Style Bloggers’ V-Day Destinations

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COCKTAILS with GAL MEETS GLAM

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A dinner-and-a-movie kind of gal, blogger Julia Engel also loves a well-mixed drink, a good atmosphere and a chance to show off her style. She found what she was looking for at Hard Water in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district. “Isn’t the interior cool?” she said.

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As for what to wear, Julia goes bold and holiday-spirited. “I definitely don’t hold back. Bring on the pink and red!” Her guy, Thomas, takes a more subdued yet still distinctive approach to his date night look with a grounded-in-gray combination of slim dress pants and a button-up in a non-traditional plaid.

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INSTAGRAM: @juliahengel


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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Who loves love? We do! If you’re feeling the same but you’re struggling to find the right Valentine’s Day gift for your sweetie, check out the suggestions below. Cupid’s got nothing on us.

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1. With a sparkly statement necklace you don’t have to worry about sizing, plus she has something from you to wear close to her heart. 2. Like the idea of your girl smelling like florals and fruit with a sexy hint of musk? Give her Love Express fragrance and enjoy. 3. The Portofino Shirt is so popular that some ladies have a collection – the perfect scenario for you to sneakily confirm her size before picking her up a pretty new color or print. 4. Whether she’s a traditional type or sassy and proud, we have her clutch. 5. A calorie binge doesn’t count if what you’re having is amazingly tasty. That’s what we believe, anyway, so indulge her sweet tooth with some fancy macarons from a French bakery or treats from a premium chocolatier.

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1. One way to make sure he’s looking good for Valentine’s: Get him a silk tie and gift it the day before. 2. If your guy’s lacking a signature scent, the clean mix of fresh water and fig in our Honor for Men can bring a fresh edge to his personal mystique. 3. Like a tie, a blazer given early helps cover his look for your big date. Beyond that, you’re setting him up for spring with one of the season’s key pieces. 4. A power card means never having to say, “Sorry I didn’t call but my phone was dead.” 5. When it comes to gifting, a watch for guys is like jewelry for girls: a time-tested win. 6. V-Day is great for surprising him with a controlled splurge, especially something he might not get for himself like a bottle of his favorite premium liquor or small batch spirit.

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Introducing: Our First Men’s Ambassador

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We’re thrilled to start a new chapter in the Express story with the introduction of our very first menswear ambassador, pro basketball player Stephen Curry. A star point guard, two-time gold medalist, devoted husband and father, Stephen’s also a total ace at showing up in style. Read on to learn more about our new guy – and how you can get a chance to join him at an exclusive NYC party.

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An award-winning record breaker even before he went pro as a first-round draft pick in 2009, Stephen’s the pride of Golden State b’ball lovers for his amazing agility and stunning three-point record. On the court, he wears number 30 like his father, retired basketball player Dell Curry, did before him. Off the court, he steps it up with suits for game travel but otherwise likes to keep it casual, and he gets a lot of fashion advice from his wife Ayesha. As Stephen recently told GQ,
When I first got to the league, me and my wife would go shopping for my game looks, I didn’t have a stylist or anything, and Express was one of my staple stores.

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As you can see from these exclusive photos, Stephen’s looking crazy sharp in pieces from our spring collection. We’ll officially welcome him as our new ambassador with a launch party in Manhattan on Friday, February 13 in partnership with Grungy Gentleman. Want in on this action? Enter the “Be Ours” sweepstakes on Instagram. You could win a trip to the Big Apple complete with airfare, hotel and tickets to the party, plus a $500 Express gift card to help you get into a new look.
To enter, follow us @ExpressRunway and leave a comment on one
of our “Be Ours” posts tagging the friend you’d like to bring as your plus one.

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No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes begins at 10:00 AM on January 24, 2015 and ends at 11:59 am on February 1, 2015. Legal U.S. & Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) 21+, void where prohibited. Odds of winning dependent on number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.
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Healthy Life: Getting Fit

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The booty – it’s been immortalized in song and idolized on magazine covers, and lots of us spend too many hours on it, especially in the office world. Time to get your butt in gear with workout pointers for your lower half inspired by our EXP Core ambassador, Anastasia Ashley, and her top tips for getting fit. Along with tightening up for the beach season ahead, you’ll up your calorie-burning power with a strong lower body routine.

