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.

My Leotards Are Going Back & Answers From Elevé

If you read my last post you’d know that two out of my three new Elevé leotards had fit issues. I was really surprised by that and even more so when I laid them out on top of one of my existing leotards.

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To say this was shocking would be an understatement. For a while there I really thought the issue was just with me. You know how sometimes you try and put something on and it doesn’t fit and you just get that sad feeling like, maybe I got fat and didn’t notice? Yeah, I kind of had that. Even though I know I weigh less and I’m even building muscle. I wish I’d just done this sooner. I would have been less mopey.

These two leotards were really too uncomfortable to wear and my plan to just loose weight by continuing with class was clearly never going to help in making me shorter. And really, the length was more of an issue than anything else. So it was a bit snug around the midsection. Who cares? That one in the second photo would have been downright painful to wear. I’m flinching just thinking about it digging into my shoulders and riding up as I sit here writing. So I contacted Elevé and they’re helping out.

Elevé really does have great customer service. I’ve never had an issue with them, and I have had to contact them in the past. I honestly didn’t expect them to take them back as these are custom but it’s exactly what they’re going to do. They made sure they had more of my preferred fabric in stock and they told me they’d get straight to work on my new leotards as soon as they received my current leos. They also had me send in my measurements so they could be sure they’re cutting me the right size. Since I sew I was able to take them myself and send them straight off. I kind of already knew them but double checking is always a good idea under these circumstances. As expected they’ve shrunk a bit.

Since I did have to contact Elevé I decided this was the perfect opportunity to find out exactly what they can and cannot do in terms of customization. I had heard in the past from others that they’d do things like remove sleeves, or remove back holes from some of their designs and it turns out this is true. Here’s an excerpt from an email I had from the company,

“When customers come to us with small requests, like sleeves, back holes being removed, or a higher or lower leg hole cut-it all has to be passed and approved by Lisa, the owner and creator of Elevé Dancewear. Whether these requests are approved or not is solely dependent on whether these changes will effect the integrity, fit, or design of the leotard itself. For example, our Anna leotard can have the lower back hole completely removed from it, but our Elizabeth cannot because it would prevent our customers from being able to put it on. If an alteration that is not available on the website is approved, then the next step is to make sure it makes it on the paper work of the order itself. The way to do this is to type it in to the Order Instructions/Comments at the end of your checkout through the website. Anything that is typed into that box, we will be able to acknowledge when that set of orders is printed out.”

So basically it’s common sense stuff. If you want to buy a high necked leotard it’s going to have to have a cutout in the back and a clasp so you can get into it. Unless you’ve somehow figured out how to get in through a leg hole… And you want to contact the company before placing your order because if they really can’t (or won’t) make a change it’s better to know that before you wait however long before the problem is caught. Jessica, the person I’ve spoken to (who is very quick to respond to emails) said that they’re swift to contact people by email if they notice a potential issue with an order. But I don’t know when those orders get reviewed. Is it when they first come in, or once your order reaches the top of the pile? Even if it’s when the order first comes in there are still holidays and weekends to consider. And with a construction time of 6-8 weeks the last thing you want is to have to wait longer because you were a bit impulsive and placed your order asking for customizations that haven’t been approved. And I totally understand the company founder wanting the last say in what changes are made. She came up with the designs, so if you want to change them she deserves the right to say “I love it” or “No way is that going out of here with my name on it”. Cause at the end of the day you don’t want someone’s crazy desire for something dowdy, or risqué hurting your brand’s image.

I also wanted to know more about their tights, fabric options, and fitting info. I get a lot of hits on this blog looking for fitting info so I’m going to start there.

When it comes to sizing they recommend you start with looking at their size chart. That’s a pretty standard recommendation and it is where you should start. But they do understand how frustrating it can be to pick dance wear sizes. So if you have any fitting questions you can always contact them. And if you’ve placed your order but you’re just sitting at home worried it really won’t fit, email them. So long as they haven’t cut the fabric it’s not too late. They’re really more than happy to help you find the right size. I truly believe my leotards were a fluke. As I’ve said before I own three from them that fit identical. These two were just off. I’m going to put it down to the holidays. Sometimes things get overlooked or a person just isn’t paying as much attention as they should because their mind is other places. These things happen when you’re dealing with humans and as you can see here, they’re working to make things right. I’m going to be brutally honest here, my measurements are as follows:

Girth- 62.5
Bust- 35.5
Waist- 30
Hips- 38

So I should be in the low range for their Large size. Accidents happen. Fabric types vary, and that can effect fit. I think just looking at the sizing chart makes me feel better about this being a one off. But in the future I know if I really wanted to I could attach my measurements to the comments box when placing my order. I probably don’t need to, but I could and they’d have it attached to my order form there to jog their memory. To me it’s overkill so I don’t think I’ll do it but you could with no harm done.

