New Elevé Dancewear!

Hi all, this post was supposed to go up last week, but I’m pretending last week didn’t happen altogether, so there we are. I’m also still out of ballet and we’re going on six months now. I am considering going tomorrow but we’re just going to have to wait and see how it goes. My husband’s been working a lot, I’ve been trying to see how long I can go between food shopping trips before we literally have no food in the house, it’s just been crazy. I’m also still in a lot of pain. So even though we need to do things like eat (I should really just sign up for Amazon Fresh at this rate) I’m basing my attendance off of my pain scale and how much I’m willing/able to just suck it up. Right now there’s like a 50% chance I’m going, which in all fairness is way better than the zero percent it was last week. I really just need more injections. Not just to be able to do ballet, but just to be able to live. IDK, I’m expecting my doctor to call me by Friday. If he doesn’t I’m going to call to make an appointment on Monday and I’ll leave a message for him then. I’m lucky, my doctor is awesome. I actually have his home number and he told me I can call him any time. But I hate being “that patient” so I leave him alone (except that one time but I meant to call the office).

So even though I may or may not be wearing these anytime soon, I wanted to share my new leotards. I bought them forever ago so I can’t remember how long production was, but I don’t think it went outside the normal quoted times. I did have contact with the company. I asked for the solid fabric on both my Anna, and my Tri leotards and Jessica their awesome customer service rep contacted me to be sure that’s what I really wanted. I told her I definitely wanted to do a solid back on the Anna, but that I had been waffling on the Tri when I placed the order. I told her to surprise me. They sent the mesh and I was right, I did love what they picked! So it was kind of a fun surprise. I know some of you might not want to play that game. But I’ve bought from them so many times I felt confident I’d love whatever was sent.

First up is the Anna. This one is a Large, no back hole, and a bust liner. The colors are Bluish Purple and Orange, both are matte.

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As you may have guessed, I had trouble getting the colors to photograph accurately. There will be a photo at the end that shows all three leotards with a more accurate representation of their colors. But this one is still a little off. The color is deep, but not anywhere near this intense/fluorescent. I would say it is more blue, calmer, and very pretty. It’s a great contrast to the orange which I really like. I had debated getting the trim in white, but with the intense colors of the rest of the leotard, I was worried it wouldn’t stay crisp. Any bleeding and the look is just ruined. Knowing how some of the more intense colors have bled on me, I didn’t want to take the risk. I actually have this in the washing machine right now, on the delicate cycle so I can’t say if these colors do bleed. Probably should have washed it by hand for reviewing purposes. But I just wanted it done and I tossed it in without thinking. I probably should take this opportunity to point out, none of my reviews are paid. If I were being paid I’d probably be a LOT more thorough and wouldn’t skip the little things. But I buy all of these with my own money and my reviews are 100% my own thoughts! So while I miss a bit here and there, you can rest assured I’ve not been swayed in any way.

The fit on this was standard and comparable to my other Anna’s. I love the fit of this one in particular. The length is good, it’s not too tight or too loose. It’s a fantastic style if you want or need to wear a bra. Especially if you get a solid back. No one will ever see it. Obviously you’ll get lines or indents where it is, but you won’t have straps or anything peeking out. So great for fuller busted women. The style never seems to ride up either. So all around, perfect for those who are looking for something simple, easy to move in, but also don’t want to flash a ton of skin. It’s still really cute so you won’t feel dowdy in it either. It really is the ideal blend of traditional ballet leotard functionality and modern styling.

The next up is the Laico With Sleeves. This one is size X-Large, has the full back, bust liner, and the “above elbow” length sleeves. The base is Velvet Roses, and the top is Black Mesh.

