I didn’t know it was possible to despise anything in the retail world more than door busters on Black Friday.
Then, the Minneapolis lululemon Warehouse sale happened.
Where to begin. First of all, if you aren’t familiar with lululemon, just find any teenage girl or person you suspect does yoga. They will waxed on about this shiz until you change the subject to either Instagram selfies (for the teens) or “conscious uncoupling” (yoga person). If you don’t have either of those two groups of people handy, here’s the gist: lululemon sells expensive yoga and workout wear. I’m talking $98 for a pair of plain black leggings (sometimes accidentally see-through). I know, ridiculous, right? And don’t get me started on their weird corporate snafus. But even a jaded beyotch like me can admit…
The good lululemon stuff is really, really amazing.
It’s durable, thoughtfully designed (secret pockets, the zipper pulls double as a spare hair elastic), and gently hugs your body in a way that’s both flattering and comforting. I can’t explain it. Just try it on sometime.
Anyhow, they have an annual sale that’s said to offer ridiculous deals on their super-spendy threads (and it was to be held in the CONVENTION CENTER… that’s an enormous sale, y’all!). And when an evangelized brand has a super-sale, watch out. A snippet from Shop Girl extraordinaire, Allison Kaplan:
The rarely discounted, (perhaps irrationally) adored lululemon is bringing its annual warehouse sale to [Minneapolis]. When the sale took place in New York last year, bargain hunters traveled from at least three states away to shop.
Gulp. That sounds like pure hell. However, I could really use a few pairs of leggings and maybe a sports bra. Plus, it sounded like a great blog post. I decided to go on Friday morning. Not right away (doors opened at 8am, but folks arrived at 4am or something… and had to wait outside!), but around 10am when things had mellowed out a bit. I was feeling good about my strategy. As the 10 o’clock hour approached, I started gearing up to shop. BUT FIRST (because I AM SMART!), I checked the @lululemonWHUS Twitter account:
Excusez-moi? THREE HOURS? What’s more, the very chipper lululemon tweeter kept saying things like “But the line is moving fast!” Listen, lady. I don’t care if I’m sprinting through a 3 hour-long line. Three hours is three hours. So I tweeted this:
Yeah, I showed them!
And yet, two hours later I’m waiting in line for $20 off yoga pants at the Convention Center. I’d been following the wait time via Twitter and some d-bag tweeted “No Wait!” I fell for it. And then I was already there so…..
To be fair, the line did move quickly. And boy oh boy was the people watching amazing! 95 percent of those in line were sporting headband-to-toe lululemon. You know how people like to wear meat dresses and weird hoof shoes at Lady Gaga shows? It was exactly like that, but for a multi-billion dollar yoga brand. It kind of made me uncomfortable (?). I chose to not conform by wearing Athleta leggings. I’m a rebel like that.
After a 1.25 hour wait (where I made two new friends– hi Jordan & Sarah Lynn!), I finally entered the sale. It looked like this:
My plan of action: Leggings (fitted throughout the leg, no flare action), a sports bra or two and maybe a good tank or big gym bag if one caught my eye. I found the 28 (!) bins that claimed to hold sports bras in my size. I started digging, unearthing plenty of swim suit tops, bottoms, booty shorts…. and one purple sports bra in my size. Not my first color choice, but who cares. It’s a sports bra.
Next, on to the leggings. Four racks stuffed with pants in my size. I found the three pairs of fitted, cropped pants amongst hundreds of their flared friends– akin to finding a needle in a lycra-spandex haystack. They all were discounted to $49 (normally $72 – 92), but maybe not exactly in the colors I’d normally gravitate toward. I grabbed all three to try on.
Lastly, I walked through the tops section, which was populated with so many horribly ugly options it was almost laughable. It was as if Beetlejuice/Robin Thicke’s wardrobe had a baby with a yoga instructor. I found one awesome plain black t-shirt, and a neon green tank with some sort of built-in bra (both $39… yeah, yeah I know. Expensive shirts).
All sales were final, so I decided to try on my finds. Oh m’gosh, the wait for the huge, communal changing room (on its own, 15 minutes is nothing; but I’d already waited over an hour to get in). One of the pairs of leggings actually enhanced my cellulite, so I ditched those.
I ended up with one pair of leggings, a bra, and two tops. Obviously, I had to buy some things to make my wait worth the while (ah, psychology!). I whizzed by their gym bag selection. They about 300 bags to choose from… trouble is, they were all pastel pink. Gross.
Guess what happened next?! I waited in line for another 20 minutes to check out. When I finally got to the cashier, she asked:
“Well… Did ya have So. Much. Fun?!”
I know she was just trying to be nice and all, and did my best not to be a bitch, but HELLO! I just waited in line for two hours to buy slightly discounted yoga clothes in colors/styles I’m not sure I’d normally buy. Granted, I chose to be there. But “fun” was pushing it. I told her in my best no-frills, plain jane voice, “Eh, not really, but thanks for asking.” I ended up spending about $150 and I am pretty happy with my purchases.
Would I recommend the lululemon warehouse sale? Depends, and I really mean this next thing without a hint of sarcasm. The sale is perfect for people who love big retail to-dos (like early morning Black Friday stuff). It’s also great for people who care more about a brand than they care about fit (I was like this at one point in my life; it was awkward). It’s also great for really generous and patient adults who want to get their favorite tween/teen/college-aged kid/31-year-old blogger friend a decent gift. I’d also recommend it to people who have the time, energy and brainpower to hang at the sale and check out restocked racks.
I, however, don’t really fall into any of those categories currently. Therefore, I don’t think I’d do the sale again. Sadly, I’d rather pay full price and save on time (and get exactly what I want).
Could I even possibly end this post without including a fashion shoot?
And then I tried to do a headstand. Patsy was not impressed.