Be Flawless; Accessorize with Kensie

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As some of you may know, I landed myself an internship with Kensie and am moving to New York City! I couldn’t be more excited about this for so many reasons. One, as I have always loved fashion, I dreamt about living in New York City. Big city dreams are real and now I am so lucky to be working right in the Garment District in one of the greatest fashion capitals of the world! Two, I was not only recognized professionally by the company, but personally. I was so happy to know that the interviewer checked out my blog. It is important to feel comfortable in the work place, and the fact that I could relate with them when it comes to health & fitness is a big plus!
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When I was in High School, I was the big girl. Fashion, style, and accessories were all I had to show. During my college days I’ve let my style go to the wayside just a tad. Dressing up for class was not only time consuming, but not exactly normal at Ohio University, especially considering I was most likely headed to the gym right after! Though I don’t show my style every day, I still have a knack for it. Yes, I’m excited for the learning experience that Kensie will provide me with, but who wouldn’t be excited to get the opportunity to dress up everyday and really move forward with their own personal style?! I know I am. When I worked at Macy’s Columbia I worked directly with Kensie’s merchandise. I had always loved Kensie and was so excited to see the job postings online!  It almost seemed surreal to be interviewing at such a beautiful showroom, which motivated me to nail the interview as best as I could! After being denied from countless jobs these past two years, I felt like this was my calling. Receiving this job opportunity was one of the most rewarding moments to happen to me in a while! Another thing I love about Kensie is their sizing. Their sizes are not only comfortably fitting, but they go up to sizes that many brands do not. This gives girls who are not a size 2 a chance to have some of the most trending merchandise today.

One product line I have not been familiar with with Kensie is the accessories. After browsing their accessories in department stores and shopping online, I think I may have a new obsession.

BE FLAWLESS; ACCESSORIZE WITH KENSIE
Be Flawless; Accessorize with Kensie

Pictured above is the Flawless Flannel Shirt you can purchase on Beyonce.com. I love Beyonce, we all love Beyonce, we all want to be as flawless as Beyonce, here’s step one. I pictured this flannel to be worn open, with the NastyGal.com Lace Bustier and Gaps Destructed Sexy Boyfriend Jeans. You can go to starbucks in this outfit, or a friends house, but this can also be dressed up with a little help from Kensie. I’d describe Kensie’s Imelda High-Heel Sandals as casual glam, because that gold piece creates such a statement. Without it, they’d just be your typical black sandals. Accessorize your outfit with more gold statement pieces from Kensie’s selection of jewelry. Kensie’s Gold Plated Pyramid Stud Earrings and Printed Matter Gold Platted “Wish” Pendant are perfect additions to your already flawless outfit. I accessorize with gold all the time and would wear these accessories in a heartbeat. Lastly, I threw Kensie’s Sophie Satchel in there to finish the outfit and bring the black to full circle.

Click the image above to check out more of my Polyvore sets and find out wear to buy these items online or in store!

Yours Truly,

Stef

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Fashion Meets Fitness: Sporty Spice feat. Under Armour

There is nothing better than the bright colors of Under Armour’s workout clothes. I immediately know I’m ready for the warm weather days when I whip out my cute & colorful Under Armour headbands. So I know my last #FMF post was all about the color black, but a girls got to have some color in her life sometimes! And that’s where Under Armour comes into play. Yes, they have their black running pants, but sometimes you want to switch it up a bit.

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Pictured above is Under Armours StudioLux Herringbone Leggings. These are GREAT for those spring days. They are made with a combination of Polyester, Nylon, and Elastane, which makes for a perfectly comfortable fit without the squeeze of compression. They are perfect leggings to show off those curves you’ve been working so hard for in the gym! The yellow Under Armour Fly-By tee is also a go-to for those spring or summer days. It’s rounded neck line in the front and back gives it a flirty feel. Not to mention, the material is completely breathable, as the back of the shirt is knitted. Your Under Armour Heat Gear Sonic Bra holds the girls in while your doing those burpees, and adds a cute color pop under your yellow top! The Under Armour “Define” Storm Bag is the perfect size to fit those Under Armour ‘Charge RC 2″ running sneakers and Braided headbands to keep your hair and sweat out of your eyes during a long run! Not only are these clothes all cute and stylish, but they are great for your cardio workouts! Click the photo above to check out my Polyvore account and find out where to buy these amazing Under Armour products!

