Ballet Warmups, A Review

So far on this blog I’ve talked a lot about leotards, but I’ve never once mentioned warm ups. I do live in a colder climate so I do wear them for at least half the year, sometimes more. When I was in New York I ended up buying a few new things as some of my old items had become shabby. Items I already owned are basics like the Body Wrappers leg warmers most people own.

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These are the ones I have. I have them in both pink and black and both colors fit very differently. They don’t have a ton of stretch, the material is synthetic and not very nice. And I bought the 36″ (if you click the picture it’ll take you to those ones) but they fit me exactly like the 27″ ones fit the model in their promo images. Though I can’t really fault Body Wrappers for that one. If I want them to go over my foot, they’re just not going to go that high up my leg. They do sell even longer ones though, at 48″ so I could get this look. But as this brand is so hit or miss with the stretch I can’t be bothered to try again. For the record, the ones I have now are an exchange. I bought the longer ones but they didn’t stretch enough to go around my very normal sized thighs. So I exchanged them for the shorter ones.

I also own these ones.

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I have them in this color and the pink/purple color way. These came at the recommendation of my instructor in Hawaii. She told me that Wear Moi stuff ran long and right she was. I’m not sure the exact length of these but they are very long. I usually wear them over my feet and while they don’t quite come up as high as in the photo, I’d say they’re close to the second highest stripe. They also have enough stretch that I could pull them up to the widest part of my thigh no problem. They never sag, bunch, slide around, or fall down either. The only two complains I have about them are the lack of hole for my heel, and the stitching for their logo itches something fierce. Now I know that the heel hole will not be a deal breaker for some, but the embroidery? Why must Wear Moi stamp their name on everything? One of the other women in my class has a beautiful wrap sweater from them but it has the same logo stitched on so I’m sure that itches too so I won’t buy it. I usually end up folding that part over, I don’t really care how it looks. Just so long as I’m not itching.

I also have some shorts, but those aren’t even worth sharing photos of. One pair no longer exists and the other, the Natalie warm up shorts warm really well, but are almost more trouble than they’re worth. And they look really bad, I’ve had them less than a year too. 😦 They’re overly fuzzy, have pilled a bit, stretched out funny, and the list goes on and on. I’ve found washing and drying them in a garment bag helps but I suspect they’ll die soon. Not good as I have wonky hips that should be kept warm.

So I’m going to share some of my new finds and what I like about them so far!

We’ll start with the shorts. These ones are from Capezio.

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These are the Cross Country Romance Shorts and they’re part of a line. There are shrugs (like the one pictured), sweaters, wraps, scarves, and leg warmers. I really want to add the leg warmers and maybe one of the sweaters to my collection. When I saw this amazing rose color I really couldn’t resist it. Usually warm up shorts come in black, black, or black. So these were a treat to find. They don’t even come in black! They come in a sort of purpley navy blue and a dark sage green in addition to this bright rose. All the colors are lovely and they coordinate well enough that you could mix and match if you were so inclined. I personally love these shorts with my Anna leotard with the Bed of Roses back panel. That fabric is still available on Elevé’s website should anyone be interested.

Next up are these ones from Gaynor Minden.

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I actually bought these shorts at the Capezio store and not the Gaynor Minden boutique. I totally forgot about them when I was there and when I was browsing at Capezio looking at shorts I stumbled across them. Sadly they didn’t have them in the black as well, but I’m happy to have the purple. They also come in pink now which I didn’t know about, I’m pretty excited about that. These are great shorts if you prefer something shorter and not too bulky. These are thinner and the Capezio ones are quite a bit longer. The Capezio ones also tend to alternate between bunching and sagging at the crotch (attractive right? Once I’ve started sweating they stick a little and stop doing that but initially it’s not a good look) whereas these ones don’t do that. But I think these ones have a much thicker waistband and I like to wear these Adidas pullovers at the barre (they’re seriously amazing) and they add a lot of bulk around the middle where you might not want it. Especially if you fold the waist band over, the way pretty much everyone in the world will.

Next up are these leg warmers, also from Gaynor Minden.

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I have these in both colors, the black and the purple and I love them both. I was very excited to have leg warmers in a “fun” color and I can only hope now that they’re making the shorts in pink, they’ll make these in that color as well. The only thing is, these say in the description on the website that these will never slip or fall down, and they do manage to do that. But it feels as if that’s by some sort of miracle. These are very loose. If you’re a person who has trouble finding leg warmers because they’re all too tight, then these are the ones for you. There’s just no way these will be too tight on anyone. They’re also incredibly long. These actually fit me as shown in the photo, that’s a first for me. Now granted mine aren’t all bunched and are smoothed out, but I can get them up that high and there’s still a bit of bunching. So these are very, very long. A bonus for me as I like to take that tiny bit of extra and bunch it around my right ankle where I need it. Another upside to these is where the heel cut out is. Have you ever had your leg warmer flip off your foot? Annoying right? These will never in a million years do that, because these are cut so that they cover the majority of your foot. It’s also nice because I tend to get cramps in my right foot especially. So anything to keep that one warm is a good thing. Now full disclosure, I have size 10 feet. In this photo it looks like there is slight bunching of the product on the dancers foot, and that’s fine. She probably doesn’t wear anything smaller than a 7.5. But if you do, that’s something you might need to think about, because the heel on these might actually be cut too far back for you. Although you could fold the foot part in half if you really had to. The fabric is not so thick it would get in your way or interrupt your line. I bought the M/L, I don’t know what the size difference in these is. But it might be something worth contacting the company over before you commit to purchasing these if you have petite feet or have shorter legs and don’t want to have these bunched up on your leg or folded over. I may end up putting mine in the dryer but I’m still on the fence. So far I’ve machine washed and hung them to dry several times and they’re still looking brand new, no fading, pilling, or stretching out funny. I’ve always found Gaynor Minden’s clothing to be top quality and these are no exception. The fabric is very nice, and I’m loving the length. But length is something I have too. So these may not be for everyone.

