How to buy Leggings on a Budget (when to splurge and when to save)

September 24, 2021

I'm Jenna


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You don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks!

Maybe it’s the Colorado Girl in me, but, when I’m not living the scrub life, I literally live in yoga pants. Yes, folks, I wish I could tell you about my amazing fashion sense, but the truth is, I am all about comfort and function. 

For the Love of Leggings!

The Business of Leggings

Growing up a pursuer of all manner of outdoor athletic endeavors, this wardrobe staple is easily layerable, comfortable and casually cute. According to Market Analysis Report (2019), Yoga Pants are a 31.8 billion dollar industry, so I can pretty confidently say I don’t think I’m alone in my love of this wardrobe staple. 

From a financial standpoint, I typically agree with Rachel Cruze, Ramsey Solutions Personality, in that you should invest in what you wear. If you live in jeans, investing in high quality, comfortable, long lasting jeans are going to make the most sense for you. Can the same be said for leggings? Mmmmm, maybe. 

As anyone who has owned or shopped for yoga pants knows, the fabric ranges from shiny and sleek to soft and cozy and just about everything in between. Prices also range from around $14 per pair at Walmart or Target to a cool $90 at Athleta or Vuori. So, my savvy friends, let’s break this down.

Yoga Pants are a 31.8 Billion Dollar Industry

Fashion or Function?

I have lived in yoga pants for far longer than I should probably admit. My sister told me the other day she felt like she was in a style rut, and I confidently said “Oh, not me. I love my yoga pants!”

(To be fair, I don’t think I can be in a style rut, when I don’t actually have any style to begin with, so trust me when I tell you, this is not a “fashion advice” post, nor am I a sponsored, high level athlete, so my needs are pretty basic). 

leggings and fuzzy boots – the ultimate in comfort

I am an ordinary, average girl who grew up playing at high elevations, in harsh, rapidly changing mountain conditions where layering is key. Having also spent 5 years living in Texas, I have battled different conditions such as extreme heat and rain.

Coupled with being a Financial Coach who tries to make savvy money decisions and help others do the same, I have reached some personal conclusions on when to invest in quality and when to save, and that, my sweet friends is what I am going to share with you today.  

Hiking Bryce Canyon in, you guessed it, Leggings!

For outdoor recreation; running, biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, trail running etc, I do believe in investing in high quality technical gear. That being said, unless you are skiing every day, one pair of Underarmour Cold Gear Leggings will probably do the trick. You need layers that wick moisture away from your body, dry quickly, and keep you nicely insulated while at the same time being breathable. 

The same can be said for high temperatures. If you have ever ran in Texas heat in el cheapo tanks and shorts, then you know they simply do not perform. For me, having had heat exhaustion, having the right equipment and being comfortable is key. 

My Absolute Favorite Pair of Casual Leggings

That being said, my absolute favorite, reach for them every time, can’t live without them, leggings are a $12 pair I bought from Walmart about four years ago! Yep, you heard that right. These puppies are ultra comfortable, flattering, wash well, and don’t attract dog hair by just looking at my puppies from across the room. (Ladies, I’m just being real here, the pet hair, yoga pants struggle is real! Especially if you love your black leggings!) 

Big Bend National Park

The Bottom Line …


Personally, I invest when purchasing technical gear.

I have worn Under Armour Cold Gear since the company first launched and have had amazing success with their gear at high elevations, and in both temperature extremes, and they last FOREVER with frequent washing. I also have to mention my love of Smartwool, who makes amazing, warm wool layers that are both functional and cute. 


I have never, in. my. life. touched a pair of leggings as buttery soft as Vuori. They are a luxury I received as a Christmas present and I absolutely love them. I can’t actually describe the silky cool way they feel against your skin, but they are definitely a splurge and ultimate in comfort. 


If you are looking for cute, casual, everyday leggings for running around town or lounging around the house, stores like Marshalls, Target, Gap, Sierra, Kohls, and Walmart can give you some great options (often for $25 or less a pair if you look for sales).

If you don’t need technical, performance wear, I would purchase these every time. For me, that includes leggings purchased for working out at the gym as well, but recommend showering and changing out of that sweaty gear immediately.  

Pro-Tip: Purchase your athleisure wear in January when all of the major retailers are offering massive discounts and coupons on athletic gear for “New Year’s Resolutions” season.

Happy Saving, my Legging Loving Friends

You can spend a little and still look like a million bucks. Don’t fall for the gimmicks, ladies, your bank account will thank you!

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I'm Jenna

Executive, entrepreneur, floral designer, RN, Master Financial Coach, and the owner of Elevations. Good coffee and adventures in wild places with my hubby and two dogs fuel my soul.


Financial Coaching

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Visit Steamboat Springs on a Budget


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