We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."
Since opening up the very first Sky Ting yoga location in New York City in 2015, Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan have managed to turn it into something of a global wellness brand. It's a rare feat for a local fitness studio, to achieve such widespread awareness. But when you have the right mix of a modern, approachable teaching style, influential clientele and aesthetically pleasing studio space, you end up building buzz.
Jones and Kernaghan wisely capitalized on that in 2019 with the launch of Sky Ting TV, an online platform that allows members access to dozens of yoga videos from anywhere. Since the pandemic hit, unsurprisingly, the co-founders have pivoted to focusing almost entirely on that.
"The past few months for us have been a little bit of a logistical reconstruction," explains Jones over Zoom. They've gotten out of leases for two of their studios, keeping only one in which to film videos. They've also put all of their teacher training online, hired PR, added new merch and beefed up their digital marketing efforts.
Along the way, Jones and Kernaghan have become cool tastemakers and influencers in their own right, and I don't think it would be unfair to say that their personal style is one ingredient in their business's secret sauce.
Both former dancers, the Sky Ting founders proudly reject the idea that one has to dress a certain way to practice yoga and have been known to wear baggy sweatpants, button-down shirts and even jeans to lead classes at their studios. For filming videos, however, they have a different approach to their wardrobes — and when they're off-duty after a long day of work, when most of us are eager to change into sweats, all they want to do is put on a dress and heels.
Read on for more on on- and off-duty dressing, starting trends in their studios, their favorite activewear brands and more.
Chloe: "I love to shop and always have. I was born and raised on the island of Guam. When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of retail necessarily from stateside brands. Whenever we'd go anywhere, it was always the biggest, most exciting thing. I remember going to San Francisco, where my dad's company was based, over summers and going to Nordstrom in Walnut Creek. It was like a seven-story Nordstrom with a grand piano and the big escalators. That was just a magical experience for me, to go up to the kids' floor and see this whole arena of clothing that was just for me."
Krissy: "I grew up in Indiana and going to the mall was a fun event in my family. In elementary school, Limited Too was the coolest place to shop, so some of my earliest memories were gazing longingly at the Limited Too store and begging my mom to buy me stuff there. I remember my first outfit from Limited Too in first grade was a tank top with a sunflower with baggy navy sunflower flowy pants. I think that store got me into fashion."
C: "At the end of high school and college summers, I would go back home to Guam and work retail at Louis Vuitton. It was the stupidest choice because I was a poor college student, but at the end of the summer I bought a red leather Speedy 25. It's a totally not necessary and expensive piece for someone who's working all summer to just have cash to buy pizza during the school year, but I did it and I still have it and I love it. I don't wear it very often, but it's a very special piece for me."
K: "On my 30th birthday, Chloe and I threw a rager at the Jane Hotel roof. I was just going to buy myself a big present so I got the craziest Adam Selman dress that was way too expensive but honestly worth it. I wore it twice, maybe, in my life; it was the most fun ever. It was pink with tiny sparkles everywhere, rhinestone straps, a tiny little thing. I was like, 'This is my 30th birthday gift to myself and I'll have the videos and photos forever.'"
C: "100% worth it. You should tell her about your ring."
K: "That actually is the biggest splurge: I have this emerald ring that I bought myself, but this was required medically [laughs] — just kidding, it was my astrologer. He sometimes recommends gem stones for you to wear to activate a certain energy based on your chart. He's like, 'You really need to get a three-karat emerald for your right pinky in platinum.' So it was basically an excuse to buy myself jewelry.
"I kind of have two separate wardrobes off-duty: One is jeans and a T-shirt and sneakers; that's my normal day-to-day uniform. Then I love to dress up. I call them costumes in NYC — like when I go to the ballet or a show, I like go all-out, so Manolos, a vintage dress... Chloe and I are very big on Ebay. We're always finding and sending each other vintage finds. I love high-waisted pants, I love a blazer, and then I kind of jazz it up at night: heels, dress, that kind of thing."
C: "I have definite characters that I lean into with my fashion choices. I love getting dressed. I think my closet has this big range: I go flow-y, light cotton dresses in the summer, but then I love a structured blazer. I'm in turtlenecks all winter, I love jeans, I love slacks, I love leather skirts, I love it all. I'm such a big fan of fashion in general, and I love playing with it and trying to put together looks that might surprise people. I guess that's kind of my vibe overall. I change my haircut regularly. I just enjoy reinventing and finding new looks to a point where people are like, 'Wait, I didn't recognize you.' I'd say 80% of my wardrobe is vintage at this point, or secondhand.
K: "I definitely have done a 'Clueless' era for a while, like Cher Horowitz vibe, early 2000 movies. I was just watching 'My Best Friend's Wedding' and a simple cashmere turtleneck and jeans and a leather trench coat — that sort of late '90s/early 2000s [look] has been influencing me recently. I like Julia Roberts, classic '90s stars.
C: "Julia is queen. I'm kind of vibing right now with Faye Dunaway, '70s into more French style like Serge Gainsbourg-era, that kind of vibe seems fun and good to me."
