An often overlooked component of teaching in-person becomes front and center when you’re on screen - wardrobe! In such a highly visual medium, all the little details of your presentation are part of a client’s experience of your brand during class. We chatted with Recess trainers to get the tips, tricks, and deals you need to look your best on camera.
The feeling when you pull up your leggings for the hundredth time or your socks slide down in your shoes - not ideal for live virtual teaching. Lizzy, a Recess trainer and boxing instructor, says “definitely function is number one.” She suggests giving your gear a trial run and even filming yourself in options so you can feel confident that everything will stay in place and look the way you intend it to. She has “her go-tos” like opting for high-quality leggings for teaching in and then going for a lower price point top. She says “virtual is interesting because now she has to do the whole class” so she thinks about gear that works for all the motions of her class.
Look for a strong contrast between your outfit, background, and equipment so the audience can clearly see you during class. Brooke, a Recess yoga teacher, loves to coordinate her outfits and mat so she’s clearly visible for clients and well-styled for her brand. Since clients are viewing you in 2D, it’s more important than ever that they can see you moving through the workout. The same way you might do a tech check - do a wardrobe check.
The most fun part of deciding what to wear for class is the opportunity to showcase your personality and help clients buy into what you’re curating. Whereas before you might have had the studio aesthetic and environment to create the experience for you, now it’s just you in a box online making all the choices. Instead of letting this overwhelm you, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and experiment with what sends the right brand message.
Lizzy utilizes her clothing choices to differentiate between the vibes of her two training styles. She rocks joggers and high top sneakers when teaching boxing but shifts into high waisted leggings, crop tops and trainers for her body burn classes. This helps her build a different experience for each offering and makes her feel like her best self.
Watching other professional fitness content where a stylist might have been consulted can be a great place to pull inspiration and guidance from. Avoid tiny prints or mini stripes that can look fuzzy or static-like on screen. Depending on your brand, you might consider avoiding large graphics, distracting slogans, or overt logos. It all comes down to the visual product you want to deliver to your audience. This is a great opportunity to tap into a mood board or branding guide you might have for yourself. Think about what colors and textures represent your aesthetic and look for those when shopping for new gear. You might choose soft, tonal pastels, or high contrast bold colors. Sweat-sets are still the rage right now and you can curate a capsule of options that allow you to mix and match. Lizzy warns that you need to keep mixing it up, especially if you’re creating on-demand content so you don’t routinely show up in the exact same outfit. These are all subtle things that support you in creating a high-quality product that stands out.
We love a good perk and outfitting yourself for virtual classes is a perfect opportunity to tap into the kinds of partnerships influencers have been doing for years. The majority of athletic wear brands offer some kind of incentive to trainers to wear their gear. Your authentic endorsement of a brand holds weight and can often get you a discount for yourself, your clients or both. Check brand websites for loyalty programs, referral codes, and affiliate opportunities. If there’s something you really love and wear often, don’t be afraid to reach out to the brand to discuss sponsorship opportunities. The better the digital content you’re creating, the better chance they’ll be open to working with you. Remember you’re a business- these kinds of partnerships can support your growth and bottom line.
Another suggestion Lizzy gave, is to reach out to local studios and small businesses in your area that may carry athletic wear. While they’re closed for classes, buying your training gear from them is a great way to support your community. If you’re looking for options that are unique, take the time to seek out smaller apparel companies and support them early on.
To help you in building out your virtual teaching wardrobe, we reached out to the Recess roster for discounts at their favorite brands.
Did we miss something? Send it over to the team and we’ll update this resource. We hope this inspires you to take a second look at your training wardrobe. Ultimately the goal is for your outfit to support the experience, not distract from class. Post your favorite looks to teach in and tag us so we can share, @we_recess #itsplaytime
From Nate: Ten Thousand 15% off code GALLAGHER
Lululemon Sweat Collective 25%
Tula Skincare 20% off
Hydroflask 40% off