It’s Athletic Bird here again! I’ve been doing yoga for more than 2 years and when I first started, I had a problem, albeit a superficial one – what should I wear? I know this shouldn’t be a problem but it really is. I may have gotten started with it much earlier if I had active wear on hand but I just didn’t. And please, do not wear pajamas looking clothes to yoga. It’s just not suitable. Don’t even wear a normal bra. Always wear a sports bra! I part of me just dies seeing people in wrong attire, like they aren’t taking yoga seriously (sorry if this sounds too harsh).
Over the years I’ve tried looking and bought stuff from easily found brands like Puma, Nike, Bodynits or Forever 21 but it’s not that nice. I mean, I’m going for yoga, not some high impact activity. I do not need that super sporty look with neon colours clashing and all.
I need attire that:
1. Has good sweat wicking properties – because yoga can be very sweaty, hot yoga especially, and I may do multiple classes/ go home in my yoga wear and the last thing that I should worry about is smelling bad or putting up with damp clothing on my skin. Cotton material is a no-no because cotton holds on to moisture too well. Synthetic material is always the better choice.
2. Looks good – because who wants to look bad.
For yoga, my preferred choice of bottoms is shorts because I have a fear of being trapped sweltering in long pants (or long sleeves. I just can’t…). That said, it took me a long time to overcome my fear of the hot room and embrace hot yoga wholeheartedly. However, pants or crops are useful in cases where I need to head out without changing because it’s more appropriate for town than shorts. Sometimes when I am unsure whether I’ll be going for a hot or non-hot class, I’ll just bring a sports bra top instead of a tank because the sports bras can be worn for anything. Moreover, sports bras and shorts are way easier to wash than tanks! When I select my tank tops, I prefer those which are fitting rather than loose. You’ll see what I mean later.
If you’re serious about yoga enough, you will surely come across the brand Lululemon. This brand has a cult following all over the world, in Canada and US especially and once you start you probably will stay loyal.
I bought my first items at the Niagara Falls Outlet and that was the beginning of being a Lulu Addict.
For all items, I wear Lululemon Size 4. This fits UK 6 in normal clothing, even though the website converts it to UK 8. The sizes generally runs small. However, it is not always consistent and sometimes they manufacture items not true to size. Earlier this year their Free to Be and Energy bras caused a commotion because the sizes ran small suddenly. I read through all the reviews online and Lululemon clarified that they indeed altered the fit of these 2 bras, but will restore the sizes back to normal for the Fall/Winter collection. There was a particular design I liked which unfortunately was among the batch made smaller. The fit was terrible and even when I took a size up, it just didn’t fit nicely. I decided to sell them eventually. More on that later. Anyway, size 4 fits me perfect for everything else that was made true to size!
Most colours (except black and white) and prints are seasonal and will not come back once sold out. In fact, certain limited edition items have sold for $500 on eBay. Told out it’s more like a cult than just a normal brand! That only happens when active wear becomes fashionable.
Here’s what I have, everything size 4:
Disclaimer: It was hard to take photos on self-timer with my camera! Unlike a phone, I cannot use an app to customize my timer mode. Pardon my ugly poses and lack of creativity (warrior 2 is best to show my outfit. Tried & tested.) because it’s simply not easy to get into the correct alignment within 10secs and it was so hot. My sweat can be seen if you look carefully! The primary motive was to show my outfit, not the poses.
Energy Bra Pizzazz
I bought this from the outlet store in Niagara Falls. It’s in my favourite colour and the only size left was my size! This should be from 2013’s collection so it went in clearance when I purchased it in May 2014. The Energy Bra is a staple to Lululemon’s sports bra collection and offers medium coverage with light support. It is ideal for yoga, but can serve for gym or running if you are not too well endowed – support is minimal. This is like the one bra that everybody should own and this design is permanently available, though colours changes regularly.
P.S the Wunder Under crop I’m wearing is reversible, hence the other side showed through. More about this crop later.
Alight Halter Curious Jungle and Flowabunga Mini Multi
I bought the curious jungle online when it went on clearance and unexpectedly this turned out to be my favourite! I hunted the flowabunga design on eBay because it was no longer selling, It fits perfectly, offers enough support I need for yoga (which isn’t a lot) and it looks good. Perfect for me! It is so comfortable despite the halter neck looking uncomfortable. This is my current favourite top. This design appears probably every summer or ever two summers. It is not permanent. I would probably buy it in every print if they made more of this.
