Los Angeles

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tips for Repurposing Legwarmers into your Everyday Look

Legs get cold, even here in Los Angeles.  So what better way to warm up your leggies than with legwarmers, right?  Yeah, I know what you are thinking.  It's all well and good to wear legwarmers in the dance studio, but sporting them on the street requires a bit more moxy than most. 

Here's a few tips for how to get away with wearing legwarmers among civilians without looking like a fashion tragedy from the 80's. 

Firstly you have to pick good legwarmers.  If they are two corny or two bright they are going to be harder to pull off.  I suggest easing into legwarmer fashion by starting with a few basics, like black or dark maroon.  Also there are a bunch of really cool legwarmers on the market right now that use things like ruched seams or embroidered details to add a bit of style. 

Secondly, do NOT wear your legwarmers with sneakers.  You will look like you are in a 1980's workout video no matter what, so just don't even go there.  I recommend wearing legwarmers with heels or nice looking flats a la Audrey Hepburn.  If you pick heels try to pair them with stirrup legwarmers, so you can tuck the legwarmers under the heel on your arch.  This will make your legs look longer!  

Finally, while I think this look works best with a dress or skirt, not pants, I wouldn't recommend rocking this look with bare legs.  Tights, particularly black ones, will help complete the look.  This is one of those fashion choices that works better if you acknowledge where it's coming from.  Tights not only help the conversion from dress to legwarmers, they also help to invoke a dancer chic that complements the legwarmers, thus negating any tacky fashion faux pas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to do a Messy Ballet Bun

If you have ever taken a real ballet class you know that there is a strict dress code and that includes hair.  Ballerinas are called bunheads for a reason.  A ballet bun is not a simple updo you can do in a couple seconds.  A proper bun requires pins, hairnets and lots and lots of hairspray!  Not one strand should be out of place, and the bun should be as perfectly symmetrical as possible...like a Cinnabun! 

Putting my hair in a bun day after day was maybe the thing that I grew to hate the most about ballet.  When you are doing it everyday it can take a major toll on your locks.  Not to mention, I spent the majority of my life telling hair dressers not to cut my hair too short.  "I have to be able to get it into a bun!"  That was my haircut mantra.

On that rebellious note, I give you the 3rd installment of the Bad Ballerina Series: 

The Messy Bun!
Disclaimer: do not try this in ballet class, your teacher will have a fit! ;) 

Here is the how to~

* Gather hair into a high ponytail, but do not pull the strand all the way through the last time so you are left with a loop of hair.

* Pull sides of loop to make rubber band extra tight and fan out your loop of hair as much as possible.
* Take bottom of the loop and loosely flatten against scalp in front of rubber band.

* Take just a few bobby pins and pin loop of hair randomly to head and in different directions.

* Pull out a few strands of hair to give your bun even more of a messy look.

* Skip the hairspray ;)

 And there you go!  A messy ballet bun up-do that could make Anna Pavlova cry!

Monday, September 6, 2010

How to make The No-Sew Tutu (for little ballerinas)

Welcome to the 2nd installment of the Bad Ballerina Series! This time I will be giving you a quick DIY on how to make your own "No-Sew Tutu" for little ballerinas!  (Actually, there is a teeny tiny bit of sewing required, but just a few stitches and can be done quickly by hand.)   Here is an example of the finished product. I made my tutu with blue and gold UCLA colors. Kind of makes me wish I knew of a little Bruin to give it to... Ah maybe one day!

What you'll need:
* Spools of Tulle - preferably in multiple colors  ;)
* Strip of 1 and 1/2 inch white elastic
*Good music and a smile

What to Do:
* Burn the edges of the elastic so they won't fray and sew the two edges together.  You can let the overlap about 1/2 inch.  Of course, for larger ballerinas, make the elastic larger and for smaller ones you can make it smaller!

* Cut about 50 strips of tulle in alternating colors.  The strips should be about a foot in length, although you will be folding in half making the length of the tutu roughly 3 and 1/2 inches from the center.  If you want a longer tutu, just make the strips longer and visa versa for a shorter tutu. 

* Tie one strip in a knot along the outside of the elastic, pulling so the ends are as even as possible (they don't need to be perfectly even, a bit of variety actually gives the tutu more depth.) 

* Continue tying tulle all around the perimeter of the elastic.  Remember to alternate colors! 

And voila!  You have a simple and adorable handmade tutu without having to break out the sewing machine!

Here is another one I made using some different colors.  Looks like Neapolitan ice cream!

 photo s_03.jpg  photo s_04.jpg  photo s_05.jpg  photo s_06.jpg  photo s_07.jpg  photo s_08.jpg  photo s_09.jpg  photo s_10.jpg