Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Studio To Street Collection - Part 2: Accessories
At first I was going to continue my post series with the shirts...the amazingly high number of shirts...but I started with pants just to mix it up so I changed my mind and decided to go with accessories for Part 2. Hardly a hardship, I love accessories. That wasn't always true. Well, let me qualify that. It wasn't always true as it pertains to Zumba. There was a time, not all that long ago, that I was almost completely utilitarian when it came to exercise and fitness. Plain black hair elastics and clips, and no bracelets. It's been about a year since my "great color overhaul" that started with my orange/pink Rhythm Rocker shirt (still my favorite today) and spread from there down to pants and shoes, up to hair, and out to wrists. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I went to Zumba without at least one bracelet on.

People who know me personally know that I'm something of a bag hound. I think most women have at least one (most often more than one) accessory that they have a lot of. I know you dear readers know exactly what I'm talking about...admit it. Either you are a woman with a stash of something, or you're guy who knows a woman with a stash of something. Heck, maybe you're a guy who has his own stash of something like belts or ties. I really shouldn't stereotype. For my grandmother, it was shoes and hats. Seriously, hats. Hey, it was the 40's and 50's and dressy hats were a thing. For my mother, it was scarves and earrings. For me, it's bags and bracelets. That's always been true of every-day wear, but has translated to Zumba as well, and much better than I would have thought.

When I'm buying new Z-Wear, I always check the accessories that are designed to go with the collection. Zumba is great for reusing a few colors from collection to collection so that accessories you bought previously will, a lot of times, match your new stuff. I like that a lot because it stretches your dollar. One thing I've been keeping an eye out for is headbands. I was a bit disappointed to find that there aren't any currently in the shop made to go with the new spring collection. I'm hoping that will change as Zumba releases more items. I really like the wide cloth headbands because they hold my glasses on well. I use glasses for distance you see. I know...not one of the pictures of me on this blog shows that... I don't wear them generally day to day. But I discovered something the day I went to B1 training...when you're four rows back from a teacher you've never had class with before, you need to be able to see detail. I wound up wearing my glasses for most of B1 but they were wobbly because I didn't have a good way to keep them on. Enter the headband. If I am learning new choreography from the DVD's that Zumba sends me, I need my glasses to see or I miss too much. From that, I made the following connection: If this is true of me with a DVD set up on my laptop a few feet away, it's definitely going to be true of me with an actual class teaching people farther away than three feet. Yay headbands!

***Side note: I don't wear my glasses when I take class from Jae or Rae. I don't need to. I'm so used to their individual styles that I can pick up on subtleties without wearing them.***

So no headbands (yet). What -is- there? I'll stop rambling and we'll take a look.

There are always always bracelets. are the Bells Of The Ball bracelets. They come in an 8-pack so what you see here to the left and right are sold together. As always, this type of bracelet is 100% silicone and latex free. I'm personally not too crazy about the bells. I much prefer the plain kind. I find jingly noise incredibly distracting. And if that's true for me, it's probably true of my classmates or students too. The other thing about this set that I'm not wild about is the pastel colors. Up on the left, the two bottom bracelets are an odd shade of blue (or is that purple?) and an odd shade of pink respectively. If I were to buy this 8-pack, the reality is that it would be 6-pack since it comes with two bracelets I can't match to anything I already own. Further, I wouldn't buy anything new in either shade so they'd never match to anything.

The Can't Touch This Charm Bracelets. They come together as a 3-pack so you don't have to agonize over which color to get. Personally, I love the pink one best. I also think the charms are adorable. I'll admit it, I'm thinking about these... These are also 100% silicone and latex free. There's no better bracelet for Zumba than one made out of material like that. They are flexible and light and it's unlikely that they'll break after just one class (my poor metal bangles...they were never the same again).

