EDIT: I can’t do math. 2015-2023 is 8 years, not 7. 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️
My calendar got in my face yesterday to remind me that we’re springing forward… and that AthletiKaty’s birthday is also this weekend. Found myself with a work schedule full of Tuesday night games where I literally cannot pay attention to anything but getting on the air and keeping us on the air (I work in TV)… so it’s taken me two months to muster up the energy to hit post in this little corner of the internet.
I know, “where there’s a will there’s a way”… and I just haven’t felt strongly enough to post a 5 Faves & a Dud. lululemon’s been playing it safe lately and uploads are pretty much same font different color. Like this:
By the time I’m in the airport the next day, I’m tying up loose ends in the form of expense reports, time sheets, and looking ahead to where I’m off to next. Once I get home, I don’t want to simply ignore Nate for the few hours I see him before I pack up and leave again 48 hours later. By that time, it feels like it’s too late to post. The people who want to know what’s up have already been bombarded with variations of the same low-effort videos from the same 5 creators.
The formula is simple: screenshots of newly-uploaded items, maybe using a green screen to show how excited they are… all of which conclude with a plea to “shop with my link!!”
These posts are not low effort because the creators don’t care, they’re low effort because it’s a race to get onto someone’s FYP first so *their* link gets used. They’re after the 15% commission of your $250 haul, so that they can continue hauling new items on a weekly basis without making a dent in their bank account. By the time you shoot, edit, and post something a day or two later the window has opened and slammed shut in your face already. Too slow.
r/lululemon & TikTok = haul culture on steroids
The current state of lululemon reddit and TikTok can be summarized in two words: urgency and excess. There are purchases that I’ve sought out just to be one of the “lucky” ones to find a coveted item… only to turn around 3 months later and have the tags still attached. Sonic Pink Belt Bag? I’m giving it to my sister. Strawberry Milkshake Scuba Half Zip? I wear it never. The richer colors are my jam, and this winter I have happily switched back and forth between Green Jasper and Pomegranate without feeling the need for more.
Can’t help but wonder every once in a while if I’m the drama? I guess not me personally, but as a creator who has definitely engaged in OMG GO GO GO activities from time to time, I’m part of the problem. One thing that I’d like to get back to is remembering why I started this site in the first place. I wanted to geek out and share opinions, and if I tried a piece, to let people know how it looked on a very middle of the pack sized person. Size inclusivity wasn’t a thing back in the day.
The Math Ain’t Mathin’
Last year, I went 17/52 on 5 Faves & a Dud. Only showed up 32% of the time. That’s a pretty pitiful stat for something that is supposedly a “weekly” thing. I can’t fit any more tights in my closet. I don’t want to say I’m “over it” entirely, but it’s pretty clear that we always find time for our priorities, and pretending I’m excited about a new color of something we all already own 5+ of ain’t it lately.
I’m currently evaluating how much and in what form I want to show up in here. AthletiKaty on TikTok runs a lot, AthletikatyOOTD talks about lululemon, on Instagram she does a little of both. Here? I don’t know.
I enjoyed posting the #SeaKatyWheeze Training Logs, but I remember one single person responded on my end of year readers poll a few years back they didn’t like them… and ever since I’ve let that one rando scare me away from sharing something that I really enjoy with the world. How lame am I that I’ve allowed on comment from anonymous keep me from posting about something I love for the last few years. Hell, I trained for and completed the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON and you’d have never known it by reading this blog.
Starting to go off the rails now.
The gist of it is that it’s SO easy to create content that’s immediately published for everyone to see, that I’ve accidentally made myself feel obligated to be a breaking lululemon news reporter. In reality, I can’t do that. I don’t have the bandwidth. There are bots for that. There are people who make that type of thing their full time job. I’m not one of them.
I’m here for fun commentary and advice. I’m not here to pressure you to buy something just so I can make a quick buck. I’m here to connect with people, share how pieces from our favorite brand look and perform in real life, and hopefully make you laugh in the process.
Thanks for making it this far down the page. You’re a real one. ♥️
I do miss your perky posts – your cute in lululemon posts inspire me to buy!
KATYYYY. First and foremost: BIG CONGRATS on 7 years, especially with a full-time job this whole time. I know how tough it is!!!
And wow, I have about three THOUSAND thoughts here, which I’m sure won’t surprise you haha. I’ll hit 9 years next month! Every time I get that domain auto-renew email I’m a little taken aback lol. I know I’m stating the obvious when I say that the influencer game has changed so so much–hell, the word “influencer” didn’t even exist when we started!
