twist and shout

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Summer has officially arrived and I am LOVING IT. Wind in my hair, ice cream in my tummy, yes sirrrreee. Between traveling, teaching, and school, this is set to be the busiest summer of my life, but I’m always happiest when I’m buzzing from place to place.

In an attempt to grow my baby muscles/give myself some form of a routine, I’ve been getting back into kickboxing (remember our first fling?), which means more mornings start out early and spandex-y. My body doesn’t exactly wake up craving burpees and boxing, but having fun clothes to wear does help! Especially if you decide to grab an iced tea after working out and want to look a bit less like a drowned rat. If you are in need of some motivation to move this summer, check out Zarely‘s dancer-designed active wear, and use the code KIRSTENZARELY at checkout for 20% off your order.

 

{Here I am sporting the Iana top c/o Zarely, a brand that I am very proud to partner with. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Setting The Barre!}

photos by Jenay Evans.

the modern classic

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An infusion of romantic, vintage-inspired elegance with synergistic comfort and functionality, The Modern Classic top by up and coming fitness brand, gwenyth, is a breath of fresh air.

When the line’s creator, Michele Cheowtirakul Braxton, reached out to me about reviewing the inaugural piece from her new brand, I immediately checked out their start up video, and was completely hooked.  I love the way Michele compares her designs to dance, describing both as a marriage of beauty and precision which come together to create a “sublime combination of art and science”.  Genius.  And she’s not making this stuff up; Not only is this the most visually beautiful workout top I’ve ever worn, it’s also extremely flattering and supportive.  Fashion meets function.

When I opened up the little gwenyth package, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly soft the fabric was.  I’m not kidding, guys.  I want to cuddle with this top.  Sweat-whisking, shape-shifting components leave most fitness tops slightly stiff and scratchy, but the Modern Classic is different.  It’s flexible, adjustable, absorbent and soft.  Activewear sorcery!

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this top, in my case, is the built-in sling bra.  First of all, it comes with two different types of removable pads, depending on your needs: shape & support or just coverage.  Options?  Yes please!  Secondly, the straps on this thing are what I would like to call “super adjusters”.  Of course they alter the way normal camisoles do, but the addition of adjustable trianglular straps at the sides plus an optional back strap boost this built-in bra from average to exceptional.  As a self-proclaimed busty ballerina, this feature has me absolutely sold, and frankly reluctant to put on any of my old workout shirts.

The cinch-able ties on either side are a fun bonus, allowing the Modern Classic to grow and shrink in length, seamlessly transitioning from tank to tunic, studio to real world, day to night.  If you feel like hiding those little ties on the side, no problem- tuck them up into the convenient little loops on the inside of the top.  These designers have thought of EVERYTHING.  Plus, if you choose not to use the back strap in your bra, it doubles as a headband.  So you know how sometimes you leave the studio and your hair looks like 80’s SJP but you promised an old friend you’d meet them for a drink?  Pop a cute head band in that rat’s nest and suddenly you’re a little less impulse-perm and a little more I-woke-up-like-this-flawless.  Win-win. (win, win, win, win.)

Clearly I’m a believer, are you?  Read more and get your gwenyth here.

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photos of me by Jenay Evans for STB