Lululemon Align Pant Review

Lululemon Align Pant Review | Worth the Hype?

It’s 2016 and I have my first full-time job out of college. My first purchase with that first paycheck? A black pair of Lululemon Align leggings.

In what some may call the peak “Fitness YouTube” era, I saw all my favorite influencers rave about this pair of leggings and, thereby influenced, I needed to understand the hype.

Although to this day, it’s hard to say whether or not they were a) actually really great quality, or just b) the most expensive pair of leggings I owned, I loved them nonetheless. Previously, almost all of my leggings and shorts were either Forever 21 or Nike Pro hand-me-downs, so I will always have a soft spot for my first high-quality leggings.

In the years since, Lululemon Align leggings have established themselves as a cult-favorite. Competitor brands have created their own versions and plenty of low-cost, fast-fashion “dupes” now exist.

So the question remains… are Lululemon Align leggings still worth the hype?

Lululemon Align Pant Review

 

Lululemon Align Pant Review

Who are the Lululemon Align Pants best for?

I find that the Lululemon Align leggings are a good investment for:

  1. Yoga, pilates, and low-impact gym workouts,
  2. Everyday wear, and
  3. Hot weather.

First, the Align leggings were made for yoga. If your exercise practice includes yoga, then I would definitely recommend the Align leggings. That being said, they are definitely not limited just to yoga.

For any form of lower-impact workout, whether pilates, barre, or even a lower-intensity gym session, the Lululemon Aligns can definitely be worth the investment. As I dive into in later sections of this review, the soft, flexible fabric works really well for deep stretching and doesn’t get in the way of you reaching your full range of motion.

Lululemon Align Pant in Yoga

Using Lululemon Align Pants for yoga.

Another great use for the Align leggings is everyday wear. If you are someone who wants to wear comfortable leggings to work and then keep them on for a post-work workout, the Lululemon Aligns got you covered.

They are sleek and simple enough, without excess seams, pockets, or logos, to wear in a casual or even business casual work setting. They can be further dressed up with a top, sweater, cardigan, or blazer with a casual sneaker, boot, flat, or even heel. They’re comfortable to commute in, whether your commute is a drive, a walk, a subway ride, or a flight.

The fact that they can also work for working out? Worth the investment.

Lastly, The Lululemon Align legging’s lightweight, breathable fabric gives you an almost-naked feeling that really helps in hotter climates or seasons. If you prefer leggings over shorts, these leggings are airy enough where you don’t feel constrained or sticky during those sweatier months, or in a hot yoga studio. Compared to thicker, more compressive leggings that trap moisture, Aligns tend to be my leggings of choice in the summer or on more tropical trips.

Lululemon Align Pant worn in different angles.

The side and back view of the Lululemon Align Pant.

What I Like about the Lululemon Align Pant

My favorite elements of the Lululemon Align leggings include:

  1. Their buttery-smooth fabric,
  2. Their glove-like fit,
  3. That they’re available in different lengths, and
  4. Their long-lasting quality.

My most favorite part of the Align leggings, and also what they’re best known for, is their smooth, buttery-soft trademarked fabric. Lululemon’s Nulu™ is a lightweight, breathable fabric that feels super comfortable against your legs. Although they are nothing like sweatpants, sometimes I refer to them as the “sweatpants of leggings,” in that they’re the pair I gravitate to whenever I want to feel maximal comfort.

Going hand-in hand with how airy and smooth Lululemon’s Nulu™ fabric is, another reason I love the Align leggings is that they feel like a second skin. They fit like a glove against your body, with minimal bunching or gaping. Although they’re not compressive, they do hold their shape well and are opaque enough where they are squat-proof.

Because of the flexibility of the fabric, they also are incredibly stretchy, allowing you to explore all ranges of motion. This makes them a great choice for any type of exercise modality involving some type of flexibility, whether yoga, barre, pilates, or dance.

The third reason I love the Align leggings are that they’re available in different lengths. As a petite, five-foot-tall woman, I can have a hard time finding leggings that I don’t have to fold up, which can change the whole look and add bulkiness to the ankle.

I love that the Lululemon Align Pant comes in a variety of lengths – 25”, 28”, and 31”, or even cropped shorter at 17”, 21”, or 23”. I usually get the 25”, which fit similarly to the 7/8 length in other brands, and hit right at my ankle. Also, if none of those lengths work for you, Lululemon offers their free tailoring service, where they hem your leggings to your customized preference!

