Lululemon Founder Says Yoga Pants Don't Work For Some Women's Bodies

What kind of position do you have to master to get your foot this far into your mouth?

Lululemon, the high-end women's yogawear brand, can't seem to move past a months-old flap regarding a line of yoga pants customers found to be see-through when in certain positions. In a recent interview, cofounder Chip Wilson implies that perhaps it's not the pants that are the problem--it's the size of the wearers' thighs.

Questioned for comment on customer complaints about the pants being too sheer and pilling in a recent interview with Bloomberg TV's Street Smart, Wilson said: "Some women's bodies just don't work for it."

When host Trish Regan pressed Wilson to elaborate, he added, "They don't work for some women's bodies. It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it."

Wilson's cofounder and wife, Shannon, interjected, saying it's important to consider how the pants are being treated. "Are you sitting on a cement ground?" she asked.

When initial complaints about the pants' sheerness first surfaced in April, the company recalled 17% of retail inventory for that particular style, and its chief product officer announced she would leave the company. Although the company recently hired a new chief product officer, it has yet to name a replacement for outbound CEO Christine Day , who announced her resignation in June.

[Image: Flickr user Jason Michael]

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8 Comments

  • JennaWy

    Yes, they should come to Athleta, who does carry a wide range of tights and pants in sizes up to XL in the store (and larger online). Plus they come in three lengths: petite, regular and tall. The Pilayo fabric that Athleta pants are made out of have black Lycra in them (as opposed to white) so the pants always look solid BLACK no matter what your yoga position. You can even do a downward dog in front of the giant dressing room mirror to check it out for yourself!
    These are quality issues, not women's body issues and shame on Lululemon for blaming women for the poor quality of their product. (And who does yoga on cement? Do they even know what women really want their pants for.) My husband once asked me why I don't wear their pants and was astonished when I told him they don't make pants in my size. (They only make up to a 12 and I wear a size 14.) and I can't wear their tops because they don't make an XL. Lululemon already discriminates to women of a particular size and body type. It is not a secret to us! They should own that and acknowledge that and stop blaming women for their own narrow minded and poor quality choices.

  • Mbear88

    I would say that the owner of a company that designs clothes for women should take responsibility for the quality of their fabric and not on the women who choose to pay extraordinary amounts of money for yoga pants. Get real, suck it up and apologize for your short-sighted view that all women are thin and sit in proper positions--which is an oxymoron when it comes to YOGA. I will think twice about buying again from a company with such egotistical view. Sad.

  • sizedoesn'tmatter

    Not wanting to be overly controversial here but could it possibly be that we ladies are overly obsessed with buying a size rather than buying what actually fits us? I'm a size 4/6 but I find the size 8 lulu pant fits perfectly and I always do the bend over rear check in their mirrors. Funnily enough when it comes to shoes - we have no qualms over being a 7 in some brands and a 6.5 in others. Buy what actually fits - this s#!t is expensive and you deserve to look good - their labels are so freakin' long - they get cut out anyway!!

  • db

    I am over 5'7, weigh 125 on my very "fattest" day, and LuLu pants have never fit me. The stride in the crotch and rear is short and the pants are cut too low. I also have issues with their bra tops and I am a 36B. The overall fit (for me anyway) is undeniably strange and I think it has little to do with one's girth. Although I am a lifelong member of the Equinox gym and it is tragically unhip NOT to wear LuLu, I opt for Nike. They always fit, they last for a decade or longer if properly cared for and are reasonably priced.

  • MoLeads

    They are obviously using cheap fabric yet can charge high prices because of great marketing. Their target demo is the 35 year old upscale housewife who drives her Range Rover to the store with her yoga pants but doesn't actually work out in pants. The plush leather of the RR is much easier on the tush than concrete.