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fitBallet, Reviewed

Deodorant was not the thing to forget in a fitBallet class, this I learned very quickly today. Don't let the name fool you - it lulled me to a safe place, evoking images of sweat-free spaces - plush barre studios and ModelFit-style lofts. Instead, fitBallet is a wildly challenging circuit training class that takes inspiration from the classic positions and the precise form of ballet. 

The hour-long workout itself focuses on full-body movements like burpees (hell), plies, squats and push ups. I knew I was in trouble when, already dripping in sweat and flush-faced (seriously, guys, I get so, so pink), my instructor Marc announced that the warm up was over and circuits to begin. While I found out later, in chatting with another student, that Marc is widely considered the toughest of fitBallet's team, I'm inclined to think that any class would be nearly as challenging. Most of the work is done on your feet or on the floor, with a particular focus on arms, abs, legs and obliques.

Frills free, the studio offers few comforts for big babies like me, accustomed to the plush spaces of overpriced fitness classes. At $32/class, I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't wished for an elevator or teleportation system to take me up to the 5th Floor, blasting AC and (sorry, y'all) cleaner floors. Fitballet is done barefoot, in slim fitting clothing that shows the body's lines. The studio, at the cusp of TriBeCa and Chinatown, offers mats or you're welcome to bring your own (I did). Whatever you do, don't forget a large bottle of water, or a towel. The men in my class literally had puddles beneath them.

To learn more or to book a class (new students pay just $20 and the studio is also on Classpass), visit fitBallet.org.

Shop This: Rebecca Taylor Sample Sale

The Nike Air Rift is Back

Little known fact about me is that I was a real sneaker girl back in the day.  Long before I collected heels and quirky flats - in my late teens and early '20s - I collected quirky sneakers, and among my favorites were the Nike Air Rift. Debuted in 1996, the split-toe design was inspired by the barefoot runners of Kenya's Great Rift Valley and while I never wore the Air Rift to run (the horror!), I was never without at least two different colorways in my collection for casual wear. The open, Mary Jane styling and breathable mesh were a particularly great choice for summer, so I'm super excited by the perfect timing of the Air Rift's rerelease this month. Shop two colorways now - one being a (too quirky for me) print from Liberty of London's archives - and stay tuned for additional, single color styles debuting on May 15. 

Read This: Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media.

There's something inexplicably special about holding a book written by a friend. And while I wouldn't exactly call Aliza Licht - better known as @dkny - a "friend" (we've only met a few times), she feels like one via the magic of Twitter.

Aliza would agree.  You see, like me, Aliza's native social platform, if you will, is Twitter. Her 140 character bytes, funny, honest and wise, have made her famous within the fashion Twittersphere and beyond, give those aspiring to work in the industry an eduction and those who already do, a reality check.

Her new book, Leave Your Mark, takes that to the next level. Part memoir, part manual, it's a book on mentorship shaped by Aliza's experience. With graduation season fast approaching, I can think of no better gift to give than the gift of some real talk on getting your dream job and slaying it, courtesy @dkny.

In bookstores on May 6, Leave Your Mark is available for pre-order now at Amazon for under $20.

On KonMari + Spring Wardrobe Wishes

Like many other fashion people susceptible to media brainwashing, I've lately been KonMari'ing my home and my closet. For the uninitiated, "to KonMari" – verb – references Japanese organizational guru Marie Kondo and her methods, best recapped in her best-selling book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing."

Joy is at the center of Marie Kondo's advice – she advises that you handle every object in your home and ask yourself, "Does this spark joy?" If the answer is no, you must thank the object kindly for its service (really), and then send it off into the world/garbage. It's easier said than done, particularly for those of us who keep more, after having grown up with less (me).

I tackled the easy stuff first, the kitchen, and saved the really loaded assignment, the closet, for last. And in recent weeks (sorry, Marie, I wasn't able to tidy all at once, as per your advice), I've made real headway and KonMari'd everything from a Clarisonic to a 10-year old fitted sheet (the matching flat sheet and pillow cases were inexplicably nowhere to be found), 150 bottles of nail polish to a malfunctioning Dyson vaccum. From my closet, I've exported everything that I didn't love  - trends gone by like colored denim, ratty cashmere sweaters I would have once demoted to loungewear (a Kondo no-no), and multiples of once staple items like American Apparel Deep V-Neck tees (sadly for my wallet, I've progressed to Iro).  The difference is stark. All the clichés are true – getting dressed in the morning is easier, I look better, and I feel, inexplicably, like there's more room in my life, having freed myself of some unnecessary things.

But make no mistake about it, I'm no minimalist. I do like things, and so, while I hope to continue to make do with less, I will be making some thoughtful additions to my closet this Spring.  On my list:

  • A dress or two from The Reformation, including the Sandy seen above
  • A pair of white leather pants from J. Brand because I can never get enough leather
  • A crisp short like these from Babaton
  • A breezy floral blouse from Joie – this one's so good, I'd buy it in both colors

Oh, and in case you were wondering, while Marie Kondo's book may have sparked a small transformation – it did not, at the end of the day, spark joy. So accordingly, I passed it along to a new home with my friend Marina, who wrote her own post on KonMari today


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