Oh, Jenna

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by Leandra Medine
May 23, 2013
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The lookbook of our lives, distilled using her life.

 

 

As a direct result of this morning’s post, which explains in eloquent detail precisely why the J. Crew catalogue has maintained an almost violent ability to remind Mattie of her shortcomings (she’s 5’2, she loves J. Crew, J. Crew loves capri pants, capri pants hate Mattie), and the unshakeable chic factor that reveals itself when considering Jenna Lyons, we thought there was no time like the present (tense pun wholly intended) to reflect on some of our favorite hits care of the pioneer in specs herself.

If you’d like to reflect on the length of the previous sentence, you can do that too, but I digress.

I started falling into the dangerous black hole of Google search immediately after the Mail Order post went live. I didn’t come out until an hour ago and only then to get some coconut water which turned into a strange closet perusal which was only really strange because for the first time in a long time, nothing seemed as interesting as my most basic denim. What is it about Jenna Lyons’ dexterity to combine a seemingly banal t-shirt with even more regular pants and make it look…one in a million? And why can’t I do it, damnit? Is it her height? I’m only like, three (fine, four) inches shorter. The way in which she stands, which infers a note of carelessness in spite of the complexity almost always evident on her outfits? I can act.

The woman has swag.

It might be in the details–the unequivocal pleats, and prints, and slight but calculated slouch in her pants. Or maybe it’s the disconnects–sequins and a fatigue print, her pink satin skirt paired with a denim jacket-as-blouse, or that taupe v-neck sweater which, duh! should only ever be paired with an entirely feathered ballgown skirt. By the time I was through clicking through photos, I could barely discern the difference between sequins and feathers anymore. What are either, after all, if not a paradoxical cushion to assuage the discomfort of tight-ish jeans?

There’s a strange, inimitable magic about the way Lyons dresses that never reads inaccessible. This even in spite of my relentless trying to get it right but never, ever actually succeeding. Is this why we constantly must to be reminded that it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the lifestyle? I don’t know. I’m just going to keep clicking.

REPLIES
  • CarlotaLMorais

    Crazzyy for all her clothes/outfits! Cant take my eyes of her shoes………………..and face! Im sorry, she stands out clothes wise and oil wise! She doesn’t know how to wear/use makeup and to me that just ruins it! It feels like she has too much but still badly apllied

    • Dana

      excellent point, she could be Bobbie Brown’s twin too

      • jennikint

        Aww some of it’s ok but I generally agree, her face/head styling aren’t as consistent as her outfits-she’s not quite got that bit nailed.

        • http://bellaconscience.blogspot.com/ bellaconsience

          or maybe all of that is quite intentional?
          http://www.bellaconscience.com

          • Rachel

            Dudes, she has a rare skin/medical condition. It affects her skin, hair and teeth. Seriously. I think she’s all round workin it.

    • Amanda GREY

      picky?

      • CarlotaLMorais

        Nup not picky it’s just something i noticed that’s all.

    • styleworm.com

      Dudes, this is the man repeller (a fashion blog) go to intothegloss.com with emily weis if you wanna talk about oily skin and shit. (beauty blog).

      • CarlotaLMorais

        I don’t think this is just a Fashion blog!, but thank you i dindt know that blog it’s actually great. Thanks!

  • Jill S

    “in spite of my relentless trying to get it right but never ever succeeding”

    Oh, you manage quite well, m’dear. I’ve seen your posts and you have a style so very your own and it works beautifully. Don’t give yourself too much discredit! :)

  • http://lerablogs.blogspot.com/ Lera

    It’s not about clothes, or I hope not. I think it’s about knowing yourself, and wear what suits you (your believes, experience, which are parts of lifestyle). (her) Style is beyond words. So I am practically speechless…but, I wish I could wear the clothes the way she does.

  • http://thehannahblog.tumblr.com/ hannah

    The secret to pulling off these kinds of looks is to get everything tailored since this wardrobe relies heavily on structured clothing. It’s not that things are magically the right length for her, it’s that she has everything altered; in other words, this is 100% attainable for everyone. There’s no such thing as being “too short” or “to fat” for a certain style of clothing, the issue is in the fit, not in your body, so don’t let it get you down if you think the way you are is going to prevent you from wearing the things you want.

