Things: Two Brief Reviews
“Mulberry 2” legwarmers (61cm) in light blue from Sansha:
These got their first run yesterday.
I quite like them so far.
First, and perhaps most importantly, they stay up even though my thighs are unreasonably large. Given Sansha’s reputation for sizing for extreme ectomorphs, I wasn’t actually sure they’d make it up past my knees. In fact, they did. For full disclosure, I intentionally popped one stitch in the top hem on each warmer before class yesterday morning, since they were just a hair tighter than I liked them right at that one spot. This doesn’t seem to have affected their performance, but did make them rather sublimely comfortable.
Second, they have stirrup feet and are thin enough to layer, which is really nice. My other legwarmers are just Tubes and not long enough to pull down onto my feet while still keeping my knees warm, so they do nothing for my arches, leaving a gap between “extreme fluffy warm-up socks” and “light socks or naked feet in ballet shoes.” (Yeah, you’re right — this is a First World Ballet Problem.)
On cold days, I now have the option of pulling my legwarmers on over my light socks, then layering the fluffy warm-up socks — which are lined with faux lambswool and warm as all heck — on top of everything.
I don’t usually wear shoes during most (often all), of barre, but if I do put my shoes on, or if I decide I need leg warmers at centre, these leave the contact patches on the soles of my shoes free. I don’t have to wear them inside my shoes to accomplish that end.
The ribbed silk blend knit has a roughish hand, which can be a little problematic in a tight sous-sus, but which is otherwise helpful, as it keeps the warmers where you want them (it doesn’t work as well on bare skin). It’s also warm and breathable.
I’m considering the purchase of a second pair of these in another color (just for variety). The light blue is really nice with my all-black ballet class wardrobe; with my old neon-green legwarmers, the whole thing screams, “PUNK RAWK! \m/,” which is okay but feels a little weird when I’m visiting a school where I’m not a regular.
The light blue legwarmers with the black-on-black tights-and-shirt, meanwhile, politely says, “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to work. Do you mind if I share your barre?”
Not sure yet about laundering, though. I admit, I tend not to wash my legwarmers all that frequently, less by intention than by default. I tend to shove them into my dance bag and forget about them.
Silk is a great insulator. Yesterday evening, it was too warm to bother wearing warm-ups atop my tights when we went to cirque classes, but the temperature had dropped considerably by the time we left. I dug my Mulberry 2s out of my dance bag and threw them on, and they kept my legs from freezing.
In summary, the Mulberry 2s are warm and long. Size is doable for thighs measuring 50cm/~19-20″. The texture provides a fair bit of grip, which is both good (they stay up) and bad (sous-sus can be … interesting).
“Silhouette” soft ballet shoe by Sansha:
My initial impression of these has been quite good. The Silhouette combines the refined appearance and durability of a leather shoe with the flexibility and ventilation of a light canvas one — specifically, thin canvas panels in the arch afford a close fit under the foot and allow the feet to breathe a little better. I find that they really display a well-arched foot very nicely; there’s no bunching under the arch to obscure things.
I often forego socks in my ballet shoes, and these were quite comfortable without socks. Sansha’s footliners tend to feel quite nice.
I am especially pleased to report that no rolling-off of the heel occurred in my Silhouettes even when I was stretching with my foot in the barre (the same goes for my new Pro1cs). I think that’s a question of fit, though. Although I wear a narrow in normal shoe sizes, in Sansha’s sizes a medium or wide seems to work better.
My sole (ha!) caveat is that the foil ink on Sansha’s soles can be … um … interesting the first time or two you wear a new pair. Both of my pairs of Pro1cs have been slippery; the Silhouettes are squeaky.
You guys, it is hard to tour lent or promenade when you’re trying desperately to hold in the laughter. On Wednesday, I just about died every single time. It was like, “Squeaky … squeaky … squeaksqueaksqueaksqueakysqueak…” all the way around.
I’ll review the Silhouettes further in the future. I didn’t wear them very much on Wednesday, so if I make it through more of class on Saturday, I’ll have better data. So far, though, so good.
That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow I’m going to part 2 of the Semiotics Workshop, which should be fun, and then we’re going to see Moving Collective! I’m really excited about that.
À bientôt, mes amis!