Good thing this is a personal, and not a professional blog huh, where I can freely express my opinions on workout tights without being mistaken for a professional fitness guru. Tehe.
Anyway, I’ve been getting a ton of DMs regarding my lulus, which I got in January this year. They’re my first pair of lulus, and I find it hard to express just how much I love them – I’ve basically abandoned all my other tights on cardio days, because nothing has matched up to the lulus since. For context, I go to F45 Orchard, which was instrumental to my morning person switch last year, and we do cardio on mon/wed/fri, and strength on tues/thurs. I find that tights are super important for cardio, whereas for strength training youre not as aerobic so the tights dont matter as much. And for cardio, you’re essentially looking for a pair of tights that dont slip – because you’re doing a lot of jumping and lunging, and it’s irritating to have to keep pulling up the waistband of your tights.
The lulus that i got were the fast and free asia fit tights, and there’s just so much to love about them. They have POCKETS. Pockets by the side, mini pockets in the waistband. They don’t slip. They have a lot of fabric tension so they hold your muscles together really well and dont bulge randomly. The material doesnt get patchy when you sweat. And for some reason, you never, ever get a camel toe wearing them.
The only problem (and it’s not a small one) is the prohibitive cost – lulus run upward of 200SGD. They’re pricey for sure, though they apparently last forever, something I cant verify since literally, no one would consider the span of three months to be forever… unless one were stuck in a dead-end relationship or job. Haha. Still, that makes them one of the priciest tights on the market, with no-brand tights (from decathlon?) starting at maybe 30 bucks, and more technical tights (from adidas/kydra?) going for about 80-100+. Double still – despite having tried tights from a variety of brands, I still find the lulus to be heartbreakingly the best. So I wash them the minute I get home on mondays and hang them out till they’re ready for wednesday’s cardio, etcetera etcetera, dreaming of the day i can afford a lulu for every cardio day.
All my waxing on about my lulus had people DM-ing me for reviews, etc, but one person in particular highlighted the existence of a ~lulu dupe~, available on Iuiga. For the uninitiated, Iuiga is a Singaporean brand professing to sell products from the same manufacturers as Samsonite, Muji (which later sued them), L’oreal .. and yes, lululemon. I’m not sure how they’re getting away with blatantly claiming to sell essentially the same products as copyrighted brand names, but that’s a whole other issue.
To be fair, they dont claim to be a dupe of the exact model i have, the fast and free tights, but it’s pretty clear if you check out their pictures and so on. I went ahead and bought both this and their ONYX powerfit sports bra. Total damage was about $50+. I got it a week later in the mail and tried it out for a couple of weeks, and long story short, the tights are pretty good, but they’re not really lulu dupes in anything other than name..
The thing about clothing dupes is you can have the same material and superficial cutting, but the devil is in the details, especially for workout gear where technicalities are everything. The ONYX tights are a really decent pair of workout tights, and they feel great (in terms of tactile feel), they have the same side and waist pockets, and the same 7/8 length cut. But that’s about where the similarities end – the fabric elasticity isn’t the same, and the material feels thinner. As a result, you dont get the same compression tights feel as you do with the lulus, and you definitely dont get the same tummy tuck effect, two main differentiating factors between lulus and other brand tights. If youre not someone who works out regularly/everyday, you may not feel a big difference, but if you’re a regular cardio person, especially if you do HIIT, it’s a significant step down. Of course, the price is also a significant step down, so this seems to be one of those get what you pay for situations.
TL;DR, good tights, but not lulu dupes. You can use these as backup tights in between washes for your lulus (if youre an existing lulu person), or if you’re doing non-cardio workouts.
Anyway, if you are getting lulus, go to the store and request a fitting. Lulus expand a bit in the wash so size down when unsure – you dont want to spend 200 bucks just to have tights that are too big! You can wait for sales but those arent guaranteed – though lulu does have a “we made too much” page where they sell their excess products at a major discount. Also, if you’re headed to aussie, the tights are cheaper there, going for about 168AUD (and the AUD is now pretty low, about 1-1 to the SGD, making them way cheaper).
Or – if you happen to be in the states in May, Lulu apparently has an insane warehouse sale. Insane referring to both the discounts and the crowds. You could ask a friend in the states to brave the insanity for you, of course, but would you do it? I wouldn’t.
This post was written sans affiliation to lululemon / iuiga.