Confessions of a Barre Mom

Recently, I was able to pick the brains of our resident instructors Angela and Kim (aka supermoms) to see how they manage to balance the roles of being a wife, mom and instructor…

Added bonus: Angela shared some of her favorite tips for staying fit!

Tell us why you LOVE Neighborhood Barre and more importantly, how it has helped you both pre and post baby.  

A: It’s challenging but also fun. I’m not looking at the clock the whole time wishing it to be over which makes me want to keep doing the workouts versus getting burned out. Also, being low impact I get to burn a good amount of calories but still have enough energy to chase and haul 25lbs around for the next 12 hrs of the day!  

K: I love Neighborhood Barre and have been taking class and teaching for over two years. There are multiple things I love about this place: the intense workout, the fun music, the friendly instructors and most importantly the results. While pregnant, I came to class at least 3-4 times per week. It is low impact, so it was easy on my joints while carrying the extra weight. Now, one year post baby, I attend or teach class at least 4-5 times per week. I am, by far, in the best shape of my life! I also really love the community element at Neighborhood Barre. I see old friends and have made many new friends, including other new moms! It is my much needed escape in this new busy life with a toddler!

We know having little ones can keep you busy – how do you find time during the day to workout and teach classes and Neighborhood Barre?  

A: For me, I can sometimes squeeze a childcare or evening class in, but my personality and busy schedule has to have consistency if I’m going to make my workouts a priority. That means 6ams! I have actually come to enjoy it as my own “me” time before anyone else in the house wakes! I actually get ready for the day, make up and all, before the 6am because it’s the only uninterrupted time I have to focus on myself all day- and it’s really nice!  

K: I make my workout a priority. It’s that simple. I can always find an excuse to not workout: too busy, too tired, too much laundry…whatever! The commitment to health and fitness must be a priority! Even if your goals seem too big, start small and commit to two classes per week. I make sure I can get in my weekly workouts by utilizing the free childcare, getting a class in when my husband comes home for lunch or heading out when he gets home for the day.

What advice would you give a new mom looking to start classes at Neighborhood Barre?

A: Don’t be too hard on yourself- your body has just been through a lot. Commit to a plan, be consistent, listen to your body- push when you need it and rest when you need it- but don’t be lazy… You know the difference, just show up and do your best and over time you’ll get back to where you want to be strength and size wise. Don’t compare yourself to other post-partum mommies either- everyone’s body and story is different… Just love yourself and do your best!

What tips would give a mom who is trying to bounce-back after pregnancy?

A: You’ll be a better mommy and wife if you find a “me” thing that is unrelated to those two roles. For me, that thing is barre. It’s doubly awesome that my “me” thing makes me happy, stronger and more energized. I recommend bouncing back in a healthy way (both physically and emotionally) Drink lots of water, eat healthy food and good sized portions, don’t skip meals or binge, make a fitness plan that includes days and times for working out and stick to it by talking to your family about your goals and asking them to help you achieve them by running the house/kids during those times, get a good nights rest (hah- when you can and take a nap during the day when you can), love yourself and show yourself some grace… Perfection every day isn’t realistic but trajectory towards your goals is! Stick it out – you got this!

K: Put on your yoga pants and give NB a try! No matter where you are post baby, now is the time to try something new…And come take my class, I’ll have you back in those skinny jeans in no time:)

And now, advice from Angela…..

  • Try to do one active thing every day, even if it’s just going on a short walk. If you feel tired and lack energy, just commit to 10 minutes. Most times after the initial 10 minutes you won’t want to stop!
  • Don’t skip meals, ever. It messes with your metabolism and just isn’t healthy. It will keep you from reaching your long term goals.
  • If you’ll be eating out, make a plan. Don’t skip meals that day as it will only make you over indulge when you’re out. Try to order a normal sized portion… an appetizer as your meal or ask the waiter to pre-bag half of your meal before bringing it out to overcome the enormous portion sizes offered when out to eat. Don’t be scared to order “a la carte” as you can keep cleaner options that way and won’t be tempted with extra sides you didn’t even want in the first place.
  • Keep your non-stretchy (aka non-workout) pants close by and throw them on often. Yoga pants are comfy and practical, but they sometimes can also allow us to gain in size without realizing it.
  • Try not to use a scale as your measuring tool. Muscle is healthy and improves your metabolism. Muscle also weighs more than fat so weighing yourself too often can be disappointing or wrongly insightful. Instead, measure your focus areas with measuring tape, use your form fitting clothes to measure (they will get looser as you gain muscle and tone up), or get your muscle and fat mass measured doing a bod pod test.
  • Don’t reward yourself with food for your workouts. Eating an unhealthy, high calorie diet will make you bulk and prevent you from reaching the long lean healthy muscle results you’re reaching for. Working out is only part of the recipe- you have to eat right too.
  • Drink lots of water. I drink at least 130 ounces a day.
  • If you eat one bad meal or snack, don’t let it derail the entire day. Get back on track and stay positive.
  • Never go to the grocery store without a list- you will end up with unhealthy things in your kitchen and you’ll be destined to fall off the wagon.
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Angela – 8 mos pregnant, still killing it.

