For this week's Classic Post, I asked my friend, Jenna Sauers of Jezebel to let me peek her wardrobe. Her collection of vintage clothes is pretty amazing and would make any girl from LA really jealous.
I met Jenna back during fashion week through my best friends + dynamic duo David and Danny Roberts. Its not a surprise at all that she used to be a model. Jenna is incredibly tall, thin and naturally beautiful. I instantly wanted to be her friend after talking to her because she just gets "it". And by "it" I mean life, pop culture and fashion, man. (I sound like a hippie but who cares?) She writes about things that are often controversial, creating a buzz and attention to things that most people are scared to talk about.
She's daring yet charming and is such a talented writer. In fact stop what you are doing right now and please read her amazing article from 2009, entitled, "I am the Anonymous Model". If you are not familiar with her, it has amazing insight on her experiences as a model and her take on the crooked fashion industry.
here she is, as captured by street style photographers
Here are her 5 Classics:
1. Ferragamo Flats
My obsession with these shoes dates precisely — and maybe embarrassingly — to the first semester of my freshman year of college, when Nylon magazine published a fashion spread inspired by the style of Joan Didion, a writer with whose work I was then in the earliest throes of an obsession that has proven enduring. Ferragamo flats — specifically the "Vara" flat, the one with the bows on the toe — were in that spread. Those are cute, I thought! (I mention in passing that Didion was also known to rock a scarf back in the day.) I'm fairly tall, and I walk a lot, so I am always looking for a dependable, presentable flat. Something with more arch support than a ballet slipper and without the likelihood of blisters of an Oxford. I think I bought my first pair (secondhand, on eBay) the week I saw that Nylon story. I've since acquired maybe a half-dozen pairs, paying no more than $40 for each. Cap-toes, loafers, Varas, sandals; lime, brown, black, red, bone. My closet is sated, but I still have an eBay alert set for Ferragamos in my size. What I like about these shoes is simple: They are well-made, and when properly taken care of, they will last many years. The Ferragamo company does not seem interested in altering its patterns in order to chase trends, and most of its styles have been in production for decades, so the secondhand market is plentiful. They're never out of style, they're never in style, but they're always stylish. Also, Joan Didion. Duh.
I pretty much always have a scarf on me — if one's not tied or draped around my neck, there's almost certainly one tied to the strap of my bag. I feel about 900% more pulled-together with a scarf, and they hold a strong allure to me as someone who tends not to wear a lot of prints, because they're a very easy way to introduce a lovely print or an unusual complimentary color into an outfit, without feeling like you're getting overwhelmed. They're so cheap to pick up in thrift stores, and so pretty as objects, that I can't help but collect them. (I got really lucky once in San Francisco and scored this blue-and-gold vintage Balenciaga scarf with ducks on it for $2. I've been trying to repeat that luck ever since.)
Also: Scarves are practical! They're like the MacGuyver of accessories. Caught in a rainstorm? Tie that scarf around your head. Sudden drop in temperature? Silk is warm. Need to suddenly class up a t-shirt and jeans? Tie that scarf around your neck and go. Last summer, I went to the beach, and a really chic friend of mine took along a huge silk scarf with a kind of taxonomic floral print on a black ground, which she'd inherited from her grandmother. She wore it like a cover up knotted like a sarong, she napped under it like a blanket, she folded it up and used it like a headband. Basically, I was this close to killing her for her awesome scarf, but I restrained myself because I was even more interested in seeing what she was going to do with the thing next. Watching her was like watching that episode of The Simpsons where Marge buys the Chanel suit at the outlet mall and falls in with the ladies-who-lunch crowd, and has to rework the suit again and again to make it seem like she has as many clothes as they do: you just couldn't imagine what she was going to do next!
3. Pencil Skirts
I just think they're sexy. I don't have much in the way of "curves," but when I put on a pencil skirt, I feel like I have an ass all of a sudden. And yet, they are considered appropriate business wear. Paradox!
4. Nail Polish
Among my slovenly, shameful personal habits are nail-biting and cuticle-picking, and I have found that having a nice manicure is the only thing that will motivate me to keep myself from doing either. Also, living under repressive high school and job dress codes during an impressionable period has ensured that painting my nails retains a scintilla of rebellion. A bottle of OPI's latest concoction is $8 at the drug store, so it's a habit my wallet can live with. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in the red bottle is by far the world's best top coat, FYI. (It is also far from Insta in its Dri, but I'll forgive it for 6-9 days of chip-free shine.)
5. Lastly, a Nice Vintage Dress
I wore this one (with cordovan croc-embossed Vara flats, natch) to my graduation! And on many occasions since. Once, a woman came up to me at a party and started talking to me just because I had on this dress — and we became really good friends. She was dressed in a sort of cowgirl-ish pink cat-print Miu Miu dress and obviously we were meant to be together, but we never would have known that had it not been for this dress! Can you imagine the tragedy? I got the Magical Dress on eBay for $34, it's from the 1940s, and I love it still. I wear plenty of pants and separates, but slipping on a dress always makes me feel instantly put-together. Second-hand clothing is interesting, because of the information it presents: Old garments embody all kinds of messages about the circumstances of their creation, the kinds of roles available to women in times past, and the historic plasticity of our ideas of what's appropriate, attractive, and beautiful. Even a relatively plain blue linen day dress like this one has a lot to tell about how clothing was and is made, in what kind of economy of labor, for whom, and why.
So if you want funny with a double shot of wit: jezebeljenna is her name. Follow her on twitter NOW.
also check out her blog.
also check out her blog.
Thank you, Jenna!