Will Run for Lululemon

Yesterday was pretty awesome.

In the morning, I worked out at Exhale with Lady Foot Locker and got a pretty sweet outfit.

In the afternoon, I was incredibly productive to make up for my morning of fun.

In the evening…


I went to a marathon product party at Lululemon!

Caitlin had emailed me late Wednesday night to see if I wanted to come to the Lululemon Soho’s marathon party. The invite said that we’d go for a short run and then come back and give them some feedback on products.

I like:

  • Caitlin
  • running
  • Lululemon

…so clearly I was down.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by happy, peppy Lululemon-wearing ladies. They asked a little bit about what I usually run in and what I wanted to try out.

I said I usually run in either one of their running skirts or a pair of Nike shorts with a built-in compression layer underneath for long runs. On top, I usually wear my I <3 Sweat shirt or another Lululemon tank I have.


I tried on this top but didn’t like how it looked around my stomach.


That’s me not sucking in. [I don’t remember the name of this one and can’t find it on the site.]


Next, I tried on the Run: Swiftly top and the Run: Inspire Crop. I absolutely loved how the crops sucked in everything. I have a similar pair that I can’t wait to pull out in the winter. I was pleasantly surprised that such a form-fitting top didn’t hug my stomach too much.

[Yes, my socks are mismatched. But technically they’re the same sock, just different colors, so I don’t consider them mismatched at all.]

I was really happy with this outfit, but they kept asking me what I liked and what I thought I’d run the marathon in. I told them I’d likely wear my skirt or the Nike Phantom shorts, and finally they asked if I wanted to try another skirt. YES!


They had sort of implied when we walked in that we’d get to try some clothes out, so I asked in between one of the many outfit changes how that would work. I guess they planned on some slightly more dramatic reveal, but I kind of busted them. Sorry.

“You get to keep a pair of crops and a long-sleeved top!” they said. “Once you pick it out, let us know and we’ll take the sensors off and we’ll go for a group run.”


I think they could tell I wasn’t really feeling the crops (I probably won’t put on pants to run until after the marathon unless there is some freak cold snap), so they let me go with a skirt and Run Swiftly top instead. I’m going to try the skirt out for my long run on Sunday and will probably wear it for the marathon!

[Because I want to be like Erica. My very cool friend Erica (also Erica of the marathon necklaces) was just in the NY Times for a story about running skirts.]


Me, Ashley and Caitlin [photo via Ashley]

Once we’d all picked out our gear, we went out for a really short run down to City Hall and back to test it out. We came back and the group of about 10 of us sat around with some Lululemon employees after the store had closed to discuss what we wanted to see in running gear/apparel, what we liked, our thoughts about Lululemon and anything else that came to mind related to running gear.

Unsurprisingly, their customer base is 80 percent women and 20 percent men. I asked if they got a lot of single guys (not selfishly, I swear) coming in or if most guys were with their wives or girlfriends. Because let’s be clear–Lululemon isn’t quite the most macho brand. Some of us suggested things like race and athletic sponsorships to raise their visibility and possibly even rebranding their men’s line to have a more masculine name.

They seemed mostly pretty open to our thoughts and ideas, but they kept explaining why they do the things they do. Another frustration I voiced was how quickly their products cycle out–sometimes I’ll see something online I like, think about it for awhile, and by the time I’m ready to buy it, it’s gone. (This quick product cycling also leads to a huge secondary market on eBay.)

So, in summary, I like free stuff and I like to talk. (I have a blog. These two things should already be self-evident.) Getting compensated in free stuff for talking? Not so bad.

Do you like Lululemon? Why or why not? If you are a Lululemon lover, what’s your favorite product or thing about the company? Do you have any feedback for them?

My favorite item is definitely my first running skirt, although its gel pocket is definitely a bit too small to actually fit a gel.

If you could be paid in product to sit around and talk about said product, what product/brand would you most like to talk about?

Well, talking about Lululemon (or, Luluberry, if you’re my mom) was pretty cool. J. Crew? I like you guys a lot, too. Wanna chat?

And: team running skirt or team real-runners-don’t-wear-skirts?

See above.

38 comments on “Will Run for Lululemon

  1. Beth @ 990 Square

    So, I don’t own anything from Lulumon, but I sure am thinking about that skirt you got. I just haven’t been able to justify lulumon’s prices when I can go to the UnderArmour outlet (one big benefit of living in Baltimore) or buy discounted stuff elsewhere. Is it really worth it?

