Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 in Review - Color and Bright Prints are Back

Even though I spent 40% more compared to last year I am struggling with coming up with my Top Ten for the year. That's probably because a number of my favorites for the year are now well-established designs - Fast and Free Tights, Aligns, Breeze Swiftly tops, Love Crew Tees, and Free to Be Serene Bras, or repeats of old favorites - Stride Jackets, Toasty Tech Tights, Parallel Stripe print. Most of these styles were introduced in 2017 but they came out in a lot more interesting colors and patterns this year. The first quarter of the year started off with the departure of CEO Laurent Potdevin and Creative Director Lee Holman and the company seems much better off for it. For one thing, the designs seem to have returned to being more practical and functional and a lot less Lab-like. One very good thing happened this year - the sizes were expanded up to size 14, which I think opened up the brand to a lot of women.

The year included a number of colorful and floral prints. My favorites:

lululemon lush lillies
Lush Lillies. I know this isn't a favorite of everyone but I loved the energy in this print.

lululemon screen-camo
I liked Screen Camo so well I bought it in Fast and Free Crops and a Scuba.

lululemon paisley-glaze
One of my other favorite prints this year was Paisley Glaze. 

lululemon parallel-stripe
Parallel Stripe made an appearance at the very end of the year but I took the opportunity to get another pair of Wunder Unders and am crossing my fingers for a matching Free to Be Serene or Energy Bra. 

lululemon luna-washed
One of my other favorite bottoms this year was the Luna Washed Wunder Unders.

lululemon incognito-camo
Probably my most favorite print of the year - Gator Green Incognito Camo. I bought both the Align pants and crops. I bought a ton of camo print items this year.

lululemon swiftly-breeze ruby-red
I bought quite a few Swiftly Breeze Short Sleeve tops this year. This was a new design for 2018. The long sleeve version was introduced at the end of 2017 but the short sleeve showed up this year. I'm hoping for a tank version this coming year.

lululemon breeze-by muscle-tank
The Breeze By Muscle Tank got an update to the "II" version (higher armpits than the one) and I really liked the one I bought in black.

lululemon hooded-define

lululemon hooded-define
Another new design for 2018 that I really liked is the nulu Hooded Define. I love this light version of the Define that can be used as a top. I'd love to see it come out in more prints. I like that more and more items made of nulu came out this year.

lululemon love-crew
I've become a huge fan of the Love Crew III tees. One update that I don't love is that the Love tanks have been replaced by the pleated version. I hope to see a return of the regular version this year.

lululemon stride
The Stride Jackets made a cameo this year and I took the opportunity to buy my first ever of this jacket. It's turned into one of my favorite go-to jackets. 

lululemon scuba screen-camo
I also rediscovered my love of Scubas this year and bought three of the Light Cotton Fleece version. I don't know if it's because they're stretchier, the ribbed panels are back or what it is but they've become one of my favorite jackets when I'm feeling chilly at home.

lululemon free-to-be-serene-bra

The Free to Be Serene bras remain my favorite bra but it hasn't come out in a large variety of colors this year. I hope it gets more attention in the coming year.

lululemon speed-sock
I've also become a huge Speed Sock fan this year. I tend to buy these only when they hit WMTM but I have about half a dozen pairs now and love how cushy they are. I have lululemon socks going on a decade old and they are still in fantastic shape - no shrinkage and no holes. 

What are your favorites from 2018? Did your spending increase or decrease compared to 2017?


Anonymous said...

My favs were the Show me the Sherpa accessories. Bought mittens, snood and ear warmer in both cream and black. It’s -28 today, but they kept me nice and - can’t say warm - but def not frozen.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! Just to give you some insight... all of 2018 including all collaborations was designed in 2017. Hope the New Year brings you more positivity and less negativity in your life. Namaste

Anonymous said...


1. That Potdevin and Hollman are gone.
2. Lots of great colours in 2018.
3. The return of the Groove Pant.
4. My new found love of Scubas. I can't believe I didn't own a Scuba until 2018 and now I own 4. They are my go to as well when I am feeling chilly at home. I wish the neck didn't zip up quite so high though!
5. My love for the Love Tee Crew lll as well. As long as they keep adding some colours I like I will be buying them.
6. Cropped short and boxy is on the way out???


