Fitness apparel takes a tour jeté

Find what you need for home brewing

Ballet style at Standing Ovation
While “athleisure” has been enjoying quite a few years as a top fashion trend,* a quasi-subcategory has been quietly rising. Thanks to fitness companies such as Ballet Beautiful, The Bar Method and Pure Barre, the clothes typically reserved for ballerinas – and now fitness devotees who use ballet techniques – are making their way into the closets of stylish ladies everywhere. From light blush pink wrap sweaters and dramatic scoop neck leotards to cushy leg warmers, there’s at least one ballet-inspired piece for every style and body type. By pure luck, I’ve been way ahead of this trend simply due to my refusal to toss old ballet and ice skating gear from what feels like a lifetime ago. I consistently break out my leg warmers in the cold months, pair them with heels and throw on my favorite black sheer wrap skirt over black leggings for a bit of added texture and movement. Perhaps my favorite way to bring out my inner prima ballerina is through the simple perfection of a classic ballet slipper, worn as you would a pair of ladylike flats (just not for snowy or slushy days). Longtime local store Standing Ovation Performance Apparel carries a massive range of quality options for all ages and sizes, including plus, and can easily (and does quite often) place special orders if they don’t have a particular item/size in stock. I’m super excited about this ballet style trend and encourage all those who are, too, to join me in pretending to be Anna Pavlova from time to time. Standing Ovation is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon. and Wed., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thurs., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri. and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. at 725 W. Coliseum Blvd. For information, visit www.midwestdancewear.com or call (260) 483-1633.

* Who wouldn’t embrace a trend that provides comfort AND cool style? Lounge pants, for the win!

Fort Wayne Mural Project
Inspired by the successful City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, a group in our city is working to bring together artists, organizations, businesses and government, art lovers and supporters to enhance the local art community while beautifying Allen County. The Fort Wayne Mural Project believes that “a strong arts community is [the] key to improved quality of life and vibrant economic development.” The group’s goals are simple: 1. Foster partnerships between citizens, artists and building owners to create large- and small-scale murals that showcase our region’s history, culture and vision. 2. Support local and regional artists while enhancing and promoting civic pride and boosting tourism. 3. Use the power of art to advance community engagement and beautify neglected areas and buildings, both of which can reduce and prevent crime. In these early stages, FWMP will focus specifically on downtown. Its first project will use the parachute cloth method, which is a large-scale, paint-by-numbers type project using 4-foot squares of fabric that will be painted by various people of all ages in the community. 2016 is the year FWMP will go live. It will need artists, community organizers, building scouts and many more volunteers for its exciting plans and events. For now, follow FWMP on your favorite social media channel, and keep your eyes and ears open for ways to get involved. Fort Wayne Mural Project can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @FWMuralProject. Email the organization at FWMuralProject@gmail.com.

B.Y.O.B. (Brew your own beer)
If you’re looking for an indoors-y project to take on this winter, you might consider making your own beer. Home brewing has grown in popularity over the last decade or so, with my own craft beer-loving husband even giving it a go a few years ago (with pretty respectable results, I might add). It’s been said that if you can make macaroni and cheese on the stove, you can brew your own beer. While that might be technically true, the results will vary until plenty of experience is acquired so first-time brewers shouldn’t expect to be experts from the jump-off. The basics are fairly simple, but doing it well requires patience, a bit of research and dedication to cleanliness … plus a thick skin for when one of the batches doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped. An introductory kit is relatively inexpensive (typically less than $100), and Brewer’s Art Supply sells equipment and can advise on ingredients and techniques for the amateur and well above. Winter is the perfect time to take on a new hobby, especially one that can warm and entertain you during dreary, snowy homebound days. Brewer’s Art Supply is open 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. at 1425 Wells St. Email BrewersArtSupply@gmail.com or call (260) 426-7399 for more information.

First appeared in the January 2016 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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