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The lure of Lululemon

September 21, 2012

You win, Lulu.

I’ve walked in and out of Lululemon so many times I’ve lost count. Each time, I get a little closer to making a purchase, but declare blasphemy upon flipping over that pretty price tag. The clothes are beautiful, and they feel great in the fitting room, but I just couldn’t justify spending $78 on a pair of yoga pants.

I’m training for a half-marathon, and after finishing my first ever double-digit run last weekend, I decided I should treat myself to the alleged best of the best in sweaty sportswear. I’ve read several very positive reviews of the Speed Short, so my sights were set.

I tried them out on Wednesday morning for a quick loop around Central Park. I didn’t notice or think about the shorts at all, which is the sign of a well-made product; I don’t want to think about my clothes when I’m running. There is nothing worse than constant slipping and having to fix a garment when you’re trying to focus.

I love the back zipper pocket and the two extra hidden pouches in the front, since I always run with keys and a $10 bill for an emergency cab home. The pouches look perfectly sized for energy gels too, although I don’t use those yet. I love the stretchy waistband and the fact that it’s preshrunk, so there’s no need to worry about laundry damage.

I got them in black. The other color combinations were adorable, but black goes with everything, and I know these are going to be a go-to pair.

These particular shorts were marked down from $68 to $54. I asked the salesperson why, and she said they are coming out with a new edition, most likely with a change as minor as a new color of the zipper. So, they have to sell all the “old” pairs before they can sell the new ones. $14 cheaper for an outdated zipper? Sure! She said this happens pretty often unannounced, so, when/if you decide to make a trip here, ask if there’s anything they’re getting rid of that’s on sale. You never know.

I tried on most of the other styles of shorts just for the hell of it. I couldn’t believe how short the Boogie-style shorts were combined with the fact that they are recommended for running! Who is that comfortable with themselves to wear basically a bikini bottom on a long run? Have you ZERO cellulite? (If you answered “me” and “yes” to those, congratulations.)

HOWEVER, in between my first half on October 7th and second in late March, I’m planning on taking a respite from running to avoid burnout, and returning to my first love, yoga. There’s nothing better than hot yoga in the winter, and I think the Boogie shorts would be perfect for it. Truthfully, I’m not 100 percent confident in how booty-exposing these are, but when I’m in a 105-degree room, I couldn’t care less what I look like. My usual baggy running shorts are not ideal for the class.

So, I got these this week for $42. Very comfortable. And reversible. I did a few jumping jacks and running in place in them in my room, and honestly, I don’t see how these would be great for running, because they definitely ride up. Whatever.

BOOGIE. But don’t move an inch.

I guess I owe Lululemon one for using their water fountain so many times after long runs, and for their free events I’ve taken advantage of over the years. I know these shorts will last me for a while, so perhaps this is a case when it’s worth it to splurge.

When I’m actually staying true to a thrifty lifestyle, however, TJMaxx and Old Navy all the way for sports bras, tank tops, and shorts. I actually found a great Adidas running top at Goodwill recently. Filling your entire workout wardrobe with solely Lululemon is unrealistic, unless you’re one of the Olsen twins.

What’s your verdict on Lululemon? Overrated or worth it?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2012 1:31 pm

    Overrated. I’m sorry, haha. If my boyfriend hadn’t bought these shorts for me for my birthday, I probably still would never have shopped there. I mean, they’re clearly good quality, and I guess the smaller pockets would suffice if you’re training for a half or something shorter, but in the end, they’re still a little too short for my liking and I wouldn’t spring for another $56 pair.

    My new obsession? Oiselle distance shorts, which I plan to wear for the NYC Marathon. $39 is still pretty high, but these are longer like Nike tempos (a popular go-to, but they fail on the pockets!). These have two deep zipper pockets, which is key for all the marathon stuff I might want to carry (gels/chews, salt, money, Tiger balm, anti-chafe stuff, etc.).

    And current “thrifty” obsession: Target’s C9 by Champion compression sports bras: http://www.target.com/p/c9-by-champion-womens-racer-back-compression-bra-assorted-colors/-/A-13710841
    Every time I see it in a new color or pattern, I buy it. I might have a problem. At least they’re only $15?

    • Jenny permalink*
      September 21, 2012 1:52 pm

      No apology needed! The prices are insane.

      Heard a lot about Oiselle. Will have to check them out.

    • September 21, 2012 3:37 pm

      Keep an eye on Running Warehouse for the Oiselle shorts! I got them there for $30. Not sure why they’re back to full price there now, but maybe they’ll come back down.

  2. Katy permalink*
    September 21, 2012 3:26 pm

    While I have never even been inside a Lululemon, I do believe in paying for quality workout clothes, which will vary on what you think is quality. For the longest time, I bought cheap-o tennis shoes and would work out in whatever tshirt I could find and a pair of soffe shorts. Since I have started to work out more consistently, I have invested in better shoes and better workout clothes. Target makes great sweat wicking shirts that I swear by. And they are about 15 bucks. I also love the sports bras mentioned above. If I were devoting myself to something like a half or full marathon, I wouldn’t hesitate on investing in something higher quality that might aid in someway.

    • Jenny permalink*
      September 21, 2012 3:35 pm

      Same here on the shoes. Will happily spend there to keep my feet happy/injury-free.

  3. Kristen permalink*
    September 24, 2012 12:39 pm

    I bought my first (and thus far only) lulu product before this year’s Peachtree to have better pockets – these shorts (which I paid full price for but are now on sale): http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/women-we-made-too-much/Run-Dart-And-Dash-Short-MD?cc=7370&skuId=3457074&catId=women-we-made-too-much

    They don’t ride up, the pockets are huge but not bulky, and you wouldn’t know that those silicone dots on the side to keep your shirt in place actually matter until you then switch to different shorts and your shirt is bouncing all over the place. I also love the length because they’re not so long to look like men’s shorts but not so short that they ride up or cut in unflattering ways. I’m not going to start stocking my closet with the stuff end to end, but I think an item here and there mixed in with more affordable stuff could go a long way in your workout wardrobe.

    • Jenny permalink*
      September 26, 2012 5:55 pm

      That’s quite a sales pitch for those shorts. I didn’t see them at Lulu but they sound perfect. Bigger pockets on everything, please!

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