Year In Review|Best Of Lululemon 2016

If you’ve been a regular of my blog over the years, and especially this past year, what went wrong with Lululemon in 2016 has been hammered both in my posts and in the comments section. I thought I’d share with you my favourite items of 2016, which there where surprisingly a lot of despite general brand failures. Not as much as other years, but plenty. Most of my purchases where either markdowns or ‘pop backs’ on the website long after they’ve ‘sold through’ and went out of season. 

Turn Jacket 

When I looked back to my year of posts I was really surprised this Turn Jacket was from 2016. I got it in this Heathered Alberta Lake. This was a color I loved (and am borderline fanatical about) in a design I really like with a really soft cozy material. It really reminds me of the Heathered Stitch Gratitude Wrap of years past. 


Essential Tank

I got this tank in both Muted Mauve and Sea Mist and have been so happy with them. They are a loose fitting tank, soft and airy, gorgeous colors and so functional for my workouts. I love that the back almost completely covers an energy bra, and the front doesn’t dip down as low as many tanks. This has been my go too for sweaty Crossfit workouts. We will ignore the shitty CRB II update and change my standard uniform CRB, to the Essential Tank.









Sattva Sweater

I initially found this sweater insanely overpriced when I tried it on but I was painfully tempted because the merino wool was surprisingly soft and silky. I loved that it was an oversized shape that draped away from the body and that it wasn’t overheating. I ended up finding this pullover on markdown in a store then chased down the other colors on markdown across Canada and had them shipped to me. In retrospect I think these where fairly priced at full price but I’m glad I got them on sale. I can’t say that for most of the price increases this year but I can stomach the full price of these for a noble fabric like merino wool when it’s on par with any other brand with the same quality material. 





In Sculpt Jacket

This was a recent purchase for me on Black Friday. I tried it on when it was first out and was underwhelmed by the stiff structured spacer fabric but Carolyn from Lululemon Addict sung it’s praises and convinced me to get it on Black Friday. I’m really very happy with it and have used it a lot as a To/From to the gym, and also layered under my jacket for our unseasonably cold Vancouver winter. I ended up getting more spacer fabric items – the Embrace The Space Hoodie which I really like (but haven’t taken the tags off yet so it can’t make this post) and the In Sculpt Vest which I purchased for my mom but she didn’t like so I ended up keeping it for myself. There is room in my life for spacer fabric, just not at luxury price tags. 



Rush Hour Jacket

This jacket came out just after the price increases in September and it was painfully overpriced. Despite my better judgement I eventually bit the bullet on this at full price only to see it marked down for the special shopping events that happened in October (25% off store shopping events). I tried to get it price adjusted but had no luck and eventually it was marked down about $70 lower than I’d paid. Burn! I still really like the jacket but it burns me I overpaid.



Outrun LS

I haven’t liked many of the textured or one sided rulu this year but the Outrun LS was an exception. In the teal (and I think black and black cherry) the Outrun was thick, warm and soft and brushed on both sides. I sized up in this to get a flowier look like the Tuck And Flow LS. So many of the Rulu tops this year have been so thin and scratchy feeling and I’ve been told that this years version was brushed only on the inside. Many items have been missing from this fall/winter lineup (sherpa,  fleece, herrigbone and coco pique etc.) but what I’ve missed the most where the stretchy and incredibly soft flanneled rulu. 



Brave Olive Swiftly 

I’m not much of a swiftly LS fan but this color and with the lace print was so pretty I couldn’t resist. This is one of my go to’s for my olympic lifting classes. Typically my workouts are too warm to wear a swiftly or any LS during the workout but in lifting the gym is so cold and I don’t overheat the same way I do with a crossfit workout. It’s still a very sweaty workout but I really value keeping my joints as warm as possible so I tolerate being warmly dressed. In almost 7 years of blogging, this is my third swiftly LS. 