I agree with you that haul culture and slamming content out is YIKES and, for me, just not a space I’ve been able to bring myself to play in. The incentive structure of content creation has gotten so distorted and troubling over the last 5ish years. I don’t blame people for trying to make a living, but like wow, it’s wild out here these days. Personally, I went through *years* of internal conflict about my part in fueling consumerism–I have shifted a lot of my behavior (including just taking a huge step back from it all), but I often still don’t think I’ve gotten it right. Which is to say: I know it’s super f-ing hard to exist in this space and find a way to show up that is 1) content people wanna consume, 2) enjoyable and worth your time for YOU to create, and 3) jives with your personal value system.
I still believe in the value of static posts and email lists, especially because social media is utterly capricious and so NOT searchable, but it’s no secret that it’s a dying are. The precipitous drops to pageviews/revenue don’t lie. I imagine you and I are in a similar boat as far as trying to figure out wtf to do with our blog presence.
If you ever need a listening ear to help brainstorm/process your thoughts about the industry and/or your ideas/hopes for the future, shoot me an email, DM, carrier pigeon, whatever. 🙂 Sending love, my internet friend!!!
AA! I found Atheltikaty by one of your blog posts years back (Lulu and the box back then!). Things have certainly changed for sure, and one that isn’t growing with me. I appreciate Lulu and but don’t love it like I used to. I have some Lulu old faithfuls (looking at you OG luon WU parallel stripe, raspberry forme jacket, pink shell swiftly), and some new-ish items that I wear over and over (F&F tights, longline energy bras, on the fly pants). As long as Lulu keeps some of their core offerings, which is less and less these days, I’ll still be a customer. I won’t buy into the hype anymore, but if something catches my eye, I’ll make a purchase. AA and AK – Thanks for doing what you do!
Just wanted to say that I still search both Athletikaty and agent athletica on the regular for help guiding my eBay purchases! I know the game is changing, but I still check in on both of your blogs from time to time to catch up on what’s new, whether that’s reviews or training logs! I think as i get older, I am more locked in on what I like (Athleta salutations – but please bring back the OG stitching on the stash pockets! I hate the seam to nowhere-very popular these days- lulu long sleeve swiftlies and Og cool racerbacks). I’ve tried enough alternatives over the years, and I always come back to these same staples. I look to eBay to add a new color from time to time or to replace worn out items. But I’ll keep reading if you keep writing! Katy- you do make me laugh! And go Pats!
SUZANNNNNE, THANK YOU for such a thoughtful reply. Of all people to understand how it feels to be on this side of the keyboard, it’s most certainly you. It’s comforting to hear you’ve been feeling the same way. Haul/flex culture feels like it has gotten out of hand. TikTok, IG & Reddit have lowered the barrier to entry in recent years so that everyone can join in, even if they’re not a career content creator. I’m all for seeing everyone get creative with OOTDs, and color comparisons are very useful. However, I don’t need to see a rainbow of belt bags laid out on the floor for the sake of saying “look what I have.”
It feels somewhat irresponsible to encourage the “I need this” mentality on what is considered a pricey item for some, especially knowing FOMO-fueled hauls can lead someone into debt if they’re not careful. I’m not a financial advisor, but I still feel occasional pangs of guilt because once upon a time I couldn’t fathom paying lululemon prices.
Back in our day (ha!) when blogs were the predominant source of style related content, Speed Shorts felt like the only item that a superfan might flex their collection of. Now, it seems like there are so many core styles churned out in different color variations that people hoard Scubas, EBBs, Align Tanks, Hotty Hots, Pace Rivals… We all love a good staple, so I understand and do own several of the same item, but once I get a color family… I tap out.
But nobody really gives a flying banana about Speed Shorts anymore. Style evolves. One day, no one is going to give a crap about Scuba Half Zips, and there will be women sitting on THOUSANDS of dollars worth of sweatshirts in quasi pristine condition. If you own that many and wear a different one daily… you’ve paid $118 to wear it just a handful of times.
You’re absolutely right about the value of static posts, and it’s what I want to get back to. Searchable content that can and will help shoppers make informed decisions on how they want to spend their hard-earned money. Thankfully, core styles tend to stick around for years, so a Define Jacket review from 2 years ago would still hold water.
I want to keep making lululemon-focused content, but I just can’t in good conscience hit ‘post’ on lackluster rinse & repeat content for the pure sake of a sale.
I may try to stay relevant by posting over on the clock app (frankly it’s pretty entertaining to poke fun… I *loved* your lulu problems posts!), but I will always remember where I came from and consider myself a Blogger, alongside badass creators like you <3
I’ve appreciated your posts when you do them! I would have loved to see more of your NY marathon post. Ignore the haters! Congrats on 7 years!