Lastly, I love the quality of the Lululemon Align leggings. I’ve had my first pair of leggings for over six years, and although they’re not as smooth as some of my newer pairs, I haven’t experienced any major break-down thus far. I’ve found that the price is justified based on the longevity of the product, especially given how often I wear them.

Although there are some higher maintenance care instructions, it’s not crazy in comparison to other higher-end products. That being said, I have heard that some people experience pilling, so as with anything, your mileage may vary.

Wearing the Lululemon Align Pant for casual wear.

Styling the Lululemon Align Pant for daily wear.

What I Don’t Like about the Lululemon Align Pant

My least favorite things about the Lululemon Align leggings are:

  1. They are a hair and fur magnet,
  2. They don’t provide enough structure or durability for higher-intensity workouts,
  3. They’re not sweat-proof, and
  4. The way the seams cut off on your butt.

This may not be relevant to all of you, but my first con with these leggings are that they are actual fur magnets. I have two fur babies who are the loves of my life but also shed everywhere.

I can’t sit on the couch or bed with these leggings on without picking up literally every strand of their fur, my hair, and just general little fuzzballs. This is easily solvable with a lint roller, but this pant definitely does attract hair and fur more than its sleeker counterparts.

Another con with this product is that they’re not the best fit for higher-intensity workouts. Because of the smooth, lightweight fabric, they’re not the most durable when it comes to workouts with more abrasion (think: friction against a barbell when doing cleans or deadlifts).

Lululemon Align Pant for Conditioning

Using the Lululemon Align Pant for conditioning.

Since the fabric is delicate, they also don’t provide the compression I generally want when performing a high-impact workout.

Another reason why they’re not the best choice for high-intensity workouts, is that they’re not sweat-proof. Lululemon claims that they are sweat-wicking, which I would say is accurate because of how breathable the fabric is.

When I’m wearing any lighter color Align legging, I have definitely left quite a few workouts with a little pool of sweat in my crotch region. Personally, I don’t really mind this too much, but I can definitely see how someone could feel self-conscious or uncomfortable with a sweat stain.

Last — and totally subjective — con, is that I’m not a fan of where the seams cut off on your butt. To be clear, everyone’s bodies are different, and I’ll always acknowledge that. But the seam cuts through the top quarter of my butt, almost cutting your butt off. I think it’d be more comfortable (and flattering!) for that seam to sit above your butt. Again, this is personal preference, and could totally just be specific to my body shape. I have yet to find a pair of leggings that do this well.

Lululemon Align Leggings worn while deadlifting and while squatting

Wearing the Lululemon Align Pant in a gym workout.

Performance of the Lululemon Align Pant

The performance of the Align leggings varies based on the different contexts in which it’s used.

Performance for Yoga and Pilates

Having worn these leggings in both yoga and pilates classes, I’ve found that these leggings perform really well in both environments.

For yoga, I’ve never felt constricted by the structure of these leggings, and found that they allowed me to stay pretty flexible throughout any flows. Because they stretch with me, it really does have that “naked” feel, where they’re more of a second layer of skin versus a piece of clothing.

I have also worn these leggings in hot yoga, where they’re more comfortable because of the breathability the fabric allows and the “sweat-wicking” technology that doesn’t trap the moisture in. That being said, that doesn’t prevent me from still being drenched in sweat after hot yoga, resulting in the Align leggings looking a completely different color from all the sweat.

Similarly for pilates, I’ve felt that the leggings don’t impact my range of motion in any way. I’m able to get into deep lunges and planks without any feeling of compression around the hips, which is always a win.

Performance for Lifting

I’ve also really enjoyed wearing these leggings in gym settings.

They’re comfortable for most movements, as well as squat-proof, meaning they’re not see-through around the crotch area when the fabric is being stretched, such as at the bottom of a squat. Similarly to yoga and pilates, the stretchiness of the fabric gives us the ability to achieve full range of motion also benefits us in strength training. Because of their thinness, they’re also easy to use with equipment, such as knee sleeves or ankle straps.

As previously discussed, I don’t think the durability of these leggings is strong enough to be the best choice when doing either weightlifting (like cleans or snatches) or some types of powerlifting (like deadlifts). While they would definitely still work, they may not last as long if you’re frequently performing movements that would create friction between the leggings and a rougher surface.

Performance for Conditioning

When it comes to running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit classes, the Align leggings are not always my go-to. For conditioning, I prefer leggings with slightly more compression so that my muscle and fat tissue feel more secure while I’m moving around. While you can definitely perform cardio in these pants, I almost think the softness and flexibility work against the leggings for this context.

