I met Jessica Janes, winner of the airdrielife Last 20 Pounds Fitness Challenge, in person after she had already lost weight and made her amazing transformation. She was so comfortable in her shape, so natural; it was as though she’d always been that size, never having to worry about weight. However, after following her in the magazine and speaking with her one-on-one, I realized what she has overcome, how hard she has worked and how far she has come.
From the moment we met, I could tell Jessica was a get-up-and-go kind of gal. She has an effervescent personality with a smile to match. She is open-minded and willing to try new things. She told me about coming from a very active family and having a good past record of exercise and health.
But even people with the most positive outlooks sometimes find themselves in a negative spiral. It happens. Life happens and it’s not always what we expect so it becomes hard to find our way back to that positive person.
Jessica told me: “I just became this person that would put my son to bed … sit on the couch and eat junk food….” The fact that she has made this transformation is an inspiration to so many people. She battled through both depression and weight gain to come out the other side in a much better frame of mind and body.
And with this new body came a strong desire for a new wardrobe after hating clothes-shopping and especially the act of trying on clothes. “Buying clothing at places like Costco, without trying them on, became the norm.” When Jessica lost a whopping 26 pounds there was not much left in her closet that did fit so starting over became more of a need, not just a want.
I decided to explore a capsule wardrobe for Jessica. Capsule in adjective form means “brief” or “short.” Shopping at The Store Upstairs, I wanted to find a few great pieces that would be stunners all by themselves but also work in combination with one another. This would allow Jessica to have minimal pieces, with maximum outfit potential. As a result, many of the pieces are simple but interesting and still interchangeable or easy to enhance with shoes, accessories and jackets.
The lace dress is perfect for a more formal event this spring or summer. However, throw a little denim jacket or this green army-style jacket (cadet chic is in style) over top and you can stroll in the park or grab ice cream just as easily.
The capsule-wardrobe concept extends to the shoes, giving Jessica neutral footwear options for dress or play. Using gold and gray tones, with heels and flats as options, the shoes match all the outfits. Each pair can transfer from one outfit to the next, changing the overall look each time.
The bottoms I selected – a gray denim, an army-coloured moto-style pant and a deep indigo denim – are all good classics but provide enough variety to change looks. Each of the blouses I picked has a slightly different feel (e.g. from boho chic and soft off-white to pastel florals) yet can be interchanged with any of the pants.
Jessica’s new wardrobe takes her from playing LEGO on the floor with her son to school pick-up and out for date night.
With any good makeover, hair, teeth and cosmetics are also good to review and renew to polish a new look. A teeth-whitening treatment from Nose Creek Dental put the gleam back into Jessica’s already gorgeous smile.
Mane Image Hair Design used a French balayage (hair painting) technique to provide Jessica with some beautiful, bright highlights that don’t require a lot of upkeep, and a health trim to give her lots of natural movement. Her makeup, also by Mane Image, brought out her big, beautiful eyes with some great brush-stroke techniques, enhancing Jessica’s natural colouring. A bright-pink lipstick made her smile pop and, though our makeover winner said she doesn’t wear that colour, put her right on trend for spring and summer, with bright pink being one of this season’s hottest shades.
A complete re-do is something many wish for or want, but it doesn’t come without hard work. Getting there is definitely a challenge but the rewards of loving yourself and your life again, like Jessica, may be just the inspiration needed.
Seline Badel-Wong is a personal stylist at thefashion-fix.com.