I don’t watch Real Housewives, but my interest piqued when I saw Jenna Lyons was cast in the current New York City season. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s responsible for making J.Crew cool and setting the trend of the high-low aesthetic which included statement jewelry worn with tee shirts and sequins paired with denim that so often comes across as effortlessly chic.
She’s the queen of bold and unexpected choices. So it’s no surprise that she took a role in the wild world of reality TV. It doesn’t get more unexpected than that—a respected tastemaker in the fashion industry getting down and dirty with the outrageous antics of the housewives. (Curiously, her Instagram profile mentions nothing about her part in the show🤔.)
Anyhow, I watched a couple episodes to see her outfits. But it wasn’t until I saw this photo from New York Magazine that it all clicked into place. I so clearly saw the two elements that make her style so effortlessly chic.
Keep reading because I’m sharing these components with you! Once you know what they are, you can add them to your own style.
The first element of being effortlessly chic is intentionality, or dressing with purpose. It’s about choosing clothes that you love, that look good, and that are right for the occasion. (Click here for the 3 steps to get dressed with confidence.)
Here’s the thing, intentionality takes time, and most women don’t have that in excess. They need to get dressed quickly so they can get on with their day. But what happens when you get into the habit of being unintentional with your style? You leave things to the last minute, feeling rushed and stressed which usually results in wearing the same old thing. Not satisfying!
It’s like how I am with dinners in our house. I’m not a fan of cooking or meal planning, so I always leave dinner to the last minute. Then, around 5pm, I’m scrambling to get it done. Inevitably, I don’t have all the ingredients, so I have to run to the store. By the time I get the meal on the table, everyone is complaining and nobody is satisfied. We often end up eating the same thing because I don’t make time to experiment with new recipes
Back to Jenna, her layered necklaces in various stones and textures reflect her intentionality. Each strand complements the others in a way that perfectly suits her style. It’s thoughtful, but not overly planned, and this is important to note. If your outfit is too contrived, it will appear forced and unnatural which is how you wind up looking like you’re trying too hard.
It also makes it impossible to incorporate the second element of effortlessly chic style…
Stay Open For Surprises
Your well intentioned personal style must leave room for the unexpected. In Jenna‘s photo, you’ll see that one of the necklace tails is hanging down the side. You might think this is a mistake, as we normally tuck the tails of our necklaces in the back so they’re not visible. But Jenna left it out, intentionally, which makes it an unexpected choice.
In order to stumble upon any delightful surprises, you must take risks. This means you have to try things you’ve never done before. Sure, there’s a chance it won’t work, but as I say…there’s always another opportunity to change your outfit! The stakes really aren’t that high here.
Effortlessly Chic And 100% You
If you want to be effortlessly chic like Jenna, be more intentional with your style. Choose clothes that you love and think about what you’ll wear. Care about how you look, but don’t take it too seriously. Relax and have fun with fashion. The unexpected elements will present themselves.
One of the best ways to get intentional with your style is to clean out your closet. Once you have a streamlined wardrobe, you’ll be able to see what you have and make better choices about what to wear.
Click here to get the free 5 step closet cleanout guide. It’ll help you revive your style by getting rid of your outdated clothes!