Goth Humor – Leggings

This totally happens to me.  The thing is, I have about 20 pairs of black jeans, and at least that many pairs of leggings. . . As for the REST of my closet, no matter the item, I have it in black…and in spades!

Be Ridiculous

Once upon a time I worried about what people thought.  I worried about if they’d like what I was wearing, if I looked silly, or if the things I enjoyed weren’t “cool.”  But it didn’t last particularly long, those worrisome spells, because I simply couldn’t mold myself to fit within the confines that others did.

Boxes didn’t work for me, and I made myself sick – in the short time I tried to care – trying to figure out what I was “supposed to” do, and “supposed to” be.  Based on someone else’s definition, by the way.  I was like a dodecahedron trying to fit into a triangular shape – I had so many facets, I’d make a gemologist spin, and the “mold” simply didn’t work.

I feel like that was fortunate for me, though. . .because I learned to just do my thing and be, unabashedly, my curiously off-beat self. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to squeeze yourself in to other shapes.  It’s SO much easier being authentic than having to remember the details of the “lie” that you pretend to live.

The world doesn’t need more conformists…it needs the beautiful variety that all of us bring to life. It’s not only okay to be you, it’s what you, and everyone else deserves.  If someone takes issue, that’s okay – that’s for them to worry about.

Do your thing, and be ridiculous if you want to.  Even if it means wearing obnoxiously-printed leggings, leg warmers a la 1982, and Thundercat shoes at age 38. 

Happiness is the heart of the beholder. ❤

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Vogue’s Fit Fashion

So…I don’t totally agree with Vogue on this one…

I confess, I do own quite a few pairs of Lululemon leggings, as well as a few of their jackets.  But the truth therein is that my parents gave me a generous gift to the store, and my hunnie very generously tracked down a jacket for me.  I never really shopped there prior, despite that I always loved their lines, cuts, fabrics and styling.  The key reason?  I go to the gym and I kick my ass!  My clothes get beat up like no one’s business, and it’s more about the activities than wearing a perfect match. 

Quality does make a difference, absolutely – as an athlete, I keep fabrications in mind because I NEED the breathability, moisture-wicking, and stay-cool technology.

But

The truth of it is, you can buy great pieces for a good deal less…that don’t fall apart…and that look just as adorable.

Lulu, just one example, is one of those brands that I adore – I love nearly everything in the store!  But I also know many folks who can’t really afford their products…and they aren’t alone.  The pricing is definitely higher-end, “bridge” type – it’s more haute-fitness than not, and that’s okay.  But when you think about the heavy lifting (literally) and the sweat-soaking going on…you may not feel comfortable, or able, to drop $130 for a pair of leggings that Danskin has for $50 or less!  

I grew up as a dancer so I have drawers filled to the brim with Danskin, Capezio, Bloch, Body Wrappers, DanZworld, Dance America and Chrisanne.  The Ballroom brands can also get a little pricey, but the former few really aren’t.  Not to mention, these days you have ton more brands offering fashion-forward styles at a lower price point, including H&M, Forever 21, Champion…  Victoria’s Secret has some cute things nowadays as well, though, if you are fuller figured, keep in mind you may have a little trouble finding your size – many of their sportsbras aren’t offered in the size I need, and that does, admittedly, put me off a bit.  Support is also way more important to me than the look of the thing – I’d rather not be marching around in a bikini top anyway!

Vogue, over here, however, is touting adorable but pricier brands such as Sweaty Betty, along with sportsbras that are 85 pounds (seriously?!)…

And leggings that cost more than some Lulu’s (kind of alarming for workout gear…!)

I’m not saying they aren’t adorable.  They are.  But maybe Vogue (wrongly) assumes that everyone reading their publication(s) are okay to drop a relatively large sum on fitness apparel, or that they care so much more about the fashion aspect than the part about flying under the radar, lifting weights, and giving the treadmill a good solid run…?  

I don’t know, perhaps they feel they give showcase items people should to aspire to have, but I just feel it’s a bit over the top and pushy – there, I said it!  I was in Fashion for many moons – we do look to magazines like Vogue and Elle and Bazaar to feature the luxurious, the high end, even the absurd… But when you are sharing an article about fitness, add a few things that are achievable…?  I’d be more interested to read about new, more affordable brands myself, and I daresay it would have a much larger appeal (and advertising factor!)

Oh wait, they did include these Tron-inspired socks from H&M for only 7.99 Pounds a two-pair.  (Still, in my opinion, heftier than the performance wear you can get at a sports store, but better than the 85 pound bra…)

I mean, I get it when it comes to your footwear, or your lifting gloves – those are tools that you rely on to assist with your performance.  But apparel (unless you are swimming in Olympic trials and you need the aerodynamic edge) needn’t be as much as a big deal if you can’t afford for it to be.  

You don’t HAVE to spend a fortune to feel great at the gym.  Fashion doesn’t matter much to me personally when I’m there – I’m usually a shade of pink, purple, or red, and sweating so much I’m just in sweats and a sportsbra myself… BUT, I certainly understand that everyone is different and some folks like to put their best foot forward when they come in.  In that case, you do have plenty of options that won’t break the bank if you simply don’t have the extra to spend there.  Brands are really branching out, challenging their own fashion parameters – it’s really cool to see, and wonderful when you look at your receipt after leaving the store! 😉 

Martial Arts Humor (for Ladies) – Leggings

Part of me loved this because I was a dancer – working in the Fashion Industry left ZERO time for anything beyond my very tight routine of work, more work, dance, eat, sleep….repeat.