Yours Truly,

Stef

Fashion Meets Fitness: Dark Knike feat. Nike

Colors are great, but sometimes black is just the answer. You have your girls who wear black when they’re bloated, black when they’re sad, or your girls who refuse to wear any black at all. Yes, black is a very dark and ominous color (I only use the word ominous because of the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall..). Black is also a slimming color when it comes to outfit choices. Some of us girls generally love to wear the color black all the time. I am one of them. One reason could be that my beloved yoga pants are always black, and what’s a better way to match them then with a black sports bra, black v-neck, black nikes, and a black beanie? (Say black again. Black.) Another point I’m trying to prove is that girls get lazy. Last minute night out with the girls? Nobody has time for MATCHING?! Please. Putting together an all black outfit not only takes minimal effort, but it’s most definitely always a win-win situation. Black on black is so chic, and I don’t think it will ever go out of style. That leads me to my first few looks that I’ve put together. Keep in mind, I’d almost never wear this outfit in public, but what high fashion looks would you ever wear out in public, anyway? My first step was to name these pieces Dark Knight. Then I looked at my merchandise and my title, and came up with…
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Pictured above is a look that is athletic, yet chic. Your Nike Dunk Sky Hi Women’s sneaker puts emphasis on the fact that no, you’re not about to go work out, you’re about the run the town. Nike’s Vintage Gym Shorts… wait did I just say vintage? Enough said. Adding a touch of old school to your outfit makes you go from Taylor Swift to Rihanna in two seconds. Nobody has time for the new stuff. Vintage is and always will be in. The Printed Nike Pro sports bra adds a little bit of a twist to things with it’s bold, yet subtle, pattern. And now we’re talking accessories. Walking out of the house and walking out of the house with sunglasses on is two completely different things. Another way to go from Taylor Swift, to Rihanna, in seconds. (Goin 0 to 60 in 3.5 …that Rihanna song, anyone?) Anyways, not only do the sunglasses physically add a sense of glam to your ever-so-simple outfit, but they mentally make you feel like the world is your oyster. If you’ve never put on a pair of sunglasses and instantly felt slightly more bad ass than before, you’re lying. Lastly, we have your Nike Jordan Jumpman Air hat. The great thing about wearing all black is that any color pop is dramatic, and we love dramatic. The red creates a dramatic effect. This is one color pop that does not calm the outfit down. Pairing red and black together is one of my favorite things to do, and that’s why I started with two outfits with such similar tastes.
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I’m looking at this outfit and I want it on my body right now. It’s so… Bronx meets Upper East Side. Am I right? You have your Marc by Marc Jacobs Baker Watch. All black watch? A must have. Your Black Spike Bracelet pretty much brings the outfit together and lets everyone know you mean business. From the gym, to the streets, it’s a statement piece. A long with your color pop item, your Nike and Jordan Beanie, which calms the outfit down to keep it casual. Your Nike Air Max’s aren’t just black. They glisten, and shine, like a new car. Your shoes are like your transportation, why not keep them as chic as possible. I paired the Nike Pro Capri Tights with the Nike Thre-D Tank and the Nike Compression Swoosh bra. All. Black. Everything. To emphasize the fancy Nike logo that everyone knows and loves.
To shop these items, simply click on the photographs above. Don’t forget, the color black does not have to promote all the negative. To me, wearing all black is a confidence statement. Here I am, not giving a crap, wearing all black, cause I can. It takes style to put together a chic all black outfit, though it does not take time. And that is why I love my beloved color black. Why do you love the color black?
Yours Truly,
Stef