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Once again, the colors of this are off. The base is very much a true Navy. The color you’ll see in the last photos with all three is almost 100% spot on for color accuracy. The color looks so weirdly intense here but I liked that because the trade off is a very clear look at the flocked rose design. I have to say, comparing the flocking on this to something like my Wear Moi leotards, this is miles away better. It’s very well done, there doesn’t appear to be any shedding, and it’s very soft. It’s not at all stiff and crunchy like this stuff can sometimes feel. The fabric really flexes well and the designs don’t split apart. I have so many leotards that my Wear Moi ones aren’t worn enough to show serious wear. But just based off of my initial impressions of both, I feel like this fabric would hold up far better over the long term. No flocked design lasts forever though so I would generally recommend hand washing this one if it’s a real favorite to preserve it’s lifespan. I did buy this one in an X-Large. It’s a size that Elevé really only offers in this style. I do feel that this particular style runs smaller than some of the others. So if you generally buy a large, you may want to go with the size up in this one. If you’re unsure you can always contact the company and Jessica is fantastic. She’s always happy to help. You can send her your measurements and tell her what size you usually wear in their brand and others and she should be able to help guide you. If you do want a leotard with sleeves, and you don’t have those amazing, incredibly thin dancer arms, having the X-Large option. I have thinner arms. Especially for someone 31 with a kid, but they’re hardly twigs. You can see them in some of my other review posts. I have normal person arms. These sleeves are seriously my perfect fit. It’s also worth mentioning that I do have disproportionately long limbs (we make a lot of positive ape index jokes in my family as I’m not alone) yet these sleeves literally stop, right above that first bone in my elbow (not the part that sticks out, but if you feel on your arm, you’ll find it it’s like that first divot above the joint). I would so trust them to make me a long sleeved one. I’d probably contact them first to give my measurements to be sure. But I feel like they cut the sleeves long. Yay!

*You can see my review on the Wear Moi ones here, please excuse how heavy I look in those photos! I was on a med that made me gain a lot and I didn’t know how bad it was at the time, so that review is a little skewed on sizing as well.*

The last one up is the Tri. I bought the size Large, no sleeves, with the bust panel. The base is Dragon, and the top is Arabian Mesh. Sadly it would appear that Dragon has been discontinued, Maharaja would be the closest alternative. I actually debated between the two when picking a fabric for this one. Overall I’m happy with my choice though I may still add Maharaja to my collection (availability permitting) in the future.

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Before I say anything else, I want to take the opportunity to point something out here. The design is perfectly centered on this leotard, both front and back. Some people won’t notice things like this, or just expect it as a given. But I do notice these things. This is something that takes extra effort when cutting the pattern and it’s an added expense for the company. When you cut fabric with a pattern like this you’re wasting quite a bit. When working with a solid, or a busier pattern you can just cut with a focus to getting the most pattern pieces out of every yard. With fabric like this, you’ll ultimately throw yards and yards, from every bolt, away. They did not charge extra for this fabric even though some small Etsy businesses would probably (and fairly) add a surcharge.

That said, I love the feel of this fabric. It’s definitely different from all of my other ones. With patterned fabric you never really know what you’re getting. Some are shiny, others are matte, the stretch is often different than that of a similar fabric that’s solid. This one is incredibly soft and would go as far as to say this is not their standard milliskin but more of a microfiber. I haven’t contacted the company to ask, but it’s a very different feel. Despite that, it had decent stretch and wasn’t restricting. I do feel that this particular style is cut a smidge shorter than some of the others, so there is that. But it’s not restricting in any way. This feels on par with my other Tri styles. So it’s not the most comfortable, that probably rests with my Anna styles. But it’s not going to bother me during class. I do sometimes notice that I have red marks on my shoulders after wearing leotards in this style though. So something to keep in mind if you’re going to be in this all day, or if you have a long torso. I have an average length torso, my height is 100% in my limbs. I have my measurements listed on another Elevé review but I can’t remember which one. If you’re here just for these reviews (and I know some of you are) then you’ve probably already seen them. Keep those measurements in mind when considering what size to buy.

I wanted to include a photo or two of all three side by side, the colors in these photos are most accurate.

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I feel as though the first photo shows the Velvet Roses most accurately and the second photo better showcases the Bluish Purple. It is still a bit more blue than purple in real life, but this is much closer. If you’re looking at the Elevé website the swatch they show looks pretty much identical to this, but the real life color is not this purple. It’s just very difficult to capture in a photo.

