Today’s cool blog we are featuring is Curating Style. Jess, of Curating Style, took the time to answer some of our questions, and we are thrilled that she is also going to be sharing some blogging tips with us in the future! Jess has an amazing fashion sense – it’s clean and crisp, just like her cool blog. We ooooh-ed and aaaah-ed over every single post! It’s an absolutely gorgeous blog – both for what you see on the page and what is lacking: there is no visual clutter. What Jess has in personal style, she also has in visual style and the effect is dramatic and stunning. And we wanted to know what was behind the blog and and how she developed such a cool blog style. So, of course, we asked – and you should check it out!
Always has: a book and her iPhone
Proudest of: her alma mater
Is thankful for: friends, family, travel, and comfort food
Wants to: go skydiving
Is afraid of: swimming
Believes everyone should: invest in quality
Is embarrassed by: her messy desk
My style is: preppy, classic, and clean
Pet peeve: people who stand in the middle of the moving walkway at the airport
As a teen did you enjoy writing? I loved writing academically—I definitely the nerdy type, and I still am—but I couldn’t ever journal consistently. I did have LiveJournal and a Xanga back when those were big communities, and I found that writing and being able to interact with people was what I was looking for.
Did you have an interest in fashion or design? I had a quirky kind of style as a teen. I attended high school in the early 2000s, and I had an obsession with the 80s and brightly colored footwear. I think over time my style developed, and it’s certainly still evolving today.
When did you start reading blogs, and what made you decide to start writing one? I started reading blogs back when I was in high school—before they were blogs, really. I had tinkered with starting blogs and giving up on them over the years, mostly because they were shortsighted in scope or because I lost interest. When I moved to Ohio for graduate school, I was stunned by the lack of preppy style and culture. It prompted me to start a blog about personal style with a focus on classic, preppy looks.
Where do you find inspiration to help you decide what to write about? I find inspiration in menswear, old books and magazines, everyday life, and spending time offline with friends.
What are your top three favorite blogs that you follow? My favorites are always on rotation, but there are a few that have remained in my Google Reader despite the time. Jess Lively’s blog offers simplicity and intentional living advice for real women. Alicia Lund, the blogger behind Cheetah Is the New Black, showcases amazing style that is so different from my own, yet still gorgeous. She also seems really nice! And finally, The Preppy Princess has been blogging for years about topics that I find incredibly interesting and engaging, and she was a huge inspiration for me when I started blogging.
Tell us about living in Cairo and how it influenced you: Living and studying in Cairo was a significant period for me, and it changed me in unexpected ways. Coming back to the U.S. after living in Egypt, I changed my career plans and more strongly identified myself as American. But I also came back with a newfound appreciation for Muslim art and architecture, a much-improved command of Arabic, and a love for wandering nooks and crannies of urban life.
When did you develop your personal style, and was there a defining moment that you think determined it? I think my personal style is still evolving, but I feel like the process really began as a high school student. I still wear the same perfume—Burberry Brit—and I still have a fondness for brightly colored footwear. I also attended and graduated from a small research university in the Northeast, and I think that contributed to my passion for all things preppy. So I really see personal style as a process more than an unchanging constant. The pursuit of quality has definitely impacted my style, especially in what I wear and how I wear it.
Favorite book &/or movie and why? This is such a hard question! I always return to the Harry Potter series and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I grew up with Harry and I love the magical world that J.K. Rowling built. In East of Eden I love the complexity in each of the characters, biblical allegory, and themes of self-determination and choice. My favorite movie—which I have seen an embarrassing number of times—is Love Actually.
Biggest fashion faux pas or favorite fashion item you own or covet: My biggest fashion faux pas is, without a doubt, wearing boat shoes with socks. Until it gets really cold, you’ll find me proudly donning some crazy argyle and patterned socks with my Sperrys.
Teacher you remember from high school and why: Without a doubt, the most influential teacher I ever had in high school was Mr. Weller. Though he no longer teaches—he’s in K-12 administration now—I still remember lessons, projects, and papers from his World History classes. We were challenged to read complex books like Guns, Germs, and Steel before 10th grade started, we wrote analytical papers on religion and politics (which ended up being my two majors in college), and we were encouraged to look at things from more than one perspective. I also felt like I could go to Mr. Weller with my nerdy questions and he’d point me in a direction to find the answers. I still keep in touch with him today, and having a mentor-teacher really helped guide me through my high school and college years.
Thanks Jess, and we can’t wait to hear more from you. In the meantime, we’ll keep reading your splendid blog, Curating Style!