Sunday, March 24, 2013

That Sh*t Ain't Right

A former friend used to say this frequently. It applied to so many different situations, whether it was a bleach-blonde pot-slut passing out in a tube top and pajama pants in a common area of the dorm or a guy one of our friends had made out with who gave her the head drop instead of a hello, it was always the perfect statement to sum up when an outfit or an action just ain't right. So without further ado I bring to you the newest segment of KimboNotKimmy, "That Sh*t Ain't Right."

This morning at hot yoga the girl in front of me was wearing a tube top. Personally, I believe that the type of woman who wears a strapless top to work out is the same type of person who wears her underwear to the beach because "it's basically the same thing" as a bathing suit. It's not like I was decked out in LuluLemon H2T, but my souvenir t-shirt from Hawaii and Adidas crops are way more functional than a shirt with no straps in this situation.

In addition to her inappropriate attire she also repeatedly hit my feet with her hands during stretches. Yes, I am new to yoga and the room was crowded, but if my feet are down first, isn't the proper etiquette to reposition your hands, not swat at my feet like a bunch of gnats? Just sayin'...

...that sh*t ain't right.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot - Yoga!

My new gym buddy, and old friend, Stephanie convinced me to try hot ashtanga vinyasa yoga at Fuel the Soul on Long Island.

Side note: I really need to find an exercise class that lets me keep my blowout (shout-out to Laura, author of werkitinnyc, for making this a regular heading in her blog posts). So far body sculpt is the least sweaty workout I've had and only because I didn't pair it with kickboxing. 

So back to yoga - I really liked the studio; apparently their practice differs in that they use "far infrared heat" which is supposedly more sanitary and has all these benefits in the way it heats your body from within like they do with babies in the NICU. Infrared heat transfer heat to your body instead of heating the air, so it's also good for people with respiratory problems (this coming from a girl who usually gets a bronchitis/upper respiratory infection combo annually). I have never taken hot yoga (I've actually only taken 1 yoga class ever and it was for beginners and it was at least 2 years ago), so I can't say how this method of heating compares to the traditional way, but I liked it because my muscles felt extremely relaxed (since Sunday I'd taken a 6 mile run and gone to spin and sculpt classes, so I was a little toight) and the increased sweat factor made me feel like I was getting a "real" workout in.

As a yoga newbie a lot of the terms are Greek to me, but I followed the crowd and caught on pretty quickly. The focus in Vinyasa is breathing; you're supposed to sync your movements with your breath. This works great for me because, as silly as it sounds, I often forget to breath when I'm working out. I get so caught up in the combinations and being in sync with everyone else, that I forget to focus on what I'm doing.

The only negative that I could really come up with was that it was slightly maddening to lay there for what felt like 20 minutes in the cool down period (it was probably 5, but I have workout ADD). The studio offering an inversion master class this weekend and of course I'm annoyed because I think inversions are awesome, but it's only recommended for people who have idea of what they're doing. Boo.

Bottom line: Apparently it was an intermediate level class and Gary, the owner/instructor, said I did well, since I'm a sucker for a compliment, I bought a one month unlimited pass for $49.

Session Lessons:
  • Come equipped: Bring a towel and a mat (fitness places love to charge for the add on more than restaurants like the up-charge during Restaurant Week.
  • There is probably going to be someone less flexible than you. There is probably going to be someone much more flexible than you. Just concentrate on your breathing and MYOB, you'll be grateful you did when you don't lose your balance and fall over.
  • In hot yoga, the heat is your friend. A wise bootcamp instructor once told me that the best place to stretch is in the shower because the heat relaxes your muscles - the same goes for the heat in these classes, it allows you to get into your deepest poses.
  • And on a less serious note... it is inappropriate to laugh at the instructor when he mispronounces "envelope" or says "Yin Yong" instead of Yin Yang, so you're going to have to hold it in.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Weighing in on the Street Style Debate

Garage magazine just came out with a documentary short about fashion bloggers and street style stars that has really lit a fire under the debate about their legitimacy and the rising trend of "peacocking" that goes on outside of Fashion Week shows (when you watch the video try not to laugh when Anna Dello Russo walks in sharp, repeated mini-circles while getting photographed by Tommy Ton - I just keep picturing her head on a peacock's body, it's a gif begging to be made).

While I think that street style started in a genuine place, I have to agree with Tim Blanks that it has definitely created some "monsters." I was on Instagram the other day and Rebecca Minkoff had posted yet another picture of Leandra Medine, a.k.a. "ManRepeller" and people were sounding off in the comments:

@priscillamanon: I saw that exact coat at my local thrift store!
@stylephotos: Lord no
@breroz: I thought this was a homeless person at first!

