From Fashion to Fitness
A few summers ago there was one weekend that I was really adamant on getting some authentic street style shots. It was late May and at that time already deathly hot. I had no desire to walk up and down the streets in the sunny heat, so I had the brilliant idea to just get in my car and drive down South Congress. Surely I would discover someone stylish enough to get a good photo of, right!? Sometimes naive optimism is the only way to accomplish difficult tasks. Either that or I was just struck with some good karma that day. But either way, immediately after crossing the Congress bridge, I spotted a girl walking down the sidewalk looking stylish as hell. Somehow magically I was able to swing my car around and immediately find a parking spot, hop out, and snap a photo of the super chic gal, who happened to be Alana Woolf.
She was wearing a vintage Christian Dior swimsuit as part of her outfit, paired with an awesome pair of dyed shorts, classic leather accessories, a badass pair of leather sandals, and statement jewelry. She was a street style photographer’s dream come true. A few years later and after getting to know her a little bit better, it now makes sense to me that Alana would have casually been walking down the street on a scorching hot day looking so fierce. Alana says she has always been expressive when it comes to fashion. “As a child I wore some pretty creative ensembles if I do say so myself. What comes to mind is this amazing photo of me holding my baby sister, wearing an acid washed denim dress and neon green zebra print tights.” Today her style has of course graduated to a look that is more mature, with a signature edgy short platinum hairdo, lots of black, and lust-worthy collection of accessories. But while Alana wears outfits that could easily be considered very sophisticated, she has a way of still looking approachable and keeping her style fun. Maybe it’s because she makes it look so easy!
Having grown up in Maryland and after living in New York, Alana says that she has since paired down her wardrobe exponentially. “I have learned to appreciate the fact that Texas can feel removed from other metropolitan cities. Life is definitely more simple here and that is reflected in my wardrobe. I buy very little, but I make sure to buy very wisely.” Besides being able to style herself so well, Alana works as a freelance personal stylist and wardrobe consultant, and styles regularly for the local high end boutique Kick Pleat. Fashion is definitely something that has always felt very natural for Alana.
More recently though, Alana has become passionate about something that a couple of years ago she would have never imagined herself doing. After over a month of nagging from her ex-fiancé to get her to go to a spin class, she finally agreed. Alana says that at the time she wasn’t fit at all. She had never worked out a day in her life and she hated every second of it. But she says something inside of her told her to go back. After time, Alana found an instructor that she says motivated her in a way that shifted her perspective completely. “I started to see my glass as half full and I felt that I could help others to see their life this way too.” After just a year of attending classes, Alana herself is now an instructor at Ride, an indoor cycling studio located in downtown Austin. Alana says she believes self-love is what she brings to her spin classes at Ride.
I personally have also been someone who in the past has hated exercise. But following Alana on social media is what inspired me to take one of her classes. I’m now a regular at Ride, along with several other local fashion industry friends, who Alana lovingly refers to as her “Woolf Pack.”
Q&A with Alana:
How do you describe your personal style today?
Architectural, monochromatic and efficient.
What are some essentials that you think everyone should have in their closet?
Three things: Something that makes you feel sexy, something that makes you feel nostalgic and something that makes you feel like a bad ass.
How do you balance being fashionable with also now being into fitness and cycling? How much does your fashion sense play into your workout wear?
I am lucky in that fashion has been having a moment with fitness. The market is huge and designers are capitalizing on it so lucky me! Truthfully, I wear the same silhouettes on and off the bike and even go as far as owning leather “gym shorts.”
Are there any specific style tips that you could give to those wanting to look cute before hitting the gym or heading to a Ride class? Is it ok to wear spandex to brunch??
Shower after class and keep it super simple. I shower and let my hair air dry. I might put on a little makeup but the best accessory you can own is confidence. After class, I pair everything with my favorite New Balance sneakers and somehow it just works.
What advice would you give to someone who has never taken a class at Ride before or is scared to do so?
The hardest part is getting there! The mind can be a bitch sometimes! But really, just remember to have fun.
Alana teaches a class at Ride every Tuesday at 7:45pm as well as every Thursday at noon. You can find out more info about spin classes at Ride on their website: ride-indoorcycling.com.