For those who have not experienced LuLuRoe yet, it's a line of clothes marketed primarily in home parties. Of course, it has all the pluses and pitfalls of this marketing strategy:
- You have to know someone to buy.
- If you're invited to a party, there's pressure to buy something even if you don't want to,
- There's pressure to host a party yourself.
- You are limited to purchase what the consultant has in stock (for LuLuRoe at least - other home marketing companies allow the consultant to order specific items).
- If you purchase on-line (consultants do have on-line stores) there's the issue of not being able to try on the item first. Sometimes the colors look different in the pictures than in real life. And there's the whole matter of shipping to you and shipping returns.
- Some people are good at this sort of thing and do very well.
- Some are not and end up spending a lot of money on inventory they can't move.
- Consultants order styles and sizes, but can't order particular patterns or colors. Which means they can't tailor their inventory to the tastes of their clients, and sometimes get stuck with patterns they can't sell
- If you want to get out of the business, LuLuRoe will not buy back your inventory even at a discount.
Still, I like the idea of supporting women who are running their own businesses. So I have purchased several outfits. This fall I was invited to an on line party. And I admit I am hooked. There are several things I love about these clothes, and several things I don't love.
Your shopping experience will vary greatly depending on your consultant. One I have worked with has her on-line store open all the time. She readily will exchange or refund items if you don't like your purchase. Another consultant I have purchased from only has the on-line store open if there is an on-line party. And if the size is wrong - you get store credit, not a cash refund.
I've read reviews that say the price point is good, and review that believe the clothes are too expensive. I find the prices are comparable to Lane Bryant and Torrid (my go-to stores), but there are not the kind of sales you find at LB and Torrid. Tops are around $35, leggings are $25, dresses are $50-65. The jackets are a little pricey.
I have tried most of the shirt styles, the leggings (LOVE), most of the dress styles, most of the jacket styles and one of the skirt styles. Here is my opinion of the clothes I have tried:
What I like:
- They are super comfortable. I wore a Carly dress and leggings to a women's meeting and I admit - it really did feel like I was in my comfy lounging around the house clothes!
- The leggings are buttery soft. The shirts and dresses are not as soft, but still really, really comfortable.
- The necklines are reasonably modest. I have been having issues with much of the clothes marketed to plus size women at stores like LB and Torrid. The necklines are plunging and the whole "cold shoulder" thing? It's pretty hard to find work appropriate clothing!
- The fabric is fairly sturdy. Again, many of my purchases from LB and Torrid have been sheer or paper thin. And of course they just don't hold up. I haven't had my LuLuRoe very long, but the material is much thicker and I think it will hold up well - as long as you wash it correctly.
- FYI - The washing instructions for everything is wash in cold on a delicate cycle and hang dry. This works for me, since I wash everything in cold, and hang dry all of my shirts and dresses. But you might consider it a minus, if you just toss everything in the dryer.
What I don't like:
- The sizing is not consistent across sizes. A 2x in an Irma top is much larger than a 2X in a Classic T. A 3x in a Amelia or Nicole is smaller than a 2x in a Carly. And I wear an Large in a Lindsey. Which means you really need to try everything on.
- My recommendation: Go to a pop up store or a in-person party and try everything on. Write down your sizes in each style you like, so if you later see something on-line you like, you'll know if it will most likely fit.
- Different materials also make the sizing inconsistent. I know that's an issue for all women's clothing. My husband thinks I'm crazy for trying on the exact same shirt in white, black and the cool pattern I like - but I have found that even in the best retail stores, the size can be vary radically between colors and fabrics.
- Some consultants in their on-line stores will note what fabric an item is made from. And some don't. I tend to stay away from the jacquard - they tend to run small and are not very stretchy. Which means, if the consultant doesn't list the fabric, I have to contact her before buying - and rely on her judgment as to if it will fit me.
- The sizing runs small - really small. It might say its a 3x and will fit a 24-26, but don't believe it. I have found that most of the 2x (which is what I typically wear) are too small, and the many of the 3x sizes are too small as well. Especially if you are a - ahem - well endowed woman.
