The Align Pant 28” in black. Have you ever heard of it? Me neither. But you have definitely seen it. You might even be wearing it right now. In other words, the Align Pant 28” is the classic black pair of Lululemon Athletica leggings that almost every upper-middle class woman in America owns. But what has created this obsession with Lululemon? What differentiates this brand of athleisure wear from Nike or Fabletics, other than the iconic logo?
First of all, Lululemon Athletica --otherwise known as Lulu-- has trademarked its own fabric materials, each of which is meant for activities of different levels of impact. Luon, Luxtreme, Nulu, and Nulux are all different combinations of nylon and lycra that make the materials slick, stretchy, and durable. The trademark of these unique materials sets Lulu apart, because it means that no other brand of athleisure wear can create the same level of comfort.
Additionally, Lulu has a high level of guaranteed quality and customer service. The company’s generous exchange policy allows customers to exchange their damaged products for one of equal value, if they cannot be fixed. After purchase, customers can also get their leggings or joggers hemmed, free of charge. This, along with friendly and young employees, creates a caring atmosphere that draws people into the Lulu stores.
These attributes are impressive, and probably justify Lulu’s high prices. However, at the end of the day, what brings people to make their first purchase really is the logo. Lululemon leggings, for whatever reason, have the highest caliber in the world of Starbucks coffee and VSCO filters. I even remember buying my first pair of Lulus in sixth grade, after seeing every girl at school wearing them. That in itself is evidence of the widespread trend and social conformity surrounding Lululemon. But even after knowing and experiencing that, and having grown enough to form my own style, I still find myself back at Lulu... this time buying flare-bottom leggings.
That is the true allure of Lululemon Athletica: that no matter what age you are, or where you come from, there is a size and style for you. From the leggings to the jackets and headbands and menswear, Lululemon really does carry something for everyone, even if it comes at a high price. Social stigma may bring customers in, but the quality products and welcoming nature of the company are what make me, and many others, come back.