Vuori vs Lululemon: The Ultimate Athletic Apparel Comparison

đź“… June 14, 2024

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, cozy WFH outfits and at-home workouts have become the new normal. People across the world have been ditching business casual and integrating athleisurewear into their daily routines. There are so many activewear brands in the game now that it can seem overwhelming — which brings up the question: Vuori vs Lululemon. Keep reading to see why Vuori’s performance apparel was the winner for me.

Lululemon vs Vuori — My Opinion

While Lululemon is considered the gold standard (and the name most people think of when they hear “leggings” or “joggers”), there are just as many other independent brands that promise the same quality — without the scandals associated with Lulu’s controversial founder Chip Wilson and the brand’s lack of sustainability.

One of Lulu’s competitors is Vuori Athletic Clothing, which I had never heard of before I was asked to review it. As someone who had never really purchased the best athleticwear before, I was the ideal potential customer. You might be wondering, “How do Vuori joggers fit? How do Lululemon joggers fit in comparison? Is one company better than the other?”

I was excited to try both Vuori and Lululemon. Honestly, I enjoyed the opportunity to compare the two brands based on quality, price point, branding, and company ethics. I knew that I wanted to choose a brand that was both high-quality and aligned with my sustainable values.

As I quickly learned, there was no comparison to be made. In the Vuori vs Lululemon standoff, Vuori was the clear winner. If you want to know why, keep reading!

Company Backgrounds

Vuori, established in 2015 in California, offers premium activewear inspired by coastal lifestyle influences, with a focus on men’s styles. Their product line includes joggers, leggings, and athleisure essentials for training and everyday wear.

Lululemon, a renowned brand established in 1998, primarily gained recognition for its high-quality yoga leggings and expanded to cover a wide array of athleisure for both men and women. They offer gear for various activities, like yoga, running, and gym training​. In recent years, however, Lulu has come under fire for unsustainable practices and foreign labor issues.

Why I love Vuori

Branding

Vuori’s branding is addictive. It lures you from the moment you see the first image of smiling, tanned, beach-bound Californians, ready to take their luxury athleticwear to the Malibu waves.

I live on the frigid East Coast, thousands of miles away from the sunlit coastline and the possibility of soaking up the sun at Point Dume. In the dead of winter, the branding on the Vuori website had an almost overpowering psychological impact on me. Not to mention, the emphasis on sustainability and commitment to using recycled materials sounded good to me.

Design

Secondly, the Vuori products looked chic and luxurious. They looked just as high-quality as Lulu’s, in fact, and I felt like I had invested in a product that would last years. Through rain and shine, they will continue to be durable and withstand even the most intense workout.

I got the sense that if I were to wear Vuori joggers to work out I might become the type of person who likes to work out. As someone who finds it hard to find the motivation to work up a sweat, especially in the winter months, I needed something to push me in that direction. Vuori offered the perfect aspirational cue to get me up and moving.

Sure enough, once I implemented my Vuori apparel into my fitness routine, I felt much more excited about the prospect of doing it more often. While I liked the fit and the feel of the Lulu joggers, they failed to elicit the same sense of aspiration and motivation in myself that I felt when I wore the Vuori apparel. This is a testament to how effective Vuori’s branding truly is, I suppose.

Practices and Commitments

Once I read more about Vuori, I learned that they weren’t just all talk. They are trying to revolutionize their industry. They aren’t just designing clothes; they are encouraging a lifestyle change among young professionals. Their mission statement says it all: “Breaking down the boundaries of traditional activewear, we are a new perspective on performance apparel.”

The reframing of their products as “performance apparel” is an intriguing linguistic choice. It’s a turn of phrase that inspires confidence, rather than makes you feel inferior or overwhelmed. Even more important, however, is their commitment to sustainability. Vuori leads in sustainability by offsetting 100% of its carbon footprint and using sustainable materials, aiming for 80% sustainable fabric use. The company is known for its ethical manufacturing standards and fair labor practices.

Rather than feeling put off by the physical demands of an active lifestyle, Vuori encourages you to ask, “How can I take small steps in my daily routine to make active lifestyle changes? How can these products help me achieve my fitness goals?”