  2. Sara

    Love love love! So jealous and you look great in the skirt! I’m due for some new lulu…weekend shopping trip might have just been inspired, Eeek!

  3. Jess

    Love, love, love Lululemon! I have a bunch of their scoop neck tanks that I wear all summer long running and then when it gets cooler out underneath another shirt. Also have their Groove cropped pants. I do think there stuff is worth the price since it holds up so well, but I don’t always have the money to spend otherwise my entire “fitness wardrobe” would be entirely Lululemon!

  4. Kim K

    love lulu… i will only their their running shorts! i havent tried any of the running tops – i unfortunately have D boobies and feel like the running tops dont fit me. but i do love their zip-up jackets. i must try the run swiftly top….it’s not super tight though? so jealous you got a free outfit! hurray!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Kim K: The run swiftly top is definitely form-fitting but not too tight. Could you wear one of their tanks with a bra under? I don’t usually but I know some other people do.

    2. Kimra

      @Kim K: I have the same problem and their shirts without built-in bras work well for me. I got a run swiftly for doing a race and it’s a size too small but stretches a LOT. Their tops with built-in bras are *really* dicey for me, though.

  5. Liz

    I used to LOVE running skirts, but I find the shorts underneath tend to ride up so I don’t really wear them anymore. I should check out the lulu ones though, I’ve only heard only good things. I love their cool racer back tanks, but truth be told, I’m a Target kind of workout gear gal.

  6. Ericka Andersen

    I’m SO jealous you got a free outfit! I love them but rarely buy anything because they are so expensive. I did buy a running jacket last week because I had a gift card but it was a $100 jacket — more than I’ve ever spent before. I wanted to buy some crops but that was another $90! I think their sports bras are worth it and I just LOVE the concept but for a girl with a budget, Lulu is few and far between.

    Oh…like running skirts but wearing during marathon would bother me…I always get chafing legs with them. If you don’t, more power to ya!

  7. Einat

    I love all the lulu stuff I see all the girls wearing my studio but I can’t justify the cost! I am a champion for target girl πŸ™‚

  8. Kate

    Love lululemon..actually the top that you first tried on was the one that I wore in the Chicago Marathon last weekend πŸ™‚ I was able to get a discount on it for providing them with feedback after the race-my only suggestion was more pockets.

  9. Aleks

    They opened a Lulu in my college town in the fall after I graduation. I kinda wish it was there while I was still at school, but I guess my student budget would really suffer. I’ve been living outside North America for the past 2.5 years, but still I make it a point to go shopping there at least once per every visit (which is like once per year). I have Lulu shorts, tops, yoga pants, water bottles, headbands, bags. It makes it so much easier to justify the high price tags if you can only do it once a year! (= I spend a few hundred in one go). Now I need a a running skirt!

    If I could talk to Lulu, I’d ask them to expand to Europe! And if I could pick a brand, that would have to be Apple… Probably like 90% of people :).

  10. Alyssa

    Ah, so jealous! I bought my first Run Inspire crops last month and I absolutely love them, although I find that unless I’m already sweaty when I put them on they slide down for the first 10 minutes or so of my run before they really STICK on (and they’re the right size too!) what’s up with that? Like everyone else, I wish the prices were more reasonable or that the clearance was discounted more ($45 for a tank that used to be $60?) so that I could justify buying more.

    Also, my Mom calls them my “Liz Lemon” pants.. so I’m right there with your “LuluBerry” πŸ™‚

  11. Jamie

    I buy most of my workout gear at Target or Ross- Lulumon is too rich for my blood! I don’t even spend that much money on my regular clothes and I don’t care that much about looking super cute while I am getting sweaty.

  12. Celia

    That event sounds awesome! I love lululemon. I love their split short, speed shorts, cool racerbacks, running tights, etc etc. Haha! I spend way too much money there! Their shorts are my favorite for the marathon because I don’t need to wear a belt to carry my GUs because they have so many great pockets.

  13. Margaret

    It happened to me yesterday when my brother told a ‘girl friend’ of his that i have a lululemon problem, and that i’m not allowed in the store, haha. i guess everyone in my life knows my weaknesses well. Who can’t love a brand who makes everyones tush look amazing! I would definitely do almost anything for lulu

    1. Theodora Post author

      Nope, I think it’s just a style thing. I’ve kind of always wanted to try the tight running shorts but thought I’d feel self-conscious in them, so the skirt has the tight shorts under and the skirt and top and sort of solves that problem.

