Over the years I’ve spent thousands on Lululemon clothing. I’m familiar with pretty much every type of apparel Lululemon sells. Plus I live in North Vancouver which is close to where Lululemon was founded (and is still headquartered). I’m joking, my living close to Lululemon HQ is meaningless but it’s cool for our city that such a large and iconic retailer was both founded and is still headquartered here.
After wearing Lululemon clothing for years, below is my list of
1. Lululemon is my go-to athletic wear almost every day (FYI, I’m a guy)
Lululemon clothing to me is what being draped in velvet is to George Costanza, only Lululemon apparel looks much, much better.
For the gym or sport, I specifically dig around for my Lululemon t-shirts which fit the best, feel the best and are my best. Seriously, if you need athletic shirts, Lululemon’s are the best.
2. It’s more comfortable than any brand I’ve ever owned
Nike? Forget about it. Under Armor? Not even close. I’m not saying those brands’ athletic wear or everyday wear is uncomfortable; they’re quite comfortable. Until I bought my first Lululemon clothing I was quite happy with those brands. But once I bought Lululemon apparel, it was a game-changer for me in the comfort department. Lululemon comfort is on a whole other level.
3. It’s not perfect though… I have one major pet peeve with Lululemon clothing
My biggest pet peeve with Lululemon clothing is the zippers; specifically the side pocket zippers. They’re tiny and are not easy to zip open and close. I have to use two hands and even then it’s not easy.
See how small the zipper teeth are which makes it difficult to zip up and down:
4. Lululemon sells way more than just athletic wear (it’s not just a yoga clothing store)
This definitely took me by surprise the first time I shopped at a store. In my mind Lululemon sold just yoga apparel. I went in looking to buy some workout clothes and walked out with not only an athletic wear wardrobe but also an everyday wardrobe for summer and winter.
5. Fits better than any clothing I own
I’m tall coming in at 6′ 3″. Lululemon makes its clothing (at least for men) so that it fits taller people. The arms are nice and long without the torso section being too bulky. The shirts are long enough too without me having to go a size too big; this is especially the case with t-shirts. The athletic t-shirts fit so much better than other brands because they’re a tad longer. I don’t like it when
6. Lululemon seemingly offers as much variety and options for men as for women
I’m a guy and there are so many options. I think in the beginning the perception, and maybe it was the case that Lululemon catered mostly to women. That’s no longer the case. The brand has expanded into being a full-fledged high-quality athletic and everyday wear apparel brand. Many of my buddies wear Lululemon; in fact I see a lot of guys wearing it now.
As of 2018, 21% of its sales was for men. They hope to exceed $1 billion in sales to men by 2023.
7. Ironically, the logo on its men’s clothing could be hurting sales
I’m not the only guy who stumbled onto Lululemon clothing and now loves it. This guy gushes as much as I do and he makes a very interesting point. He says he’d wear Lululemon pants to the office if it didn’t have the logo on the side of the pant leg by the knee. His objection with the logo is the fact that Lululemon apparel is synonymous as “women’s yoga clothing” which might not look so great for a man in the office.
Granted that article was published in 2016 but I suspect the logo issue is a thing. I actually don’t care about the logo in that I’d be fine if there was no logo but I don’t care if there is a logo. I imagine some people like the logo because it’s a fashionable and in-demand brand (just like Canada Goose among others). My main reason for buying Lululemon is it fits so well, is stylish and is ridiculously comfortable.
Below you can see the logo is still there but blended in:
8. My favorite summer clothing is also by Lululemon
That’s right, Lululemon sells summer clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, short-sleeved collared shirts and light hoodies. Half of my summer clothing apparel is now Lululemon with many pairs of shorts, several short-sleeved collared shirts, t-shirts and lightweight sweaters and hoodies for summer evenings.
My favorite short-sleeved collared shirts are Lululemon. They look the coolest. The fit the best. They’re the most comfortable. I get more compliments with these shirts than any other I wear for summer.
Then there are the shorts. I buy classic shorts with button and fly. I can dress them up or down. They have a slight stretch to them. They don’t wrinkle. They fit perfectly being optimal length. They’re the perfect shorts.
When I first went to a Lululemon store I had no idea they sold so much summer wear. I also didn’t realize they sold clothing for everyday wear (regular pants, shorts, collared shirts, etc.). I was very pleasantly surprised.