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Kim and barre baby, Colin.

The Bounce Back After The Binge.

Are you a weekend binge-eater? A late-night-pig-outer? Or a fall-off-the-wagon-all-week kind of person? With Spring Break upon us and summer looming in the near future, we decided to round up a few of our favorite tips and tricks from the NB team so you’ll be reaching for your bikini instead of that baggy white tee.

Hallie: “Drink as much water as you can handle! Divide your weight in half and you should be drinking that number in ounces a day. Also, add lemon to your water. Lemon breaks down the lactic acid in your muscles. I’ve found that not adding ice to my water allows for me to drink much more.”

Madison: “Chia seeds are my vice, I add them to my breakfast and lunch. They really keep me feeling satisfied. Also, I love using pasta substitutes like spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles using my Veggetti

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Ann Holland: “Drink lots of water. Limit sugars, grains, and dairy. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and protein.”

Julia: “I love walking my dog first thing in the morning, well after 6 am barre of course ;), it’s become part of my daily routine and getting fresh air every day makes me feel so happy and healthy. I need a lot of protein in the morning to keep full after a hard morning workout at Nb, so I like to make smoothies – greek yogurt, a banana, peanut butter, and lots of spinach is my favorite. I think having a big protein filled breakfast and smaller meals throughout the day makes me feel my best!”

Katy: “Brags apple cider vinegar – good for skin, lowers blood sugar, and is a natural diuretic. Take a shot or mix with water. Anytime I’ve overindulged on the weekend, my ACV makes me feel so much better and gets me back on track.”

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Erin: “Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie (almond milk, spinach or kale and frozen fruit)!”

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Krista replaces unhealthy snacks with healthful homemade treats! Check out her recipe for Oatmeal Energy Bites (they are delicious).

Meanwhile in Mexico….. Kelly advises us to “steer clear of all-inclusive vacations”….

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Take A Peek Inside Madison’s Closet….

Our resident fashionista, Madison Ford, always looks so put together! From her oversized sweaters to street sneaks, we love her look at Neighborhood Barre. Below she has put together 3 looks – including accessories – to help keep us studio to street chic whether heading to brunch, errands, or happy hour, after class.

If I could choose one word to describe my closet (besides color coordinated) it would be practical. Since I spend the majority of my day in ‘barre attire’ I have really tried to fill my closet with staple pieces that can easily be dressed up or down depending on my plans post-barre. The key in adding versatility to your workout wear is accessorizing.  By grabbing a pair of sunnies, throwing on a cute sneaker, stacking bracelets or wrapping up in a scarf, you gain the ability to tailor your assemble to channel your personal style and, better yet, transition from class to post-class plans. I’ve put together a few outfits (from the studio) as well as my own closet below:

Brunch: This outfit is perfect for a weekend class when you plan on treating yourself to a mimosa after. Navy is such a strong color for Spring and these pieces from Beyond Yoga are far too chic and comfortable to only be seen in the studio. I grabbed a lightweight scarf, my favorite Tkees flops, and Ray Bans to complete the look.blog1  blog4

 Ray Ban aviators, Tkees flip-flops, Beyond Yoga top and leggings – available at Nb (duh).

Shopping: We all know shopping and errands equal walking (and lots of it) so I chose a neutral outfit that I could make pop with some cute sneakers.  NB plug: I am obsessed with the mesh detail of this pocket tank and a bright sports bra would add some edge to the look.

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Nike Air sneakers, Beyond Yoga top and leggings, BKR water bottle

Happy Hour: My mantra when choosing an outfit to take from barre to the bar is to stick to neutrals, and by neutrals I mean black.  I chose these specific items because of the detailing. The quilted texture in these Beyond Yoga leggings and the strappy Alo bra add an element of edge to the pairing. I left off a top because while keeping on your workout tank is totally fine (and recommended), I would bring my favorite cashmere to throw on after class.

