Lululemon: What I’m Loving Right Now

Hello everyone!

This week, I am so happy to say that I finally see pops of color and some gorgeous prints that I LOVE at Lululemon and I look forward to seeing a better color mix throughout the Summer. There are some gorgeous prints in the Low-Rise Wunder Unders, shown below. Reviews, are mixed, however, so you might want to check the fabric composition of each of these before picking them up. I’m sad to say that I did not see these at my local store yet, but I hope they come so I can check them out!

 

Lululemon Wunder Under Low Rise Tight Aerial Drift Multi Black
Low-Rise Wunder Unders in Aerial Drift Multi
Lululemon Wunder Under Low-Rise Tight in Salt Dark Mystic Black
Low-Rise Wunder Under in Salt Dark Mystic

 

There are a few pretty colors that have shown up in CRBs that look promising:

Is anyone else really happy that they brought back Toothpaste!?

Another fun print I’ve been seeing online:

Train Times Crop and Bra Transition Multi Midnight Navy: Black
Train Times Crop & Bra in Transition Multi Midnight Navy/ Black

And of course, I absolutely ADORE all these pretties šŸ™‚

Vinyasa Scarves are a classic. I even wrote a post about my collection!Ā I also wrote a more informative post about the difference between the Ivivva version and the Lululemon version.

What are y’all loving at Lululemon lately? Let me know in the comments below!

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My Favorite Affordable Workout Brands

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to talk about the affordable workout brands that have been getting more attention from me the past few months.

Macy’s Ideology

Macy's Ideology Long Sleeve in Heather GreyHeather Black Long Sleeve Top Macy's Ideology

 

I am in love with long sleeve flowy tops lately. These tops from Macy’s are about $20 and totally worth it in my opinion. They have thumb holes, they’re soft, I like the way they fit, and I especially like the mesh in the back. It’s like a little bra-strap peek-a-boo. So cute over a Cool Racerback or with a strappy bra!

I also like this style of t-shirt, it also has the mesh back and they all have various sayings on them.

 

Glyder Apparel

I’ve spoken about Glyder before, and it’s no secret that I’m a fan of their Mantra Crops. I also like their Elongate Leggings. These are very similar to Lululemon’s Wunder Unders and almost all of them are made primarily of a Nylon/ Spandex mix. The Herringbone ones, I know for sure a mostly Polyester mix though, just FYI. At $70 regular price, and some in the $45 range on sale, they’re significantly cheaper than Lululemon’s Wunder Unders have been lately, and are, in my opinion of similarly good quality.

Amazon

I’ve been experimenting with Amazon clothing purchases lately, and I actually bought these leggings. They’re really fun to wear, but I promise you that the fabric is not comfortable. But, they are attention-getters, and they’re only about $10, so totally worth the price, in my opinion.

 

Gap Fit

All I can say is “Wow.” I had literally never tried anything from Gap Fit before, but someone posted some enabling stuff in one of my groups one day, and like I said, I’ve really been loving these long sleeve, flowy tops that show a little back, so I bought one of these tops and I literally love it. The fabric is soft and they even have thumbholes! I do own a few Athleta items, but this is my first Gap Fit experience, and suffice it to say, I’ll be back for more. The best part is that I think it was about $20 after a discount code. So worth it.

 

Chin-Up Apparel

I really love Chin-Up apparel’s racerback tanks. It’s honestly just the cuteness factor. They are a very basic racerback style in a plain Polyester/Cotton/Rayon fabric. But the sayings on them are so cute! And they’re only about $20 šŸ™‚

I have this one in a blue color, but it says the same things:

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.34.12 PM

I also like this one for some reason…

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 6.37.38 PM

I have a few of these. They’re cute & fun. I’m wearing my blue one right now šŸ™‚

What are your favorite affordable workout brands? Let me know in the comments!

Lululemon REALLY needs you to buy a $98 bra.

Good day, lovely readers!

