Pilates Fashion: A Uniform, a Lifestyle, an Affordable Luxury

Emily Harbourne: Full-time Club Pilates and Cyclebar Instructor – age 27. Linda Hope: Club Pilates Instructor, fitness veteran, mother of three, grandmother of two – age 50.

By Katie Kannapell Ryser

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

When it comes to working out, I’m not sure what I love more: the fitness or the fashion.

This past summer I had to select all of the apparel for my Pilates studio from a company’s online merchandise “mall.” Truth be told, I wasn’t thrilled at this method of selection since I’d far prefer to touch and feel the garments that are designed to move and stretch with our bodies. But, because the studio was scheduled to open in August, there was no time to indulge that desire. I had shelves to stock and racks to fill. I took some comfort in the fact that one of the available brands, Beyond Yoga, was one that I have worked with in the past and have been buying personally for years. But the rest were either Club Pilates-branded merchandise or Glyder—two lines of apparel I didn’t know existed, much less worn.

Remember back when sportswear and gym clothes were only semi-functional and not at all stylish? With innovations in textiles and technology, improvements have been made to improve functionality and versatility. The garments fitness fashionistas gravitate toward now are breathable, lightweight and so much softer, allowing us to carry out everyday activities easily while looking good in the process.

As a mother of a two preschoolers, my needs reflect many other working mothers. I need to be able to go from a 6 a.m. workout to school drop-off, to business meetings, to the studios and then to a friend’s house for play dates. Wearing effortlessly stylish clothes means I don’t need to change clothes throughout the day.

“Athleasure”—what I bashfully refer to as my “uniform”—is here to stay, and everyone appears to be embracing this casual look. So, when that enormous shipment of Club Pilates clothing arrived to our studio lobby just in time for our grand opening, I was totally blown away. The quality and the softness compared to the price point was a value I had yet to experience. The clothing, which actually has support and structure, is well-cut with a dusting of fashion-forward trends and colors. For me, this look translates into affordable luxury.

I’ve been wearing the clothes that are sold from my studio since it opened in late summer. When I run into friends around town, they almost always make a favorable remark about my get-up—usually about it being “becoming” and “chic.” And while I typically insist that I have to dress like this because of my fitness businesses, the truth is, I relish the fact that I get to run around all day in form-flattering clothes that are more comfortable than pajamas….and that’s another kind of luxury.

Here is a look at some of the great pieces we have at our Club Pilates St. Matthews studio:

Katie Kannapell Ryser is the owner of Club Pilates and CycleBar. Both studios are located at the 4600 Shelbyville Road Plaza.