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Sublte Luxury cashmere, Alo sports bra, Beyond Yoga leggings, BKR water bottle

What’s your must-have studio to street piece? Comment below!

Follow us on Instagram for more #ootd @neighborhoodbarreknox

All Hail Hallie’s Gym Bag

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As we all know, Hallie Wallen is THE queen of all things fitness so naturally we were dying to see what she keeps stashed in her gym bag. The water, tennies, keys and cough drops came as no surprise, but there were a few items in particular that caught our eye….

1. Lilly Pulitzer planner: this is essential in helping Hallie plan her busy day and keep her classes straight. Besides the fact that the cover is super chic, Lilly planners have the best stickers for tracking important dates and great by-day and week tabs to help keep even the busiest girl organized. Want one? Go visit our one of our Nb staples, Deedee, at Palm Village Knoxville to get yours!

2. Karen Walker sunnies: Not only are these super stylish, but the updated wayfarer gives Hallie the ability to take her shades from barre class to brunch and we are all about the ease in which we transition workout wear to the streets.

3. Alo sports bra: Its no secret we are crazy about Alo at NB.  We love both the support and trendy mesh detail this bra offers..and isn’t everything better in black?! We think so. #allblackeverything (available at Neighborhood barre studios for only $48).

4. Evian Facial Spray and Ibuprofen: Super affordable and super essential when it comes to feeling refreshed after or in-between classes. As a headache sufferer, it’s important for Hallie to always be prepared to feel her best and both of these products help her to stay ahead of her symptoms.

5. Tiger Balm heat rub: Hallie soothes her soreness with this amazing topical pain reliever. Have you ever stood next Hallie and secretly thought to yourself  “what in the world is that SMELL!??” well, folks here it is.

 

What’s in your gym bag? Comment below with your essentials gear suggestions!

Barre Skinny ™

So you’ve started barre and now your body is changing… for the better? Often times the changes you will see in your body after starting a highly regimented barre program aren’t what you would expect. It isn’t uncommon for your jeans to feel tighter and the number on the scale to rise… Why? Because you are changing from the inside out. 

An athletic barre program will result in the gain of muscle – not bulking of the legs and seat – but long lean muscle mass, which is still adding muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, it is not uncommon for the number on the scale to rise or stay relatively the same once you begin your barre program. Don’t judge yourself by the number, let your eyes and those of others be the judge. Our NEIGHBORHOOD barre program refers to this phenomenon as Barre Skinny ™.  Why would you want to be skinny, when you could be Barre Skinny ™? Our barre-bies have muscles, not the bulky body-building muscles, but lean beautiful muscles that define the shape of the arms, back, abs, hips, glutes, thighs, calfs… did I miss anything? Just check out these changes: Image 

So why do your clothes feel tighter than before? Think of a marshmallow vs. an almond.  When your thighs consist of more fat (marshmallow) than muscle (almond) they are going to stuff nicely into your tightest jeans, thus molding themselves to the shape of the pants. Once you have replaced that fat with muscle (almond), the pants have to form to your shape instead. The answer? Give it time. Although we see results quickly in a classical or athletic barre studio, there are layers of change that need to happen in order to reach your ultimate goal. Keep working! The muscles often start to form before the fat has melted away, which is why you think you are ‘bulking’ or getting bigger. You will get smaller. We promise. Keep pulsing, drink LOTS of water, and don’t stop just because it burns :)

If you have any other questions about weight gain/loss in barre, post them below. Questions about burning calories? Visit our Facebook page and see the burn.

What The Tuck?

While perusing the social media world last week I saw someone answer the question “What is barre?” like this… “Barre is combination of yoga and pilates with a ballet barre that you use for balance…”. Ummmm, what?

Because barre fitness is still a relatively new phenomenon in the Southeast, we often hear the above-mentioned question “what is barre”? While many see it as a combination of workouts – pilates, yoga, dance – in a classical barre studio, this is not the case. Barre is its own workout, its own moves, its own identity.

