Hands-On: lululemon City Sweat Collection

All Photos: HiConsumption

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Times are changing. The traditional, everyday athleisure clothing that has helped to define the industry for over a decade is finally on its way out, usurped by the more technical, style-savvy garments of tomorrow. If there’s one company that stands at the head of the rebellion, it’s lululemon. Not only has the recognizable outfit placed an emphasis on systematic change, but its progressive nature has helped to spurn an entirely new genre of outerwear, bridging the gap between cozy, comfortable, and capable.

In a world where loungewear has become one of the most sought-after style choices for the day-to-day, it makes sense that a comfort-focused brand like lululemon would thrive. But its success can’t be attributed to timing. Instead, its thoughtful designers have struck the perfect balance between the athletically-inspired street garments of yesteryear and the more functionally-adept articles that have begun to emerge from the woodwork — courtesy of the industry’s advancements in technical materials, textiles, and manufacturing practices. So what happens when you take all of lululemon’s expertise within the world of athleisure and channel it into the design of a two-piece ensemble that transcends the boundaries of traditional yoga/gym attire? The brand’s City Sweat collection, of course.

What Is City Sweat?

Transition From Gym To Leisure

It’s an undeniable fact that many of us have had a wealth of time on our hands this year, leading to more notable resolutions in terms of health, wellness, and personal care. Instead of taking part in common frivolity, the pursuit of a better body, more conscious consumption habits, and an improved mindset has become the focus of many people’s lives. Fortunately, lululemon understands that there’s a time and place for everything.

Sometimes, we want to head to the market, enjoy time with friends, or make an appearance at our favorite local hangout without having to return to our homes to grab a different change of clothes. To remedy this, lululemon has decided to craft the perfect outfit for work, play, and everything in-between. While many of the brand’s alternative pieces place a similar emphasis on comfort, adaptability, and advancement, its newly-revealed City Sweat lineup has certainly found a way to set itself apart from the pack, thanks to its slim, premium design. And with a focus on life’s more active pursuits, the two-piece collection — comprised of lulu’s City Sweat Hoodie, and French Terry Jogger — has shown us that workout-focused outerwear doesn’t have to be drab and uninteresting.

The Difference

An Enigma Of Athleisure

lululemon’s City Sweat collection is an enigma within the world of athleisure clothing. Even among the brand’s already-established models, it carves a path of its own, calling upon unique, aesthetically-pleasing prints, seamless linework, and an “on the move” ethos that fits perfectly within its “always athletic” itinerary. But how does the collection’s Pullover Hoodie and French Terry Jogger offer something new for parties that are too mortified to ditch their 1990s leisurewear for something more current? The answer lies in the brand’s commitment to classic design.

Instead of diving into uncharted territory with the City Sweat capsule, lululemon has opted to craft its two-piece ensemble with inspiration from the genre’s most iconic garments. You won’t find any intrusive styles or fits here — thanks to the implementation of traditionally-tapered attributes and added reinforcement within each of the garment’s most articulated areas. Dive deeper, and you’ll find a handful of contemporary traits, like hidden media and coin pockets (for ample storage of your most important EDC items), and a reversible drawstring waist (to reduce bulk). But where the collection truly shines is in the implementation of its premium, four-way-stretch fabrics. Both the hoodie and jogger are crafted with varying percentages of polyester, cotton, elastane, and Lycra, giving them all of the adaptability they’ll need to remain form-fitting and comfortable over years of trusted use.

The Feel

Built To Move

We weren’t sold on the premise of an athletically-inclined capsule that could take on the gym, city, and condo without much fuss, so we got our hands on the City Sweat Pullover Hoodie and Frech Terry Jogger to give them a run for their money. Like the “At Ease” collection that we put through the paces for lululemon’s previous Hands-On piece, we made sure to utilize the cozy clothing staples in a variety of different environments, fostering a strict understanding of their successes and detriments. To our surprise, claims of unwavering comfort were well-founded. From a light jog in the early morning to a day of busy office work, the City Sweat collection transitioned perfectly, thanks to its breathable, form-fitting persona. Once it was time to clock out, we decided to put the garments to the test in the urban environments of Southern California.

After a day of wholehearted wear, it was time to wind down at one of our favorite photo locations. Traversing train tracks, climbing fences, and trekking to our proposed rendezvous wasn’t easy, but the City Sweat capsule weathered the storm, due to its On The Move construction. We were worried about the French Terry Jogger losing its form during the escapade, but its functional poly/cotton/elastane/Lycra blend did its job better than we had anticipated. Not only did the legwear offering stay true to its original tapered design, but it was a joy to wear during strenuous activity, providing ample ventilation and undaunted comfort to its wearer. When it was finally time to pull out the camera, we were confident in the collection’s ability to maintain itself under the rigors of everyday life, becoming one of our favorites from lululemon’s ever-evolving catalog.

Our Verdict

The Perfect Blend

While many of lululemon’s most lauded apparel pieces seek to provide a quintessential look into a niche of the athleisure world, we were pleasantly surprised with the adaptability of the City Sweat collection. Not only did this versatile Pullover/Jogger duo exceed our expectations in terms of cleanliness and premium design characteristics, but the plush nature of the garments convinced us that they could make the abnormal transition from functional gym attire, into that of a more casual, everyday style piece, all the easier. It’s not every day that you find an article of leisurely clothing that can bridge the gap between life’s more abrasive pursuits, and the moments of sweet and subtle celebration that are primed to follow. But, with lululemon’s City Sweat collection, nothing could feel more natural.

If you’re interested in picking up one of your favorite items from the capsule, head to the brand’s website, where the Pullover Hoodie and French Terry Jogger are currently available for $118 each.

Purchase: $118