I have been inspired to write this by literally my entire Facebook feed. I subscribe to many Lululemon Facebook pages, and am a grateful member of many Lululemon-themed Facebook groups. All I have been seeing on my feed lately is “The Enlite Bra.” I know this post is maybe a little late, but I also wanted to wait until I had a chance to try out the Enlite bra myself before talking about it.

Listen, starting a serious marketing campaign is expensive. After the recent Lululemon stock price decline, Laurent Potdevin promised that Lululemon would step up its marketing to attract new customers. Delivering on that promise is very pricey. The costs of advertising, making a video, or two,Ā sponsored blog posts, a specialized product page, organizing launch parties, and staffing the entire effort, these things cost money. Money that Lululemon needs to get from somewhere! Which is why you should buy this bra.

Come on you guys! It’s not that boring! Besides, that’s not the point! It holds boobs, it’s supposed to be sturdy. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s cute or not. Except that it does matter because they expect us to shell out $98 for it.

If someone is asking me to pay $98 for a BRA, it had better perform some sort of miracle. Not only should my breasts be held properly in place (as is the traditional function of any bra I would buy), but they should be infused with aloe, emerge feeling refreshed and the bra should also have a tracking mechanism. That way, if my $98 bra gets lost, I can easily locate it. In fact, it should have an intrinsic homing device, then it can realize that it has been lost and return itself to me.

Sizing

I know a lot of people have been complaining about the sizing. The Enlite Bra comes in a range of 20 sizes, up to a 38DD. Lululemon told one customer who inquired about sizing, “If we feel that we need to re-evaluate sizing in the future, we will.” Here’s my opinion on that: People who have breast sizes ranging above 38DD on up are happy to pay more for a well-fitting bra, since it can be difficult to find one for them. Victoria’s Secret (which, incidentally, I’ve actually written about before, and again), only carries up to a 40 DDD, which is more encompassing than Lululemon’s bra size offerings, but still doesn’t capture the entire market. It’s these underserved people who are willing to pay the most for bras, so why create and sell a $98 bra, but not make one for them too? Just my two cents.

Reviews

Another thing I wanted to chat about are the reviews. There are an abundance of positive reviews for this bra online, on blogs and on their website. The first thing I want to say is that a lot of these people received the bra for free, which may or may not make them biased. I think you can receive things for free without being biased.Ā But some of the posts online areĀ sponsored reviews. Sponsored reviews mean that the blogger was paid for their post. Some companies pay thousands of dollars for a single post. Some brands’ contracts specifically state that if they sponsor your post, you’re not allowed to say anything negative about the product you’re reviewing. Now, that said, I am not privy to the details of Lululemon’s contracts but, if a company is paying you thousands of dollars to write a blog post, I doubt they’d be happy if you wrote something negative. I know that Jackie Aina, of YouTube, has reported that Tarte stopped sending her PR packages after she said something negative about one of the products they sent her- even though she said positive things about other products. Anyways, I’m not saying that you can’t trust sponsored posts, it is definitely dependant upon the integrity of the blogger, and on the terms of the contract. I can also say that I would still trust someone who received the product for free. I just don’t think that people’s opinions can be purchased for the price of a free product. But that’s just my opinion. I’m actually curious as to what my readers think. I know a lot of bloggers do sponsored posts, do you trust their reviews? What about when products are received for free?

Apart from sponsored posts and reviews online, there are also reviews on Lululemon’s website that give me pause. Out of 49 5-star reviews, 17 of those reviewers had reviewed something else. This means that 2/3rds of the reviewers of this bra were new to the community. While I welcome their opinions, I will give more credence to those who have taken the time to review something else.