9. You can buy it online at Lululemon.com but also some is sold at Amazon
Amazon carries some Lululemon items. It’s hard to tell how comprehensive the selection is. I much prefer shopping on the Lululemon website. What you might not know is that you can also buy second-hand Lululemon clothing at many of these online second-hand clothing stores.
10. You can save money all year buying at Lululemon’s warehouse sale
If you don’t want to pay full price, you don’t have to. Lululemon has an evergreen warehouse sale page on their site where they discount all kinds of clothing that didn’t sell. They claim that they “made too much”. It’s not one of those “save $5” sales sections. The discounts are substantial. It’s definitely a section on their site to check out often.
11. You can also save money buying used Lululemon on Lululemon’s “Like New” website
It was bound to happen. Lululemon talks a lot about sustainability and environmental issues so it’s only natural that it set up a portal for people to sell their pre-owned Lululemon wear. It’s a great idea… maybe. The “Like New” name is better than anything with “second-hand” or “used” or even “pre-owned”. Canada Goose has a huge and thriving secondary market but I have to say that I’m not all that keen to buy someone else’s workout clothing.
12. Lululemon is not that old; it was launched in 1998 in my city (Vancouver, BC)
Interestingly, the first store started as an evening yoga studio. The first clothing designs were for women to wear for yoga so its roots are deeply entrenched in yoga apparel. It started selling yoga clothing in 2000. It’s amazing how fast Lululemon has grown in 20 years. As of 2021, there are 521 Lululemon stores worldwide. Global headquarters is still in Vancouver, BC.
13. It’s now a publicly traded billion-dollar company
Lululemon went public with an IPO in 2007. It’s grown since then. Fiscal year-end 2021 total revenue was $4.4 billion and has a total market cap valuation of around $60 billion.
14. If you had invested $1,000 when Lululemon went public that would now be worth $31,000 (approximately as of Nov. 3, 2021)
Lululemon’s stock has enjoyed quite a ride… pretty much up, up and up. Check out the stock price chart since it went public:
Source: Google Finance
15. Lululemon’s success made its founder, Chip Wilson, a billionaire (several times over)
It’s not unusual for this to happen.. founders of publicly traded companies becoming billionaires. Lululemon went public and has been a big success since then growing manyfold in only two decades. To date, Chip Wilson is still the largest shareholder. Forbes estimates his net worth at $6.3 billion. Chip and his family also live in one of the most expensive houses in Vancouver:
16. Five Reasons explaining why is Lululemon so popular
I believe a number of factors play into its insane popularity and growth. They are as follows:
- Timing: Lululemon launched when yoga started hitting critical mass in North America. While it may not have been the first to offer yoga clothing, it was early in the market and was there just as yoga exploded in popularity.
- Higher-end market: Lululemon probably could have done okay had they designed and made mediocre clothing for yoga but they were much smarter than that. They focused on quality and charged more money. The reason this worked so well is that the folks who got into yoga have money; it’s a higher-income demographic so it made perfect sense to focus on quality and charge more money.
- Design: Not only did Lululemon manage to break solidly into the yoga wear market but their apparel became more than just yoga clothing. In fact, yoga clothing became everyday wear. It looks good and is super comfortable. Once it was accepted as everyday wear, the brand took off big time.
- The Celebrity Effect: Celebrities started wearing Lululemon as well which never hurts. In fact, Lululemon’s main marketing strategy early on was to collaborate with global influencers and celebs. Influencer marketing is common now but not as much back then. On a slightly similar note and arguably just as effective were early scandals, especially comments its founder, Chip Wilson made about women’s bodies. Ultimately Chip was forced to resign as CEO but he’s still the biggest shareholder with an 8% stake. With a market cap of around $60 billion, Chip’s stake is $4.8 billion.
- The company is maniacal about testing for optimal style and comfort using materials testing: These were two areas Lululemon focused on and still do. They test all kinds of materials such as nylon, Lycra, spandex, elastane, cuts, colors in its ‘Whitespace Lab’ at HQ in Vancouver to come up with more stylish AND comfortable athletic wear.
17. Lululemon clothing is worth every nickel
I’ve yet to buy something from Lululemon I didn’t absolutely love (and still love). Wearing Lululemon, to put it in the words of Marie Kondo “sparks joy”.
It’s true that you will pay more compared to other popular brands selling similar apparel, but it’s worth it. It’s not prohibitively expensive like Gucci or Prada; if you can afford Nike or Under Armor, Lululemon is within reach. I’d rather fewer items in my closet that are Lululemon than more being any other brand.