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.

IMG_5971

IMG_5972

IMG_5973

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.

IMG_5965

IMG_5966

IMG_5967

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.

IMG_5968

IMG_5969

IMG_5970

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.

IMG_5975

IMG_5974

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!

sally_rtw_frt_KMJ2197__09213.1467318585.960.1280

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.

Advertisements

My First Yumiko!

As promised here is my review of my new Yumiko.

First off is shipping- it took forever. They say to expect 4-6 weeks for construction and shipping but it was more like 8. Then, after all I paid they shipped it in one of those plastic bag mailers and it was just stuffed into a plastic bag with my name, the colors, size, and style number printed on it. I was so happy when I ripped open the package but after thinking about it I was pretty miffed. This leo was more than a hundred dollars, and they couldn’t even be bothered to fold it? So it arrived wrinkled and if it was handled roughly at all it could have been seriously damaged in shipping and I would have had to wait another two months for a replacement. I don’t think it would kill them to spring for a box and wrap it a little better. 

Now for the actual leotard.

ImageImage

The first photo is the front and the second is the back. As you can see the neckline in the front is about two inches higher than it is in the back. The wrinkling is due to the way it was packaged. For those who are interested the style is Marieke, and the colors are lavender for the body and atoll for the trim.

Image

I was aiming for better light here but didn’t get it. For the most accurate color look for lavender on the color chart I posted before. It rained all day here and I could not get an accurate color shot to save my life today. Anyways, it drapes quite nicely and I think that’s probably part of why they fit the way they do.

Image

This is a shot of it inside out. As you can see the lining is the same material as the rest of the leo which I think makes it feel more substantial. The lining is only on the front panel and is not on the back or the sleeves.

Image

Please forgive my juvenile chipped and sparkly nail polish. 😉 This is the lining and the front panel. 

Image

That’s the tag, I’m sure it’ll be gone after my next class.

 

Full disclaimer it’s been a while since I’ve been to a class so any muscle I might have had has been transformed to marshmallow. I hope you all appreciate this.

Image

ImageImage

As you can see I’ve yet to perfect the art of the selfie. I’m positive there’s a way to do them so I appear less flat (both front and back) and slimmer but I have no freaking clue how. 

I happened to have on one of those stretchy bras I talked about before and decided to keep it on. That way you could have an idea of how low cut it is. It comes to camisole level for the most part. The leg opening is generous and I opted for the normal low leg. My inseam is 36 inches (yes, you read that right) so I don’t need the high cut to make them look longer. Nature took care of that for me. I was surprised the sleeves were long enough, I was worried since my arms are super long too. I don’t think I’d try the full sleeves but I’d defiantly get 3/4 ones again.

Image

I wanted to include this side shot so you can really see the difference the front panel makes. This fabric isn’t exactly being stretched to the max and it’s still quite sheer. So if you’re getting anything this color or lighter I highly recommend getting the full front panel and not just the bust panel. Otherwise you may end up embarrassed…

 

All in all I’d say I’m very happy with this purchase. It was expensive but this leotard is so comfortable and it’s really well made. The fabric just feels nice, both in my hand and on. I could see this particular fabric lasting a very long time even with less than stellar care. If I do take care of it I’m sure I’ll have it for many years to come. I will probably add one or two more to my collection before the year is out. Now I just need to find a new studio so I can put this one to work!

If anyone has any questions feel free to ask them in the comment section, I’ll answer you as soon as I can!

 

Brand New Ballet Shoes

When I was in California I was able to pick up my Discount Dance Supply order. Despite it being a single order it came in three shipments and they all shipped differently, and arrived on different days. Two were USPS, one priority the other first class, and the other was FedEX. Why they routinely do this I’ll never know. And don’t think you can order from DDS if you’re in a time crunch because two of the orders came over a week after placing the order. 

I wish I took photos of everything, I didn’t because I was both busy and frustrated. Everything but the MDM shoes went back. In fact the Sansha shoes were an overall mess. They sent two in the usual peach color and one that was light pink. The drawstring was also on the side as opposed to the center front. When I brought them into the store to return I initially thought they wouldn’t take them back. In fact for a bit it looked like I might have been stuck with them. But a supervisor came over and said all the style numbers matched. It just seemed like they took a really old style and tossed it with my order. They ultimately took everything back, but it took forever and was not without a hassle. 