So what is it? Barre is a full body workout that incorporate ELEMENTS of dance, pilates, and yoga with isometric movements to carve and shape key muscle groups in the arms, legs, abs, and glutes. It is not a fusion workout. At least not at our studio. Classical barre is based off of its own method – the Lotte Berk Method – which was created by a woman named Lydia Bach. It has been around for MANY years and is just now gaining popularity nationwide. The techniques differ from studio to studio and brand to brand, but a true barre workout (the classical style) is based from Lotte Berk and not a fusion or combination of anything. No warriors or balancing trees here, only tucking, lifting, pulsing, and holding.

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Another key component to a classical studio is the hip tuck. I said ‘tuck’, not ‘thrust’. Tucking of the hips is a classic dance posture that aligns the spine and engages the core. While some might say that the hip tuck is unsafe and outdated, we are confident from our research with local chiropractors, physicians, and physical therapists, that the hip tuck is safe and effective. Think of pressing your tail bone towards the floor. It keeps your body stacked in a position that is safer for the lower back and allows more muscle groups to be engaged during the workout, thus burning more calories and providing an overall strength benefit. 

What’s more comfortable to you? Standing like this..

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Or like this…

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While no studio is really right or wrong, it is up to you to find the workout that is right for your body and strength level and delivers the results you want and need. If a fusion studio that calls itself a ‘combination of yoga and pilates’ is your thing, then go for it; but if you want barre, then make sure you find  a classical studio that uses only elements of other methods, rather than fusing different workouts together. Barre fitness can provide amazing results if done consistently and correctly. At NEIGHBORHOOD barre we make it our goal to ensure that our clients get the best experience possible, with proper coaching to ensure safety and effectiveness during class. If you ever have any questions about a move or a posture, then ask! As we all know, barre can often get harder before it gets easier because we learn the technique over time. Stick to it and keep tucking! Don’t forget, your first class at NEIGHBORHOOD barre is FREE! Come see the difference.

How I Lost One Inch In One Week

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My basic formula for a quick change goes a little something like this….

Water + Sleep – Gluten = Change

Now, I am not saying this formula is going to work for everyone, or that you will all of the sudden shed inches from your waist like some miracle concoction; but I am saying that for me, making these dietary and lifestyle changes produces faster and more noticeable results than exercise and ‘eating right’ do on their own.

Miss Parks says it best with her “water, water, water” chant after every class. She’s right. Increasing your water intake does so much for your body from reducing soreness after a workout, to giving you more energy, and even reducing belly bloat – resulting in a flatter stomach. I bet you thought the belly bloat was going to relate to the less gluten portion of the equation didn’t you? Not so for me. Drinking more water aids digestion and actually causes you to retain less (water retention can have a visible effect on your midsection). I’ve upped my water intake to at least a 1/2 gallon (a.k.a. 4 Bkr’s) with my goal being to consume twice that on a daily basis.

New chant for you, “sleep, sleep, sleep.” Think about it. What do you do when you’re sleepy and trying to stay awake? Eat, maybe? I do, and I don’t always make the best choices, because I crave either sugar or ‘comfort food.’ Being well rested helps your body crave the types of food you need, not the types of food that are quick and easy. Like Chick-fil-a. And pizza. And Coke Zero. Anyway….

That being said, I am not an advocate for completely cutting something out of your diet unless there is a necessary purpose, like allergies or intolerance. However, I have found that significantly reducing the amount of gluten I eat directly results in less ‘fluff’ around my midsection. Why is this? It makes me think about everything I eat. For some, the consumption of processed wheat, rye, or barley can cause bloat due to a food allergy or intolerance to gluten. However, for the majority of the public, who do not have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten (me), it simply means you are consuming fewer empty calories, and rather, replacing snacks and side dishes with well thought out choices like fruits and vegetables. Things to remember? Less gluten does not mean less calories. In fact, often times foods that are labeled ‘gluten free’ are higher in calories than those that are not. Be mindful of snacks containing more sugar and fat as a result of less gluten.

Snack of choice these days? Larabar Roasted Nut Roll (which has less sugar than some other gluten free snacks) and one whole Bkr.

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Final tip… Don’t concentrate on the numbers on the scale. They can be deceiving. I weigh the same now as I did a week ago, but I look better in a bikini :)

Modify. It Doesn’t Hurt To Take A Lower Option In Barre Class.

Hot shaky muscles are a staple in our Neighborhood Barre classes, but actual pain can be another issue going beyond the barre burn to another level. While we do offer modifications throughout the workout, some pain issues require you to rework a position entirely in order to avoid discomfort in class. Common issues relate to knees, lower back strain, and strain to the neck and shoulders. While most of these issues will dissipate over time – as you build strength in class – it is important to use modifications to avoid unnecessary strain on your body. Here we will outline and demonstrate our most common modification needs.

