Women’s Fashion

Elements of Style: E is for Extra Effort

Just a little can go a long way.

By Sarah Gabbart November 3, 2014 Published in the November 2014 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Mandy Trichell of Mod Your Body in the Heights.

“You got this. Keep going. Ten more seconds,” Mandy Trichell tells a client in need of a little push. Part nurturing motivator, part hardcore administrator of pushups, squats and burpees, Trichell started her fitness-training business, Mod Your Body, which she operates out of Studio Fitness in the Heights, after winning her own weight battle. Fifty pounds overweight eight years ago, the mother of three vowed to get serious about moving more and eating right. Now several sizes smaller, she actually enjoys getting dressed in the morning. And while Trichell also enjoys clothes shopping these days, her real passion is for creating a healthier Houston. We chatted with her about her style, shopping for your shape when your shape is fluid, and why going-at-all is more important than going-big-or-going-home. 

What are you wearing?

I’m in my Bronwyn Lauder dress from Hello Lucky in the Heights, boots from Shoe-Nami in New Orleans, and a necklace from H. Rault Antique Hardware in NOLA.

How would you describe your personal style?

As effortless as possible. I won’t just say effortless, because it’s not. As effortless as possible while still being hip, mixed with a little bit of class. I love to put on a great dress and a pair of heels when I’m outside the gym. Class it up a bit.

Has becoming fitter and working as a trainer changed what you wear?

When I’m at my fittest I can shop for clothes that I really like and I can wear them without being concerned with how I look in them. After I became a trainer, I also started training a lot of interesting people and getting to know local artists and businesspeople. I try to buy local as much as possible. 

Why do you buy from local businesses?

Because I’m a local business. Building a community is important to me. It’s almost a moral issue. If I’m going to spend $80 on a dress, I’d much rather that money go to the single mom who made that dress with the equipment that she probably worked her ass off to buy. That’s much more important to me than the dress. 

What’s your advice for women struggling with how to dress for their bodies?

Don’t be afraid to buy a size up. We get so hung up on size. Trust me—you will like your body so much more if you just wear clothes that fit well. I’m not against buying goal clothes, but just don’t wear them now. If your outfit makes you think about how you’d change this or that about yourself or makes you check yourself every time you look in a mirror, then it’s not what you should be wearing. You should wear what feels good on your body. 

Any tips on staying healthy?

You don’t have to kill yourself with exercise—you don’t. Just do something every day that keeps you active. Do something you enjoy. I really hate the saying in fitness go hard or go home. I just do not believe that because there are so many instances where going hard is not an option. I tell my clients something is better than nothing, no matter how small it is. If you can’t go hard, don’t go home. Just stick around and do half of what you want to do—it’s still good!

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