1. Lots of great new colours but not in product I wanted to buy.
2. Still not able to buy my much loved Dance Studio Pants, lined and unlined, Street To Studio Pants and Run Time Shorts because of the change in fit with their newer versions. I keep hoping they will go back to the original fit but won't hold my breath.
3. That they didn't do more to celebrate their 20th anniversary. I guess I was expecting more hoopla and celebration with special sales and promotions. I wonder if it was because Potdevin was at the helm focusing his attention elsewhere then planning for the 20th anniversary?
4. Many designs are being done on the cheap, lacking design features I expect LLL product to have. That's not to say all product is 100% cheap, it's more like a product lacks one or two features that used to be standard. For instance, many jackets are not lined, are missing cuffins or thumbholes and sometimes both, necklines on jackets not separate from hood.

Anonymous said...

I think I spent more this year mainly due to the fact that I discovered the Fast and Free. I went from none to five pair in a short amount of time and I absolutely love them. I hadn't bought a Lulu pant or crop in years.

I also fell in love with the Love Tank Pleated (ugh, just bought another one this morning, I think I have about 9 now). LLA, I hear you about wishing they would be more forthcoming with the regular Love Tank, but the thing I love about the Pleated is that the neckline comes up slightly higher on me - and solves one of the things I really hate about Lulu tanks which is too much cleavage exposure.

I'm so happy they've brought back some beautiful colors, and the pattern selection is improving in my opinion too. Flowerescent is one of most delightful patterns and it might be up in my top ten favorites. My main complaint is that they seem to be putting all their print energy in pants/crops and bras. I would kill for some of these gorgeous prints in a CRB. I prefer to wear a solid on the bottom, and while I like to have a bra with a colorful print, I'd really like to be able to use a tank as a means of bringing some zip to my outfit in a moderate way.

Finally, I hope they will bring some coordinated color stories into 2019, instead of random colors which don't seem to go with anything else. I would love to see pants or tanks with a solid and a print (I'm immediately thinking of the Flowabunga print which was such a fabulous highlight on Bleached Coral tanks and shorts). One can hope!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! My spending is way, way down. Like $1000s of dollars from a few years ago-in the days of finding way too many things to buy. I don't many beautiful prints but all on bottoms. I just don't like to spend so much on very memorable crops or pants that I won't wear so frequently. Really my favorites are CRBs and swiftlys and after owning a rainbow of those where is there to go? The other thing is that my mall store (in Colorado) has changed from a cute cozy store a few years ago to a huge BRIGHT and LOUD store where everyone who works there looks about 18...which is fine, but since I am in my 40's it honestly seems like I'm invisible to them. So I don't really enjoy the store anymore. Anyway that just my 2cents. Has Lululemon changed or have I? Not sure! :)
Happy New Year and thanks for your posts.

Anonymous said...

I love my Pack and Glyde jacket and my Hot Mesh jacket. I love the spongy material of the Hot Mesh. I wish I would have been able to get my hands on the Weather or Not 1/2 zip in Porcelain Pink though :(

Jamiebetker said...

Totally agree with you that the “best” pieces of this year are revamped old pieces/different prints in those pieces. I do love my nulu define. And second stride jacket in the grey. I also do think the aligns and fast and frees are better quality overall than they have been. I would always randomly get one where threads would come loose after one wear, but I haven’t had any issues like that this year. Maybe it isn’t where many people want the brand to go, but I still use lulu as my workout and live in staple gear. Hope you have the best new year @luluaddict. Thank you for all you do keeping us up to date on the brand.

Anonymous said...

Some of my favorites this year were the same as yours: the washed luna wunder unders, the gator camo aligns (and for me also the gator camo fast annd frees), and the breeze by muscle tank. Other faves for me included the love knot tank (I knot it in the back), the cypress long sleeve, and the run times shorts (i've switched from my beloved speed shorts to the run times - still wear my speeds but now only buy and prefer run times), the plush scuba I just bought is also really nice

S said...

I really enjoyed reading this ! I'm a hopeless case at picking favourites , but the hooded nulu define is definitely one !
Happy new year xx

Anonymous said...

I would say that my spending was decreased Jan-Sept, but then we hit Oct and I found so many things to buy! Because of that, I probably spent about the same as last year.

I was happy to see the return of fun colors and prints too! I'm hoping they take this further and move back to the monthly color stories we used to see.

My favorites of the year were the Scuba Plush (I embarrassingly bouggt 3 colors), Aligns in fun prints, Black Camo shorts and pink pearl items (I bought everything in that color.) I'll put the tech fleece tights on the honorable mention list. They always seem to do some kind of tech fleece each year, but I enjoyed the return of Toasty Techs and its new cousin, Keep the Fleece.

The designs got better and better as the year went on, slowly leaving the Potdevin and Holman influence behind us. It gives me hope that we'll keep getting fun colors and patterns, and thoughtful designs in 2019.

Anonymous said...

Most of the product that came out this year would actually have been designed last year under Lee & his team, so lets see how 2019 pans out.