Athleta vs. Lululemon: Which One is Better?

Athleta vs. Lululemon: Which One is Better?

Viktoria Viktoria
9 minute read

Everybody now embraces the comfort and style of athletic wear. So whether you hit the gym daily, attend yoga classes every month, or just like to feel stylish while working from home, you would want to know the best activewear to make you comfortable.

Athleta and Lululemon are two of the best activewear brands out there. They have been at the forefront of the athleisure market in leggings and other products for over 25 years.

Since both activewear brands sell similar items, you may be confused about which to choose. To help you determine whether or not Lululemon or Athleta is your perfect match, we've done a deep dive into their histories, styles, prices, and item range and the best thing from both brands. Let's start with their history:

Athleta vs. Lululemon: Brand History



country of origin: USA

Year of foundation: 1998 (25 years ago)

Brief history: Athleta is a performance apparel company for active women. The company was founded in 1998 by Nancy Green and Diane Waters. The idea was to create a woman-focused catalog clothing business, so they could work out and participate in sports, especially cycling clothes that were both comfortable in fit and style.

Athlete's first store opened in Mill Valley, California. Athleta had a period between 2004 and 2007 where it stagnated. The initial shareholders eventually sold it to Blue Highway holdings. They moved their distribution center to Grove City, Ohio, to cut expenses by being closer to most purchasers. In addition, the company grew the number of people receiving catalogs from 13 million in 2007 to 21 million in 2008. Both advancements made Athleta more desirable for acquisition. Apparel and accessories giant Gap inc., which also owns Old Navy and the Banana Republic, added Athleta to their list of brands in 2008. The company designs, manufactures, and markets sportswear, including yoga pants, running shorts, and sports bras.

The company now has over 100 stores across the United States.

Main features: Athleta offers high-end performance apparel to inspire healthy, active, and confident women.

Athleta is an excellent choice for active women who want high-quality, stylish sportswear.

Reputation: Athleta is well known for its stylish and quality products. Athleta also supports initiatives promoting female empowerment, such as She Should Run and Girls on the Run.

Focus: Athleta, staying true to the Power of She, only offers women's outfits. Athleta's mission is to empower women through sport and fitness. The company strives to provide products that enable women to lead active, healthy lives.

Country of origin: Canada

Year of foundation: 1998 (25 years ago)

Brief history: Lululemon is a yoga-inspired, technical athletic apparel company for women. The company was founded in 1998 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Lululemon began with a simple observation; the founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, when he was at a yoga class, noticed that the women around him were all wearing ill-fitting cotton clothing, not appropriate for sweating and stretching integral to yoga. So, Lululemon started as a design studio by day and a yoga studio by night. It became a standalone store in November 2000. The original vision for the store was to create a place where people could get workout gear comfortable enough to sweat in and a place where people could learn and discuss the physical and mental aspects of healthy living. The clothing sold by lululemon was initially designed for women to wear during yoga, but the brand branched out into pieces for cycling, training, running, and other sweaty activities. Over the years, it has also become a trendy athleisure retailer for men, opening several stores just for men. Its products sell in over 50 countries through corporate-owned stores, wholesale accounts, and e-commerce. 'Lulu,' an abbreviated form of Lululemon has developed into a forward-thinking, quality-obsessed brand.

Main features: Lululemon, on the other hand, is known for offering technical athletic apparel for yoga, running, dancing, training, and other sweaty pursuits, as well as lounge and streetwear.

Reputation: Lululemon is a trusted brand. It is also a trendy brand known for high-quality products. Fans of Lululemon rave over the perfect designs and quality of their clothing.

Focus: Lululemon started as a women-led and women-focused brand. It empowers women through the practice of yoga and also creates a community that inspires healthy living. However, Lululemon has also become a very popular activewear retailer for men. As a result, it has opened several stores mainly for men.


Athleta vs. Lululemon: Range of Items



Shorts and skorts

Joggers and sweatpants

Sleep bottoms


Women workout tops


Primary specialization: Cycling and performance apparel








Yoga mats

Primary specialization: yoga and exercise apparel.

You may think the two brands are similar since they offer many of the same products, but once you visit both stores or look at their online stores, you'll quickly notice how they differ.

Athleta can offer more variety by producing clothes for different activities, like paddle suits for standup paddling (SUP), dresses for tennis, and skirts for golf. It even has a sleepwear line. However, Lululemon's designs are influenced by sets you would wear to a yoga studio, spin class, or gym.