November 22, 2013

What Am I Supposed To Do With All These Lulus?

What am I supposed to do with all these Lulus?

Back when I was in yoga teacher training, I had no idea what Lulus were. I was rocking my Marshall’s athletic wear designed by whoever. But soon I began to notice that ubiquitous label popping up on the thighs, backs, and butts of some of my fellow yogis and I consistently liked the design of the clothes.

They were cool and different. They had little ruffles in odd places, tanks with innovative straps, great colors and patterns that all weirdly went with each other and sweatshirts that looked sleek but warm. It wasn’t long before I jumped on the Lulu train, despite the exorbitant price tag. Regardless of what everyone is saying about quality, I still have and wear the very first item I bought there; a pale blue U-tank with a wide black band around the top. It looks brand new. All the other stuff I’ve gotten has been equally good.

As time went on, I noticed more and more people sporting that distinctive swoosh-y horseshoe, and not just at the gym. It was like Juicy Couture 10 years ago, or Guess 20 years ago, or Izod 30 years ago—all the cool kids had it.

Being a born non-joiner, as soon as something achieves cult status, I immediately don’t want it anymore. Like, I’d be embarrassed to wear it. But this was a new situation for me. I’d never bought a bunch of stuff prior to it being popular. What was I supposed to do? Give it all away? Black out the label?

I really liked my Lulus, and now it was all ruined for me. If I wore them I was going to go around looking like some yoga wannabe, or worse, like someone who uses stuff to define who I am. It seemed as if 33 years of being an outcast were being washed summarily down the drain. But I soldiered on, figuring it was worse to not wear it and have wasted all that dough.

Then, to make matters worse, the whole Chip Wilson thing hit the stands. Great, I thought, now I can’t even hold up my unintentionally conformist head, because not only is every single female on the North shore shaking their ass around the mall wearing identical pants, they’re shaking their asses in identical pants made by a big assholeand so am I.

Where once, donning a pair of Lulu’s was just about wearing yoga apparel that got the job done, and then it was a statement about affluence and privilege, now it is like a big bold billboard saying, “I don’t care that Chip Wilson is a racist, a misogynist, and an Ayn Rand freak. I don’t care about sweatshops, and poor quality fabric, and overpriced garments. All I care about is how good my ass looks and everyone else can go straight to hell.”

In my younger years, as a matter of fact, that would have made them wear-able to me once more. Putting on a pair of anything that conveyed the sentiment “you can all go straight to hell,” was exactly the style statement I was looking for. But I’m all grown up now. I don’t want to make other people sad or mad with my clothing choices or anything else.

So again, I implore you, What am I supposed to do with all these Lulus?

Can I get some kind of official dispensation so I can keep wearing my old ones if I don’t buy new ones? Would it come in the form of a little sticker I could put on my pants, so everyone knows my true intent? Or would I have to hang something off my mala that has a Lulu sign with an X through it and a apologetic smiley face icon directly underneath?

I’d just wear everything inside out, but 90% of Lulus are reversible.

I can envision many years of sneakily trying to hide the fact of my shameful choice of attire. Big generic sweatshirts, dark yoga studios, traveling by the dead of night, and sticking to remote destinations should help alleviate my anxiety. And when my Lulu’s finally need to take a dirt nap in another decade, I will hopefully have found a new source of yoga gear that isn’t so controversial.

Maybe I should just buy a sewing machine and try my hand at making yoga clothes myself. Yeah, I’ll do that right after I get some chickens and start collecting my own eggs, install a composting toilet, and only use the energy I can wring out of my rickety generator in the backyard.

Sigh. This old world sure is a hard place to live in sometimes.

I’m just thankful I have yoga to smooth out all these rough spots…even if I end up practicing in a burlap bag.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise



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