Moving on to tights. I don’t actually have any of these from them but I won’t deny being intrigued. There are actually a few girls in my studio who like to wear cool patterned tights/leggings. One girl has these fantastic Romero Britto leggings and another has ones that make one of her legs look bionic. The teacher actually walked in one day and freaked, thought she was wearing some kind of freaky brace or something. They’re awesome. Now Elevé’s tights are more like leggings as they have no feet. They’re made of the same fabric as their leotards (no mesh allowed) and they don’t currently have a women’s selection. So you have to place your order from the mens section of the site, the style name is Nicholas. To gauge your size just pick the same size you buy for your leotard based off of their sizing chart. If you’re in-between go with the larger unless you’re very petite. And very important! When placing your order you need to put your gender preference in the comments box! That way they know to cut a smaller women’s size and not a mens.

I’m really on the fence about buying the tights myself. Sometimes I think I really want a pair (and not just for ballet…) but other times I think I’m happy enough with my current stuff. I really hope as they continue to grow and expand their site they’ll offer more options for women’s tights. I get why they wouldn’t offer mesh for men, but for women? We wear leotards and shorts and stuff. So I would totally see the mesh looking amazing as tights. But given the nature of mesh stretch material it might be hard to pull off. It generally doesn’t have the same level of stretch and they’d probably have to alter all of their existing patterns as a result. Then there’s the issue of some mesh fabric being two way stretch and others being four. I don’t know if all of Elevé’s mesh is one or the other, or if they have a mix. But if they have a mix it could lead to one pair fitting well and another not even going on. So I could see why they might want to avoid it for that reason or at least limit it to certain patterns. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what they come out with in the future.

Lastly I’m going to talk about fabric. I noticed some old fabric choices were gone and some new stuff added, and I waned to know if they were planning on adding any more fabrics anytime soon. I was told it’s mainly to do with supply and demand. When they run out or something gets discontinued they try their best to replace it. And I understand, fabric gets discontinued all the time. Usually after a few years, although sometimes much sooner. So if you see something you like you might want to get something made in it. Because if it’s popular it might not be available after a season or two. I personally like patterns with roses, but they always seem to have something with them so I’m happy. I was also told that if the owner Lisa come across something that fits their aesthetic she orders it straight away. I guess that’s why the new mesh in smoke is up on their site. I’m sure it was kind of a no brainer when she spotted it, and it is an awesome print. And I know that when it comes to spandex, stretch mesh, and lace fabrics there’s not a lot out there. Well there is, but it’s not like quilting cotton or something like that. For every one printed spandex in the world there’s probably thirty printed cottons- or more floating around. It’s just not a super in demand fabric and not a lot of places stock it. You’re lucky to find even a couple decent four way stretch spandex fabrics at your local Jo-Annes and it’s because it doesn’t sell well. It’s an intimidating fabric and most people don’t want to deal with the hassle when they could buy a swimsuit (what most people are sewing with it) for the price of a single yard. So designers aren’t in a rush to churn out new designs. I will tell you this. I know Elevé has had velvet and burnout velvet in the past. Kathryn Morgan has this one really amazing red leotard with their burnout velvet and I’m incredibly jealous. If they ever come out with another similar fabric I’m buying something in it. I don’t care. I will show no restraint. I cannot miss out on something like that again. And I’m not surprised Elevé doesn’t have any fabrics like that on offer right now since I’ve searched every spandex wholesaler site I could find and there’s virtually nothing in that category. So I couldn’t even buy a little and sew a leotard myself. So sad. 😦

So basically if something good actually comes out, they buy it. But if there are no awesome patterns to be had then there’s really nothing they can do. I won’t fault them for that. So waiting for the next season to place an order hoping they’ll have a bunch of new fabrics release just isn’t the best choice. If you like something they currently have in stock, get it. If you really hate everything they have then you just have to be patient and wait for something to pop up at random.

I really hope this post helps the people who come to my blog looking for the answers to some of these question. If you do have a question I didn’t answer here feel free to comment or contact the company itself. I do want to point out I’m not being paid or compensated in any way for this review. I’m just a fan of the brand and I love to share things I like. And really, I’m just sort of over the moon thrilled with how great they’ve been in wanting to help me and answering all my many, many questions. Companies like this deserve attention so far as I’m concerned. I’ll be sure to post a follow up review after my replacement leotards come in so keep an eye out!