Lucent Tank

This was a pop back purchase for me several months after it had sold out online. I thought the Lucent Line was way overpriced when it first uploaded, despite the fact that I really loved the embroidered detailing. I hesitated a few minutes too long and it sold out online. I stalked the jacket and the tank on eBay but couldn’t bring myself to pay the inflated prices and eventually the tank popped up online in my size, a lone size 10. I was shocked a few hours after placing the order that it actually fulfilled.  This was during the time that lululemon had moved to a new Canadian warehouse space (in Delta, BC)  so there where several surprise pop backs as they had cleared the inventory of the old warehouse. This pop back was almost too good to be true for me. This tank has turned out to be perfect for me for lifting because it is cut higher in the neckline so I don’t feel so exposed as I’m chest over bar. 





Wunder Speed Tight Deep Sea

This was another pop back purchase for me. Again, this was one of the first higher priced tights this year. It was priced at $138 because it was a ‘digital print’ and it was really shocking to see tights priced this high at that time. I ordered them to see wether or not they where worth it and I was surprised to learn that the remarkable thing about them was this new printed luon which was 98/31 blend of Nylon/Lycra, not the typical printed polyester which was hot and had sheen. This was very cool and comfortable to wear for workouts. I ended up returning them because of the price but pined away for them for months and eventually caught them again on pop back. Lone size 10 again. Love the cut, love the print, love the material. 



Restore SS

Another pop back purchase! I purchased both the black and blue in store and loved them but ended up returning the blue (for economical reasons) and really regretted it after several months when my black one had gotten tons of use. This popped back up the same day the Lucent Tank popped back up so I snatched it back up in the blue. These have worn and washed really well and I love wearing them. They remind me of the Liberty SS Tee from several years ago. 





Down For It Vest

You will notice a trend this year in that I second guess myself and return a lot, and then later hunt down. I purchased this vest in the silver because it was really intriguing to me in this color but after a few days at home I thought that the colour was too widening on me and I returned it. I never once considered it in black because black just isn’t exciting but I decided one day that I needed a black vest so I called around across Canadian stores looking for it, but was fruitless. One lucky day, it popped back online in a lone size 10. It was meant to be. Like all my other purchases. 



Mauve Define Jacket

I like Define Jackets but it’s not something I’ve purchased or worn a lot of over the years and I feel like I’ve taken them for granted. When I saw this color upload I needed to have it immediately. I purchased it full price and was really happy and excited with the purchase so I didn’t mind when it eventually got marked down in straggling sizes. I was especially happy I got it when the rumour that Define Jackets have been discontinued started to surface. This is such a great color. Alberta Lake and Teal are really my colors but all things Muted Mauve really spoke to me. 



Energy Bra Peek

This bra married an Energy Bra, typically made for C/D cups with the popular Free To Be Wild Bra straps, typically made for A/AA cups. Perfection. So of course lululemon made this in three colors and three colors only. 





Obscured Black Dusty Mauve 

This is another 93/31 Nylon printed Wunder Under. I really loved this floral print and really loved that it was this new matte none polyester. This print reminded me of Black Roses print from 2010. 



Featherlight

The next three prints where from the Janaïna Milheiro collaboration. I loved this colab far more than other black friday special edition items that I’ve seen in the past (save for a few limited edition scubas from 2010/2011). I know they weren’t super popular but I think the major drawback on these was that they where Nulux, and nulux has been a very polarizing material. I love luxury brands (Janaina works with luxury brand textiles) and I love feathers and I loved her execution of the feather prints. 







Muscle Swing Tank

This was a sleeper item that ended up being a hot seller, and then popped back on the website recently. [Muscle Swing Tank]. I also like wearing this for olympic lifting for the high neckline but I find it very flattering as casual wear worn with jeans. Muscle style tanks usually look really horrible on me but this was designed in a very feminine way and I really wish I’d gotten a second colour in it. 