I wore leggings to the office most days, and simply changed into my dance shoes when I got to the studio – I had enough time to stretch and that was it!  

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As a Martial Artist, I can also appreciate the wonderful flexibility of leggings…  Wearing them as “pants” works well as a defensive technique – Come at me in the street and my “pants” can flex so much that you will end up with the ball of my foot under your chin, in your teeth, or at the side of your head.

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How about THAT?

Sorry, jeans.  You’re fun, and you can be hot, but…I like my ROM*!

(*Range of motion. 😉 ) 

Candida, and the Lost City by Yakuza

I love Candida Maria‘s moxie, and knew the first time I spotted the brand that the HQ HAD to be in Brazil.  I have had the fortune to work with many Brazilians in my Fashion career, and never met a single one who…

A.) Wasn’t AWESOME and sweet, simultaneously…

B.) Didn’t love prints, colors, and sassiness.  

(I’m not making a gross generalization, mind you, but I’ve yet to meet one who isn’t flat-out fun, friendly and fabulous. 😀 )

Candida Maria leggings are the epitome of lively and lighthearted – the prints are usually quite busy, and incredibly colorful.  I LOVE the “Bengal Leggings” – it’s probably not a surprise at this point that I love felines, especially the large ones, but it is also fair to say I’m an animal print snob.  TRUTH.  I am vastly more picky about animal prints than the average person, and often refer to Cavalli or Dolce for fine examples (that being said, I’m not a label snob at ALL…but those two houses making some gorgeous animal prints.  Consistently!)  I happen to think Candida does a really great job with theirs also so…YAY, Bengal Leggings!

Candidamariaus.com photo

Candidamariaus.com photo

The “Delicate Wings print is really beautiful, and honestly, the busier prints can actually be more flattering (given the whole stripe debacle, that may seem like news to some!)  Sometimes we ladies fuss over our “trouble spots” (which, NO, no one else can see, by the way!)  To make US feel a little better, keep in mind that a busy print is somewhat distracting, which might (in our own minds) diffuse whatever we think is too obvious in solid or lighter colors.  Never underestimate the power of a woman feeling sexy in what she wears!  The blues, greens, pinks and yellow make this a rather joyful, Springy print. 

Candidamariaus.com photo

Candidamariaus.com photo

The “Dragon Leggings,” well…as a student of Martial Arts, and a lover of action films (including old school fight type films – thank you, big brother!), I think these are the cat’s meow.  If these were in a black or red, I’d be snagging my own pair forthwith!

Candidamariaus.com photo

Candidamariaus.com photo

Candida’s “Street Leggings” are totally rad, sporting a mishmash of graffiti in a range of blues and greys, with a splash of hot pink for pop.  

Candidamariaus.com photo

Candidamariaus.com photo

The “Lost City” Leggings, separately, are ones I came across on Inked Shop… I LOVE skulls. ❤ I’ve always leaned a bit rocker and goth, but I’ve always been true to that, even as a wee thing.  So for me, skull-sided leggings seem like a perfect partner for leg day at the gym.

inkedshop.com photo

inkedshop.com photo

 

Dracula, and the “Fun Legging” Trend

So…I couldn’t begin enumerate the absolute profusion of printed pants I see at the gym these days.  I mean, on one hand, I’m thrilled the floor isn’t a homogenous mass of black (that’s MY color, anyway! ) but it is becoming somewhat dizzying.

I grew up in dance and skating apparel…and, much to the chagrin of my mother, black was my go-to.  That’s not to say I don’t adore color, or splashy prints…but black just suits me.  And...it’s slimming! 😀

I happen to have a very athletic build…but I also have skater glutes (somehow the shelf didn’t go away when I stopped that training.)  So the truth is, I feel too self-conscious marching around in the latest, light-colored print-du-jour.  Black Danksin, Bloch, Capezio, Balera, KD Dance...works for me!  

Balera

Balera

The other thing is…what is UP with everything being tapered?!  I get it for cycling but no bootcut?  Like, AT ALL!?  Bootcut happens to be extremely flattering on some people and I, for one, am terrifically disappointed in the lack thereof!  

So I basically don’t own ANY cute prints…BUT…what I did come across was these ADORABLE stripe-ie arm warmers…because my arms can totally do prints without looking huge!  I wore amazingly effecting “cooling sleeves” for a 300 mile charity bike ride in 110 degrees two summers ago – sadly, they were neon pink (which isn’t really my scene.)  I’d loved if they had a cute print like this, though…maybe in greens or blues?  (In 110 degrees, I was NOT complaining about the color, trust me!)   

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And these N+TC Tour Shanghai red leggings?  Well, I passed by those too…and my first thought? DRACULA! 😀 Don’t look at me that way, I’m serious!  They totally conjured images of his armor and his cloak…and if a pair of leggings does THAT, it’s possible I’ll buy them on that alone.  Any other vamps in the house…er…gym?!

N+TC Tour Shanghai

N+TC Tour Shanghai

N+TC Tour Shanghai

N+TC Tour Shanghai

Bram Stoker Dracula

Bram Stoker Dracula