I recently talked with Nashville based stylist, Jenna Miller. She is the owner of Refashion, a popular website about style, fashion and being your best from the inside out! I interviewed Jenna about fashion, confidence, the battle to discover your inner beauty, and her top 3 tips to an inspiring and fresh closet. She also provided her Refashion Closet Audit Guide to assist you in checking out your own closet!
S: How did you get started in the fashion industry?
J: I have been around the fashion industry in some shape or form since I was a little girl. My mom was a model, so I grew up on photo shoot sets and around fashion shows. This gave me a natural appreciation for personal style, textures, and colors. While most kids threw temper tantrums over sharing, I threw temper tantrums over not having the right shoes to go with a certain outfit.
I attended design school and later went on to manage high-end boutiques, dabble in jewelry and apparel making, and created a personal shopper client list. Clients and friends asked me to start going through their closets to help them “find their style” and I realized I loved helping them do so. This side effort is where Refashion, my wardrobe styling company, started.
S: Where do you find your inspiration?
J: Well, I initially just worked on the outer beauty of a client by redoing their wardrobes or by helping them find outfits for events or photo shoots. After about 5 or so years of doing this, I noticed clients falling into the same rut of not knowing what to wear. I’m a big believer in overall wholeness and it dawned on me – the outside can’t change if the inside remains the same. There has to be an overall assessment of the inside and outside. Now this sounds deep, but really it’s so fun! It’s girl talk 101, but I use tools that I’ve acquired through workshops, training, etc throughout the years, to do an evaluation on the inside and the outside.
S: What is your passion / philosophy in regards to style? I know your website is called “refashion”, what do you mean by that?
J: Great question! Style is different for everyone. It is not: fashion, trends, or fads and it certainly doesn’t revolve around how much money one can put down towards the latest apparel. It’s knowing who you are, to your inner most core, and displaying it on the outside. Once you know your true style, words aren’t even needed to explain who you are. It shows!
Refashion is another word for transformation. My motto is “Refashioning from the inside out.” I love style and outer beauty (trust me, if you saw my closet and products cabinet, you would be impressed), but a true transformation starts in the head and heart.
S: From meeting with your clients, what do you think is the most common thing that is weighing woman down regarding style and fashion?
J: I’ve seen the persistent issue of clients “losing” a part of their identity through life’s transitions and that resulting in the inability to match their style with who they’ve become. It could be a mom missing her former body shape and just feeling lucky enough to have gotten a shirt on for the day, or it could be a mom entering back into the workplace not knowing how all the responsibilities can work together, or an empty nester finding their identity now that it’s just them. There are so many instances, and I think life is one big transition and it’s just a matter of reassessing identity and being ok with where we are in life.
I recently did a summer blog series on how to perform the most basic closet audit. It explained how to know what to toss and what to keep until a professional can come in and help replenish it. Following that series, I used the same tools, but explained it with an inner beauty audit perspective. The posts helped readers reflect, refocus and respond to help them live a healthier life and also be excited about their identity.
S: Do you feel like an individuals style is a reflection of who they are on the inside? Is there sometimes a disconnect there?
J: Oh absolutely! I think it is a direct reflection. There are four main scenarios:
1) The inside is doing great and IS reflecting on the outside by a polished, personal look.
2) The inside is doing great but ISN’T reflecting on the outside properly. (time for a closet audit)
3) The inside isn’t at its best and IS reflecting all too well. (help is on the way)
4) The inside isn’t at its best and ISN’T reflecting anything. (what we sometimes call survival mode)
What I try to do is come in and be the bridge between the inner beauty and outer beauty. Sometimes someone needs to work through something on the inside first, in order to change the outside. And sometimes it’s the other way around and they really just need help with a style issue. The most beautiful thing to me is to see the two match up and the resulting confidence.
S: What do you tell / show your clients when their confidence is lacking?
J: I first tell them that confidence makes you automatically lose 10 pounds. :) There are physical things to do: smile, develop good posture, and buy good shoes to make you stand taller and upright.
Then I also like to get to the root of where the confidence went out the window. The lack may come from a lie they believe about themselves, shame, or a number of other factors. One factor that I continually address is comparison. It’s a joy stealer. I don’t know a person who hasn’t struggled with it. If clients are having a hard time with comparison, I encourage them to take a break from social media or any other source that may be contributing to their lack of worth.
No one, I mean no one, is perfect. There’s no such thing as perfection and because of this, I have a saying that I speak over myself daily (spoken words are so important!) – “I AM ENOUGH FOR TODAY.”
I started saying this because I noticed myself getting discouraged as I looked around and saw other people doing things I wanted to do or looking a way that I wanted to look. Then it hit me – yes it’s great to have goals and work towards them, but one can only do so much in a 24 hour period to achieve them. For example, I want to tone my body up, it doesn’t happen in a day. I want a new wardrobe, it doesn’t happen in a day. The only thing I can do in the next 24 hours is work a little bit toward my goal, and be content that I did enough for the day. I am enough. I encourage woman to believe this and say it about themselves if they are lacking in confidence.
S: Can you share 3 simple tips or tricks to a stress free, fresh and inspiring closet?
J: Oh, just three?? Ok…
1) Nothing should be in your closet that isn’t being worn. If something is sentimental, store it. If you go through the questions on my Refashion Closet Audit Guide and the article of clothing should be tossed, toss it.
2) If you don’t feel great in something, toss it. If it doesn’t scream who you are, toss it. Be true to who you are and only keep pieces in your closet that represent the best you.
3) Fulfill the basics of your closet first. Most people stand in front of a closet, cluelessly staring, not sure what to wear because they are lacking basics. Once you get these covered, it’s fun to replenish and dabble into trends and this is where your personality radiates.
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