My athleisure wardrobe is limited. Pre-pandemic I usually invested in fashion-forward pieces rather than something to get my sweat on or lounge in. Although I love the thrill of wearing a pair of leather pants, due to the shitake storm that was this past year, prancing around the world in my fiercest 'fits has been replaced with a more relaxed style. Brands left and right have amped up loungewear to meet the comfort-first movement, with more and more options for us larger folk seemingly popping up overnight. While labels like Girlfriend Collective and Universal Standard were ahead of the inclusive-size curve, brands like Lululemon more recently entered the chat. When Lululemon graciously offered to gift me an assortment of styles from its newly extended range, I felt compelled to give it a try. As a larger woman, it's difficult finding inclusive places to shop — and, since I could now participate in this new (albeit limited) activewear lineup, I took it as an opportunity to give my honest thoughts on how it really stacks up. Keep scrolling for my full Lululemon review on the styles I ended up loving the most — including details on the fits and feels, if they passed the squat test, and how they look in my selfie shots.
Align High Rise Pant 28", $98
Out of everything I received, the three pairs of leggings were my favourite pieces (I received a size 20 in each). My out-of-the-box impression of the bestselling Align High Rise Pant was that they felt super smooth (this makes sense because Lululemon's custom Nulu fabric is incredibly soft). As soon as I slipped them on, it honestly felt "buttery" just as the product page describes. The Align Pant passed the squat test with flying colours; they move really well — aka they feel like I'm wearing nothin' at all. There was some pulling needed to adjust them every so often but it wasn't too extreme. Although they're designed with yoga-like activities in mind, for the purposes of this review I just did some walking around, squatting, and a little light stretching — for all of which they definitely held up. These are a pair of leggings I would happily lounge around the house in. They're soft, breathable, and boast that barely-there feel.
Wunder Train HR Tight 25", $98
I was drawn to the soothing water drop colourway for the Wunder Train Tight; in-person it resembles a periwinkle-like hue. They're very uncomplicated and allow you to move easily. The touch-feel is impressive as it's more compressive yet still super soft — I found myself continually running my hands up my legs. The Wunder Train Tight mostly passes the squat test with minimal adjusting needed upon rising. The style features a drawcord and a lil' pocket on the inside to hold your keys (an added bonus!). I'm 5'9'', so the 25'' length was slightly cropped but nothing too dramatic because my legs aren't super long. They're apparently designed to keep you cool but, since it's winter, I'd be curious to see how these hold up in sticky summer heat. This style is one I will definitely use for everything from strength workouts to long walks. It's durable while still maintaining a comfy softness.
Invigorate HR Tight 25", $138
The Invigorate HR Tights stood out because of the deep pockets that flank the sides of each leg. These are definitely ideal for stowing away your phone or any larger items that won't fit in the small waistband pocket. Lululemon created the Invigorate line for more intense workouts, reinforcing the style with its Everlux fabric that wicks away sweat like "magic." I didn't do anything incredibly vigorous, but I did run in place and was able to do some high knees fairly easily in these. The overall fit-feel was more compressive than the Align Pant but didn't have too many noticeable differences from the Wunder Trains (except for those deep pockets!). These are definitely ideal for outdoor jogs so that I can easily stash my phone, keys, etc. on my person.
Out of the wider assortment I received, the three leggings featured above were my standout favourites due to their high quality and comfortable fit. There were some pieces (like the Enlite Bra, Run Times Bra, and the Beyond the Studio Jogger) that I really wanted to love but they simply ended up being a little too snug. For each of these styles, I tried on the largest size offered which unfortunately left me with no other option. As someone who is usually around a 2X/3X/20W, I recognize my privilege in the plus-fashion space; when a brand does choose to extend sizing, I'm usually included. However, some of my larger peers simply aren’t catered to enough. Lululemon is by no means alone in this — and, although the new extended sizes are a start, large bodies should be catered to at the inception of a brand and not as an afterthought. I genuinely hope to see Lululemon continue to expand its sizing and product offerings in the future.
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