Years ago, I got invited to something called a Pop-Up Party at a friend’s house, and decided not to go after checking out the prices of the items. $25 for leggings and $35 for shirts was steep when I was pretty broke. The sizing was weird, too. One size supposedly fit from sizes 2-12, which seemed implausible to me, and the other was designated “Tall and Curvy”. I was confused. I am tall enough that I can’t wear regular length jeans, curvy enough to have a biologically preferable waist to hip ratio, and also a size 4 at the time. Weird sizing and high prices put me off, so I didn’t go. I forgot this brand existed for several years.
Fast forward to last summer, and a friend tells me she has a dress I just have to have. She sends me this dress and it was perfect. She’s selling this brand of stuff, and it’s the same brand from the pop-up party I didn’t go to years before. I figure she literally gave me something for nothing, so I should at least join her FaceBook group and support her business. Two weeks later, I bought a skirt, and then another, and then another. And then there was a multi-consultant drawing where you had to join ten groups to be entered for a chance to win a kids’ wardrobe, and my daughter loves leggings, so I joined the groups and entered the drawing for her. We won the runner-up prize, a free shirt for her. That lead to me looking in those people’s inventories, and I ended up with another dress, and then another. Then I won a few more drawings, and got some pieces for me, and some for my daughter.
Before I knew it, I was in 30+ sale groups for this brand, from Army wife friends to random people I’d never met before, my news feed was full of leggings, and dresses, and new inventory, oh my! My Instagram photos that I hashtagged #lularoe got more likes than anything else I ever posted, and my PoshMark “likes” were mostly these dresses, with a few pairs of leggings thrown in… I’m a sucker for geometric prints, especially if it looks Mod. A couple days ago, I realized that this is getting out of hand.
It reminds me of when my kids were babies, and I used cloth diapers. Cloth diapers today are not what people picture when they hear that term. They’re bright, and colorful, and made in many styles, most of which are extremely easy to use, and often quite expensive. Myself, I was partial to the mid-priced brands, bright colors, and certain features. I never resold mine because I used them for two babies, and most were just not usable anymore after that. The few that were still good when I didn’t need them anymore, I gave away to friends. Yet, I dipped my toes into the Buy, Sell, Trade community on a few occasions looking for a bargain. What I found was a whole different world. Women haggling over “HTF” (Hard to Find) prints, diapers of certain brands going for hundreds of dollars (yes, for one diaper), people complaining about how much other people paid for these illusive HTF things. I didn’t stay in that community long because I was never a collector.
LuLaRoe is exactly like that. Some prints are “unicorns”, in other words, very popular prints that everyone wants. If you see a pair of leggings for upward of $100 on eBay, you’re probably looking at a unicorn. I have seen grown women argue for hundreds and hundreds of comments over who actually commented first when trying to score one unicorn or another on some consultant’s page, and the consultant is the referee deciding who gets it. This was seen often when Halloween and Christmas leggings were released as well. People simply went nuts over these. It reminded me of when Tula baby carriers would stock their woven carriers on their site (circa 2012). People would try to claim one, but for a thousand buyers, there might only be ten carriers, so it was mayhem. That is every holiday LuLaRoe stocking, and it is also any given unboxing live sale when there may or may not be a unicorn in the midst.
The marketing is genius. Whoever had the idea that consultants get random inventory and the customers hunt for the print they want in the size they need, and buy from any consultant they find it with, is absolutely brilliant. I have never seen a better marketing model in all the things I’ve seen my friends sell over the years. I’ve also got to admit, it was fun for a while. It felt amazing to finally score my royal blue Carly dress, which I had seen in every size but mine before finally finding it in my size on PoshMark, hidden behind a very poorly taken cover photo.
It’s so easy to get sucked into wearing nothing but these clothes. Before I knew it, I was “Roeing” every day at work. Hell, I’m sitting at my desk in a Cassie skirt and a Lindsay kimono right now. Yesterday, I wore my royal blue Carly. Tomorrow, I’ll be rocking some geometric print leggings with a tunic sweater. The clothes are comfortable, and for a design engineer, that’s a plus, because I mostly sit alone at my desk and do math all day long.
Yet, I hit a wall with this a few days ago, and today, I am leaving all my LuLaRoe groups. It just hit me that there are only a few styles and they just have a million different prints in them, so it’s really easy to get bored with. It’s not like if you go to Express, or Ann Taylor, or ModCloth, and you see different things every season. All LuLaRoe does is put new prints on the same old things. They’ve released literally two new styles in the past six months (Carly and Mimi). I’m over it.
No, this isn’t an “eff you, LuLaRoe” post, not at all. I’ll still wear the stuff I have. I wouldn’t have bought it if I didn’t like it. Maybe I’ll score a new piece from time to time if it comes through my PoshMark feed, but generally speaking, I’m over it. My wardrobe needs more diversity than this, so it’s back to ModCloth, my old favorite. It’s been real, LuLaRoe, but I need my FaceBook back.