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Work, Girl: Curvy Girls Need Gear Too

I’m going to start with a disclaimer: When I say I’m a runner, I mean that I am slightly faster than a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter. For a while, I was very frustrated and disappointed in myself at my 14-minute miles as I did a slow walk-job combination. Then, a wise woman named Laura pointed out that my minute mile was the same distance as someone else’s 4-minute mile, and that I was still lapping everyone on the couch. 

Recently, ESPN Magazine published its annual Body Issue, each year asking the same question, “What is an athlete?” This issue celebrates elite athletes of every shape and size, and I love that they are willing to bare their bodies as well as their insecurities. For the everyday athlete, these self-doubts can be reinforced with challenges of finding the right gear to fit our amazing bodies.  This is especially true when we need and want gear that works in hot weather. 

Workouts can be a challenge in and of themselves, but when you get "the dreaded chafe" (you all know what I mean, ladies!) because your pants were soaked in sweat, or your chest and shoulders hurt because “the girls” weren’t properly supported, you’re more likely to quit working out — and that just won't do. 

Thank goodness for companies like Nike and Moving Comfort, that recognize that bodies of all sizes and shapes work out. These brands have made curve-friendly tech gear to support the chest and help avoid chafing! Moreover, these pieces have moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you as comfortable as possible (hey, 100°F is still one… hundred…degrees…) and looking fabulous during your hot weather workouts.

Don’t forget the little things that make a lot of difference, like moisture-wicking reflective headgear and a great hydration pack. Lace up a pair of cushioned shoes with support to carry you down the road, and you're ready to go! You might not look marvelous to folks around you when sweating mid-workout, but personally, that’s when I feel my prettiest. 

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1. Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports Bra S4490
2. Moving Comfort Maia Bra
3. Shock Absorber D+ Max Support Sports Bra N109 

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4. Soybu Plus Size Alicia Tank
5. Soybu Plus Size Reese Tee
6. Nike Extended Size Miler Tank

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7. Nike Extended Dri-FIT™ Essential Crop
8. Marika Curves Plus Size Framed Tummy Control Capri Leggings
9. Soybu Plus Size Allegro Capri

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CamelBak Marathoner 70 oz

10. CamelBak Marathoner 70 oz
11. New Balance W1080v5
12. Columbia Trail Dryer™ Cap

If you’re feeling cool while getting hot in any of the looks featured here on Well Rounded Wednesday, please tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WRW — we would LOVE to see your style!

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The Running List: What To Pack When Traveling Abroad

Welcome back everyone! I hope all of your summers are going swell, your runs strong, and your naps mighty and long.

Summertime is a great time to relax, unwind and travel to new, exciting destinations. I was fortunate enough to travel to Southeast Asia this past June. The trip was conveniently planned five days after the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon for a few different reasons; the main one being that if I had an awful race, I would be out of the country and hopefully everyone would forget to ask me about it by the time I returned.

Luckily I didn’t have to worry about dodging any marathon-related questions, as it was actually one of the best races I had run (woohoo!). In fact, it was so good that I did not want to lose my mojo and was afraid that the next two weeks of traveling would eliminate everything that I had worked so hard to obtain in terms of physical fitness. While numerous studies have shown that it is nearly impossible to lose one’s endurance in two weeks, I am neurotic, stubborn and believe what I want. With that, I knew that even though it would be difficult to run in the countries we were exploring, I was destined to make it happen.

The amazing thing about running and, quite honestly, one of the biggest reasons why I like it is because you can do it just about anywhere. At the bare minimum, all that is required is a good pair of running shoes and socks. (Though running in the nude is often shunned or heavily frowned upon in most places, so I don’t recommend it.)

(This picture was taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia after one of my runs. This proves that with a semi-decent sense of direction anyone can run in foreign country — even when all directions are written in Khmer.)

When I travel, I take comfort in the fact of knowing that as long as I have my running shoes and two pairs of workout clothes (socks included) anything is possible. I tend to take at least two pairs of workout clothes so as to rotate them and allow the inevitable sweat to dry. This is my attempt to make them feel as new and non-gross as possible when I’m ready to wear again. If extra suitcase space permits, I will take another pair of clothes; however, it is an inescapable fact that when traveling a person will reuse their workout clothes without getting to launder them. Sure, by the time I return home I may have accumulated an extra set of houseflies, but getting that run in was so worth it!

The below items are a few of my favorites to take with me while I travel as they are lightweight, dry rather quickly, and do not take up much space in my suitcase.

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  1. Lucy Workout Racerback 
  2. adidas TECHFIT™ Bra
  3. Nike Dri-FIT™ Venom Tempo Shorts

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  1. Trina Turk Laser Cut Tank Top
  2. Moving Fiona Comfort
  3. Brooks Racey 7" Shorts

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  1. New Balance Heathered Jersey Tank Top 
  2. Nike Dri-FIT™ Pro Classic Giraffe Bra
  3. adidas TECHFIT™ Capri Tights - Vibration Print
     

Until next time, happy trails, roads and any other unchartered terrains!