Top of the Months Transformation: Lisa Muller

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I present to you my inspirational Mother as my first Top Transformation of the Month! Warning: this post will leave you extremely motivated, wow-ed, and maybe even a little emotional! What my Mother has accomplished is outstanding, and just as she says in the end of her interview, I can’t imagine doing this without my mother and father by my side. I also wish her parents were here to see the look in their eyes at how beautiful and impressive their daughter is. That’s why I want to share her story with you all. She deserves one GIANT pat on the back, as I have finally gotten Lisa Muller to share her guts and glory! Lisa also wants to warn everyone that she is not a writer. The spelling mistakes and weird made up grammar rules you see in my posts? Well, yeah, I got it from my Mama. Lisa wants to give a shoutout to Blake and her husband, and my father, Richard, for always being by her side. As many of you know, my mother and I went through this together, but the men in our family were with us too! Before you read, let me summarize Lisa’s weight loss. With 282 as her heaviest, Lisa went from 282 to 167 in ONE YEAR! She now weighs in at about 162.

“I never weigh myself, I don’t like the number. I go by how my clothes fit and how I generally feel. That’s all. I’ve always wanted to write and get my story out there, for me, for whoever, and I thank you for letting me. There’s so much more I can write, like when I write to Jillian Michaels to let her know about my journey, and she comes back and offers me a week at the biggest loser ranch! I probably will never write her, but I thought about it! :)”