One of the employees was able to help me replace the Sansha shoes, because I still needed a pair. I ended up with another style of canvas Sanshas that cost the same. They don’t have the same pretty V shaped vamp but they work okay. The sales girl said I have a narrow foot with tapered toes and I really need a narrow shoe. Of course they didn’t have any, this was something of a recurring theme with them. I ended up with a regular width and they’re not too bad, I’ll try ordering a narrow before my next California trip.

Here are some photos of my new Sansha’s. They’re these one’s, http://www.discountdance.com/dancewear/style_S1C.html?pid=62&Shop=Style&SID=533896885

Image

 

Image

Now the elastics came pre attached to the back of the shoe and I had to sew them down by the arch. And since I already had the needle and thread out I decided to do a bit of modification. The one thing I really like about Bloch shoes is they way they sew the drawstring down by the heel. I hate having shoes too tight there. So if you can see, about a half a centimeter away from the back elastics on both sides I sewed down the drawstring. It was easy to do, though I did need my thimble at times. I highly recommend this to anyone who hates the way elastic drawstrings dig in to their Achilles tendon.

 

My other two pairs are the MDM shoes I talked about in a previous post. Here’s a look at the shoes and their packaging.

Image

Image

Image

 

Both shoes came packaged in plastic bags with slid zip tops. The canvas shoes came with the smaller ad that shows their leather shoes, and naturally the one that came with the leather ones advertise the canvas shoes. The one that came with the leather shoes shows how to put them on but apparently this info isn’t required for their canvas shoes since the reverse side of that ad is blank.

Image

Image

 

Both shoes come with a little satin shoe bag that has the company name on one side and the logo on the other. It’s a nice touch and they are cute but they’re thin, white, and polyester satin so I don’t see them lasting very long. So I’d really rather they skip the fancy packaging and drop the price of the shoes.

Image 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Now the shoes are pretty, and they seem quite well made. The heels are molded like that and so is the sole. It looks like the stuff they use to make their “EVA support structure” is very similar to craft foam. Perhaps a bit thicker. Do to slight imperfections I’d guess these are (like most ballet shoes) made by hand. For some reason they said “modern ballet shoe” and I heard “made by machine”. This does not appear to be the case.

The elastics came pre attached which is always nice, they’re not too tight or too loose. The elastic running around the perimeter is comfortable too (though I could fix it if it were tight, but I’d need my sewing machine). I feel like the leather shoes are a good width, though it boggles the mind I’m wearing a wide. I think I may go down to a narrow in the canvas next time, they really do fit quite differently from the leather. The length feels okay though they’re a bit snug right now. I didn’t want to swap them as they may grow. 

The lining is very, very soft and thick and I do worry they’ll make the shoes quite hot. It’s great they’ll help warm up and keep your feet warm, but excessive sweating is just going to make them prematurely gross. My feet are perpetually like ice, but if you have normal feet you should keep this in mind.

All in all I’m happy with them. I need to wear them around the house more so they stretch out a bit and start to conform to my feet. I don’t want to do that in class since I don’t want to be more focused on my shoes than my dancing. I have tricky feet, I’ve been dealing with numbness in my right big toe for months now and the other foot is worse. So they need to fit right before class. 

 

While I was at DDS supply I tried on another shoe, the Capezio cobra. I actually loved them. The material was very thin and soft and they really flattered my foot. So much so they could be my “perfect shoe”. The sales girl said they run a smidge narrow and work well with tapered toes and I have to agree. There was no bagging around the toe and they hugged my arch so nicely. My only problem was they were just a little too small. Capezio does make them in bigger sizes (including the half size I need) but of course DDS didn’t have that in stock. They’re available online so I may end up caving and buying a pair if there’s a sale, if not I’ll wait till after my move. But they will be mine. I may like them even more than my much anticipated MDM shoes. 

The salesgirl also recommended Russian Pointe flats for me as they’re apparently quite good for tapered feet and have numbered widths. But she looked for them and apparently they had all vanished from the show room. Strange how so many shoes could have simply evaporated, but they did. She did not opt to go to the back room to look for them and I couldn’t be bothered to press. They don’t have my size on their site so it may have ended in disappointment anyways. Perhaps I’ll be able to try some on in store when I get to Washington. 

 

I’ll be sure to update on how the MDM shoes preform once I’ve had a chance to really use them. They cost a lot and make some pretty big claims. I think people have the right to know if they really live up to them.