Lululemon’s lemon’s

lemon“Quite frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t work for [the pants] … It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time.” 

That was how the billionaire co-founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, responded to complaints about see-through pants and pilling. Predictably, he was attacked for fat-shaming and other anti-woman issues. Well, that is not my issue with Mr. Wilson or Lululemon. 

I have practiced yoga for decades and as its popularity has grown, some studios have become very fashion-conscious. I often see women wearing pants that are too small or the wrong style. That cannot be Mr. Wilson’s fault or Lululemon’s in any way. 

I am a small curvy woman. Even at my thinnest weight – and I have managed to get very thin at times – I don’t wear skinny, stretchy pants. I have always liked Lululemon’s crops, until a few years ago. 

Here’s my issue with Lululemon and I believe the real issue: The pants have always been pricy, but I bought them as did others from one of the first Toronto stores because they fit and wore like iron. Then a few years ago, my loose crop pants, not tight pants, began to pill. In addition, neither the stitching nor the cut were as good as they were originally. The fabric is not as nice. But the pants are not any cheaper. I have the originals – the good pair. 

I have worked covering fashion for years and I sew. I can compare the two pairs point by point and see where the corners have been cut. It is disappointing, especially as so many people really love the brand. 

There are those who defend the company for their support of the yoga community. I call that smart marketing. Others attack the company and Wilson for fat-shaming, which I consider unwarranted. The fact that some pants are not for every “body” is not insulting. The fact is that Lululemon makes pants that pill, and the company has widely-reported service issues in their stores. 

But at the end of the day, women can and should shop elsewhere when they are not happy – I did. 

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