Jenny’s Personal Style and The Story of Her Pink Coat

Jenny

Jenny Williams

Can you imagine how pleased I was to read an article entitled: How I Found My Personal Style When I Let Go of Most of My Clothing?  And even more excited to meet its author? The person who wrote this thoughtful piece is Jenny Williams; I connected immediately with Jenny and her message, which may sound familiar, from recent conversations I have had about Zero Waste, with Lauren Singer and Daniel Silverstein. Jenny agreed to share her story on TFIO. It is a lovely reminder how fashion is one of our universal connectors. Here is that conversation with Jenny:

MKG: You have embraced the concept of less-is-more, when it comes to clothing and personal style. What does that mean to you?

JENNY: I think getting dressed in the morning should be a creative jump start to your day. It should be an expression of your personality; since it automatically sends a message to the people who will be seeing you, and you want it to be accurate.

Since I have started to focus more on quality rather than quantity the past few years, I have found that I feel more creative when I get dressed in the morning. Having more options does not mean that you have a more versatile wardrobe; in fact, a larger wardrobe overwhelmes me and stifles my imagination. I feel more ‘myself’ when I am working with a smaller wardrobe. That is liberating!

MKG: Tell me about that ‘coming-of-age-moment’ when you purchases your pink coat from Anthropologie? Where were you in your life and why do you think you were ready to understand that spending more for a single item could be worth it? Continue reading

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Here is Kim Naci, my friend, the Style Storyteller!

Kim Naci

Kim Naci

1512363_10152153059928687_3708860198928021917_nI am double-lucky to know Kim Naci; not only is she my friend, but she is also my fashion therapist. Kim is the person who has seen the inside of my closet and likes me anyway! She is stylish and chic and oh-so-fashion-wise and knows that everything about the way your clothes fit and feel relates to how you feel about yourself. Continue reading

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“I’m not buying that!”

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Photo of me, taken by my mother, Claire

Welcome to my first “I’m not buying that!” … a weekly series of thoughts from me, a fashion outsider. My blog and podcast is called Turning Fashion Inside Out. The fact is that I am not a fashion insider. At 53 years old, I am … a wife, mother, substitute teacher at an all-girls school, writer and lover of fashion. I love sharing my fashion stories and others’ stories about how fashion is central to our self expression and ultimately, our self-esteem. But there is more to turning fashion inside out: there is commentary. There is me …

I went shopping with my mother recently and was disheartened to see how few options there are for women over 70, at least in the suburbs. I’m sure it’s different in larger cities where there is more of everything giving people more options. But here, if you are over 70, stores see dressing as an after-thought. You are relegated to the top floors of the department stores and the pickings are slim. Gone are the stylish prints and fabrics, replaced by over-sized tunics and out-of-date patterns: it’s simple – my mom is not finding clothes she likes. My mom has always been so stylish and someone to whom I look for ideas and trends (and frankly, to borrow clothes!). She is the same woman now that she was then and she still wants to feel stylish in her clothes; no less than when she was in her 20s and 30s and 40s.

Should we be paying LESS attention to those over 70 while at the same time ignoring their style? And continuing to omit them from the fashion scene? I’m not buying that!

 

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The beauty of fashion’s authentic eccentric, Isabella Blow

Isabella Blow, photographed in 1996 - Photo credit Sean Ellis

Isabella Blow, photographed in 1996 – Photo credit Sean Ellis

Isabella Blow, was an English magazine editor, muse to British hat designer, Philip Treacy, and mentor to fashion designers like Alexander McQueen. She is now the subject of a new exhibit, “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!” at Somerset House in London. In yesterday’s New York Times Style Magazine article, Extraordinary People, Andrew O’Hagan explores her life as a true eccentric. She is not the only one:

True eccentrics – the Isabella Blows, the Vivienne Westwoods, the Anna Piaggis and the Stephen Tennants, as if there could ever be more than one of each – are the kind of people whose entire existence is devoted to individuality and innovation. That’s what makes a real eccentric; they really mean it, and they’re willing to suffer for it. Their social function is to explode our preconceptions about what beauty is and what good taste means. Eccentrics raise the bar on the impossible.” ~ Andrew O’Hagan

I ask myself what it means to be so brave in your fashion choices that your style is not about standing out for standing out sake, but more about the reality that you have no other choice but to break the rules. You are simply following your heart. Food for thought for a Monday morning!

 

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Seeing red … in a good way!

IMGP1357IMGP1370I love wearing red. Especially, bright, cherry red. Nothing makes me happier and I have felt that way since I was a young girl. When I was in my early 20s I owned a cherry red coat which I loved and wore to death. Since then I have been pining for another red coat.

When I saw that red coats were making a splash statement this fall season I had hopes of adding another one to my life. And I did – this is more of a long jacket than a coat, but the red is bright, it’s so soft and I love the big collar which I wear up. I am home.

I hope Josephine’s mother, the Maestra Sarta, is pleased!

Photos by AlexandraIMGP1384

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Poppy Chanelle

Poppy Chanelle

Poppy Chanelle

Look out world, there is another Chanel(le)!! Meet Poppy, a 22 year-old dynamo with big dreams for her future. Poppy lives in London, is currently studying photography in college and doing a visual merchandising internship for Oxfam. In addition, Poppy recently became one of the UK coordinators for Petite Fashion Week, which aims to highlight the problems that petite women face when shopping for clothes. Just five months ago, Poppy started her blog, Miss Everyday Elegance and she hopes to have her own online store eventually. I think that will happen, don’t you?? Here is Poppy …

I love living in London. There is so much to see and do and there is never a dull moment. What I love the most is how ethnically diverse it is, which impacts everyone’s fashion choices, making them creative and interesting. Continue reading

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