My Enlite Experience

Before heading out to the store, I used Lululemon’s fit calculator located on the Enlite Bra page, and I got my recommended size. I tried on that size, and a size with a smaller band, but a larger cup. I liked the smaller band size a little better, because it was slightly tighter and held me in a little more. It is a lovely bra. The fabric is truly amazing, so comfortable. In fact, I would say that I have never tried on such a soft, comfortable bra. It held me in place well, but not as well as the Bitty Bracer, for those wondering. That Bitty Bracer was a vault- it held them close and tight. They didn’t move at all. The Enlite bra is more about minimizing bounce, while still being comfortable enough to breathe and work out in. HOWEVER, it is not worth $98, in my opinion. I am glad that so many people love it. I am even impressed with the fabric. BUT it is just not cute. It has no features that make me think “oooh, that’s pretty,” and honestly, aesthetics matter when I’m spending $98 on a bra.

Final Verdict:

If you’re looking for a comfortable bra, that holds you in well, but still allows some movement, whose primary function is to be functional, and you feel like spending $98 on a bra- buy this. I doubt you’ll regret it. But if you’re familiar with other brands of bras that are well-functioning for high-impact workouts, VS Sports bras come to mind, well you might want to just get two of those instead. Some of them, are even cute!

What do you think? Did you buy this bra? Let me know in the comments!

Sculpt Tank 1 vs Sculpt Tank 2 & Collection

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to talk to y’all about one of my favorite items! First off, I really miss the 105F Singlets, the Light Luon, the Silverescent, the scalloped edges [at least, on the originals, amiright?]… However, the days of the 105F Singlet have passed, and Lululemon is not currently producing them, at least not in their original scalloped glory. Perhaps they’ll bring them back, but for now, my lightweight top of choice is the Sculpt Tank. I really am enjoying the durability of the fabric. Both the Sculpt tank and the 105F Singlet are very lightweight and appropriate for hot southern weather, but Sculpt tanks are more durable in that they do not pill so easily. I do have some pills on my 105F Singlets due to purse straps, seat belts, and the like- it’s quite disappointing. If you’d like to read about how I care for pilly items, why not navigate over to this post. Regardless of a little pilling, I still adore those 105s!

Now, back to the Sculpt tanks! The wide straps, I find flattering, and the keyhole in the back is a fun addition to this top. The Sculpt Tank II does not have this feature, and I have only purchased one of these, since, in my opinion, the keyhole feature was what really made this top unique. They fit a roomy TTS, in my opinion, and are very comfortable during any type workout!

Here is my current collection:


Top to Bottom: Caspian Blue,Miss Mosaic Lakeside Hero Blue, Lilac, Beach Blanket Blue, Circuit Aurora Black, Regal Plum, Midnight Bloom Black Deep Fushia, Moonlit Magenta, Seven Wonders, Boom Juice, Tofino Teal, and Flash Light.

I also wanted to show a comparison between the Sculpt Tank 1 and 2. The fronts are basically the same, on average. Although you do see the black on this one here under the arm area, most of the other Sculpt tank IIs don’t have that color change. It really does depend on the colorway though. The backs differ in that the original Sculpt tank has a keyhole and the new Sculpt tank 2 does not. See them also on top of each other, in the same size, and you can see that the shape has perhaps narrowed slightly at the top, but has otherwise remained the same.

Back of Sculpt Tank 1
Back of Sculpt Tan 2

What do you think of the Sculpt tanks? Do you have a preference between 1 & 2? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading!

The AntidoteĀ 

Good day to you all!

Upload happened last night and I did have high hopes, especially considering Laurent Potdevin’s interview with Jim Cramer on Mad Money where he talked about how optimistic he is about the future. If one of the points of concern called out by the Lululemon CEO was the selection and lack of color, then his optimism must be an indication that this week’s upload will have a better selection of color.

Well, I am happy to report that there was some color in this week’s upload. Indeed, the antidote to the “50 shades of grey” color palette was Antidote, a bright yellow many of us will remember from its 2009 release, or, more likely, from its 2014 release. It’s funny because I don’t really LOVE yellow, but I actually think this is a beautiful yellow and it really is the antidote to grey. They look fabulous paired togather.