Trying Vuori & Lululemon First-Hand

From the moment I placed my Vuori order, I had the intuitive sense that I’d made a good decision. I was so excited to receive my package in the mail and kickstart my new workout regime. But there were a couple specific things that really drew me to Vuori more than Lululemon.

Firstly, the branding was effective at visually conveying the company mission statement. The models all looked active, fit, and most significantly, happy. They were smiling broadly, enjoying the sunshine and the opportunity to work out in a beautiful location. They weren’t intensely focused on a rigorous workout, frowning on a Peloton bike. (Lulu’s branding was more standard, though I appreciated the diversity of models they used. They showcased a variety of body types and races. In this sense, I have to give props to the new CEO of Lululemon for making a change in the right direction.)

Secondly, the Vuori products looked chic and luxurious. They looked just as high-quality as Lulu’s, in fact, and I really felt like I had made an investment in a product that would last years. Through rain and shine, they will continue to be durable and withstand even the most intense workout.

I got the sense that if I were to wear Vuori joggers to work out I might become the type of person who likes to work out. As someone who finds it hard to find motivation to work up a sweat, especially in the winter months, I needed something to push me in that direction. Vuori offered the perfect aspirational cue to get me up and moving.

Sure enough, once I implemented my Vuori apparel into my fitness routine, I felt much more excited about the prospect of doing it more often. While I liked the fit and the feel of the Lulu joggers, they failed to elicit the same sense of aspiration and motivation in myself that I felt when I wore the Vuori apparel. This is a testament to how effective Vuori’s branding truly is, I suppose.

Lululemon Athletica

About Vuori's Ethical Manufacturing
Vuori

How Do Vuori Joggers Fit Compared To Lululemon’s?

Let’s cut to the chase. How do these “performance apparel” products from both companies stand up?

I can say with confidence that Vuori fits me comfortably and true to size. They were crafted from very high-quality fabric that was well worth the price point (ranging from $45-$98). If you aren’t happy with them, though, Vuori offers an “Investment in Happiness” guarantee: if you aren’t completely in love with your Vuori apparel, just ship it back free of charge.

How do Lululemon joggers fit? Honestly, they were a pretty close second. I found them comfortable and easy to move in. I’m not a huge fan of the company, which I will explain further in a moment, but I can say that their products came true to size and fit me comfortably. However, with a high price tag of nearly $140, these joggers just couldn’t beat Vuori.

The Best Joggers

Made with the brand’s premium DreamKnit fabric, these performance joggers from Vuori feel high-quality and fit comfortably. Their relaxed fit features a drawstring waist, a slightly cropped leg, and side pockets. 

One reviewer said: “Love everything about them. Loved them so much I ordered another pair!” 

Available sizes: XXS — XXL. Available color options: 14.

Vuori Performance Jogger
Vuori

$94

Vuori's Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Clothing that’s just as high-quality as competitors
  • More uplifting branding that motivated me to get active
  • Ethical, sustainable practices

Cons:

  • More affordable, but still expensive

The Runner-Up

These Lulu joggers are made with a lie-flat waistband and side pockets. While they have a looser jogger fit, they’re still designed to stay put during a workout. In terms of fit and quality, I found Lululemon joggers to be a close second to Vuori’s dreamy fabric and fit.

One reviewer said: “Like the feel and fit! Would wear it every day!”

Available sizes: 0 — 14. Available color options: 3.

Lululemon Align Jogger
Amazon

$144

Lululemon's Pros & Cons

Pros: 

  • Clothes are high-quality and stylish
  • Worn by the world’s biggest influencers, including Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio
  • New CEO, Calvin McDonald, has attempted to make the brand more inclusive

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not sustainable
  • 2013 controversy when founder Chip Wilson made sexist comments

Conclusion

Overall, I was highly satisfied with my Vuori experience. I can’t say the same about Vuori’s biggest corporate competitor, Lululemon. While considering the Vuori vs Lululemon battle, I realized that while both companies have their merits, Vuori’s company values are more aligned with my own. I would recommend them more highly to friends and family.

On the other hand, Lululemon disappointed me. I wouldn’t voluntarily spend my money on their apparel, especially given its price point — so if you’re going to invest in quality, try to do your research on the company’s background first.

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