Fast Lane Singlet Pop Cut Multi Print

The Fast Lane Singlet was great but what I really liked about this tank was the print. There where two versions of this print, one was red based and one was pink based. I really loved Pop Cut Multi with the pink and fatigue pattern. I haven’t worn this tank in a few months but I’m reminded to pull it out again. This is a great print that I haven’t gotten bored of. 


Midnight Teal Fast And Free 7/8 Tights

Nulux has kind of been a bust for me despite the fact that I’ve gotten the Featherlight items in it, and I like the feel of it. Many of the prints on nulux where very sheer on me and just didn’t translate well to the fabric. The Featherlight prints where not sheer but they have had the unfortunate issue of constantly sliding down waistbands on me which is a problem for workouts. These Fast And Free Tights are so high waisted, and cinch in slightly, and have a tie waist so they don’t slide down on me at all like any of the other nulux tights have. I also really love this neutral teal color. I feel much less exposed in these tights than I have in any other nulux tight. 

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A blogger highlight for me this year was once again meeting up with Carolyn from Lululemon Addict . It’s become a tradition each year that we ‘hang’ for Seawheeze. Wether or not I’ve run Seawheeze (she has each year, I’ve run 3 of them), we meet up each year and line up for the showcase store and commiserate. I look forward to this weekend each year not for the lululemon everything but for the fun friend time. 

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23 Comments

  1. January 1, 2017 / 10:42 am

    Thanks for all your hard work over the year! I am in the UK and went to the London stores yesterday which are rammed with good mark-downs. Unfortunately I am a 12 so there was very little left in my size, having never seen anyone my size in their stores I can only assume they really only do make the minimum number of items in my size. It was a bit sad to see row upon row of size 10 bras on good markdown and about 8 rubbish bras shoved together in size 12. I didn't get anything but am going to hit some of the other London stores today just in case. But there is news – 13th I think of January there is a massive new store opening in the middle of the city with a 'opening week of events' so I'll be interested to see how that works. Seems an odd time to open a store though, it misses out all the Christmas trade and the sales, it's on Regent Street which is one of the most busiest shopping streets. LLL's beloved leader is apparently going to be opening it!!

  2. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 11:01 am

    I have to agree with you on the Nulux prints and that I absolutely love them. It seems people either love or hate. I for one don't need or like compression in my WODs or runs and prefer not to be squished in everywhere, so i'm in LOVE with nulux. I find the prints you displayed absolutely gorgeous too despite how much I want to hate lulu this year for everything they have done to hate Canadians.

    let's only hope that 2017 brings back some of what was missing in 2016.

  3. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Happy New Year Lulumum. Thanks for sharing your 2016 favourites. I thought the Essential Tank was their best new tank in 2016 for the reasons you state, a higher neckline, loose fit and not too much bra exposure and it would have been perfect if it didn't show any bra in the back. I also really liked the Outrun PO l/s and thought it was the best rulu top because of the thickness and oh so soft feel and I actually liked the fit as well. I didn't buy it though because it just wasn't a must have but if it gets marked down I wouldn't hesitate buying it. I too got burned on paying full price for the Rush Hour jacket and what a wake up call it was for me not to rush buying something I like at full price. You are right that the Muscle Swing Tank was a sleeper hit and I think the reason for that was they finally made a muscle tank that had normal sized armholes so it could double as a workout top and for casual wear. The only thing LLL dropped the ball on here was not offering it in some nicer colours. I hope LLL has learned from the success of this tank and will make more tanks like this.

    I really don't have any favourite buys from 2016 that were new items. My favourite buys though in 2016 are the City Trek Ponte Pants. I am in love with these pants. The fabric is just a perfect combination of thickness, softness, stretchiness and compression. I also got my hands on the Down For A Run Vest that came back in 2016. I waffled too long on the Inkwell one and lost out but got the black one which is probably a better colour choice to pair with other colours. My only complaint with this vest for the high price is there is basically no fill and I really wished the pockets had been lined in a warmer softer fabric. All in all I am so happy with these two purchases that I don't mind that 2016 new product was mostly a bust for me.

