Fresh Style: 2012 Recap

I worked hard to infuse more personal style posts into Fresh Jess this year. While I'll never consider myself a pro photographer, stylist or model, their tricks & tools of the trade are now part of mine too. My understanding of: cameras, proper lighting, signature posing, "my good side," and especially my style has expanded greatly this year.
When I met Stacy London on her Westfield Style Tour this summer, one thing she said really stuck out to me:
"I think that fashion and style can sometimes be written off as superficial, and that's one of the most dangerous things we can do. Style is an emotional investment and we can learn a lot about ourselves from it."

While some think fashion isn't a thing in Seattle, it is always nice to see people who put care, time and thought into how they present themselves for specific events and everyday situations. I believe that style can be a determining factor in the way that you feel and think. I've always told myself I am not a bonafide fashion blogger, but I know you wonderful readers come here for my perspective on style and fashion. Maybe it's time to stop rejecting that part of me! 
Maybe it's because I know I don't dress like a conventional PNW girl. My style inspirations come from my culture, and I am interested in all kinds of people, places, things and experiences.  I am also severely realistic about my shopping. I shop a lot, but I am always looking for the best bang for my buck - my ROI, or WPC (wear per cost) if you will. Designer names and trends are great to be aware of, but don't phase my overall style very much. Quality, character and comfort over all other factors. More than anything, I don't like to look like everyone else.
These are ten of my favorite style posts from the past year from a perspective of seeing the evolution of both my personal style throughout the season, as well as my focused efforts to be a better style blogger. I have a long way to go, but I'm having a blast on the journey. That's what it's all about, right?
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
Brought my love of vintage and details to New York Fashion Week and the IFB conference in February.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
Retro cool in Honduras in a 1950s Polynesian swimsuit.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
My love of hip-hop inspired this casual outfit for traipsing around Capitol Hill.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
I love wearing different prints in a low-key way. West coast fresh at the Viceroy Santa Monica for Lucky FABB West.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
Tending shop while my best friend was at Disneyland with her family. Got that post-Lucky FABB California glow. Or maybe it's my excitement from going freelance :)
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
This leather skirt was my favorite summer staple. Read this post for a funny take on my thought process behind getting dressed for my man's MMA fights.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
One of my favorite style posts ever! An outfit I feel truly represents my everyday style paired with an fabulous hair day. I had to capture this. Ladies, you feel me?
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
My first big brand partnership! I've been a Roxy & Quiksilver fan all my life, so I was ecstatic to be a part of the Quiksilver Women Traveling Sweater campaign this fall.

Seattle fashion_Seattle style
Been paying a lot of attention to how I mix textures this year. They can tell an interesting story if done right. Vintage brocade + waxed sweater for C&C California.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
The Macy's Holiday Style campaign was a lot of fun. Thank you once again for voting for this look! Giving love to Rachel Roy with a mix of Aztec print, leather and some rock & roll.
Seattle fashion_Seattle style
This incredible vintage find from the Goodwill Glitter Sale is luxurious and warm! Perfect for a night out catching up with my favorite girls.

Seattle fashion_Seattle style
The response to my Pacific Northwest Cool outfit has been awesome so far! My take on styling a North Face jacket with lots of layers & local favorites.
Looking forward to giving you more Fresh Style in 2013!


The Freshest Posts of 2012

I looked at my Freshest Posts of 2011 for inspiration on today's post and took a wonderful trip down memory lane of cherished times I had with friends, family and blogging. This year's Freshest Posts were all about you. These are the ten most popular (in some cases, kinds of) posts that have kept readers coming back again and again. It's a very interesting grab bag of style, Seattle, events, trips & advice. All in all, these posts are a representation of what I hope to share with you. These are somewhat in order of popularity, with some insight into what motivated me to write that post, or posts like it.

If there's anything you'd like me to write more about in 2013, please leave me a comment or email me at jess(at)freshjess.com. I'd love to hear from you!

1) Katniss in the Woods
Y'all love you some Katniss! This is now the most-trafficked post of all-time. I originally wrote it as a fun way to mix fashion with my obsession with Hunger Games at the time. Around Halloween, this post took off as people began searching for the perfect costume. I'm eagerly anticipating the production & release of Catching Fire, the second movie in the franchise. You can expect more HG-related posts when that time comes!

