Sunday, August 21, 2011

Head2-Toe-N-Lululemon (controversial clothes)

If there's one item of clothing that really starts some debate in the running world, it's the running skirt.
You gotta love or hate it!
Or be kind of indifferent about it in my case.  If you want to wear clothing that looks inefficient but is super cute, I ain't gonna stop-ya!

However something else in the running clothes world tears me up inside.
Good old Lululemon. 

When I think of Lululemon, my first thoughts are of annoyance at myself for not buying their stock when I first heard of them.  I woulda had a ga-zillion dollars!

My second thoughts are much more...conflicted...

Point 1- Dislike
Lululemon started as a yoga store and moved into running.  Probably when they realized that there are even more image conscious women with disposable income who run than do yoga.
Lulu put a greater emphasis on looking cute and reduced their emphasis on athletic performance.   They introduced annoying marketing phrases like "Friends Are More Important Than Money".

Good thing, Lulu because one could easily spend all money on two items in your store.  

One phrase printed on the bag of my latest purchase said "Stress is related to 99% of all illness".
This one really irritated me.  Go tell someone's sick grandma that and I bet you'd feel like a jerk.

Indeed if there is one segment of the population that is not stressed, they are the upperclass, primarily Caucasian (I have never seen a lulu ad featuring a non-European decent looking woman, which is another issue) yoga-ers who shop there.

Their marketing just really gets a bad way.

Point 2 - LOVE
Now after you listened to the angry FasterBunny, let me say, I have two items from Lululemon:  A Yoga Pant (Groove) and a Running Shirt (run for your life) I just bought.  They are both AMAZING.
There are no items I could rather wear than these.  In my opinion, Lululemon makes amazing products.

I did a workout on the treadmill that totally kicked my butt yesterday (repeat miles at 6:11...I almost died) and went on a freaking awesome group bike ride today.  In between, I hand washed my new lulu top so I could wear it both days.  Functional and cute for sure!

I even got invited on a women's group bike ride mid week.  Maybe they were impressed with my outfit?

So here I am...still completely torn about this store.  For me, as annoying as I find some aspects of how they market themselves, Lulu's product wins.  It's expensive, but ultimately probably worth the investment.  As long as they keep making great stuff, I will have to make a trip there again. I'll just decline the ridiculous bag that comes with purchases with inspirational phrases on it.  

How do you feel about Lululemon?   Discuss =).


  1. I would rather buy 4 quality products than 20 crappy half-comfy not-cool items....

    Now this holds true for normal, non-exercise oufits. I don't have any special expensive running outfits.

    I haven't personally discovered Lululemon yet, but I could imagine getting into it.

    Yes, that stock keeps going higher (well everything's had a little trouble in the last week), even though I totally thought it had peaked a while back.

  2. I don't know why but I agree! I think that they totally market to young women who have amazing bodies and money to spend to look cute while working out at the gym. I'm a fitness professional for my career and I can in no way afford their clothes! You can find me wearing a race t shirt and nike tempos (which even those are expensive.. haha) to teach my classes... I think they are a great company but I think a lot of women use their clothes to "look the part" rather than functionality of a great running or work out outfit. Just my opinion, and I'm sure at some point in my life I will purchase a few items from them so maybe I should be quiet haha

  3. I am going to sound like a complete idiot but I have never tried on or even considered a lululemon item. I don't think they have them in ut? Maybe they do who knows UT is a bit behind when it comes to style. Either way great job on those repeats girl! Wait to freaking rock it!!

  4. I actually love Lulu myself. I only really wear Lulu or Nike to workout in and I have absolutely no complaints. Yes, their clothes are expensive, but the quality is almost unmatchable. I have had one pair of pants for over 6 years and they are in absolute perfect condition! No pilling, no holes, nothing. Another thing I love about the company is that if something goes wrong (ie a hole in your shirt), they will pretty much replace it or give you your money back. My friend was playing beach volleyball and when he squatted, he pulled on his shorts and ripped the butt crack (funny, yes). He had the shorts for a year and the store gave him a 100% refund. They completely stand behind everything they sell! I feel better about buying clothes from somewhere that has confidence in their product.

