The Startling Benefits of Compression Clothing

Sunday mornings are my “me time” — a few hours every week where I block off part of the day that I dedicate to myself, doing what I want to do. This means no working, no laundry and no grocery shopping. All of that comes after 11 a.m.

Recently, most of my allotted private time has been spent on bettering my health, where I join the flock of early birds who are feverishly lifting weights, cycling or jogging in an attempt to look like the 2.0 versions of John Krasinksi and Britney Spears. 

As a late blooming New Year’s resolutionist, I’ve only recently begun going to the gym to shed my excess winter weight. A few lat pulls here and a few deadlifts there is more than enough to get my muscles in a panic. Fortunately, thanks to the likes of compression attire, everyone from casual gym-goers to competitive athletes are reaping its benefits for performance and recovery.

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS COMPRESSION CLOTHING?

Compression garments have been around for as long as half a century, unsurprisingly finding its start in the medical field. It’s blend of spandex and nylon helps promote blood flow, particularly preventing edema in diabetics.

In an article written by Greatist, Robert Gotlin, D.O., the director of orthopedic and sports rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, says “Stockings were made so there is more pressure lower [on the leg], and less farther up. […] They can push blood along for those with vascular disease or circulation problems.”

From there, Gotlin says the thinking emerged: if garments increase blood flow, could similar clothing help athletes perform better?

 

 

 

 

Turn on the boob tube and you’ll see virtually every basketball, baseball and football player sporting some sort of compression gear. From arm sleeves and calf sleeves to undershorts, leggings and pants, it’s become the go-to for performance and style.

Companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour have inundated the marketplace with their own lines, claiming their gear supports muscles, improves circulation and speeds up recovery time.

 

 

 

 

SO, DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?

Remarkably, studies have shown signs of this to be true, and not just marketing hogwash.

During a maximal treadmill test, one study concluded that compression socks helped athletes run longer and hit a higher speed. They also found that compression sock-wearing participants’ running speeds had a higher anaerobic threshold.

An endurance cycling study also showed positive results. Researchers in Australia found an increased concentration of oxygen in cyclists’ muscles when they were wearing compression sleeves. And similar to compression sock wearers, these athletes also took a longer amount of time to reach anaerobic threshold.

Despite these results, many researchers believe this skin-tight gear gives athletes nothing more than a psychological edge. 

“There are studies that show the biggest effect is placebo,” Gotlin says. “People might say they feel and perform better with the garments on, but is it because the garments are doing their supposed function?” In other words, it's possible you're just running on adrenaline.

In summary, whether mind or muscle, there’s something to be said about this new(ish) and improved workout attire. And with moisture wicking capabilities, anti-odor technology and four-way stretch material for improved range of movement, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose … except maybe a few pesky pounds.

 

 

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Red Hot: 8 Looks to Love for Valentine’s Day

There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to celebrating the feast of St. Valentine: those who celebrate a holiday established alongside a feast day for a patron saint of love, engaged couples and marriage, and those who remind those people that St. Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers and the plague. 

Regardless of which camp you fall into, one of the things that we often forget when the world and DeBeers are focusing on “love” in its commercial forms, complete with chocolate, roses and diamonds, is remembering to take a few moments to practice some self-love.

 

 

 

 

There have been multiple studies recently published that prove that low self-esteem (aka low levels of self-love) can contribute to a reduction of brain size by up to 20 percent, as well as memory skills. The silver lining, however, is that these studies also found that if we take the time to re-train our brains in how we think, we can reverse this atrophy and expand our brain size back to normal.  

Why is this important for a curvy girl? How often have we slipped and told ourselves that our worthiness is tied to our dress size? How many times have we come home from a frustrating day of shopping, where it feels like even socks don’t fit right, and berated ourselves for being useless, ugly and fat? How many of us trick ourselves with the armor of “It’s a holiday created by greeting card companies and florists” to cover up the frustration, pain and depression of feeling unworthy because we are single for yet another holiday?

 

 

 

 

Self-love and affirmation take many different forms, and just like the millions of beautiful women around this world, of all shapes and sizes, each one is unique. While many share the same starting point, there is something magical about the way that we can all take the same words, or the same dress, and create a powerful and unique story, both verbally and non-verbally. The simple phrase, “I approve of myself and feel great about myself” can end in so many powerful and world-changing ways. A little red number meant to remind us that we can be OK if we stand out, and to celebrate our self-love can be worn and styled and used to illustrate our individual stories in so many different ways; the most important ingredient is the love we have for ourselves.

