Sara Cahill is a certified personal trainer and coach by day whose attire is mainly black spandex, athletic shoes and a gym polo. But by night, you might find her out and about on the island in sequins and 5-inch heels.

Growing up in Harlingen, Cahill was a short-haired tomboy who attended a private primary school where issued uniforms were required. It was hard for her to adhere to the plaid skirts, however, so she managed to sneak by with khaki and navy shorts whenever possible. Getting her to put on a dress was difficult, especially for church on Sunday morning, she said.

“My mom struggled with me every week, trying to get me into a dress,” said Cahill, who eventually outgrew her tomboy phase and let her dark locks grow long when she began junior high school.

Cahill’s love for everything athletic and outdoors began at a young age.

“We lived in the country on 15 acres and rode horses, so we were an active family,” she said.

Today, the Galveston resident works as a certified personal trainer and coach for Island Bootcamp at Urban Health and Fitness and Total Fitness, respectively. She has a degree in sports management and business administration from Texas A&M University, where she met her husband, Tristan.

Cahill isn’t tied to any one style, but wears what she thinks is appropriate for her body type. Plus, she likes clothes that make her feel confident, she said.

“I like a lot of current trends but if I know they don’t look good on me, I won’t wear them,” she said. “What a woman wears can say a lot about her.”

Q: Do you think women can transform their bodies through fitness?

A: Oh, yes — 100 percent. I’ve seen it happen. A huge portion of it is diet. You have to make a change not only in the gym, but in the kitchen.

Q: Is there merit to body type shapes, like pear, apple, etc.?

A: I personally don’t like being associated with a fruit. I think it’s important for a woman to realize what looks good on her body so she can dress accordingly and not necessarily to fit some magazine’s idea of what’s beautiful, but something that will make her feel beautiful.

Q: Do you prefer a particular brand of gym attire?

A: I really like Lululemon, and for athletic shoes, Saucony. 

Q: What jewelry pieces do you prefer?

A: I like dangly and colorful earrings, but I usually wear diamond studs to work all week. I also like really bold necklaces and bracelets. I have a lot of my mom’s jewelry. She was an attorney with long blond hair who went to court every day in beautiful suits and heels. She is very fashionable.

Q: Purses?

A: Louis Vuitton, Donald J Pliner, Cole Haan, but my most recent purchase was a Kate Spade diaper bag with cocktails imprinted on the exterior. I didn’t know it was diaper bag, but it has several compartments, outside pockets and works great for me.

Q: Shoes?

A: I have a lot of high heels, but many have a platform sole for comfort. My three favorite pair are Christian Louboutin, Badgley Mischka and Joan & David.

Q: Dresses or separates?

A: I love dresses, especially BCBG brand.

Q: Do you like how fashion is evolving?

A: I’ve seen things come full circle. I remember my dad dropping me off for high school and he said: “That girl is wearing pedal pushers,” and I wondered what he was talking about. Of course, it was capri pants. And what I call flared jeans, my mom calls bell bottoms. So fashion items come back, but they get re-branded.

Q: Fashion pet peeves?

A: Clothing makers who make clothes to fit one body type.

Q: How many closets do you have?

A: Three. Separates and work clothes in one, coats in another and dresses in another.

Q: Describe some things in your dress closet.

A: My royal blue cocktail dress with sheer top; olive green evening gown with sequins, beading and scalloped hemline; a champagne-colored, pleated cocktail dress from Banana Republic; a shrimp-colored chiffon dress with black bodice and high-low hemline; and another champagne-colored, off-the-shoulder dress.

Q: What will you be wearing this winter?

A: My cranberry colored, three-quarter length wool coat, sweater dresses and boots. I just bought an oversized navy/gray sweater dress for $12 from Banana Republic.

Q: Jeans you like?

A: Joe’s and Citizens of Humanity.

Q: Best fun fashion thing you’ve done lately.

A: Went to a Swap Party. You bring all your clothes that you don’t want, lay them all out, draw a number with the highest number going first, then select one item. That continues until everything is gone. I got a whole stack of ‘new-to-me’ clothes.

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