    • Leandra Medine

      Hear, hear!

    • Virginia Ibarra

      That’s true, tailoring is something you don’t know you need until you get it done. A worlds difference and probably the solution to many girls woes.

  • monkeyshines
  • Alice

    I think that women like Jenna, SJP and Beyonce have been put on this world to show the rest of us mediocrity that it IS possible …maybe in our next lives.

  • morganmichelle_

    I hate how I could have the same outfit as her, try to style it the same, and still not pull it off the way she does! She is a fashion goddess and inspiration…absolutely love her style. She always has the right mix of glamorous and careless.

  • http://twitter.com/selenaaponte Selena Aponte

    She is incredible. Oh how I adore her.. let me count the ways. This post is long overdue.

  • The Dandy Diaries

    The most effective word to sum her up: Chic

  • Lucinda

    So effortless…yet so put together. Riddle me that.

    http://grantedblog.blogspot.com.au

  • The Provoker

    OMG leandra thanks for doing a post on her, I adore and LOVE her style, I just got one word for her: COOL. She is super cool and way to rock her celine and altuzarra pieces. Btw, I got to visit Mr. Louis Vuitton’s actual
    Paris home along with the LV trunk special workshop, check out this post
    with lots of juicy exclusive pictures, hope it PROVOKES you! ;)

    xx The Provoker
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2013/05/louis-vuittons-home.html

  • Natashia

    Definitely one of my top style icons – she does the tailored look so perfectly. It’s a testament to quality but classic pieces.

  • GGlove79

    Unfortunately, my obsession with her does not end with her clothes. Her previous Brooklyn home was so nice!!. I wish i bought it. RATS. I would have sold a kidney for that brownstone. :) not really but its seriously gorgeous.:)

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2011/11/08/jcrews_jenna_lyons_selling_her_knockout_park_slope_house.php

  • abbeyoconnell1

    Now I’m not so jealous of you ‘northern-hemisphers’ taking our summer… because this winter, I get to buy a fur trimmed coat and pretend I’m half as cool as Jenna.

  • http://www.farandwildjewelry.com/ abigail lind

    this might just be the rosé talking but i would definitely go to a broadway show called the lyons king that was just a parade of her outfits. who’s with me? more importantly who has more rosé?

    abigail
    http://www.farandwildjewelry.com

    • http://www.EatStylePlay.com/ Eat.Style.Play

      I just got a chuckle from this hahahah (clinks glasses)

  • http://twitter.com/AleeeMarr Alejandra

    Wait, who’s 5’2? And who are you 3 (well 4) inches shorter than?

    • http://twitter.com/AleeeMarr Alejandra

      **void** I read Mail Order post after and got it.

  • Michèle
  • alcessa

    I think it’s not the lifestyle, either. IMHO it’s only about special moments. When we feel Power, clothes will assemble and combine on their own to express it.
    (just my experience, needn’t have any general value)

  • Laura Alksne

    Every time I see a new picture of her I have to save it and put in the “damn-she-knows-how-to-work-it” folder. She knows how to wear the clothes and not the other way around.
    I like how she manages to balance between edgy, overboard, chic and easy.
    The “just threw it on”, looks are not fair knowing that it takes her like 5 minutes (was a story in this months Harpers Bazaar US), while for me it would be an hour and even then I wouldn’t be satisfied.

  • thelaststragler

    This lady has effortless cool down to a T- impressive!; http://thelaststraggler.wordpress.com/

  • maud.schellekens

    Great combination!

    XOXO Maud

    NEW OUTFIT ONLINE
    NEW OUTFIT ONLINE
    NEW OUTFIT ONLINE

    http://thirteentalesoffashion.blogspot.nl/2013/05/outfit-midlife-crisis.html

  • http://twitter.com/looksharpWI Look Sharp Sconnie

    posture + face combo = priceless.
    slightly slouched shoulders + unpretentious smirk, like she’s having fun

    in my opinion

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I found that really any of my style icons are subconciously chosen due to their ability with basics. While I wholly appreciate the more flamboyant and wonderfully outrageous dressers, at the end of the day I’m more in awe of the girl who can make a tee look so damn cool. Perhaps because I have preconcieved notions that making such an item look cool is harder, or maybe just because they’ve done what others have done with their huge dresses and hats of all colors — but in the equivalent of 140 characters (versus a novel).
    This is why, if we’re talking style heroines, Columbine Smille (anyone else want to see in “Oh, Columbine Smille” post?) is one near the top of the list. She has this way of pairing basics, which is again, so damn cool. She can mix a print or highlight a print like no other, too. There’s just a magic to these dressers and their props that make things so attainable, yet the way in which they do it seems very unattainable in its qualities. Perhaps we just don’t look at ourselves the same way we look at these other women, but in the end a tee is a tee and we’re all ladies, so I’m sure the denominator that lies behind all of this is confidence in what we’re wearing.