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The next time you hit the treadmill, try intervals at a faster speed or higher incline. It’ll give your heart rate and metabolism a few quick boosts and make you sore in some new places – all good as long as you don’t overdo. In your mat work, add one to one-and-a-half-pound weights to your ankles and go for moves like the Leg Raise: Start on all fours and raise one leg with knee still bent so your thigh is straight at hip level, with foot flexed and heel reaching toward the ceiling, then lower. You can also straighten your leg to switch things up, and squeeze your glute and hamstring muscles as you lift to get the most from the move. Feeling extra strong? Secure a three-pound weight to each ankle weight. The results will amaze you!

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You can work on your butt almost anywhere. If you’ve got a desk job, try doing simple isometric holds like glute squeezes. Live in a dorm or small apartment? Squats and lunges work for a tight space. Stairs make a good prop, too. Try lying at the bottom of some stairs, back flat on the floor. Prop the arches of your feet on the lowest step and lift your hips high so the only parts of your body that aren’t in the air are your head, feet, neck and shoulder blades. Squeeze your glute muscles at the highest point and then lower your body so your hips tap the steps before lifting again. For a more intense variation, do this move with one leg in the air.

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As you aim for a smokin’ backside, keep your whole body in mind. Add arm weights to your lunges and squats. Hold a squat with your weighted arms out in front of you or to the sides, elbows slightly bent, and move your arms in small clockwise circles for 15 seconds, followed by the same move counter- clockwise. For a little more fun and a bigger cardio boost, jump rope. Even better: Call a couple of friends and go Double Dutch.

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WE WANT TO SEE YOU LOOKING STRONG IN OUR
#EXPCORE PERFORMANCE WEAR!
Post a selfie that shows off your form on Instagram with #EXPCore and tag @ExpressRunway.

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HEALTHY LIFE: GETTING FIT

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Inspired by pro surfer Anastasia Ashley’s seven tips for getting healthy in EXP Core Performance wear, we’ve got more ideas to share for shaping up in the year ahead. At the top of the list is a focus on the core. Strengthening the muscle group in your torso doesn’t just make sense for the crop top season ahead – it also keeps you stable and balanced, can prevent pain in other parts of the body like the back and helps you walk taller, with more grace in your gait. But before you get deep into those crunches, follow these guidelines to maximize the efficiency of your ab workout. For a little fitspiration, check out the pics of Anastasia working her EXP Core.

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Since one of the two types of core muscles attaches directly to your spine and supports its movement, you can’t have a strong core without a strong back. Incorporate moves that target these muscles into your routine like plank exercises or the “swimmer.” For that one, lie on your stomach with core muscles engaged and lower belly off the mat. Lift your upper torso and legs so just your hipbones are on the mat and flutter your limbs as if you’re swimming in place. Stretch your limbs as you do it to get that long, lean look.

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Changing up your workout fends off the blahs and also creates muscle confusion, which is crucial for seeing changes in your body. Mix in some variation to your regular-tempo ab routine by adding slow, three-count moves, pulses and ten-second isometric holds. Remember, don’t be afraid to try something new!

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Without proper form, you’re not just wasting energy in your ab workout, you could be causing your body injury. Visualization helps make sure you’re exercising right. When you’re on your back and engaging your core, try picturing a straight line connecting your belly button to your spine, drawing it inward as tightly as possible.

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If you’re just getting started or you’ve been working out with videos at home for a while, go for a workout class. It never hurts to have an instructor checking your form and introducing you to new exercises. A class can also help keep you motivated, especially if you sign up with a friend and form a pact to see it through together.

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WE WANT TO SEE YOU LOOKING STRONG IN OUR
EXP CORE PERFORMANCE WEAR!
Post a selfie that shows off your form on Instagram with #EXPCore and tag @expressRunway.

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