  14. Meg Gayman

    You live such a great life! I want to go talk to lulu folks and get free stuff. They are one of my favorite brands, LOVE their tights (they fit so well and make my butt look great!)and they’re shorts, I had to run with both my iPhone and my rental car keys yesterday and with the lulu shorts I had NO problem! I also like that they ingrain themselves into the community, I’ve run with the Corte Madera store while here on business and they were so nice.
    I get to shop at the lulu outlet and the lulu lab up in Vancouver, I have two lulu dresses now! You can definitely consider me an addict.

  15. Kristine @ Running On Hungry

    I love Lulu – they have a huge following in SF and aside from my allegiance to Nike Tempo shorts, all I wear is Lulu. Yes it’s expensive but it lasts FOREVER (just don’t put it in the dryer!), it’s cute, it’s gym-to-errands appropriate, functional and flattering.

    Their Run Inspire crops are fantastic (my fave crops!) and I live in Wunder Unders when I’m not in real clothes. (and sub them in for black leggings with boots in the winter because they’re THAT comfortable!)

    So much fun that you got to participate in this!

  16. Alicia from Poise in Parma

    What a cool event. I’m glad you mentioned about cycling their products so quickly. That always drove me nuts.

    I’m a fan of their stuff. I have three yoga tops – all that have drawstrings to keep the top from moving around during class. Other than a long sleeve nike dri fit top, they are the only tops I’ll wear to practice in.

    I’ve never tried a running skirt. I’m more of a crops kind of gal.

  17. Kimra

    I did a lulu-sponsored race last year and the race shirt was a run swiftly short-sleeve. That was my gateway drug! I’m also impressed with the Ta-Ta Tamer. I wish some of their built-in bra tops were as nice to the well-endowed as that bra is, though. I insisted on getting a Spin Me tank because it was So Cute and it’s all wonky with a bra under.

  18. Kathy @ newlywedindc

    Love lulu, try to buy strategically bc I want everything there. About the shorts pockets: I don’t know if they’re different from the skirt pockets, but I can fit a gel in there. I love the run turbo shorts.

  19. Michelle

    I love Lululemon!! Those run tops are the best! I wear mine for all my long runs. Don’t know if the do this in NY but in MA if you’re signed up for a half marathon or highe you get 15% off any of the run apparel! It’s not a ton but it helps with the hefty price tag.

    I’m not a huge fan of running skirts but I feel like I can’t knock anything that faster people wear and I’ve definitely been passed by running skirts before! πŸ™‚

  20. Jess

    The 66th St store on the East side did a similar thing with a group of us also. Our session was for two weeks. The second week we gave feedback and discussed the NYC running scene. I have to say that these forums and fit sessions that they do are why I’ll be a loyal customer for forever. I love that they ask for our opinions and I think any business that wants to know what their customers think is a smart business.

    And I want that skirt! I have two other lulu skirts, so I guess I can’t justify a third one.

  21. Laura

    I’ve never purchased any Lululemon items, but I wouldn’t mind being compensated in free stuff from them in exchange for talking about them!

    My dream places to do that for would be Anthropologie and Williams Sonoma.

  22. elizabeth@genuineefforts

    I really like the idea of LLL clothes but I’ve never worn them. They don’t fit me. I’ve lost almost 60 lbs but I’m still too big for their clothing.

    Finding plus size exercise clothing is very difficult.

    Also, as far as skirts or no skirts? I’m on Team Whatever Gets You Out the Door.

  23. Kalena

    When you ran in the swift long sleeve did you find it showed your sweat marks? I’ve tried it on before, and loved it, but I sweat like crazyy when I run so I’ve been hesistant to buy it! lol.

  24. Christina

    I’m so scared of running skirts but they’re so cute! I feel like my fatty girl legs will be rubbing together and I’ll die in pain lol. Dramatic much?

  25. Alexa

    I am VERY pro running skirts. I wear skirt sports ones with capris under them all the time. There are similar ones by under armour I want to get as well.

  26. jackie

    OH my gosh i absolutely love lululemon. I currently have two pairs of pants, three pairs of crops and a jacket from there. The quality of their stuff cannot be beat! I have had some of these items for 4 years and I wear them consistently twice a week. I agree that they seem to cycle their clothing way too fast but i also enjoy that there is always free shipping on their website!

  27. lisa

    Hello, I bought my first Run Inspire crops last month and I absolutely love them, although I find that unless I’m already sweaty when I put them on the slide down for the first 10 minutes or so of my run before they really STICK on (and they’re the right size too!)


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