Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Store Trip Report - Loving the Swim Line

I haven't like lululemon's swim lines in the past since the fabrics felt thin and construction flimsy. In addition, the styling was lack luster and not that flattering for women who don't have figures like swimsuit models.
Brandi Chastain
However, I really like the latest swim line. The materials are thick and pieces are double or tripled lined. In addition, there are offerings that work well for women who are bustier, want more coverage, or more secure coverage for water sports. This is the first lululemon swim line that I think can really compete with Athleta's well-regarded swim line. 

This was my order from yesterday's upload - two Water Bound bras in Burlap and Wamo Camo, Water Bound shorts in Wamo Camo, the Barely Pink Water Bound hoodie and a black Water Bound singlet. My store got the new swim stuff in last night so I went to try it today and I ended up coming home with completely different items:

Today's haul.
The Shanti Surf Cross Back top in Black Pretty Palm, the Shanti Surf Short in Pretty Palm, the Shanti Surf Hipster in Black/Steep Stripe/Pretty Palm, and the Aquamarine and Black Water Bound Singlets. I also ordered another hipster bottom in solid black in the next size up to try. I'll be keeping the Black Burlap Water Bound bra that I ordered but everything else will be going back.

My summer beach/pool wardrobe.
This is the collection I'll be going with for the summer - Shanti Surf Cross Back top, Shorts, and Hipster all in the Pretty Palm print; Water Bound bra in the Burlap print; and two Water Bound Singlets in Black and Aquamarine. I might re-think the burlap print Water Bound Hoodie but I really wish the zipper came down a lot lower so I could show off whatever bra top I am wearing underneath.

My sister's haul - perfect to use with her new kayak.
My sister asked me to pick her up a couple of things since the website was out of the Flowabunga shorts in her size this morning. She got the Rash Guard, Shanti Shorts, and Triangle top. The Triangle top is tripled-lined. Update - my sister PMd me to tell me I was supposed to get her the Barely Pink Water Bound Hoodie and not the Rash Guard. She says the outfit I picked up would make her look like a seven year old. (I do admit being a little puzzled that she was going all-in on this print, lol. Whoops!)

Overall, I liked the new swim stuff a lot - definitely more than any previous lululemon swim line. The material this time around is either thick (the Water Bound shorts and crops and black Shanti Rash Guard feel like they are made of fullux) or double or tripled layered. The only thin-feeling items are the Water Bound Hoodie and Singlet, and those are by design. The Rash Guard is thick-feeling and I thought it ran on the snug side. Ditto for the Water Bound crops and shorts. I wonder whether those will loosen up a bit when wet.

Pretty Palm Shanti Surf Cross Back Top

Burlap print Water Bound Bra

If you are busty, the Shanti Surf Cross Back Top and Water Bound Bra are very good choices. The Shanti Cross Back top is made for C and D-cup ladies and shows quite a bit of cleavage but nothing out of the ordinary for a swim top. The straps and band give decent lift and support so the girls don't look saggy.  I typically take a ten in the Energy Bra but I sized up to the twelve in this top since I am a DD. I also tried on the ten but the cups were a bit small and the distance between them was too wide for my comfort level. The Cross Back does not have cup slots but the material is triple-layered and gave good coverage as far as headlights goes. After studying the construction of the top I don't see why you couldn't turn it inside out and wear it on the reverse solid black side - nothing in the stitching would give away it's inside out.

The Water Bound bra is also a nice choice for bustier women or if you don't want to worry about popping out of your top. It would be great for activity such as a beach volleyball game or for hanging onto a grabby toddler in the pool. I left the one I tried on at the store because I ordered one so I can't go into details about the construction. The Water Bound does have slots for cups. I thought it ran TTS and gave very good support and coverage, in terms of both skin covered and headlights. The fit reminded me a lot of the Energy Bra. 

Wamo Camo Water Bound Short
I thought the fit on the Water Bound short was snug/snug TTS. The material felt a lot like stiff fullux to me. I liked the other bottoms I tried on much better so I'll be returning these when they arrive.

Apex Stripe/Pretty Palm Shanti Hipster Bottom
I didn't expect to like the Shanti Hipster bottoms but I read a try on review this morning that said the rear coverage was pretty decent so decided to give them a try. Maybe I wear them too low but my cheeks didn't hang out the bottom as much as the web model. I thought the fit was a snuggish TTS. I have the next size up on order, too, but won't get them for a few days. They are pretty low rise but I plan to wear these with the Water Bound Singlet or my Athleta rash guard. They are double-layered.

I have a few Athleta swim suits so thought I would compare sizing/coverage. This is the Lululemon Shanti Surf Hipsters in size ten (waist 30.5", hip 41") compared to a pair of Athleta Medium Tide bottoms in a large (31-32" waist/40.5-41.5" hip). The Athletas are full seat coverage bottoms, though. I've found that Athleta's swim stuff can vary pretty widely in sizing.

I was very pleasantly surprised to like the Shanti Surf shorts a lot. I think they fit a loose TTS. They are double layered. The waistband is super comfortable. They are nearly as short as bikini bottoms but there is no cheekiness. 

I really liked the Water Bound singlet. I ended up getting the same size I get in the 105F singlets. I want to wear these in the water and didn't want the tank to be super flowy when I did. The laser cut designs in the front and the back really make the tank for me.

