you could call me a full-fledged fan and frequent customer of J.Crew (and can check out my past J.Crew musings here). in fact some of my most cherished pieces likely came from Jenna Lyons' creative mind. so when she announced her departure from J.Crew last month, many wondered what the future of J.Crew would look like or what kind of plans Lyons had up her impeccably rolled chambray sleeves. personally i'm wishing for a Jenna Lyons clothing line, but that's just me. one thing that's certain though: this gal has left a legacy filled with great patterns.
since her legacy at J.Crew was kind of a big deal, i've pulled together 11 of the most memorable print moments from the Jenna Lyons Era -- according to MP of course.
01 / SEQUINS FOR DAY
some say sequins are not a pattern, but i disagree. at J.Crew, Jenna introduced the idea of sequins for daytime. to avoid looking like a disco ball, she often styled sequins with contrasting casual pieces like cargo pants and slouchy tees to achieve a wearable look.
02 / MATCHY-MATCHY PRINTS
matching prints is arguably one of the easiest ways to mix patterns. it's practically foolproof. obviously Jenna took the art of matching prints to the next level for J.Crew -- so much so that matching sets became a styling secret sauce of sorts. my favorites include polka dots, head-to-toe leopard, and the Jenna-famous stripes with stripes with stripes.
03 / HEAD-TO-TOE PATTERNS
remember when clashing prints made you look like a fashion victim from What Not to Wear? with the Lyons touch, crazy combinations (like this) transform into something fresh, exciting, and most importantly, very cool. i'd be so bold to say that Jenna changed the pattern mixing game for a modern gal's everyday wardrobe. she made mixing prints approachable by crafting collections with pieces you could easily play around with and make your own.
04 / LADY-LIKE POLKA DOTS
i distinctly remember purchasing my first polka dot item of clothing ever, and it was from J.Crew.
i bought a top very similar to the dress pictured here about 6 or 7 years ago. since adding this ladylike piece to start my collection, polka dots have carved a place in my wardrobe -- as easy to wear as black and white.
05 / STRIPED PANTS
these pants may be J.Crew's greatest statement piece. striped pants could be intimidating, but Jenna managed to take that fear away. she treated striped pants with the ease of a striped tee.
06 / SHINY PONIES (AKA: THE SHOES!)
what would Jenna's legacy be without mentioning the shoes! from ballet flats, to block pumps, her collection of shoes came in an exciting array of yummy prints: gingham and plaid, florals, stripes and lots of leopard. thanks to her, J.Crew offered some of the best shoes in the biz. each season i need to add another patterned pretty to my wardrobe -- it's an easy way to spice up a simple look.
07 / LIBERTY OF LONDON FLORALS
these tiny Liberty of London florals have made multiple appearances while Jenna was Creative Director at J.Crew. from quilted jackets, to utilitarian button downs and the perfect pump, even swimsuits and hats, there is usually something available in this English classic print.
08 / STRIPES + LEOPARD: THE PATTERN POWER COUPLE
Jenna definetly made a strong argument for why stripes and leopard should be in every gal's wardrobe -- look how chic this mom of two is! and together, leo and stripes make one of the most classic pattern-pairings in women's fashion. it also happens to be one of Jenna's most signature combinations. and for that, i thank her.
09 / CAMO CAN BE A PATTERN NEUTRAL
strange but true: camo is wildy versatile and pretty much goes with everything. i was super excited when J.Crew reintroduced this "pattern neutral" into the spotlight during their nyfw show earlier this year. but what i love most about camo is how it can take something extra-girly, like lace, tulle or pretty bows, and make you look laid-back yet chic.
10 / COOL-GIRL PLAID
like stripes, plaid is a clear staple for J.Crew. it's safe to say that there is plaid on their shelves at all times. Jenna loved pairing this practical print with something glamorous and unexpected: a polished pencil skirt, bright lipstick, a sparkling statement necklace, or piles of patterns.
11 / COZY FAIR ISLE SWEATERS
when i think of the ultimate cozy pattern, my mind often goes to this particular Fair Isle print. Jenna made Fair Isle a perfect choice for wearing around the holidays. i love it's simplicity, and i especially like the look of layering these sweaters with a button-down, scarf or even a blazer.
and this is just the tip of the iceberg. did i miss anything? trust me, it was a challenge to narrow down 26 years of patterns to one short list, and it made me realize that i really will miss Jenna's creativity and playful eye the most. let me know your favorite print moment in the comments!
images via J.Crew