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2017 / 3:27 am

      @ anon 6:14 Agreed. The city trek pointe pants are my favourite too. Bought my first pair in the fall in deep indigo and went back in Dec to get two more pairs in inkwell and black cherry. Then with an X-mad GC I tracked down a pair in military green. Never had a pair of trousers that feel and look so good. ( normally they just make me look frumpy but not these!) Also grabbed two muscle swing tanks and the dusty mauve define specially on LLM's recommendation. Thanks LLM!!!!! Been reading your blog for 3 years and love it!

  4. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    I wish I had pulled the trigger on that define. I loved that "rose blush/dusty mauve" color that I just about purchased everything it came in except that jacket. Nice roundup!

  5. January 1, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    Thank you LLM for the post and everything you do. I, too, love the fast and free tights and nulux fabric in general. It just feels amazing on, and like another commenter said, it's nice to not have the compression. I have several luxtreme tights, so that need for compression is fulfilled. I would love to see the fast and free be made into a 21 inch or so crop version – I'd be all over those.

    I have a few colors that I think made their debut in 2016 that I absolutely loved: Hero blue and jungle. I am obsessed with navy and hero blue is no different. I snagged a few items over the summer when it initially released, but am picking up a couple more staple items now. Jungle I love – I bought the free to be trinity bra (tiny 32b over here) in that color, and the beautiful LS swiftly. I went back and forth for weeks over buying that swiftly (the price has just jumped to $78 around that time I'm pretty sure), but I bought it as I noticed several sizes were selling out, and so glad I did. It's the perfect green, and it being heathered with the black makes it all that much better.

    One other item that I purchased this year is worth noting – the goal crusher tights. I initially didn't buy as they were $118 and that is over my comfort zone, plus I didn't love them by the stock photos. But I saw a girl in my gym wearing the crops in black a few months later, and was completely wowed by them. I went home that night and combed the FB boards for a black pair in my size, and found one at an excellent price of $65 for EUC. I bought them and absolutely love them. The mesh is incredible and just the right amount of sexy.

  6. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    My favourites for 2016 include the rush hour jacket (marked down to $99), the rush hour 1/2 zip (I bought black at full price and chilled grape for $69), the Yogi Everyday tank (bought 3 colours,Train On Rain On jacket from January 2016. I was very pleased I snatched up a couple pair of brushed speeds on markdown from last season as well! I also added to my Tracker Short collection- happy to see some great prints as well as solids like darkest magenta and a navy blue.

  7. January 1, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    I love you blog LLM– you've consistently been a source of guilty pleasure for me over the past 6 years! I justify to my fiancé that I at least do my research on my lulu addiction 🙂 my favorites for the years: Dottie tribe speeds (my very first pair of speeds believe it or not) and the festival bag. What a great, useful bag with a gorgeous print! Also I discovered the yogi racerback iii as a "replacement" for crbs I. I'm not a fan of the yogi racerback iv however. Overall, I've been disappointed with the prints and designs this year. I keep up with your blog and the uploads hoping Lulu will get their act together. Rarely do I buy anything at full price.

  8. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    Ohh great picks! I find that Nulux does not stay out for me. My favorite items from this year? I love the Sit in Lotus sweater! It's so simple and understated but flattering and so comfortable. I've still bought a few pants but they're basics like the High Times. I, too, love the muscle swing tank and wish I bought more in another color! I am short and like to tie it up at waist/hip. Surprisingly, I picked up the more recent scrunchie on a whim and love it. It keeps my hair up really well and never dents it. I love my Pure Practice pants and that's about it from this year. I also never had the original festival bag but I love the one I got this year for bringing to class and gym. 🙂

  9. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    Thank you for the review! I personally prefer dark and muted colors. I love Dusted Mauve, Nocturnal Teal, Grayvee, Carbon. I can't recall know the name of sea mist-like green they came up with in august . I got Essentisl tank in it and was hoping for Speeds, but nope. I'm still spending tons of money on lulu, but I also wear it casually . I'm really liking that they are making more Full on Luxtreme bottoms. The new fabric content is compressive and very smooth. I'm in the minority on this blog, but I also don't mind CRBII. My only beef is that they could make the back part a tad wider and maybe not so bulky. Otherwise I like the new length and ne k line better that CRBI. I also liked Spacer fabric for jackets and bought two styles. I wish they would make more dresses. I wore Power Date last night to a party and got lots of complements. I also own Here to there in two colors and always hear people asking where I bought it .

