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Sometimes I look at blogs and wonder what in the world that woman does for a living that she can get away with such style. It’s funny, when I came across Jentine’s blog, My Edit I thought, hey someone who really loves fashion, has a good time with it, and makes it appropriate for some office environments! And then I realized… Jentine is a landscaper. When I found that out, it made me love Yen and the blog even more, and made me truly respect her sense of style. Jentine knows how to dress her frame, is the most skilled thriftier, and makes fashion fun and for that, I consider her a True Fashionista.
Yen (I feel I can use her nickname because she signs her emails to me like that, LOL) is gorgeous and has a great body, so it could be simple for her to throw on a mall chain frock and call it a day. But what makes her blog different is that you can really see the effort she puts into her personal style. She budgets, she thrifts, she fiddles, she plays with belts and gathering and turning pieces backwards to see if she gets a better effect. I think a lot of people just put clothes on and go without really looking at how they work with or against their body, it's clear that Yen knows and understands her body and how her wardrobe works with it.
Jentine also wears what she enjoys and what makes her feel good. Be it a cape that her brother jokes about being a blanket, sequins during the day, or a toque to cover up a bad hair day. She'll often discuss what she thrifted that week and the thought process behind it, showing how there's no random willy-nilly additions to her wardrobe, though many purchases are emotionally based.
Not only does Jentine share her style on the blog, but she also uses it for good. She recently partnered with Musana Jewelry and designed a necklace. Musana Jewelry’s goal is, “To connect women around the world through a social business that employs, trains and empowers Ugandan women to break the cycle of poverty and secure greater prosperity for themselves, their families, and their communities.” Musana Jewelry is based in Lugazi, Uganda and employs local women to provide them with financial stability and education. All Musana’s supplies are locally sourced and the profits are all put back into the community.
Yen shows that you can achieve current trends, high fashion, and stick to your personal style and still shop on a budget. She inspires me to give pieces in my wardrobe a new life with a belt, unexpected pairing, or even turn it backwards. She also reminds me that it's worth the time to pick the right pieces for your wardrobe and not just buy out of stress/frustration/boredom. I was thrilled to have Yen be part of my True Fashionista series. I asked her the same five questions answered by every woman in this series; here are her answers:
How would you describe your personal style?
Evolving. I would like to have some impossibly chic uniform that included a Rick Owens leather jacket and the perfectly beat up pair of biker boots but I would get bored. And I can't afford Rick Owens.
I'm definitely partial to vintage dresses, sequins and brown leather anything but I love trying new looks and taking chances. One day I'll wear a sharp red suit. The next day I'll wear mustard cords and a hand knit blue sweater. That's the best part of fashion, you get to change it up.
Where did you get your passion for fashion?
I'm not really sure. I mean my parents have always been into antique hunting at flea markets and garage sales so I certainly learned about pretty things from a young age. Though, on the other hand, my mom is the most down to earth, no fuss lady ever and I was raised in the same way. When I'm putting on make-up and agonizing over what to wear, we always chuckle over how different we really are. We do both cry over sad animal stories. That unites us.
I also know I spent much of my childhood staring at what people were wearing. And I wasn't good at hiding my staring, so that made for some awkward moments…
Where do you find sartorial inspiration?
The usual; blogs and magazines. I am curbing my magazine addiction a bit; those glossy pages are addictive. I also try to be inspired by my own closet, there is plenty of crazy in there and it's fun to play around.
What is the difference between fashion and style?
I think ‘fashion' is the umbrella term for the whole industry and whatever relates to it. Style is a more personal term, it's how you make fashion work for yourself.
Any advice for a woman who is starting to find her personal style?
Just have fun.
I mean there is lots of important stuff to say about colour, fit, fabric and financial investment but that all comes second to enjoying your wardrobe.
I've been blogging for almost four years and I am still discovering my style. I think (I hope) I am better at editing and listening to my own style voice than I was four years ago, but my archives certainly have a fair share of bad outfits. I've made plenty of style mistakes. The only thing I consistently do right, is that I have fun getting dressed.
I get that everyone has very different lives and that ‘having fun' can mean completely different things. It's fun for me to wear sequins to pick up Diet Coke and beef jerky from the grocery store. For my mom, it's fun to wear a tiny mouse pin and a cat pin on the same lapel. A clever detail that often goes unnoticed but something she enjoys enough to text me a picture of. Sidenote- I'm talking about my mom a lot…
It sounds a little simplistic but if you are trying to find your personal style, it makes sense to discover what you really like. Not everybody is going to like what you wear (trust me… if I had a nickel for every time someone carefully says ‘Um… I would never wear that but…') and you are going to make mistakes but you might as well have fun. 🙂
Susan Harris says
Love her. But since she’s a landscaper (my field, kinda) I have to ask -where is she?
I love Jentine and her blog. Love that you are featuring a Canadian girl. She has super Thrift skills that I wish I had.
I’m wondering why I bother to buy anything new. Oh yeah, I don’t have thrifting skills developed to the point where i can find something good quickly.
Don’t you or some of your blogging buddies have thrifting techniques lists? I think I might have seen that somewhere. (How’s that for vague?)
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
I did write this: https://www.wardrobeoxygen.com/2007/10/gone-thriftin.htmlI know Sal at Already Pretty has written much about thrifting, and I love
the DC Goodwill Fashionista: http://www.fashionofgoodwill.org/blog/2013/01/17/guest-blogger-quality-vs-quantity/
Thanks so much Allie! I read all that you suggested. I now feel more confident and less confused about thrifting. Thanks to what you, Sal, DC Fashionista wrote about thrifting I think I can do well for myself during a one hour lunch break rather than having to make the excursion into an 8 hour workday!
Subject: [wardrobeoxygen] Re: Wardrobe Oxygen: True Fashionista: Jentine
Jentine actually has written a lot about thrifting, including tips and techniques. But thrifting is hardly ever quick — it takes luck and patience, in my experience.
Allie, I’m so glad you featured Jentine! She probably knows more about clothes than any blogger I read, thanks to her time in fashion design school, and her background seems to inform her sense of fun and her willingness to play around, turn things backward, etc., like you talked about. And I love it when she writes about her cats or her dad.
Thanks for the tip. I will go see what Jentine has to say about thrifting. Also I see that you have a blog so I am going to go visit your writings too. Along with Allie, I appreciate your help.
Crtfly, Jentine has a lot of thrifting tips! And her posts are so inspiring (and funny). I even began to love anything with sequins after reading her blog for some time. 😀
I’m a huge fan of this series and of Jentine’s blog so I was pumped when I saw her on here! Her style is inspiring and fun. She’d definitely one of my favorites!
Oh, I love MyEdit and Jentine so much!! I don’t think I’ve ever commented on her blog but I adore her style and personality. I have been following her for close to 4 years and it just gets better and better!! I used to pass over 80’s sequins in the thrift store, but now I stop for them and see if they will fit me (so far, nothing in my size, but I am hoping!). About 90% of my wardrobe is thrifted these days, so she really inspires me to get creative and think outside the thrift box.
Ally, I really love this feature!! Most of the bloggers you highlight are ones I have never heard of, and I love adding new blogs to my favorites list. Thank you for doing this every week!
She’s one of my faves! SO down to earth and hilarious!