I’m often asked questions about liners, how transparent different fabrics might be, and so forth. It seems like Elevé has settled on using a piece of the leotard fabric to do their bust liners. I support this. They did use a plain piece of white spandex for the last one, but it matched the interior color of the fabric. I find that matching the leotard often works out better than going with a “nude” color because not everyone is the same version of nude! At least for the bust, it hides a colored bra a bit better. That’s just my opinion though. I found all three of my fabric choices to be opaque enough to hide a bra. I don’t usually fuss over the color of the back so I didn’t double check with the orange color. But I feel confident that most of my bras would hide well under it. I personally don’t care if my bra is visible under mesh. Sometimes I wear one, sometimes I don’t. All of my bras are purchased with the awareness that they may be seen. So bright colors and cute patterns, I don’t mind if they peek out. Or even if the entire back is on display.

I’m sorry there aren’t any shots of me in them. I’ve just really not been up to it. I did try them all on and record my thoughts so I could share them. I’ve taken photos of myself in these styles in the past and you can refer to those to consider fit. I hope to get better at the selfies in the future and one of these days I’ll find a full length mirror I like! At that point I promise to update this post.

If you want to see more of my Elevé posts, click on the links below.

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/my-eleve-leotards-are-here/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/my-newst-eleve-leotards-a-review/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/my-leotards-are-going-back-answers-from-eleve/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/my-replacement-eleve-leotards-have-arrived/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/a-review-of-my-newest-eleve-leotards/

https://thekoolchicken.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/eleve-skirts-and-pointe-shoes/

Heaven help me, I think that’s all of them! As always if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them down below. I always try to reply in a timely manner. The company is also super great about answering customer questions so I highly recommend contacting them. Good customer service is kind of a big deal with me, and this company is one others could stand to learn from. They have started a Ready To Wear line. Every style is limited stock and once supply is gone that’s it. So if you’ve wanted to try the brand but were unsure if it was worth the 6-8 week wait, this is your chance! They also accept returns and exchanges within a 2 week period on RTW items. So if you were hesitant to order based on size you can buy the size you think you are to try them out. But be fair! Don’t buy just to size them and then send it back and place your “real” order. They’ve made these in their most popular styles and color/pattern combos. So order something you’d really want to keep. There’s plenty to pick from!

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Something else worth mentioning, the absolutely beautiful Secret Garden spandex (shown above) and mesh appears limited to the RTW line. I hope it’s eventually added to the custom options. But even if it isn’t it’s great that they’re thinking ahead to help limit the cookie cutter look with fabrics only available in one form or the other.

That’s all for this post. For those of you that have been waiting for this I’m sorry it took so long. I don’t have any more leotard or ballet posts planned as I’ve been out for so long. Elevé did have a Fourth of July sale but I didn’t partake in it given my circumstances. Perhaps during their next sale.

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My Elevé Leotards Are Here!

I had no intention of writing this post so soon. But that’s 100% due to the fact I never thought these leotards would be here so soon. The tracking said they’d be delivered Saturday, so imagine my surprise to find them in box today! 

I bought two different styles. Here’s what they look like.

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This is the Anna style, I added a bust liner. 

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This is the Nicole style, I added a bust liner to this one as well.

I want to take this time to point out. There was no reason to omit the bust liner as unlike Yumiko, they do not charge extra for it. If you want a full front liner it is an additional $8 charge. That’s very reasonable considering it’s a $10 fee to add a bust liner or a full front liner on a Yumiko.

 Here are the photos of my leotards.

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As you can see, the bust liner is just that, a liner. It is not a shelf bra and offers no additional support. It is the same material as the rest of the leotard, whereas the crotch liner is beige. From what I can tell, the crotch liner is made out of the same type of fabric as the rest of the leotard it’s not the thinner stuff.

The colors I picked are Steel for the base color and Orchid for the mesh and trim. 

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This one features a beige bust liner. I’m guessing because it was easier since the front has two colors. It was really well done too. 

The colors for this are Black for the side panels, Vampire for the base, and the mesh is called Paint Your Roses Red. 

I will not be including photos of myself in these because I’ve already tried to take them and I hated how they came out. The cutouts make it a little more obvious I need to keep working hard in class. I’m almost exactly the same weight I was pre pregnancy (I’m off by like 2 pounds) I’m just a bit more doughy than before and in weird places like my back (seriously, how do you get a fat back?). I’m lucky, I’m not spilling out of the back. I just don’t like the way it looks on me. I’ll still wear this to class, but I’m not keen to share photos just now. However, if you are self conscience or are heavier you may want to skip leotards with the cutouts. 

