It is apparent that a lot of people have a lust for more brands when it comes to activewear. And indeed, some companies are listening, because nowadays, there are better and better companies that do activewear clothing.
Prime examples of that are Lululemon and Athleta. The former is quite well-known, but the latter is one of the leading brands in activewear. It is right up there with some big names in the industry.
Nevertheless, should you be careful when opting in for a direct-to-consumer brand such as Athleta and Lululemon? In addition, which one is the better one for you? We try to put pen to paper and answer all of these questions.
Skip right ahead to the side-by-side comparison if you’re already aware of what both have to offer.
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What Do Athleta & Lululemon Have To Offer?
I would say that Athleta’s repertoire is far more packed.
Athleta has tights, leggings, pants, joggers, sweaters, tanks, a few types of bras, dresses, jackets, swimwear, sleepwear, and quite a lot more. Basically, they tend to widen their abilities to manufacture different types of clothing.
Lululemon on the other hand, has quite a few items to choose from, but it is apparent that activewear is their primary focus. Don’t get me wrong, it is still impressive compared to other activewear brands, but not as impressive as Athleta’s repertoire.
All of this is to say that if you’re looking for some new pieces of clothing for workouts, you will find them at both. What you won’t find with Lululemon though, is non-activewear clothing.
Table Comparison – Athleta VS Lululemon
It’s hard to guess really, which one of these two is the better option for you. But they are different in a few ways, despite popular belief. One is known for its name, its design, and its desirability. The other one, is known for versatility and performance only. We’ll touch on this later once again.
For now, let’s compare both brands in terms of their quality, comfort, breathability, and some other factors. These scores are derived on average, usually from what the customers are saying about them.
Here’s a comparison of both:
|Athleta VS Lululemon: Activewear|
|Breathability & Comfort||Sublime 5/5||Sublime 5/5|
|Value||Good 3/5||Good 3/5|
|Quality||Amazing 5/5||Very good 4/5|
|Versatility||Great 5/5||Alright 4/5|
|Price Range||In the middle – $$||In the middle – $$|
|Shipping||Free shipping on orders above $50.||Free|
|Return Policy||45-day return policy.||30-day return policy.|
I mentioned before that one brand is known for versatility and performance, while the other one is still more desirable. Well, Athleta is the one which in my opinion does more high-performance and versatile clothing for people that train on a regular basis.
Lululemon is still very good, again, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t on the same level as Athleta. But it is a lot more desirable for some reason, why would that be the case?
It’s most likely to do with the exceptional branding and brand identity that Lululemon have created over the years. We’ll talk a bit about this in the Lululemon review below.
There is not much to say here really. Athleta is amazing. However, don’t take my word for it, take the word of thousands of customers who’ve left a stellar review.
But Athleta has managed to pull a lot of people with its wide range of apparel. They’ve managed to do this by including and selling other brands as well, brands like: GAP, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Brands which are quite well known for their quality.
Anyways, it is not like Athleta is just a direct-to-consumer business. They also have stores in the U.S., particularly, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Plus, they have been in the business for quite some time.
All of this is to say that, they got the experience, they got the formula down, they work with brands which usually make high quality apparel, and they’ve got great manufacturing capabilities, especially for their activewear.
In my book, Athleta is perfect, not if you want only activewear, but if you want to shop for everything at one place.
Prices are reasonable, maybe even cheap compared to some other well-renowned brands out there. Note, Lululemon and Athleta are in the same price range.
I think they can improve their online shopping experience though. For someone that prefers to shop online, or someone not able to visit their stores, the website is a bit crowded and hard to navigate.
With that said, let’s compile all of the pros and cons of Athleta:
- High-quality casual apparel & activewear
- A lot of different types of clothing
- Flexible return policy
- Amazing choices for workout clothes for different activities
- Very breathable and comfortable activewear
- Online shopping experience can be greatly improved
I think Lululemon is a great brand for activewear. The quality is there. The fabrics are very soft and versatile, and sturdy when they need to be. There is a big ‘BUT’ here though.
Sadly, a lot of customers have mentioned that Lululemon isn’t what it used to be, but not because of what many assume firsthand. It’s because of their poor customer service. Like I said, the apparel isn’t in any way bad.
The price is representative of the quality yes, but there seems to be a growing fundamental problem with customer service. My guess is, they’ve grown exponentially to a point where the customer service team can’t manage to take care of the overflowing customer complaints.
Issues arise in shipping, wrong items of clothing are being sent out, and returns can be a difficult endeavor.
If you manage to get the correct size and the order is filled out on time, chances are you’ll have no complaints about the actual clothing. That is representative of the hundreds of reviews that customers have left on third-party review sites.
It’s a shame that the convenience that comes with online shopping isn’t there, but it’s still a good brand.
The pros and cons are already apparent, but let’s go over them more clearly:
- Amazing activewear
- Great branding, highly desirable
- Reasonable value
- High versatility
- A lot of colorful designs
- Poor customer service
- Online shopping is inconvenient
Which One Is Better For You? – Athleta VS Lululemon
Let’s go over the use cases for both.
Straight out of the gate, both are great if you’re looking for activewear. Both have a lot of articles of clothing suited for most physical activities, no matter if you’re into yoga or high-intensity training.
At the moment though, I think Athleta is the more superior option. It is unfortunate that Lululemon isn’t what it used to be, in my opinion. Even if you do pop-in a physical Lululemon store, you’ll still have less options than Athleta.
Athleta has quite an extensive repertoire of apparel, as mentioned previously, and you do have the option to shop other brands like GAP, Old Navy, and others there.
Lululemon may have had great branding, and it may be even more desirable than Athleta, but the cons outweigh the pros in my opinion.
Final Verdict: Desirable Activewear
If you like Lululemon though, I don’t want to come across as you shouldn’t get it. It is still one of the most well-known activewear brands along with Athleta.
At the moment though, their poor customer service, as noted by their own customers, gives me reason to avoid it, and stick with Athleta. All in all, both brands are impressive with a few minor mishaps with Lululemon.
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