Basic Style, Conscious Closet

Faithful Five: Janine Stafford

Janine Stafford is here on the blog to talk about her Faithful Five! Not only is she our office neighbor, she’s a talented stylist and an innovative creator.  She works her skills at boutique branding studio, JSGD and has recently helped create and manage S P A C E We talked with Janine about her personal style and how she has created a wardrobe that works with her lifestyle and values.

I grew up in Hopkinton MA (forever a Mass girl), went to Northeastern University and studied Communications with a concentration in Media. While I was there, I became really interested in fashion as a form of communication and its place in our culture/communities. I’ve had a pretty transient career – from retail to freelance to photo production – usually balancing a few things at once. What can I say, I like to work! 

Currently, I’m the coordinator at JSGD – a boutique branding studio in Boston *and beloved roommates of Brass*. My job allows me to do a little bit of all the things I love – manage projects, work with a wonderful collaborative team, coordinate and style photo shoots, pitch & execute marketing campaigns – needless to say, there’s never really a boring day.

I’ve also had the opportunity to help create and manage S P A C E – a shared lounge located in our studio. We’re still working on envisioning what S P A C E will become, but for now, we’re hosting interviews, workshops, & community events. It’s been really amazing to create room – physical and emotional – for the creative, entrepreneurial community in Boston to come together and learn, connect, talk IRL. We all need to get the f*** offline sometimes ya know?

In terms of personal style, it’s been a long evolution (remind me to show you photos of my mall goth phase sometime…) Because I have the opportunity to play with fashion (beyond my personal style) in my creative work, I’ve become more conscientious about what I bring into my own closet. When I approach work for a client, or a test shoot I’m concepting, I really focus on what I want to say with the clothes I’m using and how they’re being presented. Who is the woman, not what are the clothes. I think this line of thinking has really helped me think about who I am, what works for me and says/does what I need it to. 

I’ve settled on a pretty minimal personal style. I’m a big window shopper. I really try to consider how a piece will be utilized once I bring it into my wardrobe. Where I definitely do get into trouble is thrifting and at vintage shops, because if you find a cool piece and it fits and it’s in good shape, it feels like a crime to leave it behind. However, I tend to be more interested in playing with textures and proportions rather than color/prints or accessories. I can most often be overheard saying the following: “Does this come in black?” “I really want to wear it oversized.” That being said, a lot of my personal style also comes from pieces I truly feel good in. If you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing (confident, comfortable, like yourself!), it can really eff up an otherwise good day. Clothing has the ability to lift you up! If you want me to be totally honest, I think fashion deserves to be taken more seriously (in general) as part of self-care, self-expression, and self-love. Insert peace sign emoji here.

Janine’s Faithful Five:

  1. Slim Black Dress – my preference is midi length in a soft, forgiving material. I like things I can move in and don’t have to constantly be adjusting. I’m all about balance so if something’s fitted, I want it to be a little longer. I find that more interesting.
  2. Denim Jacket – specifically this one my boyfriend and I share… it’s his grandfather’s old farm jacket – it’s so worn in and oversized and loved. I thought by putting a bunch of feminist pins on it, it would become mine and mine alone, but he still rocks it. And the ladies love him… talk about a plan backfiring. 
  3. Long Cardigan/Sweater Coat – Any excuse to wear a big blanket around really… I tend to run pretty cold so I like to have some good open sweaters to bring with me wherever I go. I’ve found that I prefer something longer and draped like a coat – it feels elevated and relaxed at the same time. Like Diane Keaton on a beautiful wrap around porch at her beach house…
  4. Distressed Denim – I’m not a huge jeans wearer, but there always has to be a few pairs of distressed denim in my arsenal. Again with the balance – most of my tops tend to be silky, more feminine & sleek, so I like the juxtaposition of ripped up denim. Plus, for me, denim is always going to bring a more casual element to my look, so why not just lean in to it?
  5. High Neck Tank Top – VERY specific, but I really love them. Anytime I find a good, high neck tank (sort of sporty, no cleavage) I buy it… probably in multiple colors. Balance is coming to mind again here – no cleavage, but still a little skin, ability to layer without feeling bulky… hmm. Regardless, they’re my most sought after basic.

Janine’s Tip

It’s okay to take your style seriously. It is not selfish or shallow to think about the clothes you’re putting on, that you’re living your life in. Have a little fun with it, experiment, and wear what makes you feel good – whatever that means to you.

This post was adapted from an interview with Janine Stafford.