Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Lululemon Wunder Under Review & Care Tips

If you read my last post, then you know representation in marketing and advertising has been on my mind lately. Now, you might be saying, why would you buy something from Lululemon if that's what you've been thinking about? Isn't their sizing so jacked up there's basically no difference between a 2 and a 10?? Isn't that a fat-shaming brand???

These are all totally legitimate questions. Lululemon's founder and former CEO certainly made some messed-up comments blaming design flaws on consumers' bodies back in 2013 - no good. Since then, the brand has done some major damage control (and product enhancements), including finding a new CEO. Yet, even that did not fix their problems as Lululemon has recently launched another search for a CEO after the body-shamer's successor engaged in "inappropriate workplace behavior." Certainly, a company with trouble, but we've all got problematic faves and have to continue to ask more of the places where we spend money.

I decided to take a stroll down Lululemon lane because it was a  of some of my favorite fit girls and I've never seen a woman's butt not look good in a pair of leggings from Lululemon. I recently started practicing yoga more regularly and as someone with a thing for activewear, I took this as an opportunity to dive into high-end yoga-wear. I was also curious about how these pants would fit a woman like me who has been thick before starting to lift and typically has issues finding pants that fit both my hips and waist.

I went to the Lululemon in Chicago on Rush St. and I would not have bought a pair of these pants had I not gone into the store. 1) After purchasing these in-store, I went online to see that these pants have terrible reviews online. 2) The sales associates were attentive, knowledgeable, and a diverse bunch in all ways; talking with them (they remembered my name throughout my visit), allowed me to find the right pant for my training. 

I bought a pair of the Wunder Under tights which were described to me as the "classic" Lululemon tight. Having never stepped foot into a Lululemon before that day, I was certainly interested in learning more about the product from the folks who work there. I also tried on the Align tight, but those did not provide enough compression for me. 

The Wunder Under is designed to be for training (read: gym workouts or studio that's not yoga) and yoga, which is why is it offers a touch more compression that the Align which is really designed for yoga. I'm wearing a size 6 full length, high rise tight. For reference, I am comfortably a size 29 in denim at J.Crew, and a size 11, leaning 9 in denim from Fashion Nova. 

As you can see above, these are truly high rise tights. I have worn these to CorePower, Aerial Yoga, and for a lifting session in the gym. I most liked them for aerial yoga and for lifting. The rise was a little too high and tights too compressive for me for yoga, but this same combo worked really well for aerial yoga where I was looking to be more aware of my core. For the gym, these leggings are totally squat proof and stayed in place for the entirety of my workout. 

One downside is that even though this is a black tight, it does not high sweat very well. I could still see outlines of sweat on these leggings, which isn't a big deal to me because sweating is normal, but in comparison to other leggings I have, the sweat seemed more noticeable. 

Are these worth the $98 price tag? It's hard for me to say yes because they are so pricey, but yes -- only if you take care of them. A lot of reviews online mentioned pilling between the thighs and baggy leggings after one to two wears, and I have not experienced that three wears in and my thighs touch. Also, as an aside, I assume all of my workout tights are see through to some extent, no matter where they're from, so I always wear dark undies to avoid surprises. As a former sales associate at a sporting apparel store, here are 4 quick care tips to make these leggings last:

1) Only wear them while working out. I'm sure if I wore my leggings all day for my three wears, I would have some pilling between the thighs. I only wear workout clothes to, from, and during my workout, so no more than 2-4 hours at a time. This helps them keep their shape as they're largely made of some stretchy material.
2) Only wear them while doing workouts for which they were designed. Just like you wouldn't wear a formal gown to a baseball game, don't wear your yoga pants on a 8 mile run. Trust me, each piece of workout clothing is designed for something specific, so when you wear them for other purposes, you degrade the material.  
3) Never, ever, everrrr put these pants in the dryer. Even if the label says "tumble dry low", the heat warps the material of the legging. Most workout leggings are made of fast-drying material, so when put in the dryer, they dry super fast and then hit the warp phase.
4) Wash them inside out. For one, the inside is what makes contact with your skin and gets dirty, but the outside of the leggings tends to be where topical elements are added so your leggings to do the sweat-wicking thing. These cool tech-things will start to fade faster if you don't wash inside out. 

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