Shelley Jones, October’s Facebook Group Member of the Month, has these captivating and beguiling eyes. When she started posting outfit photos in the group, I was reminded of Amélie, from the movie of the same name. Her outfits were always adorable and her contributions to the group are always warm, supportive, and lovely.
Then, at the height of the pandemic, Shelley posted this video of herself singing her own version of Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid that she titled Out of This House with her own lyrics and spellbinding singing voice. I nearly fell off my chair laughing at how perfectly she captured what it was like for all of us to be stuck at home.
After watching this video don’t you want to get to know Shelley better? Check out her responses to the questions below to do just that.
Location: Rock Hill, South Carolina
Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group?
A: I really appreciate the honest and constructive feedback from the group members. It can be hard to be vulnerable with other women…what with all our respective body issues and various style types. I think everyone does a great job of being supportive and true.
Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member
A: I appreciate the diversity of perspectives. There are representatives from various countries, various age groups, and people in all stages of professional and personal lives. I like to see what folks in other lines of work and around the world are wearing. Quarantine has kind of slowed our mojo, but still and yet, members are sharing trends and shifts resulting from that.
Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined the Group yet?
A: Jump in. All are welcome and we have a good time. It’s odd to think that we’ve formed a community around whether to belt something, but we have. And it’s more than that, of course. We have our daring ones, our vocal ones, our “fancy” ones, and our simple ones, and there’s room for all of us.
A: Classic with a twist. I like to mix patterns and am a sucker for polka dots and stripes. My body seems to work with more tailored clothes, but I like to do something bold, unexpected, or fun within that scheme.
Q: How did you discover your personal style?
I had an early love for accessorizing…a gift from my mom. As a child of the 80’s there were big earrings WITH big necklaces and clothing seemed very FUN early on. I always enjoyed getting dressed as a means of creativity. I liked experimenting with what colors work together and how to make an outfit “pop” with a great accessory. My mom was always stylish…I never saw her wear jeans and a tee-shirt, and she always looked put together. She taught me how to show up for myself in the way I dressed. I was the woman who wore blazers and got dressed up for college classes. It just made me feel better. Sometimes, it gave me the confidence I didn’t fully have. Oddly, I’ve actually gotten more casual as I’ve gotten older and my life stages have changed.
Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their own style?
A: Well, I’ve always been decisive…maybe a little too opinionated, so I know what I react to and what I don’t like. Not everyone has that trait. So, I would say, figure out your colors…the ones that make your skin glow and make your eyes dance. There are lots of color “typing” systems out there, and that’s a valid exercise. So, even if you aren’t quite hitting the mark on the cut or type of clothing, your colors will make you sing. Once you get your colors down, take pictures of yourself in the clothes you reach for when you want to feel great about yourself. Those are probably close to what your style is. You probably know it intuitively. Pull things out of your closet that you’ve purchased and never quite gotten into your rotation. Those are probably NOT your style. Finally, jump on Pinterest and start pinning things you like, possibly without even knowing why. Once you get about 30 or more pins, you should start seeing a pattern in what you are instinctively attracted to. Start copying outfits you like. Boom. Your style. It’s like learning your own style language. The more you copy and study, the more you will learn your own style vocabulary and be able to write your own style story.
Hm. How do we narrow that down?! Several struggles. I’ve always like to dabble with a trend, but the older I get, the less I want to just dive in. I heard once that if you have already participated in that trend in its last iteration, you probably shouldn’t participate in it in the second time. Example: scrunchies.
Another challenge is jeans. It took me a while to jump on the skinny jean train, as a curvy girl…I thought perhaps they weren’t for me. Then I tried them and essentially converted my wardrobe to longer tops. Now I’m DYING at the high-waisted wide-legged jeans. I’m short-waisted and have no need to wear jeans just under my bust line. I don’t know where to go with jeans right now. Trouser jeans feel a little uppity sometimes. 😉
Q: What are the most versatile items you have in your closet?
A: Hands down, nude shoes. I first discovered some nude slides in the early 2000s. I think I inherited them in a shoe exchange at church. I likely wouldn’t have bought them, thinking “beige? How boring!” But as a very pale-skinned person who was wearing a LOT of black shoes, the nude-for-me and gold shoe has been a life-saver. Putting a dark shoe on the end of a short, pale leg is not a cute look. I own WAY too many nude shoes now because they absolutely go with everything, especially in the spring and summer, when I want to wear more color and can quickly get confused about what kind of shoes go with a multi-color dress. They’re also great for traveling because they’re so versatile. In second place would be any of my large dangly gold earrings. They dress up anything.
Q: If you could go back and change the way you dressed in the past, what would you change?
A: I don’t think I would change anything. Every failed experiment (hello, 1990s) and trend helped me figure out what I liked and what worked. There were so up-dos in the early 2000s I might erase with multiple clips and twirls. Thankfully, we didn’t yet have smartphones in our pockets every moment of the day, so there aren’t many of those days documented.
Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be?
I bought a sort of raincoat in black from Target many years ago. Just a simple button-up A-line coat that hit at mid-thigh. It went with EVERYTHING and made casual outfits look better than they were. Living in SC, I didn’t often need more than that and a nice scarf. When it finally started to look worn, I panicked. Replacing it took me several years of searching. I was able to find a Weatherproof jacket with great gold buttons a year or so ago. It sounds silly when I type it out, but no matter what other coats I bought, that one always WORKED for me, and I kept going back to it.
Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t?
I’ll have to go with my Frankenstein-esque platform loafers in the late 90s. I thought at the time they were the greatest, coolest and funkiest shoes I had ever seen. I wore them all the time, especially with my matching pantsuits. Maybe they were fashionable at the time, but they ended up damaging my feet and in hindsight, they were really heavy and clunky. I’m not sure what I was thinking.
Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?
A: I’m pretty happy with lipstick and a great necklace. If I feel comfortable and confident, I’m probably wearing something black and something with a kick.
Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year?
Well, I need to make the most of what I have in my closet at the moment, and not give up on getting dressed just because I’m not really going anywhere. I don’t have to be 100%, but I do feel better when I try just a little. I really miss accessorizing. There seems to be a theme here! I’m trying to be more judicious about my purchases. Instead of just stacking and stocking my closet, I’m trying to make sure that every purchase has a purpose.
Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received?
A: I’ll go back to the one I referenced earlier. If you were a full participant in the trend the first time around (20-30 years ago), you should probably modify or sit out your participation in the trend when it cycles through again. It doesn’t mean you can’t be trendy or have fun with fashion, it just means that your fashion is allowed to mature in a more interesting way.
Q: The first thing you take off when you get home?
A: Shoes. That’s for all of us, right? I am the queen of getting out of dress clothes in about 4.2 seconds too. I put on “play clothes” for home…I just want to be comfy.
Q: Favorite color(s) to wear
A: Black (sorry, Bridgette!), emerald, rust, teal, warm blues, cranberry, and navy.
Q: Favorite stores to shop?
LOFT, Macy’s, Zulily, NY & Co, Kohls, Belk’s
Q: What makes you happiest?
After all this talk about getting dressed up, probably the thing that makes me happiest is being outdoors in the woods! With earrings, of course. 😉 I love to hike, hear the birds and smell the moss. Beyond that, being creative in any capacity. The woods ground me and de-stress, so I can exert creativity in other facets of my life.
A: The natural world and the infinite care that seems to have been put into creating it. No matter what you believe, it’s hard not to be in awe of the intricacy of leaves and butterfly wings all the way up to the stars and even storms. It seems like a never-ending world to explore and be awed by.
Q: Use One Word to Describe Your Style
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