The ROI on $86 Yoga Capris

Here’s my theory. I don’t have a perfect figure — not even close. But when I work out, when I wear form-fitting yet functional clothes (i.e.yoga pants and body-hugging long tanks), I feel like I move better and get a better workout. I feel leaner, stronger, more toned than when I wear a T-shirt and baggy pants.

Since beginning Zumba in May 2011 — where, instead of pounding the pavement outside or doing mindless spins on the elliptical, I dance in front of a mirror and 20 other women 3-4 times a week —  it’s been important to me to dress appropriately for class. I observed other women in the class and my instructor. Most of the gals, especially the “regulars” (and regardless of size) wear form-fitting yoga pants or capris and body-hugging tanks or Ts — clothing that allows them to move freely but also helps them watch their form, which is key during any fitness class.

As a result, I’ve been acquiring yoga pants and capris and tanks from Target, Gap, Old Navy — and they’ve been awesome additions to my fitness wardrobe. But I’ve always been curious about Lululemon. I’d heard such amazing things about their running/yoga gear and was eager to get in a store and try some things on.

This weekend, I lost my Lulu v-card in Chicago. It was truly life-defining.

Before we went in, a Lulu-loving friend swore I’d love their clothing and would wear it for like 5-7 years, praising the brand’s durability, quality and functionality.  She also warned me before we walked in about the prices but assured me they would be investment pieces.

She was right on all accounts.

Once I put the reversible Groove crops on, sticker shock went out the window. I will always hate my legs, but I really liked the way they fit and how comfy they were (mine are black but have a colored band on the belly). They smoothed my trouble spots, and the fabric is just amazing. (No, no one is paying me to say this — though I wish they were — Lululemon, are you listening?! :))

I tried on the Cool Racerback Tank and knew I had to have them both — but I did opt out of the sports bra the girl behind the counter tried to sell me. I don’t “need” a neon yellow $42 sports bra, even  with a cheeky name like Ta-TaTamer or Lift & Separate (which are $58 each). Both the top and bottoms are reversible, so it’s like getting two outfits for the price of one. Such a deal!

Anyway, I was naturally feeling guilty for shelling out freaking $86 on a pair of crop yoga pants and $42 on a tank when it hit me: this outfit — which I will wear several times a week (mixing up the top and bottoms with what I already own) has an ROI that greatly exceeds almost any purchase I could make!

Case in point:

  • I buy a skim chai latte almost every morning before work. That’s roughly $5 a day … $20 a week … $80 a month. For something I enjoy for 30-45 minutes AT MY DESK!
  • Every time I go home to NJ lately, it’s been a $400 flight. While I never regret visiting family, it’s a LOT of money to spend just to get there …
  • One date night a month usually costs us more than $86 … and that’s before you even pay the sitter!
  • Every wedding I’ve been in (and I’ve been in a lot) the dress has been $200-400. And I have worn each exactly ONCE (and I’m sure each of them have only worn mine once — sorry, ladies!).

All of these things don’t get me healthy and fit … workout gear can! So if health can be measured and valued … then the ROI on this gear is priceless! When I looked at it in that vein, I realized that this was an area where I am OK with spending more for better quality.

Of course, this isn’t the case with everything … but for some things, the splurge is worth it — and each of us has our own ideas of what is “splurge-worthy.” For example, I don’t buy gadgets — my iPad and iPhone are from work — but I know people who will buy the newest X the moment it comes to market because they are so into technology. Me? Not so much.

Tonight I got to test out my Lululemon purchases for the first time, and my workout was truly awesome (I wish Luis was here to have taken a pic of me in my new ensemble — he is overseas for work!). I worked my ass off, and felt very UN-self-conscious about my legs — a first! The material didn’t even get damp, which is amazing after the kind of sweat session I had. Thank you, technical fabric! Seriously, I was in love.

