Lululemon opened their first store in my town about a year and a half ago. The yoga community was all abuzz. Free yoga classes! Free pants in exchange for teaching the free yoga classes! I was skeptical. My yoga practice has been coming along just fine for years with no eighty-dollar pants to shape my ass. Friends who I trust and respect explained to me the superior comfort, delightful stretchiness, and all-around kickassery of lululemon pants. I met the women who were managing the business, and they were both really nice, but I still wasn't even curious enough to drop by the store. I didn't expect to find anything in my size or my price range. But if friends found it worthwhile to shop there, I wasn't going to argue.
Okay, now? It's time to argue. Yoga teachers have been noticing the sheerness issue for some time. Why, all of a sudden, does lululemon care that their pants are see-through? Maybe this recent batch was going to be worse than in previous years? It will probably remain an unsolved mystery, but I have to wonder why they didn't issue the recall much sooner, and why consumers have been in a sheer-pants buying frenzy.
As for why the transparent pants have been so popular, a friend explained to me that when shoppers squeeze themselves into too-tight pants, salespeople aren't willing to speak up. They want to make the sale, and they're not going to do that by wounding your ego. If you want to know what size you should be wearing, the lululemon website has a size chart. On the same page, they clarify that the fabric should be matte, and a sheen indicates that you're wearing the wrong size. Bending over and taking a look in the mirror will tell you all you need to know. If you don't take the time to do that, and the salesperson doesn't bother to point out that what you're buying doesn't fit, it's time to reexamine your retail habits.
Here's my point: you don't need eighty-dollar pants to validate your yoga practice. You especially don't need eighty-dollar pants that don't even fit. Buying accessories for your practice should be as mindful as the practice itself. When you're shopping (or even better, before you go shopping) take a moment to clarify what you are hoping to buy, and before you give up your cash, consider what the retailer is really selling.