Fantastic Fall Essentials

We all have those go-to pieces we love to break out of storage for fall. This week our regular fashion contributor Allison Patrick from Denver clothing boutique Dragonfly explores some of her favorite fall essentials and must-have pieces for the season:

Every year I find myself more and more excited for the cool fall weather, pumpkin flavored lattes and cozy fall fashions. Here are my go-to fall classics that I can’t get through the season without. These pieces will take you easily from early fall transition right into the chilly winter months:

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  • A Great Wrap

A good basic wrap is a closet staple that every woman should own. My favorite is the versatile Fluxus Nomad Scarf that is made from a soft, lightweight jersey that is perfect for year round wear. Aside from fashioning it as a traditional scarf and wrap mine also doubles as a travel blanket and swimsuit cover-up.

The Nomad Scarf, $48.00, www.fluxusbrand.com

*The Fluxus Nomad Scarf was featured as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “favorite things!”

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  • A Cozy Sweater

An oversized, chunky knit sweater is one of the ultimate comforts during the cool fall evenings. The southwestern inspired Maya sweater from BB Dakota is a fun and trendy spin on a fall classic.

The Maya Sweater, $95.00, www.bbdakota.com

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  • A Great Pair of Jeans

This year I am giving up my super skinnies and opting for the incredibly flattering JBrand Janey trumpet flare. This slim fitting style has a perfectly petite bottom flare that is great for wearing with flats and is slim enough to tuck into tall boots. Bonus: the denim is so soft and comfy I won’t notice that I’m not wearing my PB workout pants!

The Janey in Enchanted, $209.00, www.jbrandjeans.com

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  • A Perfect Tee

A great fitting t-shirt is a must-have no matter what time of year. The “Always Layers” long sleeve tees from Splendid are the best I have found thus far. The material is thin enough to layer under heavy sweaters and jackets without being too hot and having a little extra length on bottom gives you the option to wear it as a tunic with leggings.

Splendid Always Layers Sheer Long Sleeve, $55.00, www.splendid.com

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  • A Leather Jacket

Despite living in Colorado my go-to fall outerwear is not a parka or fleece jacket – it is a cropped leather jacket that I have had for years and that is just as special to me as my favorite pair of jeans or a great vintage t-shirt. I get the warmth I need without sacrificing the style and as an added bonus leather breaks in and wears well over time giving it comfort, character and a unique style all its own.

Gap Shrunken Leather Bomber Jacket in Cognac, $298.00, www.gap.com

So Pure Barre fans – what are some of your fall essentials? Let me know what your fall favorites are in the comments below!

the skinny jean is here to stay

I decided it was time to buy a new pair of jeans.  I tend to gravitate towards bootleg while everyone else is in the skinny jean section.  I decided to consult with fashion guru Allison Patrick from my favorite clothing boutique in Denver, Dragonfly.  Here’s what Allison had to say!

The skinny jean is here to stay.

The skinny jean is perhaps the scariest denim trend out there. Will it ever just go away? The answer is no, at least not anytime soon.

But, believe it or not, the skinny jean can work for every woman and just about every body type. When you find that perfect fitting skinny jean you will feel fantastic, fabulous and oh, so chic!

It seems overwhelming but I promise that if you take a deep breath, channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and follow my simple shopping rules for skinny jeans you will find your perfect pair in no time!

