Wondering if Lululemon leggings are worth it? I wondered the same thing for years before I made my first Lululemon purchase, which was pretty accidental.
I found out about Lululemon waaay back in 2008 from a friend, but didn’t purchased my first pair of Lululemon leggings in 2011, because at the time I was in my early 20s and didn’t have $100 to spend on glorified workout pants. You know where I actually bought my first pair? From a super-fancy thrift store in Sun Valley, Idaho. I know, it seems a little weird to buy used leggings, but these were basically brand new. And thrift stores in Sun Valley aren’t like your average Goodwill. The leggings literally looked like they’d never been worn, and they were $10. So I went for it. Score, I know.
They were the Lululemon Wunder Unders, and I wore them like crazy for about 5 years, until I finally retired them.
My first Lululemon experience was good enough that I eventually purchased a range of other leggings from the brand, because in my opinion, Lululemon leggings are worth the price.
Below, I’m sharing my go-to Lululemon leggings, how they compare with the amazon dupes (Which I’ve also bought), how long Lululemon leggings last and more.
Are Lululemon Leggings worth it?
To put it simply, yes, Lululemon leggings are worth the high price.
Lululemon Align Leggings, which are my favorite pants from the brand, are something I wear literally almost every day. They cost $98, but if you break that down into cost per wear, it comes out to pennies. I usually can keep a pair of Align leggings for 3-4 years before they need to be replaced. And I figure if I wear each pair 50x a year, since I have a few pairs at any given time, that comes out to about 150 – 200 wears per pair. That’s about 50 cents per wear, which is awesome.
Compare that to a $30 Zara top you buy for an event, and end up wearing three times before it sits in your closet, never to be worn again. That comes out to $10 a wear. The Lululemon leggings are a much better purchase.
Lululemon Leggings – My favorite pairs and why I love them
The Align leggings are my favorite for everyday wear and at-home workouts. They are literally the most buttery-soft, comfortable, stretchy leggings you can buy. I actually first bought them when I was pregnant with my second son, because I heard from a friend you could wear them throughout a pregnancy because they’re that stretchy. This was 100% true and I wore my Align pants until my 3rd trimester (my son was born in June so I gave them up in May when it got warmer).
I love that these have a high-rise fit, and they don’t slip down around the waist or in the crotch at all (something I’ve found with the Align dupes, which I’ll expand on later). I wear them with a hoodie, cropped vest and sneakers, or with a tunic-style half-zip sweater, or with a sherpa jacket and boots … they are a perfect staple item for your closet.
The only negatives I can find about these pants are that, one, they tend to pill faster than some of the other Lululemon pants, so you need to care for them properly. (I’ll detail more on that below!)
And the second is that, if you’re looking for some compression, these are not the pants. These are super soft and stretchy, and don’t do much in the way of compression or hiding “flaws.”
I always get the 28″ full length ones.
I love Wunder Unders for colder weather. They’re like a thicker, firmer version of the Align pants, so if you’re looking for something to wear on outdoor walks or runs in the winter, or you simply want a little more compression or “hold” from your leggings, these are a great buy. Like the Align pants, they can tend to pill if you don’t take proper care of them, so make sure to follow the washing instructions.
These also have a forgiving high-rise fit, which again, I appreciate.
Lululemon Swift Speed High Rise Crop
These are my favorite Lululemon leggings for running or more intense workouts. They’re more of a classic workout legging, and made of a smoother, shinier material than the Wunder Unders and Align Pants, which are a matte fabric. The brand calls it “low friction,” which makes sense.
I love these because they stay in place when you run, and they also have a handy pocket in the back where you can keep your keys, Air Pods case, a debit card for mid-run snacks 🙂 , etc.
Lululemon Align Legging Dupes Review
So, I have to admit that I’ve also tried the Lululemon Align dupes from Amazon, in the interest of saving money and adding more leggings to my wardrobe.
These are the ones I buy. In a lot of ways, these leggings are great, but they are not an exact replica of the Align pants, and definitely not as good.
The looks is very similar. But the fabric is different, and so is the fit. The fabric is not as soft. It’s almost like a cross between the Align fabric and the Lululemon Luxtreme fabric, which is the one used for the SwiftSpeed pants. The nice thing about this is that my Lulu dupes don’t pill as fast as the real thing. But they’re not quite are comfortable.
The number one thing I don’t love about them, though, is the fit. The always feel like they are sagging in the crotch area, so I need to hike them up every once in a while. That never happens with real Lulu pants. The real things fit like a dream, and mold to your body.
If you want a cheap legging that you can wear when your real Lulus are in the wash, this is an OK substitute, but not a true replacement.
How to stop Align leggings from pilling
One of the things I found to be super frustrating about Align leggings is how fast they started pilling and attracting fuzz … so I started researching how to stop this from happening, and I learnd the secret … Don’t put them in the dryer! Align pants and Wunder Unders need to air dry, since the fabric is super soft. It’s also a good idea to wash them inside out so any pilling happens on the inside. I learned this too late for my first two pairs of Align pants, but made the switch after that and my leggings have held up much better.