Fashion Trends

Lululemon Love.

By: Jen Shoop

I noticed the other day that I genuinely get excited when my Lululemon Align leggings are clean for my every-other-day running habit through Central Park — almost always a portion of which finds me traipsing along Jackie O. Reservoir, seen above on a recent circuit. They are simply the most comfortable and flattering exercise leggings I have found to date — they boast the ideal level of compression and hold up exceptionally well to heavy use. (They also, conveniently, come in multiple lengths to fit nearly any height.) I am deeply impressed with almost everything Lululemon makes. I have a pair of (non-Align) black leggings I bought from them perhaps six or seven years ago that I still wear frequently and that I have laundered regularly against their explicit instructions and they still look and feel good as new. And all of the details in their designs are appreciated — pockets for keys and cell-phones, thumb holes in shirts to keep hands warm, vents where you need them, etc. All of this to say: I love a good deal and continue to test various less-expensive athletic finds to varying degrees of success and enthusiasm (two affordable athletic wear products I fully stand behind are these $22 leggings, which are not as amazing as Aligns but pretty darn good for the price, and these $8 running tanks, which have a fantastic, soft feel and the loose fit I prefer in running tanks) but Lululemon is one brand worth the investment, especially given longevity of life. So much so that when my mom asked what I wanted for Christmas, I asked for either a gift card to Lululemon or a nap dress from HHH. Right now, the items in my Lululemon cart:

+Though I generally prefer loose-fit tops for running (j’adore this specific style — the scooped back hem offers flattering rear end coverage), now that I’m layering under my running jacket* most days, I reach for form-fitting styles for a more streamlined look. I am eyeing their Swiftly Tech long-sleeved tops for this purpose.

+I have been eyeing this vest for a long time for those in-between days when a coat seems like overkill but there’s a chill in the air. I love the fact that it was specifically designed for running and that there’s a hidden phone sleeve.

+Of course, more aligns.

*I have written a lot about this coat, but there are still a few left at the closeout price of $35 and you must buy one if you run outdoors! It has magical properties — it keeps you warm while never making you too hot, it is lightweight, and it is just the right amount of form-fitting (i.e., you can still layer items beneath it without feeling “bunched up”). I also love the quilting detail and it comes in great colors — oh, and the pockets are generously sized to fit phone/gloves/sanitizer/etc. I love it so much, I just ordered it in a pullover style (also on sale for $35) in a great spruce color.

P.S. What do you listen to while running? Some of my current playlist here.

P.P.S. Do you carry a phone sling?

P.P.P.S. On dealing with interruptions.

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28 thoughts on “Lululemon Love.

  1. I love my aligns too! They are amazing to lounge in and so comfy on my bike (to nowhere ha!). The joggers are my new fave pant! I personally LOVE lululemon and how they will stand behind their products no questions asked!

  2. hi

    i used to work at lululemon and the fabric align pants are made out of are not made for running

    it will lead to faster piling

    1. Thank you so much for the note! Eek! Will make a note of this in future posts on the subject. Don’t want to lead other Magpies astray into my wanton ways with the Aligns. But I do love them to run in!


  3. I love the leggings from Love and Fit. They are a woman owned company, designing workout gear for moms (including nursing sports bras) and their leggings are a wonderfully soft, thick fabric, have big pockets and have a waist band that stays up, even for burpees 🙂

  4. I’ve basically been living in lululemon aligns since the pandemic started. The align joggers are WONDERFUL for lounging around the house. I too get a thrill when my align leggings are clean to wear! Makes me wonder why I don’t just buy more!!! Although they’re expensive, for how much I love/wear them it’s definitely worth it to have 4-5 pairs on rotation. To the Christmas list…

    1. I’m asking myself the same thing! Especially since they more or less fall into the “utility/health” category of my life, i.e., I NEED them to run, right? xx

  5. I purchased a pair of Tracksmith shorts over the summer and I’ll never go back to the Nike Pro shorts I used to run in! I’m thinking of picking up a pair of their pants because I find the waist band on most of my leggings tend to slip down while running. Let us know if you buy anything from them!

