Lululemon – Comfort and Style or Comfort and Whoa-What-are-you-doing?

I admit it – I have spent more than I should have on Lululemon apparel over the years…but hey, I’m human and I love it. I’m a huge Lululemon fan and prior to moving to Vancouver this summer (from overseas), I  would engage in large scale product acquisition whenever I set foot in a North American store or visited their online shop.

I’ve always relied on Lululemon for activewear that’s comfortable, versatile and stylish. I can appreciate and am thankful for the foresight and success they’ve had in building out a global brand that marries activewear with style and comfort.

Recently however, I am confused.  Their new “Urbanite” line consisting of collared shirts, tight fitted cargo pants and other pieces like the Savasana Softshell (a wool winter coat priced at US$368) is a large shift away from activewear and while they’ve hit the mark on comfort, it feels like they’ve missed it on style and now, I can’t place the brand in my head. Are they stylish? Are they activewear? I can’t see a stylish corporate warrior wearing the urbanite shirt.

Having worked a fast paced professional life for a number of years, I respect  them for being on the forefront of stylish activewear but miffed at where Lululemon is positioning themselves in everyday / casual / corporate attire?  Lululemon is competing with the countless designers on / Net-a-Porter and I believe they can get there. With the associated price points however, you’d expect a higher standard of “style” and while they may have met it, I was hoping to be impressed.  I don’t want to buy a collared shirt and almost look good, I want to win over that client, I want to win over that sale!  Almost isn’t enough.

Lululemon is known for style and comfort in activewear – have they succeeded on both fronts with their new line? 

lululemon Jacket Black Urbanite Shirt Urbanite Jacket urbanite blazerUrbanite Henley Shirt

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  • September 20, 2013

    Janice Wilson

    I like the pants 🙂 The other items seem a little strange…the plum-colored one especially

  • September 20, 2013


    You have nailed it! I am a huge fan of Lulu as well and have not only bought their activewear but also quite a few of their outerwear and to-and-back type of clothes. But that shirts and pants really puzzled me. If I need a white shirt, I would start comparing it with so many other brands and price points. And sadly, this is not the shirt I would choose (style and price wise).
    What a pity. Lulu is my go to place if I need to update my active wear, I hope they don’t shift their positioning and lose many loyal fans.

  • September 20, 2013


    Agreed that the aesthetic falls short (especially for the price point!). Although I wonder if they are trying to fill that from bike-clips-to-office-heels commuter. So confusing! #branddilution

  • September 20, 2013


    Totally agree. Seems okay for smart casual, but probably neither here nor there for proper work attire. I would probably still stick to the likes of Theory. Think LLL should just stick to what they do best.

  • September 20, 2013


    Great discussion topic starter! I think the company has done an immensely successful job at establishing their brand equity. They’ve created a lifestyle, and because of that, they can pretty much introduce any kind of product, related or not. And even if they’re just testing the waters, they certainly have the ability and permission to take that risk of extending and adding products. Lululemon is a leader in the market and their community consists of extremely loyal and engaged consumers (staff included) who trust the brand.
    But I definitely get where you’re coming from – I would also be taken aback upon first encounter with the Urbanite line. I wouldn’t buy the collared shirt nor the pants that you mentioned above. But I could see how someone like a yoga teacher may want to “dress up” for (and bike to) an informal interview or find something a little more chic than leggings.
    We’ll see where this takes them!

  • September 23, 2013


    Love your site! I didn’t even know about the new Urbanite collection until I saw your post…hmm…yeah it’s not that nice….

  • November 7, 2013


    Does anyone know how much the urbanite blazer went for? Im Seeing it on eBay and love this but would like to know how much more I’d actually be paying on Evil-bay! Thanks