Before I get to the heart of my post, Sissy’s friends might care that I have a vet visit report up on their blog. The cliff notes version is that her eye is great and our kibble and allergens battle rages on.
Last night, I met Lululemon. Yeah, I know. Lots of my friends were already very familiar – even vying for top fan status – with the “gear for sweaty workouts” brand, but living in my podunk bubble, I’d never heard of them.
I’m going to start with the cons, just because they’re glaring… and yet, I’m sure I’m on the fan bus now.
- Sizes are VERY limited… from 2-12. As with my beloved Lilly Pulitzer, this is a bitter pill for me to swallow. I have been all over the size charts, and I resent it when I find a store I couldn’t have shopped in, or that I can’t share with ALL of my friends. HOWEVER… I am also short, with short limbs, and there are some stores I have no luck in because the cut is always wrong, and no amount of alterations – short of a total re-build – would make their garments work well on my body. So… I shop at the places that work for me, and believe me, I do ask them if they have plans to expand their line to include petites, plus sizes, talls, etc.
- They are without a doubt, a high-end retailer. Their prices aren’t out of line with other premium athletic wear shops, but if you’ve been snagging “running pants” at Old Navy or WalMart, be prepared for sticker shock.
- Limited retail locations. In fact, here in podunk, we only have a “showroom”. That means I had to humbly ask a friend to put my purchase on her charge card, because in my rush from work to home to vet to home to Lululemon, I didn’t have one with me, and the showrooms don’t take cash or check… just plastic. Hem.
- Quality. You get what you pay for… with Lululemon anyway. I have one long-distance runner friend who wears NOTHING else in fitness attire. She’s even bustier than I am, even shorter than I am, and since I’m not saying her name, I’ll also share that we’ve shopped Old Navy, Gap, The Loft AND Lilly P together, so it’s not like she’s a clothes horse snob. She has some items that are YEARS old, have been worn and washed hundreds of times, and still look like new. (Don’t you have a few friends who could sell you a bridge in Arizona?!)
- Friendly, well-trained sales staff. Okay. Full disclosure. Lululemon approached the JLC about a private event. But I’m pretty sure Jill Offthestreet Customer would also get the same honest service. We were encouraged to model for each other, to try on styles we didn’t think would work for us, to bounce and bend and test their products before even pondering a purchase.
- Functionality. There is so much thought and science in every design I could write for days just on the 26 pairs of crop pants I tried on. One staffer bounded right over, rolled down her own waistband and proved that her iPhone really does fit in that interior pocket when I scoffed. They did inform me their fabrics don’t repell white dog hair though, so see above… they’re honest too.
- About that limited size range… If you have a retail location – or even a showroom – within driving distance, go try the stuff on. I have more success than some shopping online, but even having gotten familiar with Lululemon’s size chart before I went, my friend and the sales staff gently urged me to go smaller still. I’m not a fan of spandex in public, but I also don’t want my yoga pants to slip around while I’m doing my thing, and there’s nothing worse than needing to pull tights out of … personal spaces while you’re trying to run or walk with a dog leash in each hand. So even if you think you’re a size or two beyond their upper limits… go try it on.
Okay, okay. You want to know what I bought, don’t you? I got the Gather & Crow Crop, with a really cool, not available online purple wasitband with a purple and white “awning” stripe interior.
You get the rear view because those “vents” are the love of my workout attire life right now. See… I have MASSIVE, muscular calf muscles. I love cropped tights, but these are even better, because even if I have some water retention swelling while I’m doing whatever I’m doing, I won’t feel constricted.
I also liked the Groove Crop, but they hit me a couple of inches lower than on the model. I think I might ask for the in the sun skirt for my birthday, even though it is shorter than I like. I’m assuming that as with the crops, it will be longer on yours truly.
I was impressed with their bras as well. Frankly, I’ve only found enough real support without being compressed to the point of pain with Under Armour, but a different friend also built not unlike me, bought two of their bra-shirts last night, so once she reports back… I need at least one more GOOD sports bra. I’m eyeing the ta ta tamer ii.
What kinds of workout wear do you wear? How does it hold up? (And yes, I’m asking in EVERY sense of the word…)