- The consultants will encourage you to wear something that fits tighter than you are comfortable with.
- Most of the fabrics are pretty clingy.
- What's up with the black leggings? They are the unicorns of LuLuRoe. I know one consultant that hold them back for special promotions, or will allow you to purchase them if you buy a dress. And they are almost impossible to get in the TC2 (size 20 and up). The other legging patterns are sometimes cute, but there is a limit to how many wildly patterned leggings a grown woman needs!
- The same goes for solid colors - they seem to be few and far between, I know some of the fun is pattern mixing, but again there are only so many of these "fun" outfits an adult needs in her wardrobe!
- On the other hand, the kids and teen patterns are so stinking cute, it makes me wish I had grandchildren to buy for!
- The selection of colors and patterns: since consultants can only order styles and sizes, there is no telling what colors and patterns they will get in each order. And the company limits the number of items produced in a particular pattern/color. This means:
- It's not as likely that you will see someone wearing the exact same outfit as you as if you bought it from a mass retailer - a plus IMHO.
- But if you see something you really like, you need to buy it NOW. I don't like this - I think it promotes impulsive spending, It's really hard to see that cute color/pattern in your size and the style you love and know that if you don't get it now, it may be gone when it's in your budget. My usual on-line shopping habit is when I find something I like, I wait to purchase it for a few days (or longer). If I still want it and it's in my budget, then I purchase. This helps me avoid most impulse buys, and LuLuRoe's marketing strategy seems expressly designed to counteract it!
- The consultants will tell you to shop the pattern - they are always saying how they can wear multiple sizes in a style and it works if you just do such-and-such (like wear a belt, or tie it, or pin it in a certain way). I have found that this really doesn't work for me, as most of the sizes are too small.
- IMHO, the cutest colors/patterns are in the standard sizes. Especially for the tops and the leggings. I am pretty sensitive to 'fat lady' patterns and patterns that look like my grandmother would wear (and I'm old enough to be a grandmother myself so if I think my grandmother would wear that pattern, you know it's pretty bad!) and these type of patterns seem to be the go-to for the plus sizes. Which means if I do see something cute in my size, I feel like I better jump on it now (see the comment above about impulsive spending).
- IMHO leggings are not pants. There may be some women who can pull off leggings and a shirt for casual wear, but I am not one of them. The tops are too short for me to be comfortable appearing in public wearing them with the leggings - even the Irma, which is billed as a tunic. (it's not - it's just a long top).
- The cut of most items are flowing - which means not very structured. This can lead to a frumpy outfit, if it is not accessorized with a belt or a structured jacket. You have to be pretty intentional about what you buy and how you wear it to avoid the frump factor.
Yes, there are more things I don't like than I do, but I'll still buy LuLuRoe, For me, the comfort and quality of fabric, and the modest cuts outweigh the minuses. I have developed a strategy for my purchases:
- Know your sizes and what styles you like and don't like.
- Ask what fabric an item is make from, and if it is a tighter fabric don't buy it no matter how cute it is.
- Ask the consultant what her return policy is before buying. The consultant I mentioned above that only offers store credit? I only purchase what I can try on first (except for the 2 styles that I can wear regardless of the fabric).
- Don't be pressured to pattern mix if you are not comfortable with it. Think about the pattern and what you will wear it with.
- Don't give in to pressure to "shop the pattern." Stick to the sizes that fit you.
- Don't buy leggings to go with everything. You'll end up with a drawer full of leggings that you won't wear. I know it's tempting - they are so comfortable!
- Mix and match LuLuRoe pieces with other items in your wardrobe.
- Go for the solids and smaller patterns. Save the bold patterns for 'fun' outfits.
- Keep in mind how the piece you are buying will fit in your wardrobe. Is it a lounge-around-the-house piece? Something you will wear for work? Do you have a jacket or belt, etc that will go with it? Make sure you are spending your hard-earned money on a piece that will give you lasting value.
- Above all - make sure you LOVE the piece you are buying.
I hope this helps guide you through the craze that is LuLuRoe.