Give me a brief summary of yourself and your journey.  
My name is Lisa Muller. I grew up in New Jersey in a big Italian family, where food was EVERYTHING.  Got married in 1987 weighing 142 lbs.
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As the years went by I kept putting on weight.  My mom passed away in 2004, I weighed 240 lbs.  In that next year I had the audacity to gain 25 lbs.  So I was 265 lbs, and not happy at all.  Everything was an effort.  I knew I had to loose weight, but loosing 100 lbs seemed insurmountable, and losing 60 wasn’t enough.  I had, in my closet, size 18, through (in the summer of 2009, my weight had soared to 282 at 5’7) size 26 and xxxl (which were tight).  That summer (2009) my husband kept talking about us getting “The Biggest Loser 30 Jump Start” ,loose 20 lbs in 30 days, and I kept putting him off. In August of 2009 we took my son to college, my daughter was an upcoming senior, and that September I bought the book.  It was 30 days of three meals and snacks…AND recipes.  I closed the book, and said “Nah, I’m not making all this stuff”.  My husband said “lets just do it for the 30 days and see…” and with his persistence, and my kicking and screaming, we started in October.  We holed ourselves in for one month, ,started walking, did not drink, go out to dinner, even go to our mother-in-law or sister-in-laws.  I was at the grocery store at least 4 times a week, bitching and moaning, but following the plan.  I’m so sorry I didn’t document my weekly struggle, yet weight loss   After the 30 days, we both lost 20 lbs and for me (as well as my husband)it was like a switch.  I started going to the gym and doing a cardio machine for 15 minutes, did some hand weights and sit ups,  Mid November I started going to a core conditioning class every tues/thurs, was doing some sort of exercise 4-5 days a week.  For the next few months we did not go out to dinner, order out, or drink.  In February I started running on the treadmill, then started with a mile outside.  In September of 2010 I had lost 115 and my husband lost 60.
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What were your goals?
My goal, at first, was to just get thru the 30 days.  After that, my goal was to loose 100 lbs and get to a size 14 (I thought being a 12 might be to hard to maintain).  I remember my girlfriend, Kim, asking me, at around -50, what was it for me that got me going.   And truly I couldn’t answer, it was just timing.  I think when you’re ready, you’re ready.  I would watch biggest loser and be so emotional, but I would also sit there with a bowl of  ice cream and melted peanut butter, thinking “oh sure, they get to go away, be on the ranch, and have great trainers, doctors, etc.”  During this year, my mindset (that I’d had for so many years) just vanished.  I grew up an athlete, and as this weight loss was happening, it was such an empowering feeling.  Little by little I was feeling like Lisa.  I’ve been playing tennis since I was 10,and still played at 282 lbs.  Was even playing softball.  But, like a past Weight Watchers instructor always used to end a meeting “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels”,that couldn’t be more true.
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Top Right: September 2009, Bottom Left: September 2010 <– can you say WOW?
When did you decide to change your life and what motivated you the most?
As my weight grew, I had a beautiful young daughter, who from first grade on, just kept gaining more weight.  By high school she was 262 lbs.  And I thought how could I be this, why can’t I be a good role model for my daughter, who is getting heavier and heavier.  One would’ve thought that that would’ve been my motivation.  You all know her story, but in October of 10th grade, she just made up her mind and started watching her weight.  The strength she had, which I’ve realized more and more, esp thru my weight loss, that she showed was mountainous.  When all these girls did was get together and eat, Stefani just said “No”, even when her friends, who couldn’t really understand, would say “just eat it”, she did not.  The strength…she was my motivation, albeit, a few years later.
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What is the best advice you can give to those who have similar goals (or personal goals in general) in mind?
The best advice…it is so individual.  I feel that I can’t say, “you can do it”, because that was said to me, and I couldn’t, or wouldn’t.  There was NO willpower, willpower was, as I’m heading to Dunkin Donuts “am I going to get 2 donuts or one sour cream donut, with my coffee”.  Because, even I knew that those sour cream donuts where high in everything,  And god for bid I decided to bring home a dozen for “my kids”, not good.  Or buy oreos (huge red light food)for “the kids”, only to find myself dunking 2 at a time into my milk or coffee (I’m from an Italian family from new jersey…we dunk everything).  I did this, really without knowing I was going to do this…to this extent.  Sure I’ve done other diets where I’ve lost 20, 30 even 40 lbs, only to gain it all back and then some,  My advice would be, DO NOT GIVE UP, STAY STRONG.  They say it takes 30 days to change a habit, well for me that’s the truth (I never even heard of that till well into my weight loss).  I think people give up too easily.  I remember watching biggest loser, watching those overweight people doing those exercises, and they give up, of course, when you’re 300 lbs, that stuff is hard.  And Jillian would say “work thru it…”,  I didn’t get that until, at 255 lbs , when I started going to the gym, I would do my 15 minutes on an elypical, but after 2 minutes I would be like “I can’t do another minute”, but I would push through it, and its so true.  PUSH THROUGH, GET PAST “IT”, WHATEVER THAT “IT” IS, DON’T GIVE UP SO SOON, PUSH YOURSELF, YOU’RE CAPABLE OF MORE THAN YOU KNOW, DON’T GIVE UP AS SOON AS YOU THINK YOU’VE HIT YOUR LIMIT, I want to scream to people to do it, don’t wait, it feels too good.
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What do you think is the main reason why some people find it so hard to reach goals such as the one you achieved? 
You have to be prepared!!!!  Buy a lunch bag and keep it in your car with bars and 100 calorie packs, nuts.  Drink water…we know that water is good for you, but when you’re heavy, water is so filling.  Now, I will down a water from the gym to home (1-1/2 mile).  And sometimes, it triggers hunger…yup.  Plus if you’re “older” (I’m rounding 50, well, actually, right around the damn corner)its good for the skin, keep hydrated.  If you work…make your lunch!!  Bring a snack.  If it helps, follow a plan.  I truly liked that, it took the guess work out of what I’m going to eat for my meals and snack.
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What (and who) helped you the most through the process of bettering yourself? 
Who helped me thru this…Rich, my favorite.  He saw the strength in me that I had lost so long ago,  I thank him for introducing me to this journey, and doing it together was amazing.  We have been together since we were 16 and 17, 33 years, and we are closer than ever.  My relationship with him and my kids has blossomed.  My daughter is a big crossfitter, and my son, as they say, has “drank the kool-ade” and is just as “big” of a crossfitter. (You’re still small, Blake. – Stef)  We’ve all taken on a healthier lifestyle.
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How has your life changed since you reached your goals? 
How has my life changed.  I can’t begin to get that across,  Raising my kids, everything was a chore.  I rarely did laundry, if I forgot something upstairs, “oh well”, the stairs were a chore, Just handling everyday life was a chore, I remember thinking, when Lady Diana was killed, it hit me that if I died right at that time, I would die unhappy,  Yet…it took me YEARS to do anything about it.  I go up and down the stairs 5 times a day, I do laundry, This paragraph is so trivial.  My life has changed drastically, yet I’m not one to think I should’ve done this a long time ago,  I did it now, and I won’t look back.
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What are you going to do (now that you’ve reached success) to maintain your progress?
So, September was my 3 year anniversary with the weight OFF.  I’ve never faltered, I will never go back to the way I used to eat (now I would’ve never said that thru my journey, wasn’t sure and strong enough),  I know the percentage of people who gain it back is high…nope, not me…I’m good.  And I am a solid size 12 (some 10’s)and I am not struggling to keep that size.  I run 4 times a week, take that core conditioning class (still-4 years later-its my constant)twice a week, I do an advanced kickboxing class Mondays. My kids try to convince me to crossfit, but two memberships is pricey!
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I eat solid during the week, so the weekends I can drink my wine and not worry about going out to dinner if I do. I thought I loved food before…no…I love food more now (before I always felt like crap), not now.  My appetite is not small,  I am not one of those people who go out to dinner, only to bring 1/2 home,  Nope, I eat everything on my plate, just like my mom said…only wished my mom and dad could’ve been here to see this.
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Yours Truly,
Stef