2) Seattle Welcomes Alive & Well
One of the pillars of Fresh Jess is celebrating the beautiful city of Seattle and supporting its local businesses. When premium streetwear boutique Alive & Well opened on Capitol Hill, owner Marcus Lalario invited me in for a sneak peek of the almost-finished store. Before A&W launched its online shop, people came here to read up a bit on the store. Readers were also big fans of the launch of City Target in downtown Seattle, Glass Distillery, and Evolution Fresh.

3) Fresh Style: Macy's Holiday & Old Navy Rockstar
I can't thank you enough for all of your support in a couple of fun partnerships this year! I feel like I've just started to dip my toes in the waters of outfit posts, and I'm grateful you enjoy them too. I'll absolutely be doing more of this in 2013.

4) Nordstrom Love: Cosmetics Trend Show & Designer Preview
Seattle is incredibly fortunate to be home to so many major retailers and brands; Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco and R.E.I. just to name a few. Nordstrom in particular has moved the needle forward in forging fashion, tech and social media together. They're unrivaled in customer service, and have wasted no time in embracing the digital era as a way to connect with, help and build relationships with their customers. They were kind enough to invite me to various events throughout the year. The spring Trend Show and Designer Preview were just two of your favorites!

5) Fresh Jess the Freelancer
When I reference "major life changes this year," this post is all about what I really mean. Owning a business is a truly courageous, risky thing. With the right resources, networks and calculated steps, it can also be one of the most exhilarating moves you ever make. In this post, I didn't know where I was going, but I undoubtedly knew this was the path I wanted to take.

6) Thrift Shopping Tips
This year I served as one of Value Village's Fashion Ambassadors. This lit the fire under my growing love for thrift shopping. I eagerly ventured to every Value Village in the Puget Sound region to explore and hunt for new (to me) closet treasures. In this post, I offer up some of the tips that keep me sane and focused while thrift shopping. I hope these may be helpful to you, and maybe even inspire you to head to your local thrift store for the first time!

7) Lucky FABB West
I had the pleasure of attending Lucky Magazine's Fashion & Beauty Blogger (FABB)'s first West Coast conference in April. If you've ever gone to a conference, most likely it's been for work and it's not full of fashion, big-name speakers and located right on the beach in Santa Monica. Lucky FABB West was the first conference where I honestly absorbed every second, every talking point, every connection, and every beautiful outfit I could. Lucky FABB happened right after my birthday and my going freelance, so it was the perfect time for me to go with no strings attached. I 100% focused on being present in the moment, for my blog and for my newfound freelance life.

8) So You Want to Start Blogging?
This is the kind of post I want to do a LOT more of in 2013 and beyond. I sometimes will read this blog again and think "Holy cow, I forgot I should be doing that." The tips are great reminders for anyone who's blogged before, and I wrote it as advice for anyone who's interested in starting a blog of their own.

9) Lovely in Lush Clothing
This was the first of my now-regular Lookbook Love series, highlighting lookbooks and current collections of designers, retailers and artists who appeal to my senses. Lush Clothing is a favorite of mine, as is L.A. blogger Sincerely Jules, one of the models in this particular lookbook.

10) Fresh Faves: Gabe de Dios, Stylist
Another feature I love writing shines the spotlight creative types who are doing awe-inspiring things in their lives. Gabe de Dios is a Seattle native now based in L.A., where he went to chase his dreams of being a dancer and ended up become a stylist for Nicki Minaj, Perez Hilton, Revolve Clothing, eponymous blogger Rumi Neely of FashionToast and more. Check out his impressive portfolio in this post!

There you have it! I say this a lot, but I am forever thankful for your readership. It's been a blast blogging for (almost) five years (!!!) and I feel like I'm just getting started.


The Freshest Sounds of 2012

As I start thinking about my end-of-year posts, my mind and heart always start with the soundtrack. Every once in a while, I'll hear a song for the first time and just fixate. I can't get enough of it. It stays on repeat in my car for days, then weeks, and sometimes months. Often times, these songs I'm so enamored with become tied to what's happening in my life at the moment. This has definitely been an interesting year full of ups, downs and major life changes. When I pulled together the songs and mixes for this post, it was like opening up a jar full of emotions for each one, transporting me back throughout the year. Feelings of hope. Uncertainty. Happiness. Fear. Love. Anticipation. Persistence in the face of despair. Please allow me to take you back on this ride with me, with some of my favorite mix masters, singers and songwriters guest starring...

