Friday, May 27, 2011

An open letter to LuluLemon

Dear Chip Wilson and company

I am a 53 year woman - mother of 3, a 30 year plus runner and a recent marathoner. I am also 5 feet 9 inches tall and I weigh 185 pounds. I wear a size 14. I am not fat, I do not consider myself unfit and I have disposable income at my ready.

Imagine my dismay when I walked into your store on 4th Street in Calgary, in search of a running jacket and found no jackets larger than size 12. Upon enquiring with the young saleswoman, I was told that Lululemon does not carry anything above a size 12. To be more precise , she told me that Lululemon does not carry "large" sizes.

I actually do not think of myself as "large" (although that is often the size I go to in a store). I am, to use a well-worn euphemism, big-boned. But again, I emphasize that I am quite fit - I am currently in training for my second marathon ever, so I run 4 times a week, I lift weights twice a week and I practice yoga once a week. I have not put a pound on in at least 6 years (rather remarkable, given my love of red wine and the fact that I am currently weathering menopausal moments).

When I look at your web site, it tells me that your mission is in " Creating components for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives" and that you aim your clothing "primarily at active women and men: individuals that work, play and share our vision of creating healthier, happier and more fun lives!" I don't see the asterisk anywhere that tells me *but only if you wear a size 12 or less*.

I acknowledge that you have choices in the market you target and the sizes you produce. But the message I took away from your store is that I don't belong there unless I fit into your definition of an active woman. I find it surprising in an era where the fashion industry has been criticized for using anorexic models, that a company that supports healthy living and active lifestyles seems to think that all that stops at a size 12.

When I cruise around your website, it feels like I should belong there. Your clothing designs, the fact that I can sort by "run" or "yoga", the fabrics that wick and don't hold smell - these all speak to me as a runner. But the sizing does not. So I will take my dollars down the road to a running store that understands that runners come in all shapes and sizes and can accommodate my request for a size 14.

Finally? I really wanted to find a jacket in your store. I like your story, I love your designs and I know from others' experiences that you make a quality product that works. It's just too bad that your sizing makes me feel like I don't fit.

And one last thing? The young woman who served me needs a little bit of work in customer service. Just saying....


  1. Poor customer service is such a major turn-off, add to that the lack of proper sizes and no wonder you took your money elsewhere.

  2. I love it. I'm curious if you got a response. We need a petition!

    1. You know, I never did send it. I was just so annoyed - I should have, but I thought I should apply the 24 hour cooling off rule. And then....It still makes me angry and I will not go into their store at all.