Fashion Meets Fitness: Winter Running Essentials

Running is a great form of exercise. It is how I, personally, shredded those first 75 pounds! Most people hate running in the cold, which is completely understandable, but it is mainly because they don’t want to be freezing while they run, also understandable. With the cold months of winter upon us, how do you stay warm and cool all at the same time? Kellie and I paired up to show you just how to get your run on in a fashionably manner.

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Pictured is Kellie dressed in a long sleeved running jacket made specifically for those winter runs! Her black crops are from Forever 21. Kellie states that the pants surprisingly keep her warm and they stay perfectly fit on her hips the whole time she is running. Good job Forever 21!

Grey Nike ProCombat Fitted – Nike.com
Black crops – Forever21.com
Asics Running Sneakers – Gel Excel 33’s – Asics.com

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Quick! What’s the difference between these two headbands? Visually, almost nothing. The headband on the left is from TJMaxx and the headband on the right is from LuLuLemon. I am a huge LuLuLemon headband fan. LuLuLemon’s headbands stay on my head, they are in so many different colors, and they happen to look good with any outfit for any occasion! But, you don’t always need to splurge on such little accessories. If you’re lucky, you can buy LuLuLemon’s headbands for every day of the year. Being a college student, that is so not the case!

Purple Headband – TJMaxx (also found at Marshalls)
White Headband – LuLuLemon (LuLuLemon.com or in store)

P.S. LuLuLemons selection of appropriate winter headgear/bands are amazing! Click Here and splurge away to keep those ears warm!

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How fierce is she? Long pants are the way to go for those long winter runs, and Kellie’s pink running jacket fits perfectly over any running shirt. Layers are crucial! But not too many, one or two layers of the RIGHT winter running gear will do the trick. Cotton isn’t always your friend. Also pictured is Kellie’s new and favorite pair of Asic’s running sneakers.

Pink Jacket – Under Armour UnderArmour.com (or in store)
Grey Running Pants – TJMaxx
Asics Running Shoes – Gel-lyte 33’s Asics.com
Sports Bra – Nike – Nike.com (in Store; also at Macy’s, Nordstrom)

Asics have been my go-to brand all through my high school cross-country seasons and my half and full marathons. They’re light-weight, but provide enough support for my flat feet. The ONLY time I didn’t go with Asics, I got horrible shin and knee problems – lesson learned and I’m never making that mistake again!” -Kellie’s take on running shoes!

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Under Armour also has a great selection of headbands. I rate headbands by how well they stay on your head… and this one passed the test! Not to mention the color, pink is a guilty pleasure for most of us girls.  Some more running essentials I recommend for winter runs are hats, ear muffs, compression socks, and tissues! Kellie combined her ear muffs with her headphones, while listening to her pump up jams including Miss Jackson by Panic! At the Disco and Gangsta’s Paradise by Coolio.