-Chelsea

New Brand Spotlight: Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply, casual clothing, casual clothes, men's shirts, men's polos, Apollo
MIT students Kit, Gihan, and Aman shared a vision for everyday clothing that could be as capable as their athletic gear. Aman and Gihan had been sewing prototypes for years, and Kit’s drive to transform customer experience was unstoppable. In 2012, the three came together and introduced their first performance tech dress shirt, the Apollo, and sought funding via Kickstarter. Upon launch, their campaign set a record for most-funded fashion project and gave way to its continually evolving full line of optimal comfort garments.

A poor fitting and sweat-stained shirt can ruin your day, therefore, Ministry of Supply strives to solve these inherent, everyday problems. To alleviate these points, the company bases all their designs on real people and experiences. Ministry of Supply believes even the most promising idea must be tried and honed. The brand designs, builds, and field-tests, then they implement feedback and do it all over again. This demanding process has translated into the production of higher quality and performing garments for modern life.

As the lines between work, play, and downtime continue to blur, people more than ever need garments that can keep up with their entire day. Thanks to Ministry of Supply, this is being achieved with clothes that actually fit the human body and are easy to care for and wear, regardless what you choose to do in them.

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4 Must-Have Big Agnes Camp Gear Items

As the sun rose steadily into the cobalt sky over Las Vegas’ Red Rock National Recreation Area, I awoke with the smell of the campfire clinging to my skin and realized that I had not slept this well in a very long time. I felt amazing after a chilly night with good company and great gear, and it was all thanks to Big Agnes.

Headquartered in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Big Agnes is an outdoor brand dedicated to backcountry comfort. Launched in 2001, the company has grown into an award-winning manufacturer of technologically advanced sleeping bags, sleeping pads and tents — something truly unique for the nature enthusiast. 

Although I’ve been camping for years, I often suffer from what I like to call “camping issues.” Without fail, in sequential order, I often forget my flashlight, lose sight of my position, and trip over the tent’s guylines. Moreover, I have yet to perfect the art of changing in the dark, which either results in me putting my clothes on inside out or backwards, or succumbing to a nightlight and giving the entire campground a shadow show.

Well, Big Agnes has fixed all those problems with their new mtnGLO line of tents, which Backpacker Magazine gave a 2015 Editor’s Choice award.

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  1. SL 1 Person mtnGLO Tent
  2. mtnGLO Tent Light Accessory Kit
  3. Lost Ranger 15° Long
  4. Double Z 

I must say, this is an astoundingly roomy three-season tent, and the built-in LED lights give enough glow without casting off harsh shadows. The corner webbing and guylines are all reflective, so even if the lights are off, you don’t trip over them in low-light situations. Factor in the storm flaps and built-in mesh and media pockets and you’re all set for a great adventure. 

When it comes to making and breaking camp, this tent is probably one of the easiest I’ve dealt with in a long time, taking about five minutes to pitch and seven minutes to stow.

The mtnGLO tent lights are also available as an accessory kit if you want to simply upgrade the gear you already have.

In addition to my fabulous tent, I got to spend the cold desert night curled up in a Lost Ranger bag with a Double Z sleeping pad. I’ve long hated sleeping pads because I always seem to move and fall off of them in the middle of the night. Big Agnes, however, has found the perfect solution by creating an integrated pad sleeve that balances weight distribution for undisturbed rest. It’s no wonder I woke up the next morning without having felt a single rock underneath my body — and trust me, there were plenty!

And for the cherry topper … I think my other favorite thing about the evening, besides the s’mores, was hanging out by the campfire in the Elite (not shown), a packable yet comfortable chair that weighs only two pounds but can support up to 320. I’m a huge fan of anything that keeps me from having to sit on the ground after a long day of hiking — and an even bigger fan of things that do it without being horribly heavy to carry all day.  

So there you have it! New gear to check out and drool over, all brought to you by the amazing folks at Big Agnes. Get outdoors and enjoy!

New Brand Spotlight: Lauren Lorraine

Former TV personality, entertainer and actress turned shoe designer, Lauren Lorraine Jones, is taking the luxury footwear industry by storm. An alumna of Parsons School of Design in New York City, Lauren has proven herself to be an integral part of the women's fashion world with her very own Lauren Lorraine™ shoe line.

In collaboration with shoe superstar Av Goodman, who brings with him 30 years of experience in the shoe manufacturing, sourcing and design business, the Lauren Lorraine™ collection evokes femininity, allure, and style.