    1. Lauren — I just re-upped on the turnover tights after three years of heavy wear (and two pregnancies). They do not slip!

    2. Will do! Have been pruning my cart ever since the introduction yesterday. I really want one of the merino base layers and am now into the leggings, too…


  6. This year I became strong advocate for what I call the Rocky Balboa attitude towards running apparel; unfussy, layers, easy to wash. I just throw on an old college crewneck, a baseball cap and an old vest or jacket if it’s chilly. I actually like that I’ll sweat more in cotton– I want the detox! I tell myself its sort of 90s-chic

    1. LOVE. This is a vibe and I’m here for it. Very Princess Di, too. Please tell me you have those chunky tube socks?


  7. I worked at the first lululemon on the East Coast in 2007-2008 and I’m still wearing some of the stuff I got back then. It is definitely worth the money. Though I will say that if you air dry instead of putting them in the dryer, they will last way longer- heat destroys spandex over time. For running, I’m actually partial to the “fast and free” shorts and leggings instead of the aligns.

    1. Amazing! Thanks for the tips. Maybe I should branch out and try some other Lulu styles. Thank you for weighing in here!

  8. Ah, the reservoir — il me manque!
    Agree the aligns are top-notch in terms of construction, though I’ve never tried them for running — I always figured the waistband would slip (and I guess I like reserving them for shlubbing around the house). For chillier days, I usually do a merino longsleeve or turtleneck under a windbreaker, but if it’s really cold (like -20), I switch to fleece. Also, gaiters are clutch! All that rambling said, I haven’t found the holy winter grail single coat that blocks wind/snow/frigid temps! I’m eyeing the tracksmith NDO coat but $300 for a running jacket feels steep (even though I know I’d get a justifiable about of use out of it).

    1. Hi Claire! So funny how you learn over time your temperature sensitivity. I find that if it’s under 18 degrees, it’s just TOO COLD to bear and will skip running. But 18-30 degrees merits heavy layering (I usually wear a chunky Patagonia fleece, which always leaves me drenched in sweat but I’m at least warm), and anything above 35 feels good in that NB jacket. I am now very intrigued by that Tracksmith coat. Agree on the sticker shock, but you are right that it would see a lot more use than some of my pretty wool coats that get much less play (and cost in that ballpark).


  9. Lululemon is a very anti-women company. A quick Google reveals a history of awful treatment of women like asking them to bend over in stores to prove that their tights were too sheer (instead of admitting that their tights are low quality), and fat shaming (hiding bigger sizes in the back of the store, complaining that bigger tights take 30% more fabric to make and blaming women whose thighs rub for the sheerness of tights). Women should not support companies that don’t support women.

    1. Hi Vicky! Welcome to the Magpie Comments section and thanks for sharing your perspective. There have been several interesting comments along these lines from other thoughtful Magpies in the past that tug at the same central issue: how do we define a code of shopping ethics? I think this will be a personal exercise for each of us, and the lines can be very blurry and knotty. For example, shoppers (including Magpie readers!) have put pressure on or stopped purchasing from some companies for not featuring inclusive sizing, or for not including diverse enough models in their campaigns. This in some ways feels like a complement to your perspective on Lululemon, though you may or may not draw the same conclusion/line. Add to this the fact that shopping ethics can extend to a broad range of issues, from fair labor practices to carbon footprint and beyond. It’s thorny and I think many of us will land in different places. I appreciate your starting the conversation by sharing your two cents here.


  10. Jen I have said in the past that I buy so many of your recommendations that I might be putting mini through college– I have to say that the colorfulkoala leggings might have been your best find ever!! I now own FOUR pairs, plus 3 of the Target tops. I will always love Lulu aligns as well but feel like these are very close, and they do have great compression. Granted I am not a runner, just riding a bike to nowhere in my own apartment, but for that I think they are perfect. Thanks for always compiling great recs for us!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad, Gina!! Completely agree with your assessment. They are the best affordably priced pair of athletic leggings I’ve found. In fact, they are one of the best pairs I’ve found, full-stop, including several brands that are four or five times as expensive.


  11. I got this running jacket in black and it indeed is the best! May have to get it in white too, since I seem to be living in it these days.

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