It’s a well-known fact that wearing the right clothing will make for a markedly more comfortable training experience. From controlling your body temperature to keeping you chafe-free, the benefits of performance-optimized athletic apparel are seemingly endless. At least, that’s what most manufacturers would like you to believe. But why is it exactly that certain types of materials are better than others when it comes time to get moving? Do they really offer any kind of advantage, or is it merely marketing hype?
If you find yourself pondering these kinds of questions, trust us when we say that you’re not alone. In fact, we’ve asked ourselves the same on more than one occasion. Keeping this in mind, we’ve taken a deep dive into how lululemon’s performance fabrics can elevate your training, looking at things like textile composition, yarn type, and specialized construction technologies to find out for ourselves. As it turns out, there’s a lot of scientific evidence to support their claims. But don’t just take our word for it; read on to find out, and prepare to take your training to the next level.
Staying Cool and Comfortable
Being an athletic apparel brand first and foremost, obviously, temperature regulation is at the core of everything that lululemon does. As such, you’ll find breathability to be first-rate across the entire product range thanks to the incorporation of polyester and nylon blends. When spun into meshes and loose knits like the brand’s proprietary Metal Vent Tech and Nulux fabrics, such textiles are second only to cotton in terms of their airflow promotion.
And that’s not all; polyester and nylon are also both incredibly light and flexible, meaning they won’t weigh you down with excess material like other fabrics. In practice, this makes them ideal for active applications, because you’ll be able to keep pushing throughout the session without having to fight against your clothing. Moreover, because they’re woven into thin, fine yarns, they won’t become sodden with sweat once the effort starts to intensify.
Sweat Doesn't Stand A Chance
Beyond offering excellent natural breathability, polyester and nylon are primarily responsible for what makes lululemon’s clothing so effective at wicking moisture. That’s because they’re synthetic fabrics that are inherently hydrophobic, ensuring that water won’t be able to pass through their stitching. Instead, they move moisture down the threads and away from the garment through a process known as capillary action. As applied in lululemon’s materials like Luxstreme and Swift, this results in a product that’s lightweight and quick-drying.
It’s important to note that a material’s ability to wick moisture has an enormous impact on how efficient it’ll be at regulating your body temperature — no matter if it’s a cold winter run or a hot summer WOD. In the case of the former, you want to be sure that your clothes can breathe; otherwise, you’ll quickly overheat, start to sweat, and wind up shivering before you know it. And when it comes to the latter, you’ll find that lululemon’s apparel acts as an extension of your body’s natural cooling mechanism, drawing sweat off of your skin and facilitating its evaporation to help lower the surrounding temperature.
Keeping The Stink At Bay
Despite their excellent performance properties, synthetic polyester and nylon-based fabrics are pretty lacking insofar as odor control is concerned. Thus, in order to keep its apparel from developing a lingering stink from one workout to another, lululemon makes use of a material known as Silverescent. You’ll find it in everything from the brand’s shorts and shirts to its joggers, hoodies, and outer layers.
Each fiber in the fabric is coated in 99.9% pure silver through X-STATIC technology. Because it’s not the sweat itself that causes odor — but rather the naturally occurring bacteria on your skin — Silverescent works to neutralize moist environments in order to prevent further propagation. That is to say, the positively charged ions in silver react with the negatively charged ions in the microbes, effectively stopping their reproduction and eliminating any chance of stink. And, since the technology is embedded on every surface, it can survive a spin through the wash, leaving the bacteria to be cleared out and your clothes to be smelling fresh once again.
Moving Fast And Free
Up until this point, we’ve covered how lululemon’s fabrics make you feel, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss how they help you move. Because let’s face it: active apparel is, ultimately, only as good as its ergonomics. With this in mind, lululemon employs a variety of materials (like elastane) as well as technologies (like ABC) in order to keep you performing at your best.
When applied to the brand’s apparel, such ergonomic measures take the form of four-way stretch fabrics and movement-enhancing designs. With the addition of even just a small amount of elastane, lululemon’s apparel is able to provide for a full range of motion, working alongside your body rather than stopping it in its tracks. As if that wasn’t enough, though, the brand also incorporates anatomically optimized features like seam-free constructions, specially-cut shirt sleeves, and built-in gussets to free up some extra breathing room. What’s more, you’ll find that lululemon gives its shorts and pants a generous cut through the thigh, tapering only after the knee to eliminate excess bulk.
Wearing Hard And Working Harder
Last but not least, lululemon engineers its products for maximum abrasion resistance, with polyester and nylon fabrics offering superior toughness compared to that of natural, cotton-based alternatives. Between the yarn type, the weave pattern, and various surface treatments (such as prints), it’s possible to maximize the fabric’s wear life whilst minimizing the damage caused by undue rubbing.
After all, when you’re swinging kettlebells, squatting heavy loads, and sprinting at maximum intensity, your clothing is put under a significant amount of stress. With materials that aren’t designed for workouts, over time, this will result in structural decomposition and increased surface wear. However, because lululemon’s apparel is made with far more robust fabrics, you can work out, wash, and rock the gear you want, the way you like, without having to worry about compromising its longevity. In addition to keeping your clothes performing at their best, this also means that they’ll stay looking factory fresh over a much longer period of time. In any case, your workouts are challenging enough as it is, so your apparel should be designed to work as hard as you do, too.
A Sample Of The Goods
Having explored what it is that makes lululemon’s apparel a true cut above the rest, here are some of our favorite pieces from the brand’s upcoming Fall 2021 collection.
Drysense Short Sleeve
This sweat-wicking shirt is ideal for intense workouts because it comes with a roomy fit, motion-maximizing underarm gussets, and X-STATIC anti-stink technology. And, thanks to its wide variety of colors and patterns, it’s super easy to find an option that matches your workout wardrobe.
Pace Breaker Short 7” Linerless
These linerless multi-sport shorts work for all kinds of training, whether that’s running, lifting, or even stretching. With their four-way stretch Swift fabric, they’ll have you moving at your best no matter what the day’s workout requires.
Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve
If you’re looking for a shirt that’s light, airy, and as comfortable as they come, you can’t go wrong with the Metal Vent Tech Long Sleeve. It features a seamless, breathable mesh construction that’s built to perform in even the hottest of temps.
License To Train Jogger
When the temperature takes a dive, it’s important that you equip yourself with the right gear to stay on top of your training. For instance, these joggers are made from a tough, abrasion-resistant fabric with strategically placed water-repellent panels to keep you moving in any weather.
Textured Tech Hoodie
Though we’ve focused mostly on training gear here, you can’t forget the importance of a proper warm-up and cool-down. The Textured Tech Hoodie is easily your best bet, as it comes with integrated mesh ventilation, four-way stretch fabric, and even a locker loop for convenient storage.