Featuring open and closed-toe heels, wedges and sandals, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect statement piece for any upscale occasion, from weddings, proms and pageants to a celebratory night out on the town. 

So what are you waiting for? Complement your wardrobe tonight with dazzling, fashion forward, and sexy yet classy shoes of Lauren Lorraine™!

luxury, heels, wedges, special occasion footwear, special occasion shoes

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Opposites Attract: 12 Sharp Looks in Black & White

Karl Lagerfeld once said, "Black and white always looks modern, whatever that word means." The perfection of a high contrast look is hard to put into words, but we know chic when we see it. Wearing head-to-toe black and white is probably one of the easiest ways to achieve a put-together look by mixing and matching basic pieces. Whether you’re dressing for work, for fun or just for relaxing at home, nothing feels better than knowing you look amazing. 

Combine a great contrast with fabulous fit and fabrics, and you have a major win. Personally, I love the simplicity and clean lines you have when mixing black and white; it echoes the feeling of satisfaction I get from seeing black words fill a blank page as I write. For others, black and white reminds them of an old Western, where you always knew the good guy was in a white cowboy hat and the bad guy was in black. Whatever the reason, I hope that you are as big of a fan of this classic and clean combination as I am, and that you enjoy this week’s picks.

If you’re feeling fabulous and fierce in the looks featured here on Well Rounded Wednesday, please tag us in your photos on Twitter and Instagram using #WRW — we would LOVE to see your style! 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, #Zapposplus, Adrianna Papell, bedhead, black & white, calvin klein, jag jeans, karen kane, Kiyonna, Mynt 1792, plus fashion, ralph lauren, Steve Madden, tommy bahama, vince camuto, Well Rounded Wednesday, zappos, Zappos Plus

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  1. Calvin Klein Plus Size Crew Roll Sleeve Blouse
  2. Vince Camuto Plus Size Serengeti Sleeveless Spotted Lynx Blouse w/Solid Trim
  3. Mynt 1792 Plus Size Cold Shoulder Blouse
  4. Jag Jeans Plus Size Paley Boot Leg in White
  5. Steve Madden Plus Size Aztec Scallop Fringed Topper
  6. MICHAEL Michael Kors Plus Size Printed Wide Lege Pants
  7. Karen Kane Plus Size Crossover V-Neck Dress
  8. Kiyonna Sugar and Spice Dress
  9. Adrianna Papell Plus Size Sleeveless Lace Dress
  10. Bedhead Plus Size Notch Collar Pajama
  11. Tommy Bahama Plus Size Boyfriend Shirt Cover-Up
  12. LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Plus Size Hammond Knits Pajama Set
     

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Vionic For Men: Your Ultimate Guide

For as long as I can remember, owning dapper, good-looking shoes has usually meant having to deal with tired, achy feet. Not only is this true for the casual dresser upper but, more importantly, for those working a nine-to-five in a business-professional setting.

During my time in banking, every eight months I was in the market for new shoes. Sure, I could find a stylish pair of leather footwear no problem, but finding a quality, well-cushioned footbed included in the high price was hard to come by. The same was true for the other end of the spectrum in regards to cheap shoes with limited fashion. So this got me thinking: why do shoe designers and manufacturers teeter between providing style over comfort, and vice versa, never really aligning footwear’s two most sought-after and basic principles?

It’s now been years since I’ve left the banking industry; unfortunately, all those ill-designed shoes have left me with flat and overpronating feet. For a quick human biology lesson, the foot, if you didn't know, was designed to walk on soft, natural surfaces like sand and soil. But in today’s world, it’s commonplace for us to stand and walk for hours on cement, tar, or wood surfaces. These unnatural surfaces force the feet to slightly roll inwards and make contact with the ground, simultaneously flattening the arch.    

Not long ago I stumbled upon Vionic with Orthaheel Technology. The brand’s medical products, developed by Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli, implements tried and true technology to help restore and enhance the foot’s natural function. With a firm yet flexible midsole, an innovative biomechanical footbed and stability-enhancing heel cup, these shoes helped me twofold by 1) providing soft, stable comfort, and 2) help lift the arches to properly realign the foot, ankle, knee and hip.  

For a more technical explanation on this process, Dr. Vasyli demonstrates how the patented Orthaheel technology works: 

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Vionic’s men’s collection of oxfords and loafers come in several colors and styles, each made with high-quality, durable materials and accented hardware that will never disappoint. The Roth, seen below, has even received the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. How many wingtip shoes do you know has that same credential?

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Moreover, comfortable footwear shouldn't solely be worn at the office. In addition to the brand’s great selection of men’s dress shoes, Vionic also features athletic sneakers and an abundance of sandal styles, including thongs, flip-flops, slides and more. So the next time you’re in the market for new footwear, do yourself a favor and go from work to leisure in style with Vionic with Orthaheel Technology.

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