Frank Ocean's 'Channel Orange' album
Faithful FJ readers know that Frank Ocean is my #1. There is truly something in his voice that envelopes me and takes me away. Channel Orange came out right after I decided to branch out on my own professionally. Watching him release his album (and his "coming out") somehow made my little move to freelance life not as scary. This album reminds me how scared I was until after I took the leap - when I then said, "Why didn't I do this earlier?"

Miguel's 'Kaleidoscope Dream' album
Aside from Channel Orange, this is the only album I bought on CD this year (for the car.) With the prevalence of dance (EDM) and trap music in the mainstream right now, Miguel is like a breath of fresh R&B air. One of my guy friends told me that his voice reminds him of Marvin Gaye. KD accompanied me on my first blog trip sponsored by a major brand, and now on my daily rides to the office of my first retainer client. It represents love and happiness in so many ways.

TigerBeat's 'All Rap Everything vol. 2' mix
If there's one person I know who's had a more interesting year than me, it's definitely my friend TigerBeat. He's always stood up for his work (in Seattle I've heard it called "progressive," which means he is usually playing shit other Seattle DJs don't know how to months before they figure it out), his opinions (sometimes rash, often unpopular) and what he believes in (no matter what.) I admire him for that. In a city where people are painfully, passively nice to each other so they can "be cool with everybody," he's a breath of fresh air reminiscent of my friends on the East Coast. They are so lucky to be inheriting him next year.

Thanks TB for always keeping it trill, and for introducing me to this gem at the forever infamous TigerBeat Mondays.

Mic the Drums' 'Sway in the Morning' mix
After hearing Call Me Cray, I was hooked. I think I've got all of Mic the Drums' mixes memorized at this point.

FourColorZack's 'Red Bull 3Style World Championship' mix
Remember that time a Seattle DJ breezed through everyone to win the Red Bull 3Style U.S. competition, then went on to win the world championship? OH YEAH, that happened this year! We are so fortunate to have such awe-inspiring talent in the Emerald City.

Diplo's 'Set It Off'
No Doubt's 'Push & Shove'
Usher's 'Climax'
Nicki Minaj's 'Beez in da Trap'
It's clear that Major Lazer dominate(d) my time working in coffee shops this year. They produced 3/4 of these songs, and I'm pretty sure that if they ever work with Nicki Minaj, my head will explode with delight. I can never resist a song that is part dance party, part empowering, and part liberating. Diplo always seems to strike the perfect balance among alladat. Also, it's funny watching a music video featuring strippers in the middle of a Starbucks. It's distracting wondering how Usher and Gwen Stefani has managed to look the same all these years. Or where Nicki Minaj finds clothes that fit her like a glove.

Trinidad James' 'Givin' No Fucks'
This guy came out of nowhere in the last month or so, and his Don't Be S.A.F.E. mixtape promptly cemented its place on repeat in my life. Trinidad James is getting a lot of criticism for being a "gimmick," but whatever. The more success you find, the more they'll have something to say about you. Going freelance has given me a completely new perspective on how I spend my time, what I do and who I spend it with. There's nothing like owning your career to get you to focus on exactly what's important in your life. This song speaks to that part of me.

"The best part about bein' me, is I ain't nothin' like you."

If you want to hear more of my favorites (including an extensive playlist of all classical music), find me on Spotify! JessEstrada206


Fresh Style: Northwest Cool

This might've been the hardest style post for me to do thus far. What do you style with a North Face jacket? For a lot of Pacific Northwesterners, owning a North Face or three is a necessity under these rainy skies. I, on the other hand, have never owned one of these in my life. It has more to do with working at Nike and having access to performance gear than anything. Nevertheless, I'm now the owner of not one, but two North Face pieces; the Resolve waterproof hooded jacket and E-Tip smartphone gloves

I chose a light jacket with a hood (a must 'round these parts) in a size up so that I could layer over it for the fall & winter and still be able to wear it in spring and summer. Heading into the depths of winter, I knew I'd need a pair of gloves to keep my digits warm. I've always been skeptical of smartphone gloves, but these E-tips work remarkably well. It's been particularly cold these last few days, so I've layered with tons of different textures, patterns and local designer fare.

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

The North Face jacket in Resolve / North Face E-Tip smartphone gloves / Charlotte Ronson army jacket / Ann Taylor sweater / Vintage Pendleton scarf (modern one here) / Alive & Well waffle knit beanie / Actual Pain 'Sigil' leggings / Zara boots

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

Seattle fashion_Seattle style

This is a sponsored post with product provided by GigaSavvy.com. All opinions expressed in this post, as with all posts on Fresh Jess, are mine.


