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So How Are You Surviving the Lululemon Pantscapade Humiliating ‘Bend Over’ Test?

in Business of Yoga, Lululemon Pantscapade
Uttansana by Bobby Clennell

Uttanasana by Bobby Clennell

Would you mind bending over so we can tell if you need a refund or just your dignity back?

So unless you were living under a pile of yoga props for the past week, you probably heard about the major crisis involving Lululemon’s see-through yoga pants, their massive recall and subsequent proverbial shit hitting the fan.  However, if you don’t own the extra sheer peekaboo pants and haven’t tried to return them to the store then you might not have been asked to do the bend over test.

The what? Yes, lulus are requiring you to pop an uttanasana in the store so they can deem your crack et al visible enough for a refund. But don’t worry, they’ll keep smiling cheerfully the whole time no matter what they see and no matter how they rate your peep show. Testing the pants in the comfort of your own home is not good enough, apparently.

According to rightfully upset customers (or “guests,” whatever), people returning pants are asked to do the see-through “Can you see my parts?” pants dance and are then left to feel even more exposed whether they pass or fail the test. A post on the lulu facebook page describes the humiliating experience (we encourage you to read the entire exchange with lulu customer service):

I went into my local store to return my Astro pants and Invert crops, both purchased this month. I was asked to BEND OVER in order to determine sheerness. The sales associate then perused my butt in the dim lighting of the change room and deemed them “not sheer”. I felt degraded that this is how the recall is being handled. I called the GEC to confirm this is their protocol, and they verified that yes, the “educators” will verify sheerness by asking the customer to bend over.

CEO Christine Day also confirmed the necessary bend over process that helped them “reveal” the problem in the first place, yet she still managed to offer no answers for the full moon mystery.

“The truth of the matter is the only way you can actually test for the issue is to put the pants on and bend over,” she said on the call, reports Bloomberg. “Just putting the pants on themselves doesn’t solve the problem. It passed all of the basic metric tests and the hand-feel is relatively the same, so it was very difficult for the factories to isolate the issue, and it wasn’t until we got in the store and started putting it on people that we could actually see the issue.”

We imagine you could opt out of the bend over show if you really put your foot down and stomp it a few times. Tadasana, people. But the fact that hiney scanning is happening at all is heinous.

Whether or not this whole thing was a big mistake or a some screwed up sadomasochistic marketing, the way the controversy-ridden lulu handles this situation will spell how well they will not grow exponentially as they have been, but hold onto once loyal now incident-weary customers still willing to shell out $100 for their yoga pants. Or tell them to stick it where the sun don’t shine.



The Great Lululemon Yoga Pants Shortage Goes from Sheer to Scandalous

Lululemon Recalls See-Through Yoga Pants, Causes Shortage, Rioting in the Streets (Probably)

13 comments… add one
  • that’s pretty awful.

    • neal

      first sandy hook, now this.

  • I think the lighting in the room plays a part – I notice much more see through-ness in brighter lighting than when the lighting is dim.

    I’ve become an expert on see through LuLu wear.

  • Honomann

    This is criminal! Everyone with a Yelp account needs to one star them with this information.

  • Saundra

    Unbelievable and totally unacceptable that they would subject women to such a degrading and humiliating experience when returning a faulty item! I hope someone takes them to court for this! Their clothing will always be associated with degrading women and peering at women’s bums from now on. Such BAD public relations! Major fail!

    • neal

      this is literally rape. i’m surprised you can still stand up straight.

  • K.

    Maybe it’s time to go back to the good old days… 🙂

  • Maryin

    You mean to say that you cant check out the denier or strength of a pair of yoga pants before purchasing them. This is a little silly as you could refuse to bend over in the first place. This is sheer (pardon the pun) stupidity both on the part of the complainant and lululemon … hmmmm

  • I’ve spent 20 years of teaching noticing peoples leggings go see through! If its really bad I have let students know at the end of the class (discreetly of course). Its mainly a problem if people don’t wear any under pants- and thats men and women!
    So I’m always the crazy lady holding the yoga pants up to the store lighting and pulling the fabric apart. My test is can I see my hand at all through the fabric? Unfortunately 90% of so called ‘yoga pants’ fail this test!

    • neal

      so i’m always the crazy guy smelling them. we should meet up some time 😉

  • Ed T.

    When the corporate profit mindset meets Yoga…

    • Alice

      This should not be so alarming to Lululemon habituees who have been “bent over” many times paying $100 for yoga pants.

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