One of my favorite things about my life is the fact that I get to live it with amazing people. I am blessed with incredible friends who each uniquely define what it means to have style! StyleLove is my way of highlighting their signature style and showcasing that beauty and style come in a million different flavors and forms.
Meet Jessica (aka Sess)
She’s a knockout!
Jessica – Easy glamour. I have a very vintage, 1950’s/60’s sensibility, but despise anything that feels stuffy or costume-y. I hate layers and wearing a lot of clothes– as scandalous as it sounds, I always like to seem easily undressable. But I live for ultra glamorous silhouettes and fabrics.
My closet is full of open necklines, well-defined waists, and lots of leg… with as many white sundresses as I can cram in there. I’m from California but live in New York, and think that really encapsulates my approach. The west coast beach girl in me doesn’t ever want to look like she’s trying too hard, and I want my hair and makeup wild and soft, but this new New Yorker loves that I can wear a winter white Peter Som cape anytime I want and no one will look at me funny. It’s impossible to be overdressed here. Bring on the jewels and fur.
Jessica – I love that I’m a big-picture thinker. Chewing on concepts and ideas is really stimulating and satisfying to me– I’m always pushing myself to pull back intellectually and see things with a broader perspective. What does this movie/ feeling/ idea mean societally? Culturally? Morally? What does it say about us? Where is truth? Where is God? I like being able to bring this perspective to the table.
Jessica – I have so many favorite NYC moments, but the one that sticks out most involves an old Italian construction worker. When I first moved to the city, there was a brownstone on my street that was being renovated. One morning as I walked to work, I passed an old Italian man lugging a big bag of cement through the gate. “Good morning!” he chirped. “Good morning!” I replied. The birds sang. A squirrel brought me a danish. It was delightful.
The next morning on my walk, I was passing the same house when the old man leaned out of the second story window and smiled, shouting “Good morning, my beautiful princess! I hope you have a wonderful day!”
I about melted into a buttery blonde puddle on the sidewalk.
He continued this greeting every day for weeks. “Good morning, my beautiful princess…!” Each day calling to me from the balcony. I never knew how he saw me coming, but each day he popped his little gray head out at just the right time. That will always be New York to me– unexpected, a little foreign, and utterly charming.
LAH – Have you ever experienced feelings of insecurity about yourself? How have you overcome them?
Jessica – Has anyone ever answered no to this question? Seriously. My answer is a resounding yes. Growing up the big, chubby, awkward girl in a sea of petite brunettes was no cakewalk. I basically had no real friends until college, and even then it was like, “Wait a minute… How does this work?” I was always too tall, too big, too intense. I couldn’t figure out how to reconcile my deep, desperate desire to be a 5’3 raven-haired athlete (so people would actually like me, dammit!), with the REAL me who wore pink satin capri pants and five-inch platforms (and loved them).
My big breakthrough came when I realized I could never beat the petite brunettes at their own game. They had cuteness and size 2 Express pants on their side, and I was tired of trying to make my Wal-Mart tank look like it was from Brass Plum. It was so scary to think about deviating from what seemed to be working for everyone else and figure out what I wanted and who I wanted to be, but I knew it was my only shot. If I was going to be secure and successful it was going to have to be on my terms. I needed to figure out what my terms were– what I loved and valued– and trust that following them would lead me somewhere beautiful. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
The biggest lesson for me has been: Run your own race. Everybody’s out there doing their own thing. Some people have got their track and are workin’ it, others are jumping around, chasing trends and ideologies that distract them from doing the work required to live who they really are. Stop. Do the work. And stay in your lane. No one else’s methods will work for you long-term. Run your own race.
LAH – Who is your hero and why?
Jessica – I have sort of an odd list of heroes: Abraham Lincoln, TD Jakes, Oprah, Daniel Day-Lewis, MERYL… But my mom is at the top. She died when I was in college, but the wisdom, warmth, and soft love she imparted to me throughout our 20 years together continues to bloom and bear fruit in my heart. She was an amazing woman, and I’m so thankful she was my mom.
LAH – If you could give other women one bit of advice, what would it be?
Jessica – Run your race– you’ll never know security until you do. And buy a slip. Yep, like the one your grandma wears. Seriously. It’ll change your life.
Sess is beyond wonderful. She’s a classic beauty with old-fashion sensibility. Her style and perspective are inspiring. She makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world and can navigate the NYC subway system with an ease that is awe-inspiring. She is gracious, graceful and without a doubt, destined for greatness. Her research skills are unparalleled and I now find it difficult to make any makeup decision without first consulting her (seriously, she’s personally revolutionized my beauty routine). She is the glorious and daring heroine in the story of her life. A story rich in beauty and grace. I can’t wait to see how it continues to unfold. My life is infinitely more exciting and fabulous because of her.
p.s. All photos are taken with my iPhone 5.