I've spent thousands on Lululemon clothes - here's what's worth the money

PHOTO: Lululemon

My love affair with Lululemon started when I was a fitness writer for Shape Singapore magazine in 2013. At Shape, part of my job involved sifting through and trying out all sorts of newfangled workout gear.

The first Lululemon apparel I wore was a tank top with a built-in bra and a pair of pants — both were loaned to me for a work-related barre class trial.

I loved how the top was designed with a feminine U-neck and subtle ruched details that looked both sporty and girly. The top had a relaxed yet structured fit so it stayed nicely around my waist without clinging to my skin. I remember the pants being uber soft and comfy.

Since that day, I knew Lululemon was on to something (sheer pants fiasco aside) because I’d not experienced that level of thoughtfulness in design, as well as softness and stretchiness in workout tights before.

I was eager to find out if there was more to that activewear magic I’d experienced.

Fortunately, being a fitness writer exposed me to plenty of activewear brands, and gave me opportunities to rub shoulders with different types of Lululemon consumers: Athletes, fitness trainers, yoga instructors, yoga practitioners…

Through those interactions, my interest in Lululemon grew, and I was inspired to purchase and try different Lululemon products to build up my knowledge base. Of course, I can’t deny that this was also a reason to cave in to my shopping temptations.

My investment in Lululemon

Over the years, I’ve invested a few thousand dollars in Lululemon apparel and accessories: Bras, tops, pants, shorts, underwear, sweater wraps, yoga towel…

Most were for myself, while the rest were bought as gifts. Besides my purchases, I’ve also received Lululemon items as part of media drops, and gifts from friends and family who know about my love for the brand.

So yes, I’d say I’ve tried a fair share of Lululemon clothes on various occasions — from workouts to casual wear — to form firm opinions about them.

Full disclosure: I’m not a Lululemon ambassador, and was not paid to write this. Honestly, not every item is worth its price tag.

Here are my top Lululemon recommendations for women — the ones that I’d gladly buy again, for myself or as gifts for my friends and family.

My top Lululemon recommendations

Energy Bra Medium Support, HKD 450 (S$79)

PHOTO: Lululemon

How I got to know about it

Ever since I was introduced to this bra by one of Lululemon Singapore’s ambassadors Dawn Sim (@thatmomoffour), I have not looked back.

“It’s my all-time favourite bra for many workouts, including running,” I recall her enthusing.

Hearing her conviction, I added that Energy Bra to my shop list, and bought it when I was pregnant in 2018. Then I was looking for versatile bras that could accommodate my ever-changing bust and body.

I tried the sizes at the Ion Orchard store, and decided on size six — one size up from my pre-pregnancy size four. Then, I bought the Energy Bra online from the HK store because it was slightly cheaper, and shipping to Singapore was free.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why I love it

Since I got the Energy Bra, I’ve been wearing it regularly for almost four years — from prenatal barre and strength classes to post-pregnancy HIIT workouts and running, till today.

The Luxtreme™ fabric is so soft and smooth, I’ve never had chafing or felt unbearable tightness from the straps or the underbust area even after wearing the bra for the whole day. This is one of my favourite bras to wear, even after a workout.

Even though I’m a size four now, the size six Energy Bra still gives sufficient support for high-impact activities like running.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why you should get it

Like Dawn said, the Energy Bra truly is a versatile sports bra. That said, it’s designed to provide medium support for B to D cups, so those who wear D cups and above may not experience the same kind of versatility with this bra.

Shop the Lululemon Energy Bra.

Fast and Free High-Rise 7/8 Tight 24" Asia Fit, HKD 950 to 1,180

PHOTO: Lululemon

How I got to know about it

A girlfriend who’s a member of boutique fitness studios Crucycle (for group spinning) and Crubox (for group boxing) gushed about this pair of leggings.

“I simply love my leggings! The pockets are amazing! Get the Asian sizing!”

Wanting to see just what was worth raving about, I got myself a pair when Lululemon had a 20 per cent off storewide sale at their Duxton store in 2019.

I paid somewhere from $150-160 for those leggings in Asia Fit, and finally understood why they were considered the gold standard by my girlfriend.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why I love it

When it comes to rave-worthy leggings, I have three major criteria: One, they have to be high-waisted and compressive enough without feeling suffocating.

