What I have discovered about lululemon
Have you heard of lululemon? It’s a brand that was founded in Canada some 18 years ago and has been gaining many fans in the UK in the last few years. There are now Scottish stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
At first, when I heard the name of the brand, I thought it must be for kids. But it’s not. It sells male and female yoga and running clothing.
The lululemon vision
The first “l” in lululemon is lower case. This drives me mad because it’s grammatically wrong. (Just saying!)
The vision for the first store (and many after that) was to create “more than a place where people could get gear to sweat in”. Chip wanted to create a community hub for people interested in “healthy living, mindfulness and possibility” as well as a shop.
The lululemon products
The first designs were made for women to wear during yoga. Through feedback from customers, ambassadors and elite athletes, they now design for yoga, running, cycling, training and most other sweaty pursuits for women and men.
‘The best life’
This is what lululemon state: “A constant that has never wavered is our desire to empower people to reach their full potential through providing the right tools and resources, and encouraging a culture of leadership, goal setting and personal responsibility.
“Our core values of quality, product, integrity, balance, entrepreneurship, greatness and fun are lived by our people every day and are at the heart of our unique company culture.
“We live a life we love. We set our goals to align with our vision, and it’s why, so often, our one-year goals become today’s reality.”
Hmmmmmm. Right, well, I am not so keen on these kinds of statements and “the best life” rankles with me as much as the lower case “l” but I decided to put aside my reservations and visit the Glasgow shop.
A visit to lululemon Glasgow
I was invited to take a look around the small Glasgow store in Royal Exchange Square. I confess I struggled to find it at first because the signage is not obvious and the window front is small.
This is a trendy looking boutique style shop and not the sort I would usually frequent but it was good to find out more.
Inside, the store is neat and compact and the staff are friendly. They are not in your face but they do offer one-to-one help and shopping advice, if you want/need it. I did need it!
At first glance the racks of clothes confused me as they all looked the same. There is a lot of black and grey interspersed with deep hues such as magentas and blues. I spotted a few brighter colours and some patterned designs but it was mainly blocks of more subdued colours. (It turns out there are lots more colours and designs on-line.)
At second glance, the clothes all look very beautiful if rather muted – and, I felt, they were probably not really my kind of thing. I am generally a fan of brighter colours and more sport-specific technical clothing but I decided to reserve judgement until I tried on a few items.
The shop sells both male and female garments and there are ranges for yoga, running, training, “to+from” and water.
I tried on a large selection of yoga and running products – and I was pleasantly surprised by the feel, quality and looks.
Things I found out about lululemon products
There is great attention to detail, such as wide waistbands for comfort, smooth seams and a drawcord that doesn’t lose an end.
The fit is brilliant. I am a standard UK10 usually and the American size 6 fits really well.
The fabrics feel soft but very supportive in the places where you need support. There are different tights , tops and sports bras to suit different sports and offering different levels of support.
The sports tops are neat fitting yet still very flattering. There are different levels of support to choose from.
The arm length is generous and I really appreciate that because it means I can use thumb loops without cutting off my circulation.
The tights are a good length and this meant I did not have a gap at ankle level.
Some tights have very high waists. This is not something I like but I know many women really do. (In the end I decided my favourite tights were the Tight Stuff Tight IIs and these have a lower waistband.)
There are some pretty details, such as a fancy cut out lower leg hem and beautiful reflective patterns.
Some of the sports bras have a lovely back features so they are not simply racer style but have more straps and details.
They sell some lovely jackets although I am not sure I would wear them for sport. They look more like the sort of casual jacket I’d wear to a party or the pub! But maybe that’s just me!
The prices are quite high in my opinion but my sales assistant assured me the quality is good and long-lasting. She added that some of the higher price tag is because lululemon develop and make their own brand.
Plus there is a five-year guarantee with all products and profits.
But I wonder if the price is high for lululemon simply because they can charge that because it’s a very trendy brand just now.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of products I really liked and the seemingly high quality.
Other things to note about lululemon
The shop rolls back the clothes racks on a Saturday morning and offers free yoga sessions for up to 18 yogis. Now that is a nice touch.
The models on the website seem to have impossibly tight little bottoms. This might be good for them but I found it a bit intimidating and rather off-putting when looking for clothes to choose!
I think that while the “about us” info on the website turns me off a bit the products and the offering of the stores is actually very good. The clothing has been very well designed and seems to be good quality.
I was allowed to choose an item I most liked to take away to test. Take a look at my review of the lululemon Tight Stuff Tight IIs.