OK, so these are not exactly “colorful” but I do like the Hot Like Agni singlets (high neckline appeals to me, and the material is very comfy), so I am glad to see new “colors” of these. Here they are in Heathered Midnight Navy (left) and Heathered Sterling.


The new Define jacket is really quite nice in Marvel.


And of course, the Antidote.


So far we’re getting an Energy Bra and a pair of Speed shorts, hopefully we see a few more items in this color. I’d love a Hot Like Agni singlet! … or a 105 F singlet, if they bring back the scalloped edges.

The other colors we saw were Jet Stream and Blazer Blue, which look a lot like the other blues we’ve been seeing.  To be perfectly honest, these are in the “What’s New” area of the Lululemon App, but all these blues look so similar that it is difficult for me to be able to tell the difference or remember what was uploaded one week to the next! Anyways, for the sake of being comprehensive in covering the amplitude of the color in this upload, here are some of the new Jet Stream and Blazer Blue items. 

Shown, left to right, top to bottom: Fast & Free Tight in Jet Stream, Sculpt tank II in Jet Stream/ Black, Scuba Hoodie IV in Heathered Jet Stream, Invigorate Bra in Jet Stream/ Black, and All Day Breeze Bra in Blazer Blue. 

Thanks for reading! Did you get anything? Let me know in the comments!

Dear Analysts,

Hello everyone,

This is decidedly not going to be my most positive post. I do try to retain a positive, yet critical (as in, fact-based) perspective when I write here, and I also attempt to keep my emotions, but not my opinions, out of my posts. Although, at times, I think that hinders me more than it helps me. Regardless, this post is frankly about to be ‘some feelings,’ and if you prefer my relatively even toned articles, you may not find this one to your liking. If this is you, I apologize in advance, and advise you to please visit again in the future.

For those remaining, please enjoy.

I was recently deceived by someone online, shocking, I’m sure. What upset me the most is that, intrinsically, I harbor a strong desire to help people in any way I can. This person took advantage of my trusting nature. There have been countless people who email me asking what a certain item is (style/ color name), or to authenticate an item. It has been suggested to me, certainly for the latter, that I begin charging for my services. This is not something I intend to do. I perform authentications, and spend (literally) hours scouring Google to help someone identify their item, because I really do hate “fakes” and I really did start writing this blog so that I could help people. Even if it is with something as ostensibly frivolous as Lululemon.

So, when a reader writes to me, I always respond. There are two scenarios I want to describe for you. One is the right way, the honest, moral way to present yourself online, and ask for a favor, and the other is the wrong way, which actually resulted in a less favorable outcome for the person, although I’m sure he doesn’t know it.

In the first scenario, the analyst, Analyst A, let’s call him, emailed me asking for information about Lululemon. He asked a lot of questions, all about Lululemon’s financial performance, and my thoughts regarding the future of the company. But before he asked me the questions, he identified himself as an analyst and asked me if I worked for Lululemon, because, he informed me, “I can’t talk to you if you work for Lululemon, because of insider trading laws.” I said, “Don’t worry, I don’t work for Lululemon, let’s chat!” I proceeded to answer his questions to the best of my ability and was able to point him in the direction of many of the articles I wrote that pertained to his inquiry.

In the second scenario, Analyst B, let’s call him, did not disclose that he was an analyst. Not only did he not disclose this fact, when I directly asked him, he said that he was a student working on a project. A Google search following the entire conversation revealed that he works as an analyst, for a private equity fund. I only thought to Google after the entirety of the communication (all emails) had taken place, because I thought that perhaps he was an analyst because he asked primarily about financial data, the “popularity” (market share), prices and how much people are buying versus other brands. What made me even more suspicious, was after the fact, discovering the whole debacle about Lulu’s stock price having collapsed. It lost nearly 20% that day! No wonder this analyst was contacting me, looking for stock tips. However, at the time, I still believed that this person was a student. Well, I was concerned that this “student” had emailed me with questions from their professor when they really should have been doing the research themselves. So, I directed, who I thought was a student, to resources fit for a student. I told him to check SEC filings, and provided links to finance websites.

