“Clothes make the man.
Naked people have little or
no influence on society.”
~ Mark Twain
It all started because Halloween was on a Monday last year and I, the one who usually organizes the department parties, was taking a class at night. Instead of an English Department Halloween party, we opted to postpone our merriment and have a Legend of Sleepy Hollow party. This, of course, meant that I needed a costume. While I was in Colonial Williamsburg, I spied a pair of leggings with the Headless Horseman. When I asked for the name of the brand, I was told LuLaRoe. At that point, I had heard the name but it meant nothing. I found my Headless Horseman leggings on Ebay and my outfit was complete, and, well, the leggings were super comfortable.
About that time I had a friend from high school who decided to become a consultant aka an in-home retailer and added me to her Facebook group. Long story short, the company makes limited patterns in limited styles so the consultants may only get the pattern you want in a size much too small or much too large. In the latter case, you throw a belt on it and work with what you have. These must-have designs are referred to as “unicorns” and people can get a little nuts. OR, you can try to find what you want on Ebay and pay above retail prices; admittedly, I have done this.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve posted numerous pictures of my latest leggings collection along with dresses and skirts that I’ve purchased. I’ve joined a dozen LuLaRoe Facebook groups looking for my own unicorns. But, there’s more to this story… and for me to tell it, I need to go back almost two decades to when I was applying to graduate school for my Master’s degree.
Out of undergrad, I have a few jobs that weren’t exactly me but hey, they were jobs. Being in entry level positions with a Bachelor’s degree left this girl in a position of trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I also LOVED having parties from Tupperware to Pampered Chef to PartyLite. And let me tell you, I spent a ton of money on PartyLite. I loved those candles and I still do. Back then, I decided to become a consultant. I bought the box of products for a few hundred dollars to begin my tiny business. I never made much but it was fun; it helped me be social; and, when I decided to go to grad school and needed to pay application fees, I recall one of those PartyLite paychecks coming in at just the right time.
Even after my Master’s degree I ended up in a place where I needed four jobs in order to pay all my bills and student loans. Fast forward to 2017, I have a pretty darn good life so when I *work* a second gig the money goes to some charitable cause… but I will always be grateful for my little candle consultant business and I will never poke fun at someone who is trying to work to make her life a bit better.
When I was added to the first LuLaRoe Facebook group, I thought nothing of it. Shortly after, an acquaintance made a snide remark about those who were LuLaRoe consultants in a public gathering. It seemed harsh so I spoke up and that’s when I was somehow felt double-dog-dared to prove a point. Her point was that I wouldn’t be able to wear LuLaRoe because the clothing and leggings were for “homely” ladies and that there wouldn’t be anything gothy I would be able to find. Basically, she knew I wore all black (mostly) and wanted to make a somewhat-public challenge. And being an INFJ on the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator, I am decisive, strong-willed (or as my momma says “stubborn”), and an advocate.
Regardless of proving my point, which again if you’ve seen my social media feed I certainly have, I have met several women who I would not have met without the clothing. They’re hard-working women who are trying to have day jobs and get a bit more money while simultaneously trying to spend time with their family. One consultant lost everything a few years ago when her son was diagnosed with cancer. Her well-to-do economic status plummeted into a situation of medical bills and she, who had been a stay at home mom, had to go back to work. When no one would hire her, she started her own business.
While most of the consultants have never met a goth and don’t exactly get my style, they try. When I posted my pattern “unicorn,” a consultant wrote, “I don’t mean any offense but it looks a bit like something Beetle Juice would wear.” My response, “Exactly!”
Plain black leggings have become a major unicorn in the LuLaRoe world and I won’t reveal any sources but before a pair was released in an online sale the consultant messaged me knowing that I would want them. Let me tell you, that might not seem fair but it was a great business move on her part because I keep going back to her online shop before all others.
I own two pair of these infamous black leggings and each time I’ve paid retail; and, they are better than any of the leggings I’ve bought in the past.
Now, I did go a bit crazy for some Christmas leggings that actually had a Santa unicorn print. I bit like crazy in Ebay but feared I would lose them to the point that I ended up bidding and winning to auctions. Whatever… it happens.
Honestly, most of the patterns aren’t me; but then, many of the patterns in stores in the mall aren’t me either. The LuLaRoe dresses that I buy (The Carly and the Amelia) are dress patterns that I love and that I have loved and purchased in similar versions throughout my life. I have always loved leggings (partly because I have always loved finding footless tights… wow, I have this thing for foot-freedom but anyway). When LuLaRoe just isn’t a thing anymore, I will still love the items I’ve purchased.