Two, they have to actually stay put on my waist throughout my movements. I’ve encountered many leggings that claim to be high-waisted, only to give insufficient coverage and/or slide down as I move.

Three, the leggings must have at least one pocket that’s wide and deep enough to slip my phone into it, and hold it in place whether I’m squatting, standing or sitting.

This Fast and Free Tight not only meets the mark in those three ways, but also exceeds expectations in other areas.

The quick-drying and breathable qualities are the icing on the cake, as I don’t have to worry about clammy leggings post-workout.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Another thing I appreciate is the Asia Fit for the Fast and Free Tight. Not all Lululemon tights come with Asia Fit. From my understanding, bottoms with Asia Fit are made with a shorter length and slimmer cut around the ankles.

While internationally-sized leggings tend to be too wide around my ankles and flare out awkwardly, the Asia Fit has been quite perfect for my 163cm and US size four (or S) frame.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Finally, here’s the chart-topping factor: Due to its excellent stretchiness and shape retention qualities, this Fast and Free Tight gives a butt-lifting effect that I didn’t expect.

Because of that, I have no qualms wearing it everywhere for any remotely appropriate occasion — even though this was designed for running. I mean, who doesn’t want a sculpted booty at all times?

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why you should get it

At $160 upwards, this Fast and Free Tight is definitely on the pricier side. However, having experienced the sculpting effects and incredible versatility, I’d say that this piece is worth every dollar.

If you’re still hunting for your dream on-the-go leggings with pockets, this could be it.

The Fast and Free Tight comes with two deep pockets (for your phone, cards and whatnots) and five waistband pockets that let you stash small items like keys and coins. If that’s not value-for-money enough, I don’t know what is.

Shop the Lululemon Fast and Free Tight in Asia Fit.

Fast And Free Short 8" Non-Reflective, HKD 580 

PHOTO: Lululemon

If the weather is too stuffy to be wearing long tights, consider the short version. The 8” short is my go-to bottom for outdoor runs on warmer days.

And yes, it provides the same awesome pockets, plus sculpting effects that will make you want to stay in it all day.

Shop the Lululemon Fast and Free Short 8″.

Align™ High-Rise Pant 26" Asia Fit, HKD 880

PHOTO: Lululemon

How I got to know about it

I can’t talk about Lululemon without mentioning their trademarked Align™ pant. It’s a favourite amongst yogis for its buttery soft Nulu™ fabric, and the myriad of colours it comes in.

Cacao, gold spice, taupe, dusky lavender, red merlot… you name it. There’s a hue for every mood and occasion.

When a yoga-obsessed colleague revealed that the Align™ pant is the only tights she’d wear for yoga because it’s that comfortable, I knew I had to experience the pant for myself to see if it lived up to the hype.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why I love it

When Lululemon says that “feeling nothing is everything… all you feel is your practice” with the Align™ collection, they aren’t exaggerating. This pant is by far the softest and stretchiest I’ve tried, and the closest to a second-skin feel.

Its high waist gives ample coverage and support for my tummy area without making me feel constricted. Best of all, it’s budge-proof — I’ve never had to adjust it during yoga flows.

The fact that it comes with just one pocket in the inner waistband may be an inconvenience for those who like to have their phone near them always (like me), but it also makes this a real distraction-free piece that allows me to focus on the task at hand — whether it’s a half-moon or a revolved side angle pose.

PHOTO: Lululemon

Why you should get it

For its comfort, stretchability and durability (I’ve worn Align™ pants for three years without noticing any deterioration in quality), $154 is a justifiable price to pay.

The wide range of colours that vary according to the season also makes this Align™ pant quite fun to shop for. If you don’t have colour preferences, consider getting the pant in markdown colours/designs (HKD 680 [S$119]) — that will save you about $35.

Definitely try them in-store before buying, to ensure that you get the fit of your dreams. With their extreme stretchability, you may want to go one size down for a snugger fit.

I have Align™ pants in two sizes: US two and US four, which I’d wear depending on the fit I desire. Size two gives a more defined silhouette since it’s a tad tighter, while size four is great for days when I’m feeling bloated or prefer more allowance.

Shop the Lululemon Align™ High-Rise Pant 26″ in Asia Fit

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This article was first published in Her World Online.

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