Plank – During plank you want to think about pulling your belly button to your spine, allowing your core to do the work, and keeping a straight line down your body. We often see swayed backs and distended necks like this:  DSC00129

If you feel the sway, use this modification – drop to your knees and then pull your belly button back to your spine to shift the work into your core. If holding this position is still too much, then take little breaks by pressing back into Child’s Pose.

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DiamondThe most common complaint here is knee or hip pain. Often this type of pain can be caused by your knee to hip alignment, not anything you are actually doing in the pose. Here we demonstrate a typical diamond pose: DSC00146

To readjust, move your feet into a more narrow V taking pressure off the knees and putting more work in your thighs. You can also eliminate the ‘knee press’ portion of the exercise, choosing to hold a still position instead.

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Chair - Lower back strain can be an issue in chair. Core strength and proper alignment play a big role here. Make sure that your shoulders are stacked over your hips, your hips are tucked under, and that your knees are stacked over your ankles. We often see swayed backs, hunched shoulders, or improper alignment as demonstrated below:

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If you feel the back strain, walk your feet under the barre and use the baseboard for support. Pull your upper body closer and think about pressing your feet into the floor. This will properly align the body and put the work back into your thighs.

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Ab Work – Neck and shoulder strain and lower back pain can often be associated with Pilates-style ab work. Luckily there are MANY modifications for abs, but here are a few basics that work in most positions to alleviate strain.

There is always an option to use 2 balls. This works great for a pre/post natal modification, or for anyone who has a sensitive lower back, by allowing support to the spine throughout the portion of abs where we work high.

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The twist – our favorite modification on our twisting oblique work is to keep the ‘floating leg’ bent, thereby pressing the foot into the floor. You will feel your lower back press into the mat. This will shift the work back to your core and allow you to relax your neck and shoulders, as this is often where we feel the strain in this exercise.

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The pump is another exercise that can cause the shoulder and neck pain that we so often feel during Pilates.  Rather than setting your head down, try lowering your feet from table-top to the ground. Like the previous example, this will allow you to reengage your core rather than straining through your neck.

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Keep in mind that a lot of the pain – especially lower back, neck, and shoulder strain – will subside as you get stronger, as we often compensate for lack of core strength with other muscle groups. ALWAYS take the lower options if you feel pain. It is better to have proper form while performing a more simple exercise, than to strain your body towards an advanced position. By listening to our bodies, we will know when the time is right to take it to the next level. Start slow. It is always OK to perform part of a set in an advanced position and then move to your modification. The more you push yourself, the longer you will be able to hold the advanced poses, using the modifications less and less!

Resolution Schmesolution… Make It Your LIFE.

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The average New Year’s Resolution lasts for 17 days, with the number one resolution being to lose weight (statisticbrain.com). Unfortunately many of the pounds that are lost (if any) are very soon put back on due to lack of commitment, workout and diet burnout, or giving up because you’re not seeing the results fast enough.

There’s a saying that we try to live by here at Neighborhood Barre: “make what you love into what you do.” This saying can apply in a lot different capacities, but let’s try this. What do YOU love? …I love feeling good. I love feeling healthy, being comfortable in my skin, and not sweating the small stuff. How do I live it? I watch what I eat and I exercise almost daily. It’s what I do, so I can live the way I love to live.  Neighborhood Barre gets me there. I get a full-body workout in 55 minutes, it clears my mind of small-life stresses, it give me the ability to feel comfortable in my skin, and I leave feeling strong and healthy.  This year don’t make a resolution. Make a new life. Turn what you love into what you do.

See below for inspiring stories of real clients who have made Neighborhood Barre a part of their life. Living and chasing the shake for over a year! No resolutions here, only happy, healthful lifestyles.

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As someone who has tried every workout in the book, I can honestly say that I have never felt stronger since I began taking Neighborhood Barre classes. It has been a year now, and I am STILL seeing changes in my body!

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Since becoming pregnant, barre has been helping me maintain steady weight gain. I’ve had a big increase in my appetite and I don’t make the “right” choices every time I need a snack. Even though I’ve had to modify some of the work outs, Neighborhood Barre is still kicking my butt and definitely keeping me fit!