Thanks Kelley! Fortunately, I’ve found my way into the NYC Marathon for a second year in a row, and I really want to document the journey properly this time around!
Congrats on 7 years. As a longtime follower, I have always appreciated your unique tone and this post just reinforces that. So thoughtful, but also lighthearted. I hope you continue to do whatever serves YOU, and know that the authenticity is what people love and what will end up standing the test of time. 🙂
I just want to say I still love reading your posts, mostly for your fun personality and for your fit reviews and color comparisons. I don’t so much care about seeing a “what’s new” post weekly, as I agree it does make you feel a certain FOMO if you miss out on a new color that you probably didn’t need (I recently waffled over sending back an an item in carnation red when I already have one in autumn red). But even that seems like it’s fading… a year ago the new EBB and Oversized Scuba colors were gone in minutes, but now they’re hanging on for weeks before they sell out. And I’m not a good one about commenting and “engaging” other than likes on Insta, so I’m just commenting here to say I still love what you have going on (I’m an elder millennial, no TikTok for me, though I do appreciate the cross-posts to Insta) and can appreciate everything you’re saying here about what space you want to occupy (ditto for Suzanne!).
To hear that you’re all for useful content & how I deliver it with personality (and not so much the “OMG TUESDAY” stuff) gives me the warm & fuzzies. ♥️
You make a great point, I remember Align Tanks were impossible to find for the first year they existed, now it’s not an issue to find a preferred size/color.
FOMO is 100% to blame for the EBB craze. I got my first one during the pandemic in 2020, and it wasn’t until 2022 when TikTok seemed to decide a bag that had already existed for two years was *the* thing to have… and then it exploded.
I think certain items have leveled off due to increased production to keep up on the supply side, and closet saturation on the demand side. Nobody needs 4 shades of light blue of an $100+ sweatshirt. Most of us find our ONE house hoodie and wear it every single day… so once you have a couple, (especially of an item that can be worn multiple times between washes)… urgency for more diminishes, until you see someone else online sporting the newest color and wonder if one more wouldn’t hurt.
I’m gonna keep on doing what I do, and this comments section is proof that those of you who subscribe/check back (and landed on this post the day it went up) aren’t here for me to tell you there’s another white shirt for sale, you’re here to find out how it fits, see if it’s worth it and wonder out loud along with me on certain days… “wtf were they thinking?” ♥️
So, for one, you’re the only blog I follow. I deleted Instagram and all the other socials, so I don’t mind if you’re a little “late” on posting content/shopping. I value your views on the fit and worthwhile purchases over someone who posts “shop my link!!!!!!” videos, so please don’t stop on that account alone. I used to work at Lululemon, so I totally get feeling tapped out by consumerism. When is enough “enough”? I don’t know the answer to that, but if it’s something you enjoy doing, it brings you joy, and it contributes to someone else’s life/hobbies, don’t overthink it. The bank account drain, though, is hard…so I wonder if there’s something you could refocus on that end? Evaluate the drops, of course, but really focus in on why you purchase certain things and how often you wear it, etc? You already do this to some extent, but I’m just tossing ideas out there.
I hate the whole psychology of how many positive comments we have to receive to balance a negative. It’s been a journey for me on that front — I was a style blogger in the early 2010s (lol) and I still recall some of the specific hard comments I received, and they hurt. I felt really defensive and made a lot of decisions based on the negative instead of the positive. After I finished blogging, I came to the conclusion that not everyone is for me, and I’m not for everyone…and if there’s something about me that doesn’t jive with someone I meet, they can move along. I ask my students all the time about how I’m doing as a teacher, and I know that if I solicit feedback, I shouldn’t be surprised if someone disagrees with something I do, especially if they don’t fully understand the “why” behind my decisions. Find your why, act on it, and forget the ones who don’t get it. They’ll jive better somewhere else.
On my own note, I’m still super sad I missed the sonic pink belt bag and am looking for one if anyone has one they’re getting rid of? 🙂
Congrats on 7 years! I think I found you in my early seawheeze days (still bitter that I didn’t get to run number 6) I’ve been following you since on pretty much every platform now and I like to think that we’re instagram friends. I’ve always loved your 5 favs and a dud posts mostly because I want to read your dud commentary. I would love to read more about your NYC training so ignore those people! I go through phases on my love for lululemon but still enjoy your posts to see what’s new and also your reviews.
In a sea of Lulu/activewear bloggers, I’ve really enjoyed your fit reviews (especially as someone of the same height and similar body type), and your funny unique commentary (I live for the Duds takedowns). The thought of evaluating the same pieces in different colorways week after week sounds really boring and I think you have the freedom across your platforms to do ‘more’ by doing less (and focusing on your strengths/unique voice). Also I love a good training log! Rude of that one person to not just scroll by.