Season's Greetings from Fresh Jess!

Happy holidays to you and yours! May your days be filled with love, light and happiness from the faces of loved ones; delicious food and drink; and the sights of winter.


Get Right with For the Glow's Resolution Challenge

Wanna get a head start on looking and feeling your best in 2013? For the Glow is hosting the Resolution Challenge for the new year, and you're invited!

One of my biggest struggles this year has been working out and eating healthy on the regular. With lifestyle changes (settling back into my relationship, going freelance, adopting a dog) came a constant battle with being productive - one that I lost often.

For the Glow_Resolution Challenge

I've been stalking Seattle-based Jenn Jordan's For the Glow site for over a year now. (Her actual site is down for a complete makeover during the holidays. She'll be back in January, but in the meantime, her blog Everyday Glow is also a fantastic resource.)

For the Glow_Resolution Challenge
She's got delicious, mostly gluten-free healthy recipes that take the overwhelming sense of fear and lack of knowledge away from eating better. Little changes lead to big changes! She's also got a bank of workouts which, when paired with a habit of eating better, can lead to incredible changes in your energy, metabolism and maybe even noticeable transformations in your body in a short amount of time.

For the Glow_Resolution Challenge

I've got a few girls to sign up already and join me in the Resolution Challenge (I've got a lifetime membership to For the Glow and will be participating in RC.) Now, I've got my own affiliate link as well. The Resolution Challenge is just $49 for a little over a month's worth of workouts, menu plans, healthy detoxing and accountability to get you started right for the new year. $79 if you've got a BFF who wants to join too.

Hit this link to find out more and sign up!


Thank You! #MyHolidayStyle

I just wanted to say THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Your tweets and comments helped Fresh Jess win the Macy's #MyHolidayStyle competition. I am truly grateful for your readership. 

There is a $100 Macy's gift card to give away. As a thank you to everyone who voted, I'm throwing all of those who voted for Alix, Mollie and Carolyn via blog comment into the pot. For Fresh Jess readers, you get an extra entry for each blog comment and tweet you submitted during this competition. 

Congrats to Tara Theoharis for winning this much-coveted gift card! Email or DM me your address!

Thanks again. This has been my favorite style post to date, and your response has inspired me to keep doing these outfit posts, no matter how awkward I feel in them :)


Fresh Style: Holiday Party Style with Macy's

The holiday season is upon us, and while the weather outside is sometimes frightful, I'm enjoying the many opportunities to bundle up and keep cozy. Macy's invited five bloggers to share their holiday party style with a $100 gift card and free reign to choose what we thought would accomplish our goal. At first, my thoughts went straight to sparkly party dresses and tights, but the reality of this Seattle city girl is one of casual comfort. My holiday season is about spending time with friends watching movies in our homes and buffet-style setups at a relative's home for huge Filipino family gatherings. 

After trying on a few dresses & jumpsuits, I settled on what I'd been eyeing when I first set foot on the women's floor at Macy's: this Rachel by Rachel Roy sweater coat. I actually went straight to the Rachel Roy section because, after meeting her this fall, she made a real fan of me and was the reason I agreed to do this campaign. 

It was love at first sight for this sweater coat, from the ornate Aztec-inspired design to the beautiful clay & burnt orange tones to the draping of the sleeves & neckline. It makes a statement in and of itself. I paired it with vegan leather leggings, a worn tee & layered silver necklaces for that holiday rockstar style.

Want to win $100 Macy's gift card of your own? Vote for my holiday style! Find out how below.

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat
Rachel by Rachel Roy sweater coat (courtesy Macy's via Curator) / vegan leather leggings / vintage boots (similar here) / various silver necklaces / AllSaints tee

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Rachel by Rachel Roy Aztec Sweater Coat

Want to win $100 Macy's gift card of your own? Vote for my holiday style and one could be yours! Here's how (one vote per action:)

1) Leave a comment below

2) Tweet at Macy's & I: 

You can vote as much as you like until Monday, December 10th. I would love and appreciate your vote! Thank you for reading Fresh Jess, and happy holiday style shopping!

Check out AlixRose, Carolyn of Hey Pretty Thing & MollieinSeattle's holiday