August 9, 2022

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Lululemon Bowline Pants and Shorts Review 2021

As a curvy queer gal who likes her clothes to fit in a Timothée Chalamet–holding-a-bottle-of-sparkling-water-by-the-neck-while-casually-strolling-down-the-street kind of way, I’ve learned to shop exclusively in the men’s section. Clothes tailored to women’s bodies are just not for me — they either are way too tight, are way too short, are fringed, or make my boobs and ass look juicy (which may be great for some ladies, but is not my vibe). It’s not that difficult to find men’s tops and sweatshirts that look put together but relaxed. But below the waistline is like searching for the Eighth Wonder of the World. Men’s pants usually make me look boxy, like I’m about to show up for a shift cleaning tackle boxes at a Bass Pro Shop.

After a depressing afternoon spent combing through pretty much every rack of men’s pants in Soho, I grew resigned to a fate I call “party on top, SpongeBob on the bottom.” Then I wandered into a Lululemon and found the pants I’d been searching for my entire life: the Bowline Pant 30-inch Ultratech, in brown. I always thought Lululemon was for people who worked out with the vigor of an Olympic hopeful. Au contraire — it’s for all of us.

Lululemon Bowline Pant 30

Photo: retailer

Shown in copper brown, they’re available in five other colors.

The pants are basically stretchy chinos with a drawstring that can adapt to people (me) whose weight fluctuates on the reg. They’re something you can wear for any occasion — and I wear them for every occasion. I wore them to an impromptu photoshoot at the Cloisters. I dressed them up with a nice shirt for a meeting with a producer. I even wore them the morning I wrote this, paired with a pajama shirt with Bieber’s face shellacked on it, when I went out to grab coffee. The very first time I stepped out in the pants, the compliments were soaring. A woman in line at a café stopped talking to her friend about buying her toddler a third thing from Comme des Garçons to ask me where I got my pants so she could buy some that day. Apparently Cobble Hill moms can wear them too.

Earlier this year, after a glorious fall and winter of feeling like a celeb on DeuxMoi whenever I wore my Bowline pants, I started to dread the return of summer and shorts season. If shopping for pants is hard, shopping for shorts is truly mission impossible. Finding a good pair is a struggle for most, unless you’re Kendall or Kylie Jenner (or this dog). I used to wear swim trunks because they were the only piece of clothing I could find that seemed halfway decent. That was, until I perused the Lululemon site to see if I could strike gold a second time and saw that it had released, what do you know, the shorts version of my beloved pants.

Lululemon Bowline Short 5

Photo: retailer

Shown in a khaki color called “Trench,” they’re available in four more shades.

The shorts are the perfect length — five inches is where you want to be, friends — and they are stain-and-rip resistant, something I need because I run into my furniture at least twice a day. (The pants are just as durable — Lululemon calls them “abrasion-resistant.”) After years in which I debated whether it might be more flattering to just walk around bottomless like Winnie the Pooh, finding pants and shorts that fit the way I want off the rack felt like hitting the jackpot, or a good-good honeypot. And yes, both give me the swagger to walk down a street holding a bottle of Saratoga by the neck.

Photo: Arin Sang Urai

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