If you do not specify what kind of fabric you want (shiny or matte) Elevé will pick for you. I elected to let them pick for me and they chose matte. While I love it, you need to be aware it makes every lump and bump visible. My various bumps and such were much more apparent in the Steel/Orchid leo. You could see the outline of my ribs and even the indent where my c section scar is (for the record mine barely goes in, this is just how obvious things are underneath this fabric). I can wear tights and undies underneath and it’ll be fine, but you need a lot of body confidence to wear this type of fabric. I would pick it again, but probably only if I’m getting a darker color. The red and black leo is the same matte fabric yet it does not show everything underneath. Something to keep in mind, not every color is available in both finishes. At present Vampire is only available in matte, same goes for the Orchid.

You do have a lot of control with these leotards, but Elevé reserves the final say. If they feel the colors/patterns you pick don’t match their aesthetic then they will not make it. If they can’t reach you to discuss color changes they’ll do it themselves. So to play it safe I opted to just pick from the list of colors under the mesh swatches. The list of colors is just what colors are featured in the mesh (the rose mesh had seven colors in that design) and since this was my first order with them I figured it would be best to play it safe. 

Size wise this brand is my perfect fit leotard. I bought a Large, but possibly could have gone down to a Medium. I think the material that they use is forgiving enough that even if I dropped 15 pounds I could still wear the Large. But I bought the Large to be safe since I’m so tall and I don’t regret it. They’re very long are I would 100% recommend them to people who are tall or have a long torso and have a hard time finding leotards that fit. So listen up tall people, this is your brand- stop looking. I took these out of their bags and all I could think is, “Wow! They’re so long!”. They’re very comfortable and I don’t expect there to be any issues with riding up or digging into the shoulders.

As you can see, there is a huge style difference between Elevé and Yumiko. I personally like both, and can see myself owing a number of pieces from each brand. But if you told me I could buy another leotard today I would pick Elevé. I just love that they have soooo many options and I’m in love with a couple more of their floral prints. They buy their patterned fabrics in small quantities too, so that their leotards are even more unique. So hopefully they’ll still have some of those prints when I’m finally ready to order again.

I also want to say that this was a fantastic company to work with. I ordered the Orchid/Steel leotard first then a day or so later decided I wanted to buy another. I was fully prepared to pay for shipping twice because it was my fault for not buying them at the same time. But there was something weird going on with the website and it kept trying to charge me extra for the shipping saying I was out of the country. So I contacted them and they got back to me so quickly. At that point I asked if they would just tack this on to the original order even if it bumped it out of line and they said it was no issue. So A++ for customer service! They’re also a U.S. based company and all of their leotards are made here. So if it’s important to you to support U.S. companies then this is the brand for you. 

Price is also something I wanted to talk about. For what you’re getting these are very reasonably priced. These were $63 and $65 plus $6 shipping for both, I do not recall paying tax. I’ve seen basic black ones selling in dance supply stores for at least that much. And while it is important to support local businesses, they do not have to overcharge to the point your credit card melts going through the machine. So if you’re looking for a custom leotard that won’t break the bank then Elevé is a great brand to consider and technically you are supporting a local business, assuming you live in the U.S..

I hope everyone liked this review and that people find it helpful. I’ll try to do an update after I’ve worn these but I don’t expect to run into any issues. The fabric feels sooooo soft and lovely. And my ring actually caught on one as I was putting it on and you couldn’t even tell so it’s sturdy stuff. My only concern is with the red one bleeding, but even there I think I’ll be okay. I just couldn’t be happier with these two and can’t wait until next week when I can wear them!

 

My Second Yumiko Part 2

As I mentioned in my first post, I didn’t really have time to do more than snap a couple of photos. My husband was kind enough to pick my leotard up at the post office for me. But as always I slept late and I had to wash it straight away so it would be clean for that nights class. So here’s my full review after wearing it to class last night. 

First off, this is the leotard I bought.

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It’s called the Alicia. I picked Antique for the trim, Antique Rose for the top, and Espresso for the bottom. I also added cap sleeves and a bust liner. 

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Here it is inside out.

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For the most accurate color representation these two shots below are what you’re going to want to look at.

