I never thought of getting dressed as being all that difficult, really. Aaaaand, then I had kids!!!! Let's just say the fashion police have got NOTHING on a couple of teen-aged girls insisting, "OH NO, you are NOT going out looking like that, are you?!?"
Trust me, it's complicated.
So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to be invited to partner with the J.Jill brand in helping to introduce their new collection of "uncomplicated" clothing.
That's right, even a dork (like me) can strive to be stylish and I am ALL about helping to inspire busy women (like you AND me) to find a style that compliments, rather than complicates, our already complex lifestyles <---- I made that up, all by myself, you like it?!?
I had the chance to learn more about the Pure Jill collection, get a few really important styling tips from the senior designer, Barbara Pattin AND then review a piece for myself.
First, a little more about the brand: I was already familiar with the J.Jill brand and their relaxed approach to fashion has always resonated with me.
Pure Jill is their new collection of 4 essential pieces (sweater, tee, pants and flats): I absolutely adore the simple shapes and soft textures of these pieces.
What was the inspiration for the Pure Jill collection?
Senior designer Barbara Pattin: We were really trying to create something beautiful, universal, simple and luxurious. Something that does something for her and her wardrobe that she doesn't get anywhere else. It also leaves room for her to express who she is in her life.
Do you have suggestions for how to dress down the same outfit?
BP: Accessories are magical things! If you're leaving the office at the end of the day and going somewhere, you can really change the look with your shoes, jewelry and lipstick doesn't hurt either. It's easy to update your look and make it more event-appropriate with your accessories. It's also a way to get more use out of your wardrobe by changing accessories!
Are there two or three staple pieces that you like to keep in the closet for the fall season?
BP: We have a sweatshirt dress that is phenomenal. It is so soft and great with leggings. I love the zip front poncho too; I think it's a great transitional piece from fall to winter. We have a quilted jacket that is fantastic... I love all of it!
How do you design differently for plus size women? Many have a harder time with layers because bulk makes you look bigger. Additionally, what recommendations do you have for plus size women regarding styling?
BP: We love our ladies and all their sizes here at J.Jill. We have special focus groups that look at plus size and petites very carefully. A lot of thought goes into creating clothes for the J.Jill customer. We make sure we are maximizing assets and downplaying what she perceives as flaws. Usually what we do is take an existing style and see if it has universal appeal. We then fit it on a women's size model.
We are actually in the process right now of doing a photo shoot for an upcoming collection on a plus size model so that our plus size customers can see how that silhouette will look on her versus the other models that we feature on our website.
I could NOT resist ordering this awesome Ruana sweater from the Pure Jill collection: I love the open-front style and it comes with a sweater pin, so it is flexible enough to wear with a long-sleeved t-shirt or henley.
I am not one to layer too much (see note regarding assets, above): so I would most definitely utilize this sweater as my main piece of outerwear -- see also: I don't do jackets, very well, either.
I used Barbara's tip of accessorizing and paired it with my oldest daughter's infinity scarf: she may or may not get it back.
FINAL VERDICT: I was already a big fan of Pure Jill's "uncomplicated" philosophy -- effortless and relaxed, comforting and comfortable -- but, I was AMAZED at how easy it was to pull off, for real.
Aaaaand, by using pieces I already owned...mostly...the boots belong to my oldest, too.
J.Jill has opened four new prototype stores which are inspired by their "uncomplicate" brand platform: the new stores will be at the Short Hills Mall, NJ (open now); Walt Whitman Shops in Hutington Station, NY (open now); King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, PA (opening this month); and Fashion Valley in San Diego, CA (opening this month).
The good folks have offered our online friends a special coupon code to use as an incentive to go check 'em out:*30% off Single Full-Priced Item
Effective Dates: 11/5-11/24
Code: JJSTYLE (use when ordering).
*Visit JJill.com for more information.
I'm looking forward to adding Pure Jill to my wish list for...well...EVERYTHING...because, quite frankly, I think my teens are onto me and I'm pretty sure my oldest daughter is going to want her stuff back.
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