So this year for Valentine’s Day, let’s not worry about whom we have. Rather, let’s celebrate the most important love we have in life — ourselves. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, Allen Allen, Cosa Bella, hanky panky, Kiyonna, michael michael kors, nine west, plus fashion, Red Hot, self-love, valentine’s day fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

DRESS UP Why not dress up just for you and take yourself to a fabulous lunch or dinner — or order the best takeout you’ve ever had and spend a night in? Red is a color for destiny and power; find yours in these great ones by Kiyonne.  

 

 

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TOP IT OFF Red can be the color of blood, the color of a fire engine, or of a gorgeous Syrah wine that hits sweet and finishes with a strong and dark flavor.  Forget those shades of gray, shades of red are much more fun to experiment with. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, Allen Allen, Cosa Bella, hanky panky, Kiyonna, michael michael kors, nine west, plus fashion, Red Hot, self-love, valentine’s day fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

FINISHING TOUCH If red and power hues aren’t your thing when it comes to your wardrobe, why not try little pops of color added to your staples, or a little valentine to yourself? Red shoes like these scream for a night of adventure, and these sweet little finishing touch earrings keep it simple, but remind you that love is what matters. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, Allen Allen, Cosa Bella, hanky panky, Kiyonna, michael michael kors, nine west, plus fashion, Red Hot, self-love, valentine’s day fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

AT DAY’S END At some point, men began to think that women wear sexy lingerie and lace for them; we don’t mean to break their hearts by telling them that we wear it to feel amazing, feminine and girly, even when our daily lives may call for a really boring or seemingly masculine uniform. Underneath it all, and at the end of the day, the most important thing about self-love is about doing it for you, not for anyone else, even if that means lounging in comfortable and soft pajamas. 

 

So there you have it … eight great pieces when you’re feeling red hot and ready for love and adventure with that most important person of all — you! If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW. We’d love to see your style! 

 

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10 Gifts for Every Valentine Romance

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that many of us love, but plenty of us dread. It’s a mixed bag of emotions, expectations and fear that we’re gifting too much or too little. Like all things in life, don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be! Here are a few gift ideas to make your gesture of love proper, even if you’re just a girl getting a little something for herself.

 

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Earrings are a sweet idea for new relationships and even platonic ones. They’re a little something that shows you care without seeming overly sentimental. They’re also classic, universally flattering and something almost every girl wears. Kendra Scott makes simple yet beautiful pieces that won’t have you breaking the bank if you decide to get an extra pair for your mom or sister.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Bracelets are a great choice if you’re ready to get all Carly Rae Jepsen on someone and say, “I really, really, really, really, really, really like you.” They’re a much more visible piece of jewelry that a lot of people will comment on. That means she’ll be telling her friends who it’s from, and you’ll get their much-coveted approval.

Alex and Ani have a tremendous variety of gorgeous styles, each with a sentimental charm attached. From sports teams to inspirational symbols and initials, you can profess your level of “like” through a pretty little charm.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Lingerie is a fantastic gift choice for an established relationship that’s still in its early years. Yes, it can work for the book ends of newly committed and happily married, but it’s more useful in that middle relationship stage. That’s when it’s not seen as too soon and a little creepy or misinterpreted as, “are you saying there’s something wrong with the boyshorts I wear all the time?!”

The lingerie options by b.tempt’d are not only sexy, they’ve got a delicate femininity to them that women love. This means she’ll want to wear them more than once, and it’ll be a gift that keeps on giving.

 

 

jewelry, lingerie, bracelets, earrings, watches, valentines day gifts, gifts for her 

 

Watches are wonderful for those steady, comfortable relationships because most people wear their watches every day. They’re a constant reminder of the one you love and they won’t ever go out of style.

Ann Klein’s watch and bracelet sets mix classic watch designs with on-trend layering bracelets. Although meant to be worn together, each piece can be worn on it’s own so you’ll be expanding her accessory options without even trying. 

Whether you’ve just met someone, have been dating for a little while, or have reached long-term relationship status, there’s a gift for every level of commitment. Don’t overthink your gift choice; just let it be sweet and thoughtful. Trust me, she’ll appreciate what you’ve picked out. Though it wouldn’t hurt to have some chocolate or dessert on hand … just in case.

 

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Zappos Behind the Scenes: The Life of a Shoe

Undergraduates enrolled at Marquette University’s Advertising, Public Relations and the Internet course (ADPR 4300) are at it again!

As part of the curriculum’s midterm project, students were tasked with creating an infographic depicting the lifecycle of every shoe sold on Zappos. For months, these young scholars learned the ins and outs of our business, including the processes in place for delivering lightning fast shipping straight to your front door. 

WARNING: Below you will see a slew of facts and figures that are so astonishing that even a company as quirky as ours couldn’t possibly make up! 