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The first photo really showcases the most accurate version of the Antique and Antique Rose colors. The second is a closer match to what the Espresso looks like in person, under daylight. However I’ve found the Espresso tends to shift a bit, considering it’s a dark color done in a shiny fabric. It’s a very obvious brown in all lighting, but it can look very chocolatey in some lights and then shift to a darker true espresso in others (like in the first photo). 

A question I get a lot is in regards to the linings. Is it worth it, what does it look like, etc. My take on it is this, at the very least a bust liner is always a good idea. And if you get a light color, you absolutely must have one. I feel slightly self conscious in this color, even with the bust liner. I asked my husband and he said he couldn’t see anything and so I guess I’ll take his word on it. I’m probably just being paranoid. But if you have a strong difference between skin color and, ahem, nipple color, I would flat out avoid this color even with a liner. Or resign yourself to wearing a bra underneath it. I’ve heard some people complain about Yumiko’s being sheer, and in my experience they are. It’s nothing terrible, but it is something you need to consider when making your color and fabric selections. Here are some photos of this leotard with a hot pink bra underneath.

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So you can see underneath it. I feel like the lines of the bra are slightly more apparent in real life. And I know the photos here are none to pretty, so again, please forgive my poor, horribly abused, skin. 😦

For those who are interested, this is what the lining looks like.

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Like my last leotard the lining is just a double layer of the same fabric the rest of the leotard is made out of. When I was in the boutique in New York I saw some that had that beige mesh. I do not know if they are moving away from that, or if they used the double layer of the regular fabric because of the style I was buying. I guess if you really wanted one versus the other you could always contact the company when placing your order. But I don’t see an issue with this fabric. It functions fine, and probably provides more coverage than the basic lining stuff since it’s twice as thick. The only issue I could see is if you wanted a shelf bra, I’m not sure they’re doing that anymore if they really have stopped using the regular lining fabric. 

When it comes to wear it was fairly comfortable. I did notice once I was really sweating a lot it kind of stuck to my skin. It was slightly plasticy feeling. It also rode up a bit from time to time. I do not have an especially larger rear, in fact I have a fantastically flat one. I also lack serious hips, I’m a rectangle for the most part. For reference I wear American Eagle skinny jeans in a size 6. So I think it’s a length issue. But I have that same issue with every brand I’ve tried. But I have found that with most brands, when I go up a size they tend to get baggy because, of course, they’re bigger. But with Yumiko I have not found this to be an issue. The only difference I’ve felt between a Large and an X-Large is the length. And although it’s not substantial, it is just about enough for me. I think with a bit or wear it’ll eventually be fine. Even now, it didn’t ride up much. I’ve experienced much worse. And it was not enough to keep me from buying another from this brand.

 

So bottom line? I love this leotard. I would 100% buy not only this brand again, but this style again. I found the style, with the inverted V made me look like I had more of a shape. And the cap sleeves made me look a bit less broad. They just hit at that exact right spot. I do think next time I’m going to branch out and buy a different fabric type. I’ve also been toying with the idea of getting their swatch booklet. I really hate their $25 price tag. But if I plan to buy even two more leotards I think it may be worth it. I might also ask them about a discount on it. I really do feel the fee is too high considering they don’t offer a credit or coupon when buying it. As I mentioned before most companies don’t just sell their booklets. There’s usually a special coupon or something that you can redeem when you place your next order with the company so all, if not most, of the cost of the booklet is recouped. But regardless, if I purchase one I promise to share the images here. The pictures I already have up are great, but I feel like they could stand to be a bit more accurate. I only had my camera phone on me when I took those photos and the lighting in the store was pretty harsh. So I think I could do better. 

I hope you all liked this review. I have two Eleve leotards on the way. I got the shipping confirmation yesterday and I have my fingers crossed I’ll have them in hand by the end of the week. Once I have them, and have had a chance to wear them I’ll take some photos and do a review on here for those as well!

Yumiko, I Just Can’t Wait

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Well, I finally did it. After months of hemming and hawing I finally picked what style Yumiko I want, now I’m waiting.