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The first time I noticed a change in my body was when my mom and I were moving a mattress up a hill. My mom lifts weights and always brags about how strong she is (and she really is pretty strong) but this time, I was the stronger one and I kept on going when my mom needed to take a break. After that, I noticed that my normal jog around Lakeshore didn’t take as long!! I was feeling better during my runs and so I was running much quicker! My muscles and core are much stronger!!! All this strength and NO BULK!!!

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I had sustained a low back injury from work and had been going to physical therapy for several months prior to coming to Neighborhood Barre. I also had my third flare up of plantar fasciitis that steroid injections and sleeping a rigid boot had not cured. My foot is 100% and my back is 90% better from the overall strengthening of my core. Both things I am thrilled about, but I have to admit my biggest testimonial is that in the past year I have gone down almost two full sizes in my jeans.

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My exercise goals are focused on getting in shape and toning my body; Nb has done that and more for me. It truly is an entire body work-out, and I can tell a difference in the way my clothing fits now. I can see new toned definition in my arms, abs/waist and legs that I didn’t have before. I overall feel much stronger and healthier, and going to the morning classes make me feel more energized to take on the rest of the day!

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After more than a decade of my childhood spent at the gymnastics studio, my body quickly gains muscle mass in the form of bulk. Nb is the first workout that allowed my body to regain its strength and flexibility without the bulk. After only a few weeks, my arms and legs were visibly leaner. I recently took a brief hiatus due to second-pregnancy exhaustion. It only took two classes before the tone returned. The workouts also greatly increase my energy level.

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I have truly enjoyed being a client of Nb over the last year. Not only have I experienced changes to my body, I have had a blast doing it! From my arms to my seat and calves it is like a total body transformation. I really like all of the instructors who push me to feel the burn and shake each and every time I take class. It definitely never gets any easier!

I love how every class is just as challenging as the first. I love how after every class my muscles are fatigued (sometimes still shaking) and I'm relaxed, but energized all at the same time - it's the perfect combo! And of course, RESULTS! I am amazed by the changes I have achieved over the past year. My muscles are longer, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I am a much stronger runner because of the strength I have built at Nb. I love it!

I love how every class is just as challenging as the first. I love how after every class my muscles are fatigued (sometimes still shaking) and I’m relaxed, but energized all at the same time – it’s the perfect combo! And of course, RESULTS! I am amazed by the changes I have achieved over the past year. My muscles are longer, leaner, and stronger than ever before. I am a much stronger runner because of the strength I have built at Nb. I love it!

 

5 Ways To Wear Your Leggings

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If you are barre or yoga obsessed, chances are you find yourself  spending all of your money on crazy expensive leggings only to realize later that you do not actually own any ‘real’ pants. Well, we’re here to help you turn those Wunder Unders and Beyond Yoga Leggings into street chic apparel. Here are 5 ways to wear your leggings in public without being embarrassed (a shirt long enough to cover your rear helps too).

1. Flats.

How about we jazz it up with a print?

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Or more specifically a smoking slipper with print…

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Leopard pairs great with color – especially those jewel tones that we are loving this season. Throw on a chambray shirt over your tank or your favorite slouchy sweater, and voila! You are casually chic and ready to hit the town.

2 & 3. Boots and booties. We might as well combine these into one even though they can give you two totally different looks.

Tall boots, short boots, low boots – they all look great with a legging. Add interest with a leg warmer or tall sock. Think layers for your legs.

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Toms makes a great affordable lace-up bootie. Also check Urban Outfitters.

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You don’t have to have a sock to be cute. Laces and buckles add enough to this look making layers unnecessary.

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Yessssssssss. We love a tall boot with a tall boot sock and leggings. This look can take you many places.

Great boots usually come at a steep price. You can keep it middle of the road with Frye. They make boots of all shapes and heights and with a varying price range. Most are a more casual look, which pair well with leggings.

4. Moccasins.

I’m a sucker for a good moccasin. Just don’t get too crazy. Keep the fringe to a minimum and buy a boot that is suitable for your height. This short boot looks great on most people. It still has the fringe and some detail without taking all of the attention.

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Where to find these and other great moccs? MINNETONKA. The mother of all things moccasin.

5. Platforms.

My personal favorite. Platforms can take your legging look from day to night especially if you keep it simple with black. Pair with a tunic or long sweater and you are ready, set, go.

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Above is a very affordable Steve Madden platform. The black on black keeps it simple and chic.