Analyst B was not satisfied with these sources. Resources perfectly suitable to be quoted for research projects were not what Analyst B wanted. He kept asking for my “opinion.” However, I didn’t think it would be right for me to inject my opinion into what I “knew” was an academic paper. What this person doesn’t know is that I would happily have provided my opinion, if I had known that an opinion was appropriate. It is not appropriate for a student to cite “Lululemon Expert’s personal opinion” in their research paper, when they could be citing Lululemon’s own SEC filings, which is where I directed the “student.” It is, however, perfectly suitable for a stock analyst to make trades based on expert’s opinion! If I had known that this person was an analyst, I may have provided my opinion. Instead, I thought that they were a student- attempting to obtain academic sources!

This brings us to the next point: Did you notice the part in the story about Analyst A, where he disclosed that he was an analyst and that it would be illegal to use information gained from someone who works at Lululemon? Well, unfortunately, Analyst B didn’t care enough about insider trading regulations to ask me whether I worked at Lululemon or not. Except for the above statement (“let’s chat!”) in this very post, I have never explicitly state in my blog that I don’t work for Lululemon. Not that Analyst B cares.

At the end of the day, I am happy that I directed Analyst B towards publically available documents. However, I am saddened that someone has lied to me. I directly asked whether he was an analyst, and he lied. It’s especially disconcerting due to the potential for legal repercussions on the part of the person who attempted to deceptively gain information, had I been a Lululemon employee.

My many thanks go out to Analyst A, I think I’ll share this article with him. To Analyst B, please do yourself a favor and do not misrepresent yourself in the future.

Lulu Has Missed The Mark This Spring

Hello everyone,

I saw this article, it was widely shared in my groups and across Facebook, and I just had to write about it. I feel like I’ve been talking about the general lack of color and boredom I’ve been feeling surrounding Lululemon’s offerings for months. This is actually one of the reasons I’ve been writing about other things, like LuLaRoe. Finally, VINDICATION! The market has acknowledged my feelings regarding Lululemon lately, and the CEO has acknowledged my, and countless other fans’ opinions. Does Laurent Potdevin read my blog? Is he in the Lululemon Facebook groups? Because I think we all could have told him that Lululemon needed to produce more colorful “Spring” items. And can Lululemon PLEASE bring back the feminine details, ruffles, ruching and personal touches? I miss the little messages inside pockets or under cuffins. And where have those cuffins been anyhow? Have thumbholes been nearly completely done away with? I know that I am not alone in having noticed that items have been degraded and renamed. The Cool Racerbacks have been renamed to Cool Racerback 2, shortened, narrowed, and had the fabric “innovated” (read: cheapened). I can see it now, “Swift Tech Long Sleeve Crew! Now without thumbholes, silverescent and underarm venting!” Sounds like a terrifying future for the Lululemon we all love. Except that that last one is true. Some of the new LS Swiftlies have no underarm venting- it’s only a matter of time before “cost-cutting measures” become more important than retaining brand value, quality and innovation. I worry that that time has already come for many in Lululemon Leadership.

The Lululemon We All Love

But for some, the love is gone. I know that many of us remember staying up late waiting for upload. We would hop on a group, and comment in threads our upload predictions and wish lists. Ah, nostalgia. We’d share our shopping carts and share in the excitement that in a few days, we could share try-on reports and tell people who were curious but not interested enough to hit the “add to cart” button how we felt about our purchases. Were we in love? Did we return? Is this a future unicorn? What’s the concensus?

That excitement is gone. I no longer even remember to check upload night until I am reminded by a Facebook post. I certainly don’t “wait up”- or even get excited. I used to still be somewhat interested in WMTM uploads on Thursdays, but I almost never check anymore, even for the sale prices. And, while we’re on the topic: $9 off a $68 item, is not a sale. In fact, can we stop pretending that raising the price of a LS Swiftly from $68 to $78, then putting itĀ on sale for $69 is a generous discount? This just means that instead of paying $10 extra for an item, we only have to pay $1 extra.

