After ten years of style blogging, I’ve seen the genre evolve from terrible mirror shots of 100% thrifted outfits to glossy photoshoots in designer duds. My favorite blogs are somewhere in the middle: high quality images of women in creative outfits that mix second-hand and new items. Few of those bloggers are still around. When I find one, I’m a total fan.
I’m always excited when a new post from the The Suburb Experiment turns up in my Feedly queue. The blogger, Jennifer Heater, describes her style as “boho tomboy.” She lives in Alaska and manages to make practical outfits look incredibly stylish. Even more amazing: she never looks cold. But she’s super cool. Here’s what Jennifer had to say about her style:
Tell us about your style journey
I felt guilty for a long time for liking fashion and style. It seemed like the only way that I could be “safe” from criticism is if I looked like everyone else. That is a recipe for misery since it’s hard to constantly be chasing some style ideal that doesn’t come naturally. You think you’ve got it nailed down only to show up and you still somehow got it wrong. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve really figured it out and felt comfortable with what I like.
How does your outlook on life influence your style?
In every way! My sense of humor impacts what I wear, especially if my husband finds something awful or repulsive. Why is that so funny to me?! I’m also very active so my clothing has to be comfortable and ready to move when I am. Oh, and novelty is what stimulates my creativity so my closet has somewhat of a revolving door. Mindless consumption freaks me out so I try to shop at thrift stores with my monthly entertainment budget to scratch that novelty itch. I will buy retail if I’m reasonably sure it’s something that I will wear at least 10 times. I also mentally thank the people that donated the clothing or made the garment. Sounds a little corny writing it out but I truly believe the energy you put into the world can change it.
What is the shopping scene like in Alaska?
Better than expected? Although there’s no dedicated vintage stores which is surprising! We have most of the major “mall” stores : Nordstrom, H&M, Gap, etc. We also have local brands like Alaska Starfish Co. and Salmon Sisters. A few boutiques carry higher end or harder-to-find brands: Her Tern, The Park Boutique, and Blush. Second Run sells designer on consignment which is fun. There’s a few thrift stores sprinkled around Anchorage but the shopping is a lot different than it was in the Lower 48. More expensive and harder to find those treasures.
What are your top three thrift/vintage finds?
So hard to pick just 3! Good vintage pieces are some of the few things I hold onto FOREVER. No kidding, I still have a 70’s Antarctica sweatshirt that I got when I was in junior high. So. Tecnica fur boots:
This 12-feet-of-fabric made into an odd shirt dress lab coat whatever:
And my entire vintage coat collection. Alright fine, I’ll pick this hooded cape which is the newest addition to the collection:
What style advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
I’d first hug that insecure 12-year-old and tell her that there’s no wrong answers when it comes to personal style. I’d also tell her that life AND style get a lot more fun and to hang in there and that confidence is the key to pulling anything off.
Do you see why I like The Suburb Experiment so much? Jennifer is beautiful inside and out. I want to move to Alaska just to hang out (and borrow her clothes). I’m thankful that we can be virtual friends and share inspiration through the magic of the internets. I hope you follow The Suburb Experiment, too:
Is there a blogger you’d like to nominate for next month’s Style Spotlight? Please leave a link in the comments.