Back this fall I went to New York. I got to go to the Yumiko boutique and was so happy. I couldn’t wait to try things on and maybe buy a few leotards. Well, they had virtually nothing in my size, and the few they had weren’t very pretty in my opinion. So I used it as an opportunity to find out my size, the type of fabric I liked, and the styles that flattered.

I’m 5’10” and 143 pounds. Not heavy by any means, I’m actually thinner than some of my classmates- even some of the girls on pointe. But Yumiko sells to professionals and pre professionals and they say flat out on their site their stuff may not fit you if you’re not in that category. In fact I don’t even appear on their size chart. Based on my height and weight I’m an X-Large, I tried on everything from Small all the way up to X-Large while I was in store. I couldn’t get the Small on, the Medium just barely, and the Large fit pretty well, but still felt a smidge short. I could probably get away with the Large in some styles, especially if I lost some weight, but the X-Large fit me best. And since I don’t care what the tag on the inside of my clothes says I got the X-Large.

I discovered that I prefer the Nylon fabric to pretty much everything else. For whatever reason I just loved it. It is very sheer so I opted for the full front lining in the one I ordered since the color I chose is medium in tone. I would only forgo the full lining if I were getting a very dark color. I just don’t want to take chances with such an expensive piece. Even after you add tights (and in my case underwear) I just didn’t want to risk putting on a show. And before anyone asks why I’m wearing underwear, I was injured during my c section and compression underwear helps with the pain. For anyone who also needs/wants to wear undies with their leo I recommend Yummie Tummie brand, you can get them at Nordstrom. I prefer the “Nici” shaping brief in nude. They also sell a thong version but the briefs don’t show with my current leos despite the low leg opening. I may try the thongs in the future just for the heck of it- or if my new studio doesn’t allow undies. My current studio is very relaxed so sometimes you do see the edge of pink panties or a cute bra sticking out. Hopefully my new studio/s are just as forgiving.

I ended up buying the Marieke, I added a full front lining and 3/4 sleeves. I picked Lavender for the body and Atoll for the trim.

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I wanted to include a picture of the fabric swatches because the color chart on their site is in no way representative of what the colors actually look like in real life. You would think that with such expensive leos they would be a bit more careful with how they represent the colors online. You can buy a swatch book from them but they charge $25 for it and I think that’s absolutely crazy. The woman at the boutique gave me the booklet so I could see all the colors in person. When she saw me writing down my favorites she told me I could snap a photo. I thought that was really nice of her. Here’s the photos I took.

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I’m not sure why they can’t do this on their website. The little color blocks on their site are utterly useless, a real photo gives a much better idea of the colors. I think it could only help their business by showing images of the actual fabric since many people are still hesitant to buy online.

I will say I could see how it might be cost prohibitive for them to ship their swatch booklets out for free. But so many custom clothing companies offer a few free swatches if you pay for shipping. Or, if you buy their swatch book for whatever ridiculous amount they’re charging (usually $25-$35) they’ll give you a credit for that amount when you place your order. And you will end up placing an order to “get your money back”. Yes you’re usually out the shipping but the $2-$4 you spend on that is always worth being sure you got the “right” color. I wish Yumiko would give this option, looks like another email I’ll be sending (I email a lot of companies). Aside from color, getting to feel the fabric is important too- and you can’t do that through a screen. It just seems a bit cheap on their part. I can’t imagine how many people buy one of these, wait months for to to be made then shipped, and are disappointed in the color, feel, or thickness of the fabric.

There also aren’t enough blog posts or You Tube videos showing these. Yes, it’s possible you’ll see people in them in class but it’s weird to go up to someone and say “hey, can I pet your midriff” or “can I try on your leotard for size”. Also one leotard is not enough to gauge what every color will look like based on their current color chart. Even if everyone in a class wore one in a different color, fabric type, and style you’d probably still be missing quite a few options. So after I get mine I’ll post photos and let everyone know what I think about it. And I promise to post good photos, showing it both right side in and inside out, in good lighting, and with closeups. Maybe I’ll even do a video so you can get a better feel for the texture of the fabric.

When this one arrives I’m likely to place another order. Here are the next ones up on my list!

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I have pretty broad shoulders so I’ll be adding sleeves to some of these to balance them out. Also I’m moving somewhere cold and I freeze even here in Hawaii so I figure they can’t hurt.