Shopping tends to overwhelm me. There’s too much stuff in every store causing a classic case of sensory overload. As a procrastinator extraordinaire, shopping online is not usually an option. So, when venturing out recently, I was prepared for crowds, no parking, and long lines.
Nothing prepared me for the Shopgirl in Tutu.
I strode purposefully into the temple of all things yoga-ish, Lululemon, and skidded to a halt. Overwhelmed instantly by the sheer magnitude of yoga-ish offerings (stretchy pants, hoodies, tank tops, brightly coloured mats and water bottles) that went from floor to ceiling, alarm bells clanged in my head. I took a deep breath and barrelled forward towards a mountainous display of clothing only to have my progress impeded by a woman in a sports bra, black leggings and black tulle tutu. I think she wore black hiking boots but frankly, after spying the tutu, my vision became unreliable.
Do people practice yoga in tutus now? Does Lululemon now carry ballet wear? This new corporate message (if indeed there was one) confused me mightily. A question came to mind: was the black tutu with matching hiking boots a personal wardrobe choice or a Lululemon corporate decision? I saw no one else dressed like that. The other women working the shop floor were clad in the usual expensive yoga pants, tank tops, and hoodie jackets. Would it have been rude of me to say, “Hey! What’s up with the tutu?”
I know it sounds silly to be thrown off by a tutu, but it was just so… unexpected. Had she been wearing a Santa hat – no problem. A reindeer antler headband? Of course, tis the season. Black tutu? Umm…no. Leaving the store with my purchase, I continued to be perplexed. My perplexed state perplexed me further – why was I perplexed?
Corporate branding and marketing are so pervasive in our society it seems unlikely that this shopgirl was a rogue tutu-wearing rebel. However, the tutu was a complete departure from what I thought of as the Lululemon “brand.” So, I investigated the website and found, ta-da, that Lululemon does now carry “dance wear” although, not one piece of tulle did I find. The photos were of leotards and leg warmers and the blog entitled, “dance” talked a lot about music festivals and…yoga. Sounds like I’m not the only one confused.
If tutus are now de rigeur in yoga classes, I’m afraid I must run, not walk, away from all neighbourhood yoga studios (right now, I merely cross the street). As soon as small tents become fashionable attire for doing a downward dog, I’ll possibly join up. The Christmas shopping will carry on, as it must. I will now be more open to expecting the unexpected.