  10. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I managed to spend a lot this year, but not much on new stuff. I started wearing CRBs this year – not a moment too soon – so I picked up 8 of them. They were all on markdown, but that's a lot for one year. Other expenditures were a few hundred on vintage pieces – Forme Jacket and Hustle Jacket – and then a bunch of staples like brushed Speed Tights. My one truly new item was the Fast and Free Tights in Fairisle. Everything else was designed before 2016. That's saying something and it's not good, but this post is about gratitude and I am truly grateful to have found so many pieces I love and be fortunate enough to be able to afford them.

    Also so grateful for your hard work, LLM, and the company of you ladies who share my addiction. Wishing you peace in 2017.

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2017 / 12:30 am

      I feel the same way as you, anon 12:04. I found many, many items I LOVED that were made pre 2016, and I am so happy to have found them. I was already addicted to the CRB 🙂 but I found out that I can wear speed shorts (for some reason always thought they would look bad on me), and am now slowly adding to my collection. I also found some older long sleeves and half zips that I love (warm cozy rulu!). Finally, I had never bought a lululemon jacket (gasp I know, how did I miss out on this for so long!), but I invested in a couple this year and am very happy with them so far.
      THANK YOU LULULMUM, for all that you do. I LOVE your blog and your insight into lululemon as a company, the fabrics, styles, etc. Wishing you the best in 2017 and everyone else that reads this blog. <3

  11. January 1, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    It's so fun to read your favorites of the year. This SeaWheeze was probably the most fun yet – except for a super hot race day – but you'd think by year five we'd have it nailed down. Can't wait for next year.

  12. Anonymous
    January 1, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    I love all your picks! Happy New Year!

  13. Anonymous
    January 2, 2017 / 12:41 am

    Loyal fan here for over 10 years and the only things I loved that I didn't send back were the Muscle Swing Tank, and the black SS Swiftly. They got rid of everything I love so my other favourite thing was saving a s*** ton of money!

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2017 / 2:00 am

      I feel very much the same. The only things I purchased were staples… Swiftly tops(short sleeve, long sleeve, scoop short sleeve, tank), Define Jackets(most on markdown, some regular price), CRBs(some regular price and some on markdown before being discontinued), Ta Ta Tamer bras, headbands(Fringe Fighter and Fly Away Tamer II), some socks, stocked up on a bunch of Gather and Crow crops on markdown on their way out to being discontinued, a bunch of In Flux Jackets on markdown.. I think that is it (it is actually a lot now that I think about it, lol)… everything else I used to love has been canned or changed for the worst -Groove Pants, Skinny Grooves, Dance Studio Pants II, Scuba II(all used to be regular purchases for me) and have not been buying as many Wunder Unders because there are not as many that I like now since most are high rise and Luxtreme now(prefer the original waistbands and Luon fabrics).

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2017 / 2:16 am

      Forgot to add, Vinyasa Scarf used to be a regular purchase too, missing those this year as well 🙁

      And guess I shouldnt complain too much… am very grateful to have a nice collection of all my favourite staples from previous years (really hope they last for a long time!).