  1. Keep with a classic dark wash. Right now there are a lot of enticing things out there (colors, prints, florals and everything in between) but sticking with a clean, dark wash is key to pulling off the skinny jean.  Remember: In all of the rules of jean shopping this is perhaps the most important – dark denim is the most slimming, most versatile and most flattering for all body types.
  2. Choose a Mid-Rise! Skinny jeans require a little modesty in the rise. If you are flaunting it everywhere else keep the look well balanced with a mid-rise. This means ½”-1” below your belly button.
  3. Find your perfect length. Look for a cut that hits at the base of your ankle/top of your heel. The right length is essential to keeping your look polished and sophisticated. When a skinny jean hits at just the right spot it looks great no matter what shoe it is paired with.
  4. Keep with an 11-12” bottom opening. This will be a comfortable and flattering opening – anything smaller than that and you start breaching “jegging” territory.
  5. Pick minimal pocket details. Contrast stitching is okay as long as it compliments and does not cheapen the look. Keep the details clean and simple for the best results.
  6. Look for 2% stretch and no more. Too much stretch can equal a body hugging catastrophe. A little bit of stretch is all you need so your skinnies retain their shape and don’t adhere to yours.
  7. Wear with confidence! Skinny jeans can work for every body type if you find the right fit for your shape. After that it is entirely up to you, remember confidence is the ultimate accessory!

Pick: 811 JBrand Mid-Rise Skinny Jean in Pure.  This skinny jean landed JBrand on the map and has a major fan following. You can find it year round in a variety of washes but their classic dark wash is a must have!

the scoop on spraying it brown

A few weeks ago we had a wedding to attend in Mexico.  I pulled out my sundresses and was instantly reminded of how long my legs had been in jeans and snow pants.  A spray tan may be necessary.   I began thinking… is spray tanning really safe?  What’s the difference between the cheaper machines and the more expensive personal application?   I reached out to Gina Comminello, Professional Makeup Artist and Owner of The Look Salon (TheLookSalonDenver.com) to find out the scoop.

Is Airbrush Tanning Safe?

  • Absolutely!  The active ingredient is DHA (dihydroxyacetone), which is a colorless sugar derived from the sugar cane plant and is not absorbed into the body
  • It is UV free- no exposure to harmful UVA or UVB rays
  • It’s approved by the FDA
  • It’s recommended by Dermatologists and The Skin Cancer Foundation

Airbrush Tanning is the application of self tanners though a spray gun or HULP (high volume, low pressure) system.  Sunless tanning salons are popping up all around and prices range from $20 – $40 and up, how does one choose?  The Look of a well executed airbrush tan is a natural-looking golden glow.  Many factors come together to create this beautiful end result and the cost…

  • A high quality tanning solution
  • The % of DHA (8-12%) used in the tanning solution should be taken into consideration when tanning clients (no one looks good with an orange appearance)
  • Ad-ons, if one desires…shimmers, bronzer’s etc
  • The Airbrush Gun used, this is where the magic happens!  The gun should spray a very fine mist of the tanning solution evenly
  • The Technician…Experienced tech will take all the above in to consideration when spry tanning her client and sprays clients without pooling, dripping, or overly saturating any one area of the skin.  We pay attenuation to detail and aid our clients each step of the way throughout the service and aid educate clients for home care.

the wedge is where it’s at this spring

Welcome! I am so excited to relaunch our blog with a new angle. We will be covering all components of the Pure Barre lifestyle beyond the barre.  I’ll be interviewing gurus in health, fashion, beauty & more and sharing all the intel with you here.

Kicking it off, I spent some time with Elyse Burja-Pollock (shoe & accessory goddess & owner of Strut in Denver) to find out what the hottest shoe is this spring.

Elyse:  The wedge is a must in your spring shoe collection- super comfy, supportive, and cool! Wear your wedges with long dresses, knee length shorts (show off those toned PB legs ladies!) and a flirty top, or with flare jeans and your legs will look long and lean! At Strut, we love the “Kayla” by Miz Mooz. The cork adds dimension and the perforated upper is interesting without being over done. 

I have to tell you I was so excited when Elyse picked this shoe since I bought it a couple weeks ago without knowing how “hot” it was!  Apparently I’m not the only one who is fond of it as Strut keeps selling out!  Elyse has extended a special offer for PB clients through 5/27.  Receive 10% off your purchase at www.strutdenver.com with the code purebarre.  Enjoy!