When I think of Jess Renard, this month’s Facebook Group Member of the Month, I think of color, bright color…see it from space color.  Not only does Jess love wearing bright colors, she also has the brightest and most colorful personalities to match.  Jess’ style is definitely an example of a person’s personality being reflected in her style.  Even her glasses are colorful.  

Jess is the perfect Group Member to feature after being back from blogging hiatus.  Learn more about her and her style by reading her answers below.

 

Name: Jess Renard

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Age: 44

 

Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group? 

A: The camaraderie and support from the group is amazing, and our fearless leader has such vast insights into color and pattern theory and new ways to combine colors and optimize what is already in my closet. When the quarantine first hit, it was nice to see Bridgette’s articles leveraging compassion, some humor, and a distraction from the political debates everywhere else.

Everyone in the group is positive and encouraging, even when providing constructive feedback. I was worried about ordering some floral statement shoes, but was concerned about looking like a Golden Girl. Their support enabled me to take the leap! I now have quite a few pair…

Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member 

A: Having a warm community to bounce ideas off of and see different interpretations of how others put together style concepts in their unique way. I love being able to collaborate and ask for honest feedback. It’s like having a group of virtual sisters without the drama.

Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined the Group yet?  

A: What on earth are you waiting for? We don’t bite, we crack each other up, and it’s a platform to get advice in a non-critical setting.

Q: How would you describe your style? 

A: Hmmm…Eclectic. Creative. Bright. My husband calls me “his peacock”. I love bright colors, and lots of them-they make me happy. I happen to also like ostentatious birds, like peacocks and flamingos, even on my clothing!

I am unabashedly unapologetic and dress like “me”, no matter the occasion. I have never been a people-pleaser, and neither ask permission nor forgiveness. I am proud to be me. In fact, I wore a neon pink Lilly Pulitzer top in Alaska and got some major compliments on it, which I wasn’t looking for. I know that isn’t a typical look in that area, but it’s still me.

What I find is that when I am true to myself, the more compliments I get from strangers. I wear eyeglasses and used to order tortoise-nice and neutral. Now, I use them as an accessory and have orange ones, green ones, purple ones, and just ordered a square pair in neon yellow! People always ask where I order them, and my optician knows that I am always looking for the brightest pair she can get her hands on. You only live once, and I refuse to be a wallflower.

Q: How did you discover your personal style?  

When I started working for myself as a career coach and travel agent, I was no longer working in an office setting. I was then able to expand my wardrobe choices without bounds, and all of a sudden, the colors, patterns, and combinations got brighter and brighter. As I did, I felt lighter and happier. People know me as the lady with the bright colors. I even own neon pink and neon green Vans! :)

I have never followed trends. Colors come and go, but what I feel good in evolves, but remains pretty similar. For instance, I have never been a fan of the “cold shoulder” style – they always showcase my armpits, and that’s not anyone’s sexiest body part!

Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their own style?  

A: Be you. Wear what makes you smile, flatters your figure, and fits well. Don’t be a slave to someone else’s trends. You are beautiful and unique.

Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with? 

For starters, packing on the COVID-19! I’m fluffier than I was in March! However, I’m happy that I’ve had the time to organize my closet to more easily find what I’m looking for. I’m now all dressed up with nowhere to go!

Q: What are the most versatile items you have in your closet? 

A: Brightly patterned t-shirt dresses! I can toss on flip flops, nice wedge sandals, or ankle boots, some jewelry or a scarf, and a cardigan if it’s cold and instant outfit!

Q: If you could go back and change a way you dressed in the past, what would you change?  

A: I was such a mess! I had no sense of style, and never wore skirts or dresses. I wore mostly oversized jeans/cutoff shorts with men’s t-shirts. Not the most flattering look on a grown woman!

I also lived through the fashion of the 80s and 90s. I’ll let you do the math…

Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be?  

Statement shoes! I am now a little obsessed with L’Artiste floral shoes! I can wear them with a solid dress, white slacks and a bright top, or jeans and a white shirt, and be instantly put together!

Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t?