My only complaint is I think I should have gotten the tank in a size smaller … but all in all, I am (to quote my dear friend EC) “supremely” satisfied with my purchases! I’m going shopping with a dear friend next week on the east side of the state where there’s a Lululemon and I intend to get the Groove pants (full length) and a different tank – likely this one. Or maybe just the pants … I can see myself living in these on weekends!!

The Lulu bug bit … As Maya would say … “Uh-oh Mama …” 😉

How about you? What, if anything, do you consider a splurge-worthy purchase? Is it related to a passion/hobby and, if so, does that make it more justified in your opinion?

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10 thoughts on “The ROI on $86 Yoga Capris

  1. Hey there! I hear you on the cost-benefit analysis of really good workout gear. It’s funny. Sometimes I feel that my work clothes are my costumes, and what I live in is “gear.” I haven’t done Lululemon, but I have purchased from Lucy. I love that I can get “long” lengths there. Nothing makes me feel more self-conscious than floods! Anyway, go you for being open to putting your money where your values are–staying fit and healthy and being a good example for others. Love!

  2. Lululemon is totally worth the “investment”. Not only is their stuff flattering, but I’ve had a few items for well over 5 years and they hardly show wear.

    I’ve really come to realize that investing in good shoes is worthwhile. That officially indicates I’m in my mid-30s, doesn’t it? But seriously, I plan to be standing on these feet for a good 65 more years or so, so I don’t want to ruin them by shoving them into shoes that, while cute, hurt in the long run.

    My to-me-from-me birthday gift this year was a new Mac. It has saved me considerable amounts of time in processing photos every day since it arrived, which has made it totally worth the splurge.(Also, it is pretty.) Of course, I spend half the day at work confused about why my PC isn’t working like it should now, but that is a whole different issue.

    1. **So** good to hear you say that, Janelle! Well over 5 years is even better than 5 years 🙂 I’m really geeked about the purchases and am on the lookout on their “We Made Too Much” section of the site, too, since their stuff doesn’t really seem to go on sale otherwise. Oh well — it’s worth it!

      Good call on the shoes — amen! Awww … what a fabulous gift!! It sounds like the perfect splurge. LOL … maybe you need to have a chat with IT … ask for a Mac 😉

  3. I’ve heard great things about the Ta Ta Tamer and to me, $42 for a sports bra is normal… My ta tas are too big to ever find good quality sports bras for cheap (or even medium quality that are in the right size).

    I just got certified to teach a fitness class and I desperately want to try Lulu, but the splurge (while you’re quite right on the ROI) just isn’t in the budget yet. Soon!

    1. That one is $58 — since I have practically no ta-tas … I can get away with a sports bra from Target — but I have heard awesome things about them!! Good for you getting certified! What are you going to teach? And I know they have an outlet in Woodbury Commons in NY so next time I go home to NJ I am soooo going 😉 Keep an eye out for their “We Made Too Much” (i.e., “sale”) items on the site. There’s a whole section devoted to it.

  4. Lulu is always my big splurge, it’s pathetic. Because I live in the Pacific NW I have a lulu outlet store that’s on my way up to Vancouver (where there’s lululemon lab, a whole other experience of unique and beautiful things) that I stop at at least twice a year. I’ve found the best tops for hiking, vests for skiing, water bottles, Dresses and of course the regular shorts and tanks. Luckily I got my husband into the obsession and he loves their response short for running and crossfit. We take good care of our items and they last forever. A Canadian friend of mine gave me a long sleeve t-shirt that she had bought years ago when lulu was just getting started. She gave it to me because it had gotten small on her, that shirt lasted nearly 10 years til I just recently grew out of it (my shoulders got too big). I kind of loved having a “classic” piece. Anyway, I completely get the obsession and 100% think it’s a worthy investment, I enjoy looking strong and cute when I’m running or working out lulu clothing is perfect for that.

    1. Hi Meg 🙂 I would be so screwed if I had one close – though next time I’m back east I’m hitting up the Woodbury outlet. Amen for looking strong AND cute 🙂

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