Categorized | Arts & Culture

50 Shades of Lulu’s

Being a female college student, one of the major “must haves” in our wardrobe is yoga pants. They are comfy and easy to throw on before class, yet still cute. The question is, how much are you willing to spend on your yoga pants?  Lululemon, which is a yoga and active wear company, has been growing in popularity and made itself very prevalent across the Michigan State campus. If that’s where you’re thinking about getting your yoga pants from, be ready to drop $80-$100 on a pair.

Photo credit: Carly Belsito

But what makes a pair of yoga pants worth $100? Wunder Unders prove to have great quality and are the some of the most popular products of Lululemon. They look like leggings, but are made out of a material called luon, which according to shop.lululemon.com, the fabric has qualities ranging from a four-way stretch, breathability, moisture-wicking, thick and snug. Also one of the best features of the Wunder Unders is that the wide, soft waistband is designed to eliminate muffin tops, but is it worth it?

Evie de Avila, a freshman English major, owns six pairs of Lululemon’s.

“Owning that many [pairs] of Lululemon’s yoga pants seems a bit ridiculous, but I absolutely love them and I know I get my money’s worth,” said De Avila. “I basically live in them.”

She said that she first found out about them in her junior year of high school from a cousin that lives in Canada.

“They were really big there,” she said. “I bought two pairs that year [2010] and they are in perfect condition. I still wear them now.”

Assuming that there are other yoga pants or leggings in the world with great quality, what makes these different?

Despite the other yoga pants or leggings in the world, De Avila said that many other yoga pants and leggings are sometimes see-through and they fade very easily. With Lululemon’s, that just won’t happen according DeAvila.

Communications freshman Hannah Femia was not a fan of the expensive Lululemon’s before coming to college.

“It seemed insane to spend $80 on leggings when you can get them for $20 anywhere else,” said Femia. “But once I got to school I realized that all I wore were leggings and yoga pants. Some of my leggings were see-through and I just wanted better quality, so I finally tried on some Lulu’s and ended up buying two pairs, and I wear them all the time. They are the easiest option before class and I can honestly wear them with anything, staying in and being comfy, or going out at night.”

Consumer Behavior expert Anna McAlister suggests the reason Lululemon can get away with selling their products for such a high price is simply because women continue to buy them at that price.

“Yoga pants have become iconic,” said McAlister. “A few years ago they were nothing more than functional items to wear to yoga. In consumer behavior we talk about goods having utilitarian and hedonic value. Utilitarian value means the good serves a purpose. It has a function. Hedonic value means a good provides some pleasure or serves a social need. Just like sneakers, yoga pants have both types of value. There are still some people who will care only for the utilitarian function but the hedonic value has become more and more a focus in this product category over time.

Even as college students on a budget, many females on campus still shell out the $80-$100 at a time. McAlister blames this on how we tend to “justify” our purchases.

“When it comes to something like yoga pants, we can sometimes ‘justify’ the purchase in our minds by saying something like, ‘well I’m more likely to go to yoga class if I enjoy the clothes I wear there.’ Expensive clothing is the treat you get for doing something good for your body,” she said.

Big purchases aren’t always easy to make, but whether or not a pair of yoga pants is worth the high price is something for the individual buyer to decide on her own. See what the hype is all about and try a pair on, or you can check them out online at http://shop.lululemon.com.

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