How Make Your Workout Garb Look Chic—Tips From a Pro Pilates Instructor (and Stylenik’s New Intern)

The first time I laid eyes on Elizabeth Bevil, she was about to teach a Pilates class, but had somehow styled her Lululemon et. al. to a whole other level. I had an inkling then and there that we’d become friends. Later when I spotted her toting her gear in a Marc Jacobs handbag, I knew we shared a love of fashion. And when I found out she loved photography and hoped to develop a career snapping stylish pics, the deal was sealed. One thing led to another, and Elizabeth is now Stylenik’s photo intern. She has already shot the Uniqlo opening as well as a very fun styling collab with new San Francisco label Civerné.

Elizabeth might be just getting her photography career started, but she has a fully established one as a Pilates instructor. She’s been teaching for seven years, and has mastered not only teaching, but also the art of looking chic on the job. So none of us ever again has to feel frumpy in our workout attire, I asked her how she does it. See her tips and one more photo of her sporty style below!

Kristen: How long have you lived in San Francisco and what brought you here?

Elizabeth: I am still pretty new to the city! I moved here back in June from Los Angeles because I seriously LOVE San Francisco, the energy here is so vibrant and I couldn’t be happier to call it home. Plus I have some close friends and family around the Bay area which is a bonus. :)

KP: What attracted you to Pilates? What do you love about teaching it?

EB: After I took my first Pilates class, I was hooked. After doing it for a few months, I had never felt better. My favorite thing about teaching is helping people have a similar experience. Every time a client tells me that I made them feel better, it makes my day brighter.

KP: How do you approach getting dressed when you have to be prepared to be athletic every day?

EB: After years of teaching it becomes too easy to fall into a yoga pant rut, and being a lover of fashion that can get frustrating. So I try to layer cute outfits around clothes I can still teach in, like a simple pair of black leggings and a tank top. Instead of a sweatshirt I’ll choose a nicer sweater or denim jacket, and instead of tennis shoes, I’ll go for a cute pair of flats or boots. Plus l won’t skimp on accessorizing with special pieces that I love.

KP: What are one or two of your tricks for keeping your Pilates outfits interesting?

EB: Usually, I will either wear simple black leggings with a really fun top, OR go the other way and wear crazy patterned or colored leggings with a simple black, white or grey tank. I always try to have one item be really fun and interesting, and then everything else be an easy to wear basic.

KP: I noticed your super cute Marc Jacobs bag. What’s your philosophy when choosing a designer item?

EB: Thank you, I do love my Marc Jacobs. :) When it comes to a designer item, my rule is keep it simple and classic. If you are going to drop the cash on a designer item, it should NEVER go out of style. Sometimes there are exceptions to this, but I generally try to stay away from anything too trendy.

KP: Who are some of your other favorite designers?

EB: I will always love Stella McCartney. I also really like Rebecca Minkoff, Rag & Bone, and Alexander Wang. However, my favorite of the moment would have to be L’Agence.

KP: How would you describe your off-duty style—those few hours a day you’re not teaching!

EB: It all depends on how I’m feeling that day, but I tend to lean more into the boho type of vibe. I love mixing unique vintage pieces with basics that are more current. But the most important thing to me is to be fashionable and comfortable at the same time. That is my number one goal when getting dressed every single day. I try hard to never sacrifice one for the other, and am happiest when both are achieved together.