First off, I just want to say thank you for being here and often showing up in the comments section, even when I get so frazzled and am not that great at responding to them. Looking at the stats in comparison of what they used to be, it’s easy to feel like any page hits I get are random Google results, and not from people who are interested in what I have to say.
It’s time that I take back my little corner of the internet, because there’s one I’ve got that the big platforms don’t… a guarantee that if I put out a post that it’s not going to get suppressed by an algorithm that decides for you whether you want to see it or not.
People are plenty capable of scrolling by or not checking pages they don’t jive with any longer, and those who *do* enjoy my content don’t deserve to pay the price of having less to consume because some cranky rando was a just a little too loud.
I follow you on Insta/Strava as well (currently not running due to pregnancy) and TikTok but I never comment there bc it’s my dog’s account lol. But I think you have a great sense of community building and I bet your TT account will continue to grow!
Katy, every Tuesday like clockwork, I still come here to check to see if you have posted a new “5 faves and a dud”. Every week! It’s like connecting with an old friend for coffee every Tuesday afternoon, so I’m bummed when it doesn’t happen. Your blog appeals to me because you speak your truth, a truth I respect, You don’t mince words or compromise your integrity for likes or commission ,and that is refreshing. Facts are you are correct. I have shopped with lulu for over 13 years, and lately Tuesdays have been just blah… same ole thing in just different colors. It also seems like lulu is expanding their market and seemingly transitioning from athletic wear to athleisure; the aesthetics very much reminding me of Aritzia
Here is a quote from Isaac Asimov, “It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” This is your blog! If you aint feeling it the way it is, change it!
I personally would love your thoughts on running. Training runs, runnings apps, running gadgets, running shoes/ clothes, Nutrition, injury prevention etc etc etc No deadline, no Tuesday afternoon commitment, no rush. Bottom line, this blog is where we find what you are passionate about. If it’s not lulu for right now, so what. I am sure all of us that follow you and look forward to reading your blog will be here for the long haul and get behind anything you want to blog about.
BUT now on a serious note…….
WTAF!!!!! Are YOU for real??? I…. can… not…. Did you actually mean this “Strawberry Milkshake Scuba Half Zip? I wear it never.” ????????? Oh my GAWD! This is my unicorn, the one that got away. If you EVER decide sell it and list it in your store here, please let me know!! <3 <3
^^^Just so you know( or hope you know) I was joking in the last paragraph^^^
above . The scuba, however, I was spot on dead serious. Ha
I don’t care when you post because I will miss your sense of humor especially about the duds. Everyone needs a break sometimes hopefully you will find something to write about that inspires you and makes us laugh when you have time.
Congratulations on 7 years! I’ve been following you for almost that long (different name at first). I don’t do TikTok, but check your page and AA’s page often. I agree that lululemon has a lot of the same stuff every week, only in different colors. I miss a lot of the old styles. But I enjoy your reviews and especially your humor. Please continue and write when you can!
It’s nice to know what’s been going on behind the scenes! I’ve dropped out of the Lululemon-consumer-rat-race but I still enjoy catching up on blogs like yours to see what’s shaking, as I don’t use TikTok or Instagram. And the more “real” I can sense the blogger is, as opposed to someone who is acquiring just to acquire and show off about it, the more enjoyable it is. Perhaps you’ll find something new to blog about – I’ll be here for it!
Congrats on 7 years! So fun to see you and Suzanne trade comments above…. been a long-time reader of both. I agree with so much of the above. As I’ve gotten older, I care less about buying lots of Lulu and read your blog more for the witty commentary, and yes, just to make sure I’m not missing out on something great. It’s interesting- and good- that we are all evolving as we get older and wiser. 😉 Will keep following and reading whatever you decide feels right to share.
Congrats on 8 years! I’ve enjoyed reading your content over the years and I’ve definitely checked in on 5 Faves and a Dud plenty of times to see what’s interesting out there, as often our tastes will align nicely. That said, I also see how tiring that can be to do on a weekly basis when your job takes you all over the place and has you work unconventional hours–the fact that you’ve kept up this space at all is extremely impressive.
That said, I’m here for whatever content you’re willing to put out here, from training recaps to broader trend analyses (styles, colors, etc.) or whatever else. You want to snark about how Lululemon seems content to just keep adding colorways to the same products? I’d love to hear it! Same if there are monster hit products like the EBB–I’d love to hear from you on what the pros and cons are, because you’re not afraid to give your honest opinion. Maybe a monthly roundup of some trends and duds could be more doable given your schedule?
In any case: I’m here to read your thoughts, and however you want to share them moving forward is up to you.