 

 

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8 White Haute Looks in the Winter Cold

Once upon a time there used to be a rule about wearing white after Labor Day, and if you wore white after it ... the hounds of heck would be unleashed upon the wearer with the wrath of the old biddies who enforced the rules of fashion, and wielded them against the “nouveau riche” during Reconstruction to keep them in their place. Thankfully, we now live in a time when we don’t have to worry about coal soot in the air staining our clothes as the temperatures drop, and we are no longer held to a limit of “winter white."

White can be fresh and clean or crisp and ready to go. Indoors or outdoors, there are a million different ways to wear white, and a myriad of ways to feel fabulous while doing it. Now, I know many people on the East Coast have had it with too much white stuff, but why not dismiss Old Man Winter with a nod to summer and the heat to come?

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, columbia, JAG, lauren ralph lauren, michael michael kors, NYDJ, plus fashion, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

 

SWEET DREAMS Nothing brings on sweet dreams like a little fresh and clean cotton to wrap ourselves in at bed time as we head to the land of Nod.

 

 

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TOP IT OFF Comfortable clothes, great tops and little pops of color to break up the monochrome look?  Yes, please — and thank you!

 

 

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BOTTOMS UP There is nothing like a well-cut white pant to take a look to the next level. These great pieces highlight your assets while hiding your flaws, making them a perfect accompaniment.

 

 

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SNOWBUNNY DOES IT BETTER When it’s cold outside, and you want to stay warm while enjoying the great outdoors, nothing does it better than these great pieces by Columbia.

 

For sweet dreams or days on the slopes, you’re covered and feeling white haute. If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW- we’d love to see your style!

 

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Drones Take Over Zappos HQ

Each January the Las Vegas Strip is host to CES, a closed-door tradeshow that allows major companies and industry professionals worldwide, including software developers, advertisers and the Hollywood elite, to converge, preview and talk about the latest tech products not yet available to the public.

This year, once again, the topic of conversation revolved around drones. Drones offer spectacular visuals for filmmakers and hobbyists alike, creating a unique perspective for viewers who are glued to the ground.

With this thought in mind, Zappos recently invited Xtreme Drone Circuit (XDC), a league dedicated to the adrenaline-fueled sport of First-Person View drone racing, to take over its company headquarters in an obstacle course event. 

Spectators were able to watch drone pilots from all over the country compete for the winning title and over $10,000 in cash prizes. The three-day event featured a tough, three-dimensional obstacle course that tested each pilot’s skill level and their drone’s ability to maneuver through challenges at high speed.

Instead of just reading about it, see how the event unfolded below.

 

 

First-person view drone racing

In first-person view drone racing, the racers see what their drones see.

Posted by The Verge on Saturday, January 16, 2016

 

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Curvy Style Staples: 8 Pieces Every Girl Needs

We always hear about fashion staples, but what exactly does that mean? The basic answer is something that is versatile and can be worn in many different ways, with the classic example being the LBD (little black dress). Staples are items that never really go out of style, and ensure that no matter what the situation that comes up, you are always able to reach into your closet and pull out the perfect outfit for the occasion.

Having the perfect eight staples on hand is a necessity, especially for curvy girls. Why? Simple — how many times have we skipped out on something because we felt like we didn’t have the perfect thing to wear, or how many times have some of us worn something to an event that didn’t quite fit, or was uncomfortable? How many times do we hide in the back of group shots because we’re not feeling amazing and fabulous in our clothes? Staple pieces are an investment not only in our wardrobes, but ourselves.

There are so many times that we tell ourselves, “I’ll do this when I lose the weight, when I can get into this size, when I can…” Recent events have reminded me of one of the greatest maxims in life — we are never promised tomorrow. So we can either choose to enjoy and live today, investing in ourselves by getting the clothes, the shoes, the external trappings that make us feel like the amazing, beautiful and confident goddesses we are, or we can stay home and miss out on life. 

The number on the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure character, beauty, talent, purpose, possibility, strength or love. The same thing goes for the number on the tag inside your clothing. If you need a number to focus on, how about the number of times you laugh with your friends at events, the number of times you hug your kids on a daily basis, or the number of times you try new things? Those are the numbers that matter, and those are the numbers that give meaning to our lives.  

