HALLIE EPHRON: To show you how clueless I am about designer yoga wear, when I first read the brand name Lululemon I thought it was pronounced Lu-LU-luh-mon and most likely was a reggae group. Still the news article about their see-through Yoga pants caught my attention.
I thought: Wow, niche market.
I posted something about it on Facebook and before you can say Bob's your uncle, got a call from Amy Mackinnon, editor at our regional Patriot Ledger, asking if I wanted to write an op ed piece about it.
And here, dear Reds, is the result.
a time when we have far weightier matters to consider -- such as when
Twinkies will be back on store shelves -- comes the news of a major
product recall. Lululemon has discovered that some of its yoga pants are
experiencing a "sheerness issue."
They look just fine in the store. But put them on and do
the downward facing dog, and anyone standing behind you can see all the
way to Florida (to quote Carrie Fisher on a similarly problematic
though not transparent metal bikini).
Looking on the bright side, maybe this will lead to a new yoga pose -- the one you have to assume in order to tell if your wardrobe is malfunctioning.
says Canadians don't have a sense of humor? To a customer who wondered
whether the defective pants were still in stores, the Vancouver-based
company's tweet offered this: "Anything potentially affected has been
removed until we asses [sic] them and are confident they are to our standard." One could almost hear the keyboard snickering.
Even Reuters got in on the act with the headline: "Lululemon stock drops as yoga pants expose problem."
No, this is not in the same league with the 1.5 million Ford Pintos recalled in 1978 because their fuel tanks had a tendency to burst into flames on impact. Or the 730,000 packages of Pop-Tarts recalled in 2002 because they contained undeclared egg.
no joke for Lululemon Athletica, Inc. With the recall affecting 17% of
their women’s pants and crop pants (according to the Los Angles Times),
the company lowered sales expectations. They warned customers that their
basic black luon yoga pant, the little black designer dress of the yoga
world, will be in short supply for a while at least.
If you're like me you are probably wondering what's luon? What's the deal with yoga pants? And don't these people wear underwear?
-- stretchy pants that don't get in the way when you're trying to
perform the Lotus or Heron or Dolphin pose -- have been around for
years. Just as there were bikes long before there were pedal pushers,
people have been doing yoga a whole lot longer than there have been
special pants to do it in.
Lots of companies make
them, but the ones from Lululemon are considered the creme de la creme
for suburban fashionistas. They retail for almost a hundred dollars and
can be found in their own special stores like the one at Derby Street
Shoppes in Hingham, four doors down from Whole Foods.
Look up LUON
and all roads lead to Lululemon. It's their trademark fabric.
Approximately seven parts nylon to one part LYCRA, business articles
call it the company's "secret sauce." And no, it's not supposed to be transparent when stretched.
whole flap took me back to a day in junior high when I wore a pair of
white capri pants to school. After the third person said something to me
about Lollipop underwear, I realized I was
experiencing a "sheerness issue." If there had been someone I could
have sued for sheer humiliation, I would have.
don't think Lululemon needs to worry about lawsuits. They are making
super it easy to return the see-through goods. As they tweeted to one
customer: "We're happy to return anything that is sheer. We don't require our guests to be in the garment to make the return." That news must have come as a relief.
I'm wondering, how many customers are hanging onto their pair of
defective yoga pants, hoping it turns into a rare, hard to find
must-have like the 1965 Beatles For Sale album with a printing error on
When my daughter posted on Facebook, "Darn it! I totally wanted transparent yoga pants!"
a dozen of her friends piled on. Still, when I went to eBay, looking to
score a pair of semi-transparent (when you bend over) Lulemon yoga
pants, none turned up.
I'll check back In a few
months when snow will be gone, Twinkies and Lululemon black luan yoga
pants will be back on store shelves, and we'll be ready for our next
disaster of comparably epic proportions.
Anyone willing to share their wardrobe malfunctions of the past? Here's your chance!