Style Spotlight: Jessica Russell
Fashion pro Jessica Russell gives expert style advice for building the ultimate wardrobe
Story by HALLIE MCKAY Photos by CASEY HILDER
Feature | January 2014
At her core, Jessica Russell is a design and fashion enthusiast. “It’s all I really saw myself doing. Growing up, I loved clothes, helping people feel beautiful and just being around fashion,” she says. After earning a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Memphis, she landed the “opportunity of a lifetime” working with friend and business owner Gail Ellis of Janie Rose Boutique — a women’s wear shop located in Southaven, Mississippi.Five years later, she is happily running the store with Ellis, curating the recently expanded Janie Rose boutique and traveling to markets throughout the country to help customers find that perfect outfit. Inspired by the fashions she sees on TV and Pinterest, Russell also ranks the personal style of her friends, co-workers and Janie Rose customers as top sources for finding new looks. “As a buyer, it’s important to not fill the store with the same thing, it has to be versatile. At market, I try to pick out what I like and what I would wear, but sometimes you have to step out of that box and think of what someone might want that I necessarily wouldn’t wear.”Her advice for perfecting a look: “Confidence. If you are not confident and comfortable in what you are wearing, it will be written all over your face. When you're confident, everyone will believe what you’re wearing is amazing.” When it comes to her own personal style, Russell is something of a mix-master—a woman whose look changes depending on her mood and isn’t defined by one go-to fashion. She’s just as comfortable in a pair of jeans as she is wearing bold, colorful prints, heels and over-the-top accessories. “My style has definitely changed since becoming a mom, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy getting dressed up in something fun or finding unique pieces to wear. I always want to have on something that pops and is different. I’ll never give up my shredded Rocker-Tees, super flare jeans and heels, no matter how many kids I have!”What really makes Russell a stand out is her ability to put things together. Here, she gives five essentials for every woman’s wardrobe.
Five Style Essentials
Every Woman Should Own
1. A Bold Accessory A purse, scarf or piece of jewelry in a bold color or print can completely transform an outfit. It’s a cheap and easy way to transform any old, boring top or dress.
2.A Perfect Pair of Jeans Wide-leg jeans are my go-to piece any time of the year. There is something fabulous about feeling 6 feet tall (I'm only 5'4") in a pair of slimming, wide-leg jeans and a tall heel.
3. A Versatile Scarf It's just another way to turn a boring outfit into a wow outfit.
4. Boots They look great on everyone and with every outfit. We have tons of colors in the store. I wear mine out so much that I have to get a new pair every year.
5. The Classic Black Blazer Make sure the fit is perfect. They go with everything, especially when an event is dressy-casual. Jeans and a blazer always work.