I’m happy to share with you a few of the staples; don’t forget to add in a great black pump, a fabulous black suit (tailored to fit you perfectly, of course!) and a fabulous strappy sandal, and you’re ready to conquer anything! 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, BB Dakota Plus, Calvin Klein Plus, chan luu, Kiyonna, NYDJ, plus fashion, style staples, vivienne westwood, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

 

BOTTOMS UP Start with a great bottom, and the rest can be mixed and matched for success! Some days I’m a skirt girl, but most often you’ll find me in pants; having great pieces to choose from means I can build my ensemble for the day based on my morning mood. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, BB Dakota Plus, Calvin Klein Plus, chan luu, Kiyonna, NYDJ, plus fashion, style staples, vivienne westwood, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

 

TOP IT OFF A classic button-down and a great jacket can dress up a business casual event. Top it off with jeans for a little bit of flair, or go over a cami as versatile jacketing when the days are warm. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, BB Dakota Plus, Calvin Klein Plus, chan luu, Kiyonna, NYDJ, plus fashion, style staples, vivienne westwood, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

 

DRESS YOU UP A little black dress is, of course, the number one staple for every wardrobe. Add in a great day dress and you’re ready for the office or an afternoon wedding. 

 

 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #Zapposplus, #zapposWRW, BB Dakota Plus, Calvin Klein Plus, chan luu, Kiyonna, NYDJ, plus fashion, style staples, vivienne westwood, Well Rounded Wednesday

 

FINISHING TOUCH A signature wrap and evening clutch ensure you always have the right pieces on hand to complete your look with a heavy dash of your own personal style. These ones by Chan Luu are possibly the softest things I have ever touched that were not a baby, and Vivienne is, well … a goddess of style, just like you. 

 

So here are the basics, and the basic splurges, that every woman should have. If you’re rocking out in any of the pieces shown here, tag us in your selfies or pics with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style! 

 

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Yoga Flow: A Beginner's Guide to Stretching

A few year’s ago a friend approached me and asked if I’d be interested in trying out a hot yoga class with her. It was a new studio that had opened not far from where we had worked, and I was told I’d have a good time. Despite weighing my options for the evening, it didn't take much convincing for me to accept her invitation. After all, I was newly single, so I had a lot of free time on my hands, the class price was reduced due to a promotional period, and I thought it’d be fun to scope out and try something new.

 

 

 

 

I consider myself not extremely flexible, which seemed to be a deterrent going in. However, as I soon realized, none of the instructors have the expectation of someone walking into class as loosely disjointed as Gumby. “The ability to elongate your spine and touch your toes will come in time,” I was told. Nonetheless, I was a little freaked out upon entering the humid, 100-degree heat of the studio only to see others loosening up with their bodies contorted like a misshapen pretzel. Despite the intimidation, I forged on.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the 90-minute session, I put my body in positions that I never knew were possible. The stretching of the spine, hips and shoulders felt so painfully good that, at moments, my eyes had watered like a leaky bathroom faucet. Pairing that aspect with the excessive heat meant I stumbled out of the room not only sopping wet but also physically and emotionally exhausted. Despite the self-inflicted torture, I craved more.

Fast forward to today and I’m still a practicing yogi four times a week. With that said, I feel better and more alive than ever before. And bonus, I’m now able to stretch my hands beyond my toes, flat to the ground.

If yoga has got you apprehensive, do yourself a favor and research its benefits. Upon a quick search it’s not hard to find the impact it has on one’s health. From improved flexibility, muscle strength and posture to lowering your blood pressure, blood sugar and boosting immunity, the ongoing lists and positive case studies will have you reading for days.

 

 

 

 

Although there are significant differences in climate between hot yoga and more traditional forms, such as power yoga, the poses themselves are vastly similar. If you’re thinking of becoming a yogi, but aren’t quite ready to test it out in a instructor-led class, here are a few beginner poses to help you get on your way to revival:

 

MOUNTAIN POSE With your eyes closed, stand tall and still with your chest open and broad and your hands at your side. Keep your feet together, perhaps with your big toes touching, and feel the floor and the sensations in your legs and back. If you’re stiff, separate your feet slightly. Let your arms rest at your sides, with fingers together. 

DOWNWARD-FACING DOG In the downward-facing dog, your body forms an inverted V-shape. With feet hip-width apart, hinge forward at the waist and press your flat palms into the ground, hips in the air. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, slightly in front of your shoulders, and the arms, shoulders and back should line up in a straight, diagonal line. At any time, you can take a break by resting in child’s pose, and then come back into down dog again. 

CHILD’S POSE From downward-facing dog, simply bend your knees and lower your butt to your heels as you bring your chest toward the floor over your knees. With your knees apart, rest your belly and chest between the legs. Lower your shoulders and head to the floor and stretch the arms out in front of you.

PIGEON POSE From all fours, move your right knee forward between your hands. As though you were doing a lunge, slowly straighten your left leg behind you, keeping the knee and top of the foot on the floor. Now rotate the right knee toward the right wrist and bring it down to the floor with your right calf flat on the floor and your right foot resting under your left groin. Lower your upper body over the bent leg, either all the way to the floor or resting on your elbows. Inhale slowly.

 

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