The bracelets' more practical cousin. come in a 2-pack so you get a white one and a black one. The pair on the left is the Sweat My Wristbands in "Zumba Green" (referring to the stripe and logo). These are also available in "Positively Pinktronic" (on the right). I'm totally not making that up, that's really what the color is named. Only Zumba can get away with a word like "Pinktronic"... These are terrycloth and 100% cotton. Not my choice of wrist-wear. These kinds of wristbands are usually fairly snug and I'm not a fan of that feeling on my arm. I like my bracelets to slide a little. Plus, even though they've got some colorful bits, these wristbands are a little too practical and make me want to use the word utilitarian. I don't like that word as it applies to my Zumba gear. If you're wondering what's with the black and the white, well it's easier for students to differentiate left and right if there's an obvious difference between left and right. I only wear bracelets on the left wrist when I teach. My shoes have two different colors of shoelaces. The shoe lace thing works better for me since I'm only 5'3" and I can't roll one cargo leg up without looking ridiculous.

Socks keep meaning to get some socks from Zumba, just to try them, but the practical side of me says that the pairs I already have are brightly colored, match my gear, and still have life in them. I think it's going to still be a while before I'm ordering any Zumba socks. There's little variation in the socks from collection to collection. Not too surprising, socks are socks. Mostly it's the color that changes, or possibly the placement of the logo. And there is always a logo. is the Feet Of Strength 3-pack of socks. The logo is on the sole of the foot. I really love the pink/green sock and the purple/pink one isn't bad. I'm not sure I like the white/blue one though. It's the tone of blue, I'd like it to be a little bit brighter, or darker, or sharper. Not quite so pastel-ish...pastel-y? Meh, you get my meaning. There are some pants and shirts that are this same blue right now and I'm sure the intent was that the socks match. Oh well, by the time I'm ready to actually buy a pack of Zumba socks, there will be different colors available. Oh, don't point out to me that these are ankle socks and barely show anyways. Of that I'm well aware and that is hardly the point. Heh.

Some people bring towels to Zumba. I'm not one of them. I'm that uncivilized one you see wiping her face with the bottom of her tank top. Hey, the way I see it, the shirt is already sweaty in other places and not getting any cleaner. Why mess up a towel too? Yeah, uncivilized...I can own that.
This is the Sweat It-N-Forget It Towel 2-pack. They are cool looking with the ombre effect and I love the berry color, it actually makes that blue look good. But here's the problem I'd have with buying these towels: they don't list the dimensions in the product description. I cannot tell if this is hand towel sized or beach towel sized. If it was beach towel sized, I might actually get it. We have a pool and in the summer, I like to go for a night swim after I get home from Zumba. It's extremely refreshing. If it's hand towel sized, then it's next to useless to me since I'm not going to stick it in my bag to take to class. Also, it doesn't exactly match my home decor, so I can't hang it in a bathroom. That's house is not a "Zumba house". What, you were imagining neon painted rooms? Maybe a giant logo decal on my bedroom wall? Heh. Actually...nah...Bry would never go for it.

Bags are the Can't Touch This Bags in "Positively Pinktronic" and "Smoke". I'll let you decide which is which... I own a bag almost exactly like this, though not made by Zumba. Mine is a Thirty One bag. This style of bag is great for carrying shoes and a drink to class. I like to toss all the little things in the zipper pocket: a wristlet, my phone, my glasses (I need them to drive whether I wear them during class or not), and my container of Tums. It's just the right size to carry what you need, but not so big that you'll wind up over-packing and stuffing things in that you don't really need. I actually like the grey one better. I think the word Zumba stands out better.

Best advice: If Zumba brand accessories are inconvenient or too expensive (or both) to buy, try Goody. Their products are sold in supermarkets and other stores like Walmart and Target. They have a really nice athletic collection, and if you want bright, they make that too. You just have to visit the girls' section for all the neon stuff.

I am neither affiliated with or endorsed by either Zumba Fitness (beyond being a simple instructor) or Goody - Just an interested shopper with an opinion!

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