Grey Running Pants – TJMaxx 
White Running Jacket – Avalanche – TJMaxx (only $25!)
Ear Muff Headphones – 180 – Online or at Kohls!
Armband – You can find these anywhere! High end department stores or stores such as Target, TJMaxx, and Dicks Sporting Goods.

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 As you can see, Kellie looks absolutely adorable in all of her winter running essentials! So, don’t be afraid to wear these outfits to class before or after your long run! I personally love wearing workout gear around town. It makes me feel fashion forward, while also moving forward with my fitness goals! Stay warm everyone!
Yours Truly,
Stef

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Stylist: Stefani Muller / Kellie Rizer

Photographer: Stefani Muller

Model: Kellie Rizer

Check out Kellie’s blog, Keep Runnin’ Kellie! 

Update! Top of the Months Transformation

Hello All! I have a few updates! As many of you know I’ve been trying to post more and make some exciting changes to my blog. I’ve added Fashion Meets Fitness, and I have one more exciting topic I plan on talking about! As many of you can read, I sit on this blog and mainly talk about myself. My advice, whats worked for me, what I did that day, what I do and don’t like. Well, honestly, sometimes…who cares about every little thing I have to say? SO. Here I’d like to introduce to you… Top of the Month’s Transformation! At the top of every month I will post about someone who has inspired ME, while inspiring and bettering themselves. It’s not all about weightloss, it could be someone who has just put in a ton of work to gain some muscle, get fit, and get happy! I will give people a chance to share THEIR story, their methods, and what motivates them. I don’t know about you but I love hearing about other peoples journeys. This will give everyone a broader idea of how losing weight/getting fit really works, and how different methods work for different people. We can all learn together! Stay tuned for my first Top of the Month Transformation! I figured I’d start with my mother, twin, inspiration, motivator… And biggest competitor (hehe). So so proud of my mom for reaching her potential and finding health and happiness. She was beautiful before, but look at that hot mamma!

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We did it together! Stay tuned for a short interview with Lisa Muller and some more photographs of her journey. You are sure to be WOWed!

Yours Truly,

Stef

Introducing: Fashion Meets Fitness

I can’t tell you how tempted I was to make this blog post titled, “Fashion Meats Fitness”, because paleo.
I’d like to introduce to you my newest train of posts to be expecting. As many of you know, I am finishing up my four years at Ohio University with a Retail Merchandising and Fashion Product Development degree. I also recently passed the NRF examination, certifying myself in customer service. (Would you like that in a different color?) Anyways, I figured it’s time to collide my two hobbies. Better yet, it’s time to combine my soon to be career with my hobbies. Delicious food and longwinded rants will still exist, but I wanted to spruce things up a bit. My Fashion Meets Fitness posts will include photographs of (hopefully not always) myself and other volunteers modeling the latest and greatest sportswear. I will cover accessories, equipment, menswear, and womenswear. I will make sure you leave my posts knowing exactly where to buy each product, and for how much. Not only will you be able to find these products from my posts, but you will be given a sneak peak on how to pair them with other products. I know many people, including myself, just throw on whatever they can find for a workout. The athletes, they’re messy all the time, never put together. Why does that have to be? You can be an athlete and be perfectly styled and put together at the same time. That way, you won’t be on this list:
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Let’s do a test run of #FMF. Say, hypothetically, I post this amazing outfit that you need to buy RIGHT AWAY. But, you have cross fit in two hours, so you won’t have time to go home and change before your workout. You don’t want to look too messy walking through the mall, but you have to wear your workout clothes or else you won’t make the 5 o’clock wod. Here is my take on how to look put together in an athletic fashion. (Please note: I am not a model)
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Pictured is a classic workout outfit, accessorized with a classy long sleeved winter top and a black vest. Wear your favorite sneakers with any outfit and all the sudden…#swag. IMG_3511IMG_3531
Switch up the look of your sneakers by changing the colors of the laces. I preferred my roshe run’s accessorized with black laces.

Top: Marshalls, Mondetta $25.99
Bottoms: LuLuLemon Run Inspire Crops $86
Vest: Macy’s, Calvin Klein $49.99 (on sale)
Shoes: Nike Roshe Run $80 (Found them on Ebay)