  • ela’s world

    she is very inspiring!

    check out Gwyneth wearing our ela MILCK clutch earlier this week in London!

    http://elabyela.com/elas-wolrd

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    It is all about people who can put together the disconnects as well as the basics and make them look cool.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Alexis Q

    As someone who is 5’0, the J Crew obsession with capris surprisingly works for me. Instead of capris…ankle length pants! ;)

  • StyleEye

    She’s a fucking rockstar and that’s all there is to it! Rockstars wear everything better! Great post!!

  • http://twitter.com/some_thing_nice Mary Boersma

    totally.

  • Mariachiara

    I think it’s all about her ability to create a personal style identity.

    Aaand her long legs, of course.

  • Nico
  • http://www.thankfifi.com/ thankfifi

    yes she is amazing but what’s funny to me is that you are also – you just don’t see it and it’s so nice to know that you feel just the same as every one of us… trying, trying

    Thankfifi

  • Erika

    Every picture was better than the last. Not even lying. And, it’s true, how is it that can make a feathered skirt that accessible, but also popular girl chic? Inquiring minds WANT to know! Adopt me Jenna or at least let me raid your closet! http://polkadotsandcandybars.blogspot.com/

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic

    I love the outfit with her wearing the black sequin skirt!! The fur picture of her lounging on a chair is pretty awesome too. SO much details to look at!

    https://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • rose and william

    this woman is so super cool, I love j.crew and I love her too x

  • yvonne ★

    Oh my… Her met gala looks, yeah I mean those Preppy on top, GLAMOUR PARTAAAY on the bottom ones KILLED it!!! I’m so excited right now.

    http://daretoduit.blogspot.co.at/

  • http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com/ Cirque de l’Atelier

    LOVE some Jenna Lyons! She is a great example of individual style that’s unique and original. We proclaimed her ‘shutting it down’ awhile ago

    http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com/2013/01/shutting-it-down-jenna-lyons.html

  • Passant Adel

    No it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the character, it reflects on whatever she’s wearing , even if she’s wearing a potato sack, it will be jenna’s and we all will be amazed how she did that and will become the new trend.

  • Lydia

    i feel hypnotised by the amazing glossiness of her hair in photo two. Really does make me say, “oh Jenna”.

  • Lisa Thomson

    I don’t know but I think Man Repeller is a more interesting style. Jenna always looks too perfect and dare I say, contrived? I’m not saying I don’t like her style because I really do but you are refreshing.

  • Lauren

    The androgyny in her style is so aesthetically appealing, not to mention accessible. When the divide between the fashion haves and have-nots is blurred, really spectacular things can happen. That’s the beauty of Jenna Lyons. A woman can look at her style, relate to it, and replicate it.

    forunendinglove.blogspot.com

  • francesca

    she’s an icon, one worth emulating. i love her louche style and rather insouciant attitude. i’m loving that in designers these days; case in point: raf simons at dior http://bondi-roco.blogspot.com

  • FKxoxo

    You guys have the same taste of clothing :)

    OSAP GIVEAWAY (Free Clothes)
    http://douxminou.blogspot.mx/2013/05/oasap-giveaway.html

  • Meghan Lorine

    love Jenna Lyons!!! great post. x

  • danielle

    WHERE can I get that Sharif Don’t Like It sweater?!

  • Captive Louise

    She’s pretty swaggy indeed, I like it when rich people look down-to-earth/achievable. Even if it’s just an illusion.

    http://captivelouise.wordpress.com/

  • Virginia Ibarra

    I.dont.know.how.she does it! Some people just have it, plus she looks elegant and Parisian?! Eh not even gonna try but undo love me some j crew!

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