Performance for Daily Wear

I would argue that daily wear is where the Lululemon Align leggings excel. Because of their softness, they’re extremely comfortable to wear all-day — especially compared to a pair of jeans or tight-fitting dress pants! They also are sleek and aesthetic enough to go well with sweaters, business casual shirts, and tee-shirts. Depending on the attire guidelines at your workplace (especially as more and more offices are going more casual), you may very well be able to wear these to work, to the gym, and even out to a nicer dinner!

Lululemon Align Leggings styled with a turtleneck sweater and flannel

Styling the Lululemon Align Leggings for a night out or a casual day outfit.

Sizing and Fit of the Lululemon Align Pant

Lululemon Align leggings run true-to-size, so I would get the same size you wear in other Lululemon bottoms. If this is your first pair, Lululemon has a detailed size guide I recommend you reference before choosing a size!

Important to note, Lululemon’s numeric sizes do not necessarily correlate to dress or pant size. For example, a Lululemon size “2” typically correlates to XXS or a dress size 00 and a Lululemon size “4” typically correlates to XS or a dress size 0/2.

Lululemon Aligns are available in sizes 0 through 20 and at inseams of 25”, 28”, and 31”, or cropped at 17”, 21”, or 23”.

For reference, I’m five-foot tall (152 centimeters) and around 105 pounds (47 kilograms) with an athletic build, so I have a slimmer waist with thicker glutes and thighs. For the sake of testing, I tried both a Lululemon Size 4 and Size 6, and although both fit comfortably, I opted for the Size 4 since the larger size fit a little loose in my calves and ankles. I also went with the 25” inseam, that hits below my ankle. The 23” inseam hits just above my ankle.

Another thing to note — the Align legging’s high waist! The waistband is five inches, with the waist hitting right above my belly button. The waist is a little higher than I prefer, but I understand they have to make it work for taller ladies too.

Close up of the Lululemon Align Pant

The Lululemon Align Pant is high-rise, with a 5-inch waistband.

Lululemon Align Pant Construction

Lululemon Align leggings are made of 81% Nylon and 19% Lycra ® elastane. The blend is trademarked as Nulu™, the fabric that makes up all of the Align collection, with the fabric itself having been designed as part of the “Naked Sensation” innovation, promising a naked feeling while still incorporating technical performance qualities. This fabric is designed for yoga and low-impact activities (like Pilates and barre).

There is a 1″ gusset with seams that extends from the crotch to the knees. These make the Aligns great to wear commando, lessen the prevalence of cameltoe, and help with the flexibility of the leggings. If you do choose to wear underwear with these leggings, the thin material makes it a little more difficult hide panty lines. I find that even no-show thongs can sometimes show through. Of course, it’s the twenty-first century! Aren’t we done hiding our underwear?

Lululemon Align Pants Squatproof

The Lululemon Align Pants are squat-proof!

Lululemon Align Pant Care Instructions

Lululemon recommends keeping the following things in mind when it comes to washing your Align leggings if you want to prolong the quality:

  • Turn your leggings inside out.
  • Wash with similar fabrics and colors.
  • Avoid washing with abrasive materials or with cotton.
  • Machine wash cold.
  • Hang dry or tumble dry on low.
  • Avoid fabric softeners.

Lululemon Align Pant Pricing

The Lululemon Align leggings range from $98 to $118 at full-price, with most solid colors being at the $98 pricepoint and some of the more complex dye patterns at the $118. You may be able to find some marked down in Lululemon’s “We Made Too Much” clearance section, but the odds of finding your size in a colorway you want isn’t always the easiest.

If you can comfortably afford them, I would say the Align Pant is worth the $98, especially for the quality and durability. With how often I wear these leggings (again, they’re so versatile!), investing in a high-quality pair that will last many, many wears is really important to me.

If you’re a fitness community leader (for example, a personal trainer, professional or collegiate athlete, or a group fitness instructor), you can apply to join Lululemon’s Sweat Collective for 25% off Lululemon products and other special community perks!

Final Thoughts

Nostalgia aside, I do personally think that Lululemon Align leggings are worth the hype. Because of their versatility, comfort, and simple design, I would classify the Aligns as a staple in my wardrobe for the past six or so years. Lululemon, with big credit to the popularity of their Align leggings, has become almost synonymous with the rise in athleisure we’ve experienced over the past decade. As their styles continue to evolve — for example, there are now Align leggings with pockets and even, flared! — I don’t think they’ll be losing momentum anytime soon.

If you have any additional questions on the Lululemon Align Pant, feel free to reach out via the comments below or personally via Instagram (@nikkikoplitz)!

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