TV style expert, fashion spokesperson, and personal stylist who appears on everything from the Today Show to Entertainment Tonight to The View
Recessionista: You’re the go-to gal for style for so many people in the fashion and media industry — and beyond! Beside the obvious (your stellar sense of style, duh) how did you establish yourself as an expert?
Jacqui: I’ve been lucky enough to gain my experience from working in the fashion and TV industry all over the world, including London, Paris, Hong Kong and the Canary Islands! I’ve been based in NYC for the past 12 years, and have written for all the major fashion mags such as Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Lucky — so that certainly helps to get the word out to my target audience. On TV most mornings, I’ve worked on hundreds of “real” women makeovers, so I know exactly what it is that makes someone look great. Most recently, I was the Executive Style Director of Shape, until I left last May to launch my own business as a style expert and on-air brand ambassador.
R: So what you’re saying is: you’re not busy at all! But we have to ask: do all of these makeovers come at a price, or can us frugal gals get it on the fun, too?
J: Yes! Most importantly, you don’t have be rich or skinny to look great. It’s all about figuring out how to dress to flatter your own body shape, and learning to ignore fashion trends unless they work for you. I’m a big believer that every woman, whether she’s a size 0 or a size 20, can look amazing if she wears only the pieces that flatter her. And that’s sometimes not what her skinny sister is wearing.
J: I wanted to write a non-fashion’s person fashion book. There are so many fashion titles available, but I found it hard to find a non-intimidating, unpretentious one to recommend to all my private styling clients who weren’t trendy “fashion” people. So I decided to write one that gave all the insider information, but didn’t take itself so seriously.
R: Brilliant! Can you dish on some of your fav insider style secrets?
J: Mix designer brands with inexpensive pieces. For example, invest in a few figure-flattering basics, like a beautifully-cut blazer that can be worn with jeans as well as work pants; or a well-fitting pair of office-appropriate pants that you can wear with heels and a sexy cami at night for double duty. Buy the best classics you can afford, and save on less expensive items where you really can’t tell the price, like camis, tanks and tees. And know that you don’t need to send a fortune on anything that’s slouchy and black; add a statement necklace or cuff and it can easily look like a designer item even if you scored it at Target.
R: Where do you shop to get the best deals?
The truth is that I hate to shop for myself…which makes me really good at it! So I’m a fan of designer discount sites like outnet.com for clothes, and amazon.com for shoes (and here’s a tip: always buy two sizes and return the ones that don’t fit!).
For more tips and tricks from Jacqui, check out her debut style book, “The Wow! Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget,” available now on Amazon.