So there you have it. I didn’t really buy much. Just a few new pieces, but I love them all. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone and I even hope to pick up some of these items in other colors. The coordinating leg warmers from Capezio are top on my list.

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They don’t have that heel hole I love, but I could always add one in if I were so inclined. And the shorts are such nice material so I’m sure these will feel equally lovely. I just wish they had these in stock when I was buying the shorts. When I was there they only had the wrap/blanket thing, shorts, and the shrug pictured with the shorts. All of these are new items this season.

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And the rose version of the Gaynor Minden Bamboo shorts, they really are lovely. Though those will need to take a backseat to a pair of black ones. Because although I joked earlier, very soon I won’t even have a single pair of black shorts. And winter is long…

Given that I did actually purchase a few things with a 20% off coupon I’d been saving for a rainy day. Those items are mostly being saved for Christmas but I got a couple of things early due to heating issues at my studio.

I’d heard some good things about these Sansha leg warmers online so decided to give them a shot.

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These look amazing, and even my instructor said “Wow, you look great!” as soon as she walked in. But there’s just no way around it, these are fashion not function. This photo doesn’t show it but they do have a cutout for the heel, not that it stays on. It kept flipping off. They slid down my legs, bunched, and the material is only so so. They arrived dirty and with loose threads on top of it. For $12.90 I thought they were an awesome deal and wanted to love these as much as everyone else. Especially since I had a 20% off coupon so they were even less. But these just aren’t working out for me. These are just a couple of photos I took to add to my DDS review.

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If you look at the promo images in DDS you can see the elastic threads but they don’t do a great job of advertising it and I think they should cause it’s not the best look. I thought at least it’ll keep them up, but nope. I may just get some of that silicone stuff like for strapless bras and tops at Joann’s and put several drops in there. That will probably help. Same as if I didn’t wear tights, but wearing these sans tights would be very uncomfortable I think. Fixing the stitching is easy enough, but I feel like I shouldn’t have to do it. Regardless what I paid. And I’ll probably put some of that silicone stuff at the foot as well. Despite all the stuff I don’t like about them, they do keep me very warm. The heat has been broken at my studio lately and some days we have none at all. The weather here has been hit or miss, with some days being in the 50’s and others being in the 30’s with snow on the ground. So these were quite toasty. But that was about it.

Given the heating issues I also bought these.

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These I have yet to have to wear. I brought them along last Thursday fully expecting to need them because the heat was out the previous day. But go figure, it was restored. Not only that, it was so warm I ended up doing the whole class en pointe. These feel like you’re walking on clouds though. I have size 10 feet and thought I wouldn’t fit into these but I do. I happened to see them in store and they had a Large on the floor so I tried them on just for kicks. This was back in summer and I obviously didn’t need them then. So when we started having heating trouble I decided to go for it. I can wear them with my flat shoes and with pointe shoes (though that’s a bit of a stretch). They don’t have a real sole so I wouldn’t go wearing them around outside, but indoors is fine. You wouldn’t want a real sole on them anyways because it would get in the way of moving your feet. In these I still have full control of them. It’s a bit more work (never a bad thing) but I could definitely wear them during barre.

So there you have it. All of the new warmups I bought in New York, and a peek at some of my others. I’m really loving most everything I’ve shared here, only the one miss for the most part and if you’re looking for a good last minute gift idea for a dancer in your life many of these would fit the bill nicely. I know most people like to give leotards because leotards are fun, but warmups are practical. Just be sure that if you’re gifting a student their studio allows warm up clothing! Some do not allow such things at the barre. Or they only allow certain items as part of their school uniform. So check with the parents! But for adults or recreational dancers, usually anything goes. Also, for younger students, class time itself is a nice suggestion.

As always I’m not getting paid for any of this and I bought all of these things myself. I love all these pieces (except for the ones from Sansha) and I’m happy to recommend them just based on my own experiences. If there are brands you love please let me know them. I’m always interested in learning about new companies. Especially small companies that are hand making their items.  The larger companies are nice and all, but when I can support a smaller business I like to.

See you next week!

 

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2 thoughts on “Ballet Warmups, A Review

  1. Hmm, Gaynor-Minden leg warmers will fit regular-sized thighs? Then I’ll definitely be checking those out next time I get leg warmers. I own the 48″ BodyWrappers leg warmers and the tight band makes any length over 29″ pointless on me.

    And class time is an excellent gift for a dancer or any age, not just the youngsters! 🙂

    • Yes, they will definitely fit average sized thighs. I have plenty of room to move in mine, putting them in the dryer did indeed help. But they still have plenty of stretch. Those Body Wrappers ones really aren’t very nice so I totally feel you. 😦 The GM ones are much more expensive, but are for sure worth the money.

      I agree. I can always use more class time! The way my studio does it you can’t really buy many credits in advance. But for most people it would be the perfect present because class time is the thing you want most!

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