Run: Stuff your bra Flowabunga Multi
This is another item I grabbed online from the clearance section. It is made for running or gymming but I got it anyway even though I only use it for yoga, because it looks very functional with pockets. You can stuff your phone there and take a selfie hands free (already tried). The fit is perfect and even though it offers more support (which means, meant to be tighter) it is still comfortable and breathable. This design should be a permanent one and is quite popular among runners.
Power Y Tank Creamsicle Pop
I really wanted this item since I first saw it in stores in NY but my size was out of stock. I did not give up hope and finally the SG showroom brought it in! It was a lot more expensive buying in SG but no choice right? It’s too nice. The material looks like cotton but it’s their Luon material which is made to dry really quickly. The material is very stretchy making it very comfortable when I do twists and move about a lot during my Power/ Flow/ Vinyasa classes. This tank is highly popular and the design is permanent with seasonal colours. Very simple, but functional.
Dancing Warrior Tank Secret Garden
I considered for quite some time before getting this from eBay. The reviews said that the length was too long and it is not hemmable (Lululemon worldwide provides free hemming service for all Lululemon items, even those bought overseas!) because the logo is located rather near the bottom. The neckline was said to provide low coverage too. However, the longer lenght did not really pose as a problem to me despite my short torso because I did not mind the excess, and for the lower coverage, well, didn’t really cause me any problems either. I’m so glad I got it because it is beautiful and fit perfectly! This design was launched for spring/summer 2014 and I’m not sure if it’ll come back again, though I hope it will.
Practice Daily Tank Brisk Bloom
I love the floral prints and the satin cross back straps, even though sometimes it does hurt because the satin is not stretchable and will dig in if you happen to stretch your back that way. It fits true to size and is a nice top to have! It is very fitting and figure flattering. I bought this on eBay. This design is not permanent.
Free to Be Tank Black
I got this from the outlet store at Woodburry and although I would never buy black under normal circumstances, I bought it anyway because I just had to get something. I am so glad I did because this is the most versatile tank ever! The straps are way more stretchy than the free to be bra somehow, and it’s another very fitting and comfortable top. It can almost pass off as non-sports attire and be worn for casual wear. This design isn’t available anymore, but the Free to Be Bra is permanent.
Wunder Under Crop *Reversible Pizzaz/ Soot Gray
I bought this from Lululemon Exchange group on Facebook. This is my only second hand item but I love the colour too much to care. I got it at US$60 while the original price was US$82. Reversible means I get 2 crops for the price of one! The resale community for Lululemon is large and selling is quite easy with little markdown. Some of the prices can be better than eBay actually. I don’t think I would be wearing this often but I absolutely love it.
So here’s a guide on how to purchase Lululemon:
You can get from the US or Canadian site. The Canadian site has better price because of the currency. Upload for new products are every Tues pacific time 4pm which means Wednesday for us in Singapore, and of more concern is the upload time for WMTM (we made too much), their clearance items, and it happens every Thursday approximately 11pm Singapore time. Sometimes really good items goes on WMTM and they sell out instantly so be quick. The timings can subject to change.
This is the easiest way to find items but if it’s bidding only, it may be nerve wrecking. eBay has middleman charges so you may not get the best price.
3. Facebook groups
Lululemon Exchange or Lululemon Petite are groups I join. They have a Singapore Lululemon Exchange group too. Another one in Singapore is called “A Yogi’s Closet”. You can buy or sell here without paying a middleman so that’s the benefit. Most people on these platforms are sincere in wanting to transact.
4. Local showroom
The fastest and most effective way to buy is from the local showroom but the downside is the price. Items are exchangeable and word has it that you can even exchange bought overseas or online as long as the tag is in tact. 1-to-1 exchange is available or they would convert your item (eg. US$42 = S$53) and you can top up to get something else from the store. You can also get online store credit by returning your item. The information was obtained from the Singapore Lululemon Exchange group and I have not personally attempted so don’t quote me!
5. Yoga Studios
Certain yoga studios carries Lululemon, and it’s priced the same as the showrooms. The good thing is you get access to it whenever the studio is open as opposed to the limited hours of the showroom, but the downside is that only a limited variety is available at each location. I have spotted Lululemon selling at Pure Yoga, Yoga Movement (Tanjong Pagar) and Sadhana Sanctuary. There are probably more places carrying their stock so do ask around.
This highly popular mobile app is of course, an option. You can find anything there.