  14. Anonymous
    January 2, 2017 / 4:11 pm

    First- let me say that I really like your blog. Longtime reader here! However, I have to say that to me, this list seems like a hodgepodge of mediocrity. In my opinion, in any other year, many of these styles wouldn't even be close to a "top" anything list. I've been wearing Lulu for over a decade now, and like many of you here on this blog, used to buy way too much each month. This year: best of? Well, I do like my Aligns quite a lot. They're not technical at all, but boy are they comfy. Outside of that? Run Times, I wear those for running and crossfit. That's all. This year was, in my opinion, a disaster in both design, color and patterns. 2016 was Lulu's year to "try and be cool," and (again- in my opinion!) only succeeded in alienating their core base, having to provide major markdowns and discounts, and gave Athleta and other competitors a wide-open window to grab up Lulu's customer and market share. I think 2016 was a major loser of a year (in the world in general, not just Lulu), and I am hoping that Lulu was listening, and could take into consideration buying trends (no, we don't want grey boxy tent tops!) and consumer feedback and impact 2017 designs. Here's hoping. Happy New Year everyone!

  15. Anonymous
    January 2, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    It's great you and LLA are friends. I've been around long enough to remember both of you didn't use to be friendly back in the day. Didn't you start this blog because of her and her questionable comments about race? Anyway, cool recap. My favorite thing this year was all the money in my pocket to spend on Athleta. I placed a nice order for all their new pants and cool fabrics that were just released. There's this new fabric called Powervita and its description seems to be very similar to nulu. Athleta's return policy is amazing so I have no fear about spending my money there Thanks lululemon! And thanks LLM for all your hard work year after year. 🙂

    • January 2, 2017 / 10:25 pm

      That's right. We weren't friends and then we were.

  16. Anonymous
    January 2, 2017 / 10:23 pm

    I enjoyed your recap Lulumum. Like you, I LOVE the colour Alberta Lake. It is my all time favourite. I have the Fluffed Up Vest in AL from a couple of years ago. It's the only AL item I have. I have been longing for an original CRB in this solid colour forever! Any other AL items were never that appealing to me though I admit the Turn Jacket was a good choice by you!

    I also have the Brave Olive Swiftly and really love it. It's also a favourite colour and a flattering one on me. My other faves this year were the Jungle Green LS Swiftly and the Black/Red Olympic (Canada side) SS Swiftly. I also loved that they came out with solid black: I bought the LS, SS, and tank. I actually bought two of the SS. All of these are worn a lot!

    I was happy to see the Rest Less LS return (I have two prior versions) in Heathered Military Green; once again I was sucked in by this colour as it appeals to and works for me.

    The only patterns I liked this year were Dottie Tribe and Blurry Belle. Only small doses for me though, both of those came in the form of Speed Shorts. For Blurry Belle I did get the FTBW bra as well. Other than the Speed bottoms, the only bottom I purchased were a pair of WU crops in Full On Luon from wmtm. (I already have too many bottoms over the years and everything is classic.)

    My LLL spending has curbed tremendously in the past few years. I do have a large CRB collection and managed to get a few more (mainly in store on MD) as they started to phase those out. It's the most annoying move they have made along with the Vinyasa Scarf going too. I do feel that in 2017 I won't be buying that much. Will check out the warehouse sale (thank you again for the heads up) and I am sure I will still check out the blogs.

  17. January 3, 2017 / 1:46 am

    I looked back over my spending this year and was surprised by how much I bought. I grabbed alot of black and white basics on sale in store (crb, run stuff bra, black swiftlies and patterned black/white pants – but enough of them now so stop all the black/white Lulu!!!). My favorite of the year though was Capoeira print in red/blue/pink/white ( I got it in both crops and pants) and the return of pipe dream blue and flash light. I also got several pairs of cyber stripe and twist stripe W-Unders including jungle green/hero blue pair. I grabbed multiple colors of the enheartened tank (all on sale – yay) and nabbed all the original CRB colors at the outlet store just before they hit WMTM – $14 Christmas special). Lastly I liked Blurry Belle and Nami Wave. Thanks for a great year of blogging – even if I don't enjoy the upload I enjoy reading your thoughts on it.

  18. January 3, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Cozy up buttercup jacket!! So warm Sherpa!! And flattering design. It was at the end of winter 2015 but still in 2016.

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