(As an aside, you should go follow her blog, she is an amazing writer and fabulous to boot).
Now, let's get down to business and talk about Elevé.
I discovered Elevé last year because I was a fan of the show Breaking Pointe. On the show, many of the Ballet West dancers were wearing these gorgeously colored and patterned leotards, and many of them turned out to be Elevé leotards. The founder of the company is a former Ballet West dancer, so it makes a lot of sense that the dancers there would support her.
The fun thing about Elevé is that you not only get to pick a style (and there are a bunch to choose from), but also from a wide variety of fabrics. Your chances of creating something completely one-of-a-kind are superb.
I decided to order myself a couple last year for my birthday. I kept it pretty simple, and decided on two styles that had details up top (which is apparently a good thing for pear shapes like myself): the Laico, and the Robbin.
The website states that orders take anywhere from 6-8 weeks (during non-holiday times), and that is accurate. I ordered mine in late July and received them in late September.
I was very pleased! They're well constructed, and the fabric is thick and sturdy (but also stretches well). I got both of mine in the "matte" version of the fabric, but it does still have a slight sheen. I ordered size Large, since my measurements all fit in the ranges for that size. I also ordered bust liners for both.
The Laico comes with the option to get a back opening or not, and I chose to go ahead and get it. I didn't pay attention to the pictures (oops), and didn't realize that it comes rather far forward; it basically stops at the side seams, and on my curvier self it comes up a bit further than that. Nothing too risqué, but definitely more skin than I realized!
The "bust liner" on the Laico is not sewn in at the bottom, but I think that's because 1) it's not meant to be supportive, more as an extra layer of fabric in case things are see-through and 2) so there's not a random seam in the middle of your chest.
The Robbin has mesh straps (had to get mesh in there somehow), and a smaller back opening, with a lovely S-shape of patterned fabric. I find this super flattering, and I get lots of compliments on this leotard (though I did have one teenager tell me it looked like a swimsuit--I think that may have been due to my fabric choices).
The bust liner on this one IS sewn in, sharing the seam of the patterned fabric on top.
These leotards are now a year old and don't show much wear, despite the fact that I'm horrible and wash them in the washing machine on a normal (but cold) cycle (I do hang dry them, though). The mesh of the Robbin is even still intact! Impressive.
My only complaints? The leg openings are very snug on me. Now, I am a curvier gal, so these things happen, but my hip measurement is right on track for the Large, so I was a little surprised. The arm holes of the Laico are a little snug as well, but not terrible. I do almost wish they offered an XL, because I think it would be a little comfier overall (at least if you're curvy like me).
I would like to order from Elevé again, and likely will, but I do plan on trying some other custom leotard shops first (like Lone Reed or Class-In). If they do add in an XL option, I'd be back in a heartbeat.