After those 3 consecutive comments Leandra herself wrote back "you guys are really, really mean." Listen, if you're going to get famous off of the public, then you can't get mad at them when they don't like something you do. Fashion is a critical industry and if you were able to become famous by taking the fast track then I think that it's only fair that you are subject to even more criticism than the normal designer/model. (Also, ManRepeller just published a book of essays, as a writer I find this as offensive as James Franco being published by Graywolf Press, but that's a different argument).

I used to really like Kelly Framel, aka The Glamourai. I remember stumbling across her blog and thinking, "that's cool, Silver from 90210 is doing a blog," until I realized that they were 2 different people. I liked the way Kelly styled her outfits and she seemed accessible. Now it's all professional photographs of her sipping Veuve Clicquot at sponsored events and I find myself rolling my eyes at times thinking, we get it, you're fabulous, your life is awesome, bully for you! I accept that the entire concept of blogging is always self-indulgent on some level, but I think there's a line that's crossed with the blogger becomes subject and is tooting their own horn louder than their readers.

Personally, I'm over this TMI culture - if Facebook and reality TV ceased to exist, I would be totally okay with that (I'm not willing to give up Twitter and Instagram just yet, but I do think they should start banning certain people from having an account -- ahem, Kim Kardashian). I have plenty of reality in my own life - give me fiction! Give me fantasy! If I'm going to get the truth I'm okay with getting it solely from experts who have the life experience and/or degrees to back their opinions!

If only everyone could be more like Ari Seth Cohen and the women of Advanced Style; I don't think there's a more genuine street style blog out there and those are the type of women I aspire to be, not these wannabe models who are the subject and purveyors of this kind of "street style."
Or maybe I'm just jealous because I don't have anyone to take pictures of me and all of my style shots are of the dreaded "selfie" variety (see below).

Rant over.

Bloggers note: Shout out to Atlantic-Pacific and Extra Petite for keeping their personal style blogs accessible and helpful. Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific is great about showing readers how to rewear an item in a completely different way and she also lets readers know when an item she features in an outfit is older, but offers suggestions on where to buy similar items in the current season. Jean of Extra Petite is all about sharing helpful hints about everything from tailoring clothes for a petite frame to how prevent "pitting out," as my sisters and I would say. While neither blogger is exactly revolutionary, they have the type of fun, feminine, put-together and timeless style that I admire.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gym Buddies

When I first got into working out a couple of years ago I started by running, not to lose weight or build stamina, but because it helped me to clear my head. Okay, full disclosure? I started running because a guy I liked was a runner, but once I realized that it made me feel great and allowed for even more thinking time than the shower, I was hooked.

To me, running is a solo sport. If you can manage to chitchat then you are not working hard enough (or you're just jogging like you're in an 80's movie -- is it just me or were there lots of movies set in NYC that featured people jogging in Central Park?). After my first season as a new runner the cold forced me to join a gym (I actually just became the hardcore runner type who will actually layer up and still run outside when it's cold out -- I know, wonders never cease) and, while this may be contrary to logical thinking, I found that the group fitness classes were the best way to avoid socializing at the gym (I live on Long Island, meatheads love to chill by the free weights).

As I got more comfortable and confident in my workouts I started to socialize in classes and now when I see people from the gym around town (translation: at my hair salon) I am totally that annoying person who's all like, "spin on Mondays, right?"

From time to time people I am actually friends with will mention that they go to the same gym as me and from there the same barrage of questions ensues: when do you go? what classes do you take? what instructors do you like? Once or twice I've attempted to make actual plans to meet someone (ahem, Liz), but up until last night it hadn't worked out (no pun intended, but I did laugh).

I was all set up on my spin bike -- with a fellow salon goer to my left -- when in walked my friend, and former study abroad roommate, Stephanie. I haven't been excited to see someone at the gym since college when I used to go with the sole purpose of "running into" people. It was great! We chatted for a few minutes before and after class, but didn't bug eachother in between and now tonight we're going to body sculpt. Both self-proclaimed fashionistas, I find it hysterical that we both rock old tees and sweats* to workout (despite my scores at the LuluLemon sale I'm still not getting rid of my old bar t-shirts). With so much in common, I'm finally seeing the motivational factor of having a gym buddy (those wonders, they're relentless).

Now wish me luck that I don't hurt myself at the first sculpt class I've been to in over a year - fingers crossed!

*Steph and I now work out together regularly, so I have learned that she is actually a total LuluLemon adorable workout gear person. I still generally look like 12 year-old going to softball practice.