Yoga pants. The first thing that likely comes to mind when most men hear the brand name Lululemon. Known for its rather tight and often flattering appearance on women, Lululemon is to be thanked for the popularization of yoga attire as mainstream clothing. Many are surprised to find out that Lululemon Athletica (the brand’s full name) makes men’s clothing as well. Similar to the women’s lines, the men’s clothing of Lululemon is based in an idea of active wear as a means to healthier living. Lululemon stores will often offer yoga classes and ways to stay healthy, as well as carry products that are made sustainably and conscientiously.
I’m not afraid to say that I wear Lululemon. In terms of a yoga culture, I tried taking a yoga class last semester at Pomona. I lasted only a few weeks, after what I call “stretch shame” grew to be too much for me. However, while I certainly am no yogi, an appreciation of mindfulness and peacefulness is one I know I can identify with.
Nevertheless, I am often met by skepticism and cajoling from my friends, who will judge this choice in attire. How do I defend my clothing choices? Simple. Lululemon’s clothing is comfortable, looks good on and is especially easy to clean and keep care of. Even as I write, I’m wearing a particularly comfy pair of Lululemon shorts.
But Lululemon-wearing men are continually ridiculed for its association with being feminine. This upsets for a number of reasons: First and foremost, the association with a certain kind of clothing being “womanly” or “feminine” seems like the elementary school association with certain brands being “girly” or even the disappointingly homophobic “gay.” Secondly, it’s clothing. Finding things you like wearing that are conducive to your lifestyle and taste is one of the great pleasures of dressing and expressing yourself.
Much to my own dismay, Lululemon clothing is not inexpensive. Sweaters, shorts and shirts can be incredibly pricey, as can smaller items such as socks and hats. To me, this serves as a reminder for clothing being an investment. Just as a well-made, good-looking suit will not be cheap, the price is the cost incurred for looking professional, and hopefully really good! Luckily, one benefit of Lululemon products is the ease of cleaning. Simply tossed in a washer and dryer, the preshrunk clothing allows for a hassle-free clean, especially for this lazy college student.
Another draw for me to Lululemon is its history. The company is based out of Vancouver, Canada. It’s safe to say that Vancouver is a particularly athletic city, where the geography of the sea meets the sky, with the Pacific Ocean and nearby mountains for athletic recreation. Whether running along the beach, jogging through forests or simply walking through the city, Vancouver’s scenery serves as the ultimate wallpaper to playing and being active in the city.
For me, wearing Lululemon is a little bit like wearing a bit of home. A reminder of rainy, gray overcast days, met with vibrant, exciting warmth that comes from exercise and healthy living.
Finally, as a CMC takeaway, Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson has a BA in Economics and has gone to have an estimated worth of $3 billion. Big news in Vancouver this summer was neighbors complaining of too much sound emanating from his property. The sound being, of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing a private concert celebrating Mr. Wilson’s wife’s birthday.
So, in my eyes, if the yoga pants fit…