Here is the story of the famous jacket that found love:

I bought (what I thought was) the cutest ever cropped jacket! It had an olive houndstooth pattern, roll up ¾ sleeves, and some embroidered flowers. I wore it with a white tank top and jeans on my first date with my husband, 15 years ago. I felt so sexy and cute that night! Well, after we were engaged, he told me he thought it was “the ugliest piece of clothing he had ever seen!” (I wasn’t offended; we are cool like that). Needless to say, we still laugh about “THE JACKET”, and apparently it didn’t kill my chances at love, because we are happily married and still smiling! It eventually went into the donation pile but is a major part of our love story.

Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?  

A: Tan, blond, and on a cruise ship, with my hair flat ironed, and wearing makeup. I love wearing a white lace dress after a day at the beach, with flat gold ankle wrap sandals and dangly earrings. Evenings on a ship are somehow just a little more magical, and I always feel like I am glowing and a little prettier from being relaxed and at sea.

Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year?  

Safely wearing all my pretty outfits out of the house. I know the N-95 isn’t fashionable, but I sure am grateful it goes with everything. Stay safe, friends!

Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received? 

A: My grandma, who made all of my formal dresses for me during my whole childhood, taught me that fit is critical, and that I should wear more than just black. Bridgette reiterated that fact as well.

True story: right before lockdown, I was going to a conference, and the dress code dictated that we needed to wear 2 pairs of black pants. I had none and needed to go buy both of them. I am no longer a blackcident!

Q: The first thing you take off when you get home? 

A: My shoes. I would always be barefoot if it wasn’t so ewww!

Q: Favorite color(s) to wear 

A: So, I love all kinds of color, the more neon the better. But, my favorite color has always been, and will always be, green-all shades: lime, neon, kelly, forest…even that baby poo color nobody else likes.

I am a sucker for neons, jewel tones, or pastels all blended together: oranges, yellows, blues, purples… The only color I really don’t like on me is red.

Q: Favorite stores to shop? 

A majority of my closet is Lilly Pulitzer – I love the cuts of many of the items, and the cheerful and fun patterns and colors. It’s hard to frown when you are wearing flamingos, octopi, and coral. Tommy Bahama for women is another favorite-their fabrics drape beautifully for women with curves, and their travel-friendly fabrics pack well without wrinkling.

For shoes, I am obsessed with L’Artiste by Spring Step! They have such beautiful details, from hand-painted leather and unique cutouts to sculptural heels, and they are super comfortable right out of the box, especially for my wide feet, with great padding and solid arch support. I can’t wait to put more mileage on them soon.

Then, there are Goodr sunglasses. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do! They have lightweight, affordable running sunglasses (I wear them, and trust me that I am NOT a runner!) I love their OG and Runway styles-there’s a pair of lime and purple shades that I wear often. I was shocked to find my favorite color combo! With polarized shades under $35, I change them up frequently based on my outfits. I even have a pair of “Funfetti” ones with rainbow lenses!

I love Kendra Scott for jewelry. The Color Bar is my favorite! I have been designing jewelry for many years, and love being able to choose my own stones and metal color. The abalone colors and opals are my favorite-they pull so many colors from an outfit!

Q: What makes you happiest? 

A: Having my family healthy and together. We can do anything as long as we have good health. Being with my husband, son, 3 dogs, and 3 cats. (I’m a 50/50 dog and cat person, which I know is unusual!)

We all love to travel and have been to some very cool places over the years. I love being able to travel throughout the Caribbean and am a beach bum at heart (an occupational hazard of growing up in South Florida.)

Q: What inspires you? 

A: Travel, the beach, cruising, art, theme parks, and learning about new cultures. I am always up for a new adventure, and love to be creative.

I’m the type of person who can walk into the store, look at a shirt, and think “If only it had/didn’t have…” I had wanted a Cricut for years, and hubby surprised me with one over a year ago. He figured it would be one of those things that I used for 2 weeks until it collected dust. Surprisingly, he is thrilled that I have made HUNDREDS of graphic shirts, hoodies, and hats! It’s such a relaxing outlet, and I love that I can combine fonts, images, textures, and colors to design items for us that are uniquely ours! I know this won’t come as a surprise: I love using glitter and holographic materials in my designs. My giraffe wearing glitter glasses is a favorite for sure! I infuse humor into all I do, whether at work or in life. Comedy makes the world a better place all around!

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