I liked the Water Bound Hoodie well enough but I didn't love that the zipper was so short. I have an Athleta Pacifica UPF tank that has a long zipper so you can unzip to reveal the top beneath. I also didn't fully love the hood and I have other UPF tops that I can use at the beach. I thought the fit was a loose - in the middle - TTS. I decided to return the hoodie in favor of getting a second Singlet and the Shanti Hipster.

I also tried on the Water Bound crops. I thought they were a snug TTS. I read another fit report where the person found them large in the waist and snug in the thighs. I don't have a need for these so left them at the store. They are made of thick material which felt like stiff fullux to me. 

As far as non-swim items - I also tried on the Blue Tropics Wee Space Cool Racerback and happened to be wearing my Cadet Blue Still Pants - you can see Cadet Blue in the pattern.

I also tried on the Barely Pink Wee Space and Groovy Stripe Cadet Static Wave Cool Racerback tanks and found both to be nicely thick and opaque for such light-colored tanks. The Cadet Static Wave one is super soft. I liked both of them.


Anonymous said...

LLA--is the tropics space dye CRB soft and thick or slippery/poly?

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 7:02 pm - It's soft, no poly. It's nice but I spent so much on new swim stuff that I'm not sure I'll keep it.

Anonymous said...

LLA, I love your blog! Thank you for the try on report! I would love to see your LuLu collection! It must be amazing.

Anonymous said...

@luluaddict have you seen the new beach tote? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report! I thought Lulu suits were a joke, bought all mine from Title 9 or Athleta. I have to have a drawstring in my bottoms, so not sure if any of these will work for me. You did make me want to run out and try them on in a store, though!

Sammie said...

Do you know if the flowabunga bleached coral surf cross back top was solid bleached coral on the inside, so it could be reversed? or if the wamo camo water bound bra was solid bleached coral on the inside for the same purpose? thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

You said you sized up in a swimsuit bra, but wouldn't the band be too loose in 12 especially if you get it wet and it stretches out? Just wondering which size to get. I am not busty and normally wear size 6, only sized up in lab collection bras.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

LLA: thanks so so much for this awesome fit report.

For the water bound bra - you say it fits like the energy bra - is that the new energy bra or the old? I was a 6 in the old but lately need to size to an 8.

Also for the surf cross top - since you sized up was the band around your ribs still tight?

I am preggers so I have to order them and save them till after the baby - cant thank you enough for your help!!!

Anonymous said...

LLA or any other LLA blog reader - have you tried the stretch and asana bra yet? Any fit reviews? TIA!

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 8:15 pm - I'd say new Energy bra fit for the Water Bound bra.

I just made some comparisons to my Energy Bra bands. The Shanti Cross back bra in a 12 has a very similar band to a size 10 Energy bra. I'll put up some photos in a minute.

Anonymous said...


I love what you got for your sister! That's what I had in mind for myself as well. Do the stores that get the swim line get a good amount of the smaller sizes? I'm contemplating driving 4.5 hours to my nearest store to get these shanti shorts if my angel's local store doesn't get the swim line in. I won't be able to drive there until at least Thursday or Friday though so with them being sold out online do they go quickly in stores?

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 9:22 pm - I know a lot of people were trying on the swim stuff but I don't know how many were buying it. I know one of the eds got some stuff when I was at my store today but she was buying the pretty palm print. If you strike out at your local store, I would definitely keep an eye on the website for returns since people are so particular about sizing in swim wear.

Anonymous said...

I ordered both a size 6 and an 8 in the shanti short and both will be here tomorrow i will give my fit report as well. I was told by an educator that they ran small so to be on the safe side i got both sizes. I hate things tight and i don't need them to be since i'm not going to be doing much swimming in them just dipping in to cool off mainly.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 7:40 pm - I agree, the lulu swim was a joke but they took a big step towards closing the gap with Title 9 and Athleta with this latest release. The Shanti shorts and Hipster bottoms both have drawstrings.

@Sammie - Both tops are bleached coral on the inside. I didn't get a good look at the Water Bound bra to tell if it would look good inside out. I'm thinking the way the straps are sewn into that one it can't be reversed but I didn't really study it in the store.

@anon 7:13 pm - Thank you. I get rid of my older lulu on a regular basis for a few reasons - 1 - to afford new lulu, 2 - for space, 3 - I get tired of it. I do have a few older pieces that I love, though.

@ anon 7:36 pm - I did not see the Beach Tote today.

I didn't see the Stretch and Asana bra yet.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the awesome fit report LLA!
I was worried when a previous poster said that the triangle top was very thin, but after your report, I'm ready to pull the trigger :)

Anonymous said...

This is great! Thank you for your fit reviews. This will make me rethink the swim line. I too thought that the bottoms showed way too much cheek in the online photos but am glad to hear they do not.

I am really loving the pretty palm print. How fab would that be in a crb?!

Unknown said...

awesome fit review!!

Emily said...

What a fab post! I already bought my swimwear but it was great to hear your thoughts and confirmation that you like the pieces as much as me :) I got the flowabunga cross back top, the blue tropics and flowabunga surf shorts and the blue tropics surf top (can't remember the specific name). I also shamelessly got the flowabunga rash guard and totally love it. I wished I had bought a rash guard last time around to cover up my less than ideal stomach on the beach so this will be great! I kind of delight in how obnoxious the pattern is actually ;)

It's nice to have new swimwear this year that I actually feel pretty good in!