About J’s Everyday Fashion
Imagine a fashion magazine full of women just like us – moms, college students, professionals, in all shapes and sizes, on a budget and dressing for the challenges of everyday life. There would be no models, no Photoshop, no fancy backdrops, just real women talking real fashion. I want that magazine to be a reality someday. For now, I bring you J’s Everyday Fashion. Not a personal style blog, but the study of one girl’s closet.
How far can you make a small (couple hundred dollars a month) budget stretch? Do the trends and outfits we see in magazines really hold up in real life? I share it all with you here – the failed attempts, the experiments, the successes, what I wear to events in my own life, but also what I might wear if I were in your shoes (working in an office, being a mom, etc.).
This website is all about empowering women – to give them fashion without the frills, that hopefully you can use and apply to your life in a very practical way. And someday… I’ll bring you that magazine, too :-)
In so many ways, I am an unlikely candidate to be the author of this website. I'm more Type A than creative, and I'm a tomboy who will always love watersports more than fashion. I used to see this as a weakness, but now I realize this is my strength. I can talk about fashion with all kinds of brains - athletes, engineers, accountants, etc. - and I love sharing the logic behind fashion and teaching others to fish, aka answer the unavoidable question of "what do I wear"? each morning.
Despite being a tomboy, I've always loved fashion magazines and in college I started experimenting with my personal style. I didn't have any real-life fashion role models growing up, and so magazines were it for me. I always felt that I was not creative enough, or pretty enough, or had enough money, to pull off what I was seeing though (which is what I want to change about fashion journalism).
Fast forward to May 2010. I had graduated from KU with degrees in Journalism and Communication Studies, and worked in corporate marketing for about 5 years in Boston and Orlando. I had more than my fair share of style disasters in those years, but I also studied the art of fashion and was enthralled with figuring out how to bridge the gap between what I was seeing in magazines, and real life. A friend at work encouraged me to start posting my outfits on Facebook. I came up with a name, took photos, posted them, and expected nothing. I remember thinking “there is a reason 'everyday' fashion doesn’t exist in the media –no one will like this.” But I was wrong! Within weeks, I was receiving notes and emails from women who were encouraged by my story. Something clicked, and I could feel that this is where I belonged.
Always a journalist at heart (I used to make fake magazines with paper and bind them together with string when I was 8), but also as someone who was just a girl, navigating personal style like everyone else, and wanting to encourage women everywhere that they were not alone in their personal style journey, and that fashion is not just for the rich and famous.
The economy being not-so-great, I lost my job in corporate marketing in fall 2010. It has been bumpy at times, but I feel beyond blessed to be experiencing great success with J’s Everyday Fashion as my full-time job now (more here and here). There’s nothing I am more passionate about than making women feel good about themselves.
I hope this website inspires you to try something new. I hope you feel welcome to enjoy fashion no matter who you are or where you are from, and embrace your "mistakes" right along side me. I hope you receive practical advice that you can put into action. And I hope at the end of the day, you feel great about yourself – because when you look great, you feel great too.
Thank you for joining me on this journey! Let’s get started!
J’s Fashion Commandments:
1. Style and creativity can be learned.
Exercise it like you would any other muscle!
2. You don’t need tons of money to be stylish.
3. You don't need tons of time to be stylish.
If you hate what you are wearing, it distracts you from enjoying the good stuff in life (your family, your job, etc.), so you certainly should spend some time thinking about it. But sometimes all you need is to spend a little more time up front (whether that be in your closet or at the mall), and that will save you hours of angst later! Hopefully my shortcuts will help you be more efficient.
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" - Matthew 6:25
4. Following outfit recipes is a great time-saver and creativity exerciser, it’s not "copying".
This is why I use inspiration photos, and also because I want to share the entire organic process I use for getting dressed. More here.
5. There are two halves to being more stylish: your shopping strategy and your styling skills.
My blog aims to help you with both.
6. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding your own personal style.
Dressing like someone else is not a great idea, but trying a look you saw on someone else can actually help you define your own style better. So feel free to try out the looks I post.
7. It’s not about how much new stuff you can cram into one closet.
It’s about how many ways can you wear the same item over and over again.
8. Fashion mistakes are half the fun.
Don’t be afraid to make them! Finding your personal style takes plenty of trial and error, so I will always encourage you to try new things along with me. More here.
9. At the end of the day, if you love it, then wear it!
I think we are often too concerned with telling other women what they are wearing is not “right" (exceptions: church and work dress codes, and nudity) or worrying about what others might think. Confidence is everything. If you like it, go for it no matter what anybody says. I know I do. :-)