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J Crew's Jenna Lyons on finding her signature look, dressing for the office and her Solange wedding outfit

Jenna Lyons.jpg

As one of the best-dressed women in fashion, it’s no wonder that everyone is clamouring to find out just how J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons found her signature style.

In a recent panel discussion, Jenna finally revealed how she honed that signature look of thick-rimmed glasses and bright lip:

“I ended up doing a photo shoot with a French magazine and I didn’t want to wear my glasses. They were like, 'No, no — we need you to wear your glasses because we want people to know who you are'.

She also went on to share details about her much-lauded outfit to Solange Knowles wedding late last year - a feather skirt and white shirt combo (pictured below):

“I was texting with Solange prior to the wedding and she said that people were going all-out. I asked her if I could wear feathers and she said yes, and she wanted us to all wear white. I had worn that skirt to the Met Ball once and had a strange experience where I walked up the stairs — there was a trail behind me of feathers.

Jenna Lyons at Solange Knowles wedding

Jenna Lyons at Solange Knowles wedding

“The wedding was all secretive, and they had said that it was going to be at 3, and at 1, Courtney [Crangi, Lyons's girlfriend] and I looked at our phones and they had moved the wedding up an hour. Everyone was texting and the skirt went on, the T-shirt went on, the T-shirt did not work. The T-shirt came off. Another shirt went on that didn’t work, and then the other shirt that went on and the coat went on, and then we went out the door. It was kind of a comedy act. So I’m shocked that that outfit got that much attention, because it did not feel like I pulled it together very well.”

Jenna Lyons and partner Courtney Crangi

Jenna Lyons and partner Courtney Crangi

The discussion then moved onto how women are scrutinised in the office for what they wear, much more so than men:

“As women have access to positions that they may not have had before, I think they’re much more analyzed. We saw a lot of that even with the most recent campaign for president last election. Just how women look is so connected to their performance, which I think is completely unfair.”

When it comes to getting ahead at the office, however, Jenna had some interesting advice:

“The way you get ahead is by doing something that you love and committing to yourself to do that, because then you’ll be happy, and you’ll work hard, and you’ll get noticed for that. If you’re trying to get somewhere because it’s important to you to get somewhere, those are often the people I don’t promote."

"People who are in my office asking for a raise, asking for a promotion, I’m not going to promote you first. I’m going to promote the person who is still there when I leave at 6:30, and is there when I come in the next morning, and instead of going home says, "Can I do anything else?" is so obsessed with what they’re doing, surprises me, helps other people. And I’m not saying it’s a bad question, just that I think our culture has created this scenario where it’s like "I have to climb," and I just feel like if you love what you do you’ll get there and it’ll happen.”

(Images: Rex Features and Getty)

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