  5. Go to freakin' Target. And start doing that workout I told you to do, woman. I am waiting for you to sub-20... *impatiently tapping toe with arms folded across chest*

  6. Loving your blog! :)

    It's so interesting to see a post like this -- I've definitely felt that way about Lululemon. I know a lot of people who really love their stuff and I'm sure the quality is fantastic, but there's still no way you could -ever- convince me to spend more than $25 on a pair of shorts. I have plenty of pairs that cost me less than that that I love and have held up admirably over many years.

    I also agree with you that the advertising (to say nothing of the platitudes on the bags) can be kind of patronizing and non-inclusive. Then again, I'm pretty sure I'm not their target audience... ;)

  7. @Rachelle Wardle
    There is one in slc but it's pretty small

  8. ummm, cuz i'm just like this, i'm gonna say: screw answering ur lulu question and i'm gonna jump on the WAY TO FREAKING ROCK those milers!!!! margs, i'm so proud and demand some further dets. ;) keep it up woman!

    okay, so u don't think i'm a bi*** i was just being sarcastic and i will totally address the lulu thing. i am sort of scared to admit i don't even own anything from lulu and it's because of the first reason u cited: when they came out they were just yoga focused and now it seems like they are just branching out due to the money draw and are then sort of 'being forced'. i see that, that's the point of businesses, i get it. it just sort of, in my mind, i see them as kinda a yuppy brand (prolly totally not based on total fact and i hope my lulu loving friends don't hate me cuz i kno i'm stereotyping!) and they try too hard to 'cutify' all the gear. i think u kno where i stand on that one...haha. that said, i'm also a poor runnerchick who doesn't want to dish out wat they charge. :P

    to close my epic comment, like i said, screw the lulu thang...kick@$$ workout!!! :)

  9. I LOVE lululemon and i dont just wear it for running also yoga, and basically id wear it to work if i could!! Their runspeed short changed my life. Nike tempos cause me horrible chafing so i switched to lulu shorts which dont. I say to each her own though. . . Yeah lulu's $$ but imo spending eg 100's$ on a Coach bag is stupid. Also i could care less about their marketing. Ive never really read the bag and it is cheesy but the quality and cuteness markets itself.

  10. I don't own any Lululemon--not because I think anything bad about the company, I'm just too cheap! It's definitely cutesy advertising, but the products seem to be quality.

  11. I love lululemon! Buttttt.....I HATE how OTHER captialize on their success. By this I mean, try and do a search on eBay for their stuff...buyers go and purchase a lot of lulu (esp limited edition stuff) and mark it up SO ridiculously. I mean, 100 dollars is enough to spend already on a jacket, but they'll mark it past 200 - and to make it worse, PEOPLE BUY IT!

  12. There's a Lulu in Boulder (OF COURSE), but I feel even more intimidated going in there than I do going into Boulder Running Company, Home of the Running Elite. And I'm in the camp of the cheap too, so unless it's on sale, I ain't buying it (why DO stores like Prana and Lulu never seem to have sales, BTW? there's a Prana in Boulder too and I've only ever seen a sale rack in there once, and it was guys' stuff).

    I also hate the sanctimonious marketing. I love my Alfalfa's Market (mini Whole Foods across from my job), but they have these signs all over the place saying "Keep your GMOs out of my food." Seriously? Don't we have more basic problems to solve than that? Like the fact that some kids don't have enough to eat (GMO or otherwise), even in rich Boulder?

    Anway, good post! And 6:11 mile repeats--I bow down to your greatness. I'd like to think it's because I'm 10 years older than you, but I think it's more that you are just talented. :^)

  13. This was a good read, I have never entertained the thought of their product simply b/c I can get Nike running shorts & tops at the Nordstrom Rack for $14 & less often.

  14. I cannot stand cheesy ad slogans/quotes.
    I thought about buying a pair of Lulu pants for running but ... it is kinda pricey and I am not quite ready for that just yet ... :)

  15. Bringing up some heat, love it! I only know Lulu by name and by way of some rich girls I went to college with. They turned me off from it since they were all about looking good rather than running well, and as a former sprinter hearing that stuff from these snobby daddy's girls, I couldn't bring myself to even look at their stuff. However, they did look cute. If I could afford it I'm sure I'd head that way too.

  16. I am a shameless Lulu lover.... Seriously love cool racerbacks and speed shorts and speed skirts for running. And wunder unders and wraps for chilling. Now that you mention it the "manifesto" on the bag is super cheesy!