Shopping Report: Athleta and Lululemon

My April shopping came a little early since Athleta marked down a lot of new things. I got some great pieces on sale.

I love the City Chick Coat that's a sophisticated take on a lightweight raincoat. I jumped on it went it went to markdown ($74.99 from $98). Unfortunately, I didn't read the reviews since I'm a pretty consistent size small at Athleta. Like other reviewers found, the bust was too tight. You can't tell much in these pictures, but it was tight across the chest and back when I lifted my arms in front of me. I regretfully returned it since medium is no longer available.

I really like the Breathe long sleeve top I have from Athleta (see my performance review), and I've been drooling over the coral spacedye color since it came out. I picked up the Breathe spacedye tank for $34.99 (marked down from $54). There are lots of these still available. The fabric is organic cotton, soft, stretchy, and very comfortable. I'm wearing it here with the Relay Capri in asphalt, which I also got for $44.99 (marked down from $69). Love these running capris (see my performance review)!

In this photo, I have the tank pulled down. You aren't supposed to wear it like this, but it shows how stretchy the fabric is.
I love the colors in this spacedye print! It has corals mixed with greys and whites. There are also green and purple colors, but I'm holding myself back from ordering more.

I really like Athleta wraps so also picked up the Agagra Wrap in granite grey ($64.99 marked down from $89), which is a blue/purple grey and a very pretty color. The fabric is Sueded Tactel, which is soft and velvety. While I bought this wrap for casual wear to wear over tanks and leggings when it's chilly, it's nice enough to wear to work. I actually wore it today with skinny jeans, heels, and a black top. There is a clasp in the front so you can wear it open or closed.

When it comes to Athleta vs. Lululemon, I think Athleta wins in the casual top department--that is, the to-and-fro stuff. Lululemon's casual tops are very cute, but they're so expensive and there really isn't anything special about them like there is for a lot of their technical clothes. What Lululemon does better, though, is promote the hell out of every single product that they release in small batches, whereas Athleta releases so many new products at once that some get lost in the mix. The Hayes Valley Top is a great example. I took a gamble on it when it went on sale ($44.99 on sale from $59) since I couldn't remember anything about it from the catalog and there aren't even photos of it on a model. I'm glad I did--this top is awesome! I got it in dove/grey heather stripe, so it will go with nearly everything. The fabric is incredibly soft and comfortable. The fit is very flattering with a fitted waist and dolman sleeves. It works with leggings but will look just as good with jeans.

The other thing I think Athleta does better is thumbholes. Lululemon's thumbholes are just there, whereas Athleta uses hidden thumbholes that aren't obvious until you use them.

I stopped by my local Athleta store to try on the Spritz Run Jacket to see how it fit. They didn't have it in, so I'll be ordering it online. Look for another review soon in about a week when I get it in.

I also bought a few things from Lululemon. Because their stuff is so expensive, most of what I buy must meet three criteria: 1.) Can I wear it running (since that's the bulk of what I do), 2.) Can I wear it for yoga? and 3.) Can I wear it for casual wear. If something doesn't meet all three, it needs to be really special for me to buy it. I think these ones are.

The first is the Vinyasa Scarf, which is (of course) no longer available online after it was uploaded last week (it's still available in stores). I am a scarf fiend and wear scarves most if not every day. I balked at the high $48 cost of the Vinyasa Scarf but got one last fall and fell in love. It's an infinity scarf with snaps, so you can wear it a billion ways, including as a wrap or shrug. I just got another Vinyasa in a great summer color--Antidote, which is a very pretty chartreuse shade--with a reversible light medium grey side. It's super soft and feels divine on. I'll wear it as a wrap on chilly nights or to combat AC inside this summer. I love it! In fact, I think Antidote is one of my favorite Lulu colors.

Both shades will go with a lot. I like the antidote paired with purple. Here I'm wearing it with my violet Yogasmoga tights and black Athleta Unwind Sweatshirt Dress.

I also got a run hat in the rad plaid shade I adore. I love pretty much all the colors in it--very light flare, creamsicle pop, zing pink light (or maybe it's paris perfection?), bali breeze, and cadet blue. I'll be away to wear it with pretty much everything when I'm forced to run in the sun (I prefer to run before the sun comes up).

I also got an Energy Bra in Creamsicle Pop. These are my favorite bras. They're not supportive enough to run in, but I wear them for yoga and for everyday wear when I'm not running or at work. As you may have guessed, I'm a huge fan of oranges, so I definitely wanted this bra. Here it is paired with the midnight blue Relay Skort I recently ordered from Athleta (it's a tall size for the longer length.)
And here it is with a Lululemon Very Light Flare Cool Racerback tank. I love the combo of oranges!

Here is the bra, tank, and hat together to see how nicely the orange colors go together.

And...I ordered one more thing. I debated over it for a solid month, if not more. One other non-running product of Lululemon's I love is their jackets. I have a few Forme and Define jackets and love them. Recently I tried on the Nice Asana Jacket and really liked the longer length. And while I don't typically like dark blue colors, I love the Cadet Blue, which is a gray/purple blue. I ordered it a few weeks ago but accidentally ordered a size 8 instead of 6. It was enormous on me (the arms were three inches below my hands!) so I returned it to the store. After debating some more, since I'm just not sure how much I'll wear it and I won't wear it with black, I just ordered it again in a size 6. I'm still not sure I'll keep it once I get it. I really think about what I spend money on so that I don't throw money away at things I won't get a lot of use out of...but I do love that jacket and the color. Decisions, decisions!

Did you get any of Athleta's great sale items or any of their new products?

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