This young lady is one of my favorite favorite favorite people ever. If it doesn’t “match” or make sense, she’ll try wearing it, and wear it well. There are just some people who transcend fashion rules and trends to create their own style lane. That is Jana. I completely admire her for it. If you don’t completely love her after reading this, just remember that she used the word juxtaposition here. Check it.
Tell us your name, where you’re from and what you do.
My name is Jana-Lynn Louis. I was born in Queens, NY and raised in South Florida. I currently work as a Public Risk Management Analyst and I have no clue what my calling is. I really love my current career path and the opportunity it affords me to improve the health outcomes of those around me but I equally have this passionate, romantic relationship of fashion and styling. Whether wardrobe consultation, personal shopping, or event/life styling, there is something really beautiful about seeing the look in a person’s eye when they put on something they love and seeing how that translates into confidence in deportment. Perhaps, one day, I’ll be able to work in a position that will allow me to work in both public health and fashion.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say my personal style is fearless and fun. I constantly try to challenge my comfort zone in regards to what I wear or how I style my hair and, so, I’ve slowly begun to turn into a style chameleon. I never want to look too costume-y in how I present myself but I also don’t really try to limit myself to a certain label or look. I can be tomboy aficionado one day, then go bohemian the next, to a leather-loving stiletto wear-er the day after.
The only thing I can think of that is fairly consistent is my love of juxtaposition. I love texture, color, prints, and architectural structure and I am very much intrigued by how they work together to create a harmonious look. It’s the science-y investigator part of me.
I don’t really have hang-ups on repeating pieces (I actually think it’s really cool to be able to wear one thing 6 different ways because it shows creativity) because I really just like wearing things I love and how I feel as a result of that. The clothes are always cool but I want my style to reflect a lifestyle; not just a closet. Above all, I want my style choices to embody peace, fun, and joy. I want people to see me and think “man, she has fun!”.
What celebrity inspires your style and why?
I like my inspiration practical and digestible so…I am not a big fashion magazine person and because I know the celebrity industry is driven by stylists pushing a certain image, I’ve sort of been out of touch with celebrity fashion for a few years. I’m more captivated by street style and what people put together on their own. I could list of about 15 style bloggers and 30 Tumblr pages that inspire me almost daily but…that would be a lot. If I had to pick a group of individuals, I’d say my most consistent sources of inspiration stem from Solange Knowles, Esther Quek, and Karla Deras. All three are bold, fearless, and just seem very fun.
If you had to give all of your clothes away, what are five things that you would keep?
I’d keep my Opening Ceremony x Chloe Sevigny Mary Ellen booties, this taupe/nude snake-skin clutch I thrifted about 4 years ago, my Marc Jacobs watch, my grandfather’s denim work shirt, and diamond studs. These are among my favorite things to wear or my go-to items when I don’t have time to think about what to wear.
What does having style mean to you?
Style is self-expression. I can be quite bashful and reserved but, because of the way I dress, most people can usually read that I’m a vibrant and occasionally boisterous person. I know I have learned a lot about the people around me based on the decisions they make in regards to clothes they decide to wear. I can see when you’re sad, happy, feel self-important, are dutiful, want to be the center of attention, or if you prefer to be the wallflower. Even the most “anti-fashion” individuals unknowingly make daily statements of self based on their style choices.
To a certain extent, the decision to define and embrace your style is about whether or not you want to speak for yourself or allow others to the words for you.
What advice would you give to someone trying to find their own style?
Be sure to wear what you like; not really what others are telling you to like. Style is personal and should reflect you. When you love something and are comfortable in it, it transforms your whole essence and how you present yourself to others. The clothes, to a certain extent, can definitely make the man. Also, there is no such thing as “I can never pull that off.” You can wear anything you want. Attitude and self-confidence is 95% present of style; clothes are the minority. Your confidence is what makes us love the outfit! If you love something but have no idea how to wear it, consult a friend or Tumblr. Inspiration and guidance is everywhere, so always take advantage of that. And lastly, don’t be afraid to spend a little money for better quality items you know you’ll wear a lot. Your money will be well worth it when the items still look brand new and fit well 5 years and 500 washes later.
Ughhh!!! I just shouted reading this! Jane…you is smart, you is kind, you is important! And you KNOW style. THANK YOU.