On Quality

Careful vs. Careless

It used to be that gaffs and quality issues were rare. So rare, indeed were these quality issues that they became scandals, reported on the blogs, and on news outlets and gossiped about within the community. I have spoken about quality before, on quite a few occasions. I remember a time when nearly every item on Lululemon’s website had 4-star and above reviews. I remember a more careful Lululemon, where fabric choices, fit and function were fundamental considerations, instead of the afterthought. I remember when I didn’t have to check to make sure that an item wasn’t 90% Polyester. I am not even going to touch the sizing inconsistencies, but what about function? Where have all the functional pieces been? Too much Leisure, not enough Athlete.

 

My Opinion On a Future Advertising Campaign

Recently, Lululemon has expressed an intention to start a formal ad campaign, a step away from their current community marketing campaign. Here are my thoughts on that:

I used to ignore Lululemon. I felt like they advertised directly to me. Even though they didn’t have a formal ad campaign, to me, it was everywhere. That positive, aspirational brand spoke to me. So, I ignored it because I don’t like being “sold” things. Then one day, I went in the store. Everything was so bright and fun. And the sales people were happy and treated me like a human- instead of a customer. And the stuff was pricey, but the details were delightful. I fell in love with Pace Setters and Paris Pink. Less than a year later, I had started a small collection and my obsession with the brand grew from there.

My point is that Lululemon did not need formal advertising to gain me, or the market share it has today. It needs to continue to rely on the viral marketing campaign it has relied on from the beginning, which is why keeping its core fan base happy is so important. Lulu, if you want, go ahead, hire more ambassadors, and give more people R&D discounts for being walking billboards, but in all honesty, a formal advertising campaign will help you sell only slightly more than what you already sell. And at what cost? Starting a formal ad campaign might cause your brand to lose cache. Additionally, Lululemon is known for its irreverence. Lululemon’s core supporters never left over Brahmacharya, we moved on. We keep buying the clothes and we move on. Or how about this? Or this? Well, Lululemon can’t go around offending people during a massive ad campaign. Mass appeal will mean that Lululemon will have to adjust its target audience from Ocean and Duke to Jane and John. Lululemon will lose its edginess, in favor of commercial appeal. Will Lululemon remain an aspirational brand? Maybe. However, I am concerned that the massive campaign will alienate core supporters.

Lululemon is more popular among women than Nike. Last year, Nike spent $804 million on “demand creation,” which included advertising, brand events and digital marketing. Lululemon’s marketing budget is nowhere to be found, and marketing expenses are rolled into general administrative expenses in SEC filings, so there is no official number I could find for them. Please link down below if you find one! The point is, Lululemon spends no where near that much on ads. And is outperforming Nike in the women’s athletic apparel market. An ad campaign is unlikely to make a huge difference, and Lululemon should be cautious with how it spends investor dollars.

My final thought on this is: Do it if you want to. Do it if you think you’ll make more money than you’ll spend on the campaign. But don’t do it for old school, big-money investors who don’t understand the current marketing model (viral) that is the very thing that helped bringĀ LULU to where it is now.

The Future of LululemonĀ 

I think that someone needs to turn this company around and listen to the fans. This core group of influencers have been around for forever and have supported the brand through everything. This company has made some great moves this past year, like honoring “Dufflegate” and the Women’s DayĀ discount. However, there has been plenty for people like me, true fans, to complain about. I think Lulu could get us to spend more, assuming they want to be a profitable company, if they returned to what made them popular. Some of their stuff doesn’t evenĀ look like Lululemon anymore.Ā Lululemon is feminine, attractive, youthful and fit. Not boxy, drab, tired and frumpy. But that is what the designs evoke lately. Lululemon’s future depends on a triumphant return to what made them popular in the first place. Those fun designs, those functional, durable pieces that have a go-anywhere, do-anything attitude!