry, which is notoriously steeped in controversy.

In addition to potential environmental misgivings, the brand is uber European, meaning their stuff is not only fashion-forward and super trendy, but also tends to fit slim.

If you don’t remember to size up, you may find that a standard pair of joggers fits more like a pair of compression pants.

But with all of that said, style-conscious guys looking for the best workout clothes that don’t cost a fortune can do quite well here, so it’s worth looking into.

Check Out H&M

Nordstrom RackTJ Maxx, Etc.

Best Affordable Workout Clothes for Men
Three stripes, full hearts, can’t lose

For the brand purists who just have to be covered in Nike, Reebok, Adidas or the other big fitness brands in order to feel fit, discount department stores like Nordstrom Rack are your best option.

Their inventory comes and goes, and you’ll have to sift through the racks to find the right styles and sizes.

But the good news is that you can routinely find great deals on big brand names like Nike and their top competitors.

I don’t pick up much by way of base layers or really high-performing apparel here, but it’s definitely my go-to spot for athletic shoes.

If you’re not picky about your gym shoes, you can find a perfectly serviceable pair of brand name cross-trainers here at a significant discount.

I got a brand new pair of Nikes at a Nordstrom Rack in Chicago for about 35 bucks, and five years later they’re still my go-to indoor gym shoes.

Check Out Nordstrom Rack

Check Out TJ Maxx

More Men’s Fitness & Style Advice from Irreverent Gent:

About Dave Bowden

Dave Bowden

Founder, Irreverent Gent
Author, Man in Command and Stop Doubting, Start Dating
Writer, Really Wordy Author Bios

Dave Bowden is a style blogger, menswear expert and best-selling author (in Canada—but still!) whose advice on how to look good and live well has been featured in New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and more.

When not obsessing over style and self-improvement, he can usually be found spending time with his wonderful wife and two amazing sons, indulging in a hoppy craft beer, or sobbing over the woeful state of Toronto's sports teams.

Check out Dave's Style Story to find out how a chance encounter with his friend's step-dad taught him the value of looking good and living well (don't worry—it's less creepy than it sounds!), or email him at [email protected] if you want to get in touch.

5 thoughts on “The 5 Best Places to Buy Cheap Gym Clothes for Men”

    • Hey Brooks! For bigger guys I’d actually recommend keeping your workout clothes fairly loose-fitting. If you don’t feel great about the current state of your body, you’re probably not going to like seeing yourself stuffed into gym clothes designed for a different body type. So stick with larger sizes to begin with, but considering buying one smaller, fitted shirt as a goal, then commit to being able to fit into it in six months.

  1. I have to admit that I was skeptical of your H&M recommendation. But I was in there the other day and tried on a workout shirt, and it fit like a glove. Good call man, thanks for the heads up. Def going to be my first stop next time I need to replace some gear.

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