K: "Chloe and I, when we teach at Sky Ting, it looks very different than when we teach virtually. Like an in-studio, in-person class, I would never wear a sports bra and leggings matching set. I'm always wearing an oversized T-shirt with biker shorts — very casual — when I'm teaching because I want to be comfortable; I don't want to be showing my midriff, nothing too flashy. I'm using my hands and my feet to adjust people and go over to people.
"It's funny because when we used to have public classes [we'd wear] anything oversized and loose, even an oversized button-down shirt, and then we saw that as a trend at Sky Ting. Or we would wear big, oversized sweatpants and brought back a sweatpants vibe, so we started to make merchandise based on what we were wearing, then we saw all of our students wearing the same types of looks.
"But when we're on camera, all of that looks so terrible, so we're wearing more cropped things, more tailored things — actual leggings, actual sports attire. We're wearing more Nike and Tory Sport. Live the Process is a huge brand that we wear on Sky Ting TV, and our own merchandise, of course. In-person and teaching privates one-on-one, anything goes, 'cause you're not really sweating or working out when you're teaching, so you just wanna be comfortable and cute."
C: "I used to like wearing fun things to teach: I'd wear dresses with shorts underneath and stuff. The whole athleisure complex and what we're fed by the industry of saying, 'You need to wear this in order to be good at this or to fit in' — I was like, 'This is B.S.' Plus, it's fun to show up to class and people are like, 'You're wearing that?' Even some of our teachers will wear jeans to class sometimes. If your clothes are comfortable enough, it's fine.
"Online, you do kind of feel like you have to show the lines a little more clearly, plus you're practicing way more than you would in an open public class, where we would maybe demonstrate 5% of the time.
"I love a Live the Process bottom. The quality and the fabric, they last for a long time, which is really nice. I'm sponsored by FP Movement, but I loved its crops beforehand so this is genuine; it has a lot of cute, simple, solid-color crops that I think work really well. I don't have a very big chest, mind you, so that's me."
K: "I like Nike, I've worked with Nike for a really long time, and I'm more sporty. I like actual sportswear looks and sneakers. I love Ernest Leoty, this French brand. Chloe and I made friends with the founder a few years ago, but the stuff is so amazing. It uses the same factory as Eres bathing suits, so the material is very dancer-y. I like a dance look, especially for online yoga classes. I also wear actual dance clothes like a leotard from Capezio.
"Chloe and I get gifted things a lot. We have a big drop-off bag we normally leave at the studio and it gets recycled throughout the front desk and the other teachers. So there's no need for us to buy new things at this point.
"I end up wearing the same pair of shorts and the same sweatpants and top, so I keep a very minimal edit. I have a section of filming clothes that have color and actual matching sets, and then I have my basics and I keep very small amounts, especially now. We just moved out of Tribeca and did a big dump at Beacon's [Closet] and Housing Works already, so now I feel very free, very cleaned out.
"Chloe and I joke that we have spent so much of our lives in Spandex — we were dancers before yoga teachers — and now I cannot put on tight things. After I'm done teaching, I want to put on a dress. We want to put on full normal-people looks after a day of yoga. Most people are the opposite; they can't wait to put on their yoga pants after work. I think whatever you do all the time for work, you kind of want the opposite feeling after work."
C: "Don't get us wrong; we definitely have days in quarantine where we're only in sweatpants. We don't always get dressed, we are human."
K: "I do most of my shopping on Ebay. I just see something inspiring on Instagram or in an old movie and I try to find it on Ebay or The Real Real. That's where I sell my things, so I normally have some sort of credit. [I'm] really mindful of how wasteful the fashion industry can be and I really don't think new things need to be made forever. I tend to shop at vintage stores in New York or when I'm traveling. Brands I like — I like Acne, I like Celine, I like Khaite, Rachel Comey..."
C: "I do a lot of Ebay, The Real Real. My birthday's in a few weeks so I bought myself two very cool [pieces]. One's a vintage YSL polka-dot dress off Vestiaire Collective and a brand-new-with-tags Jacquemus white dress. There's so much gold out there that people are looking to get rid of, so I don't need to buy new. I have friend who has this brand Merlette, it makes such beautiful light cotton dresses. They're my favorite things to wear all summer. They have a lot of tiers and they get really big; they're so fun to dance in. I love clothes you can move in."
K: "Chloe and I do dress the part of being businesswomen and running a company. We do like to wear power suits. When we go into the office, we're wearing our hair up with our glasses on and our blazers on and we kind of play the role."
C: "Also with our roles in this company and the role of social media and just being more in the public eye... Not that it's pressure, I think dressing up and showing up is big in our worlds. We're loud, we like to have that vibrancy and I think our clothing is just another extension of that for us. If we were coders and we never saw other people with our work, we might be simpler. But because we're so much in the public eye interacting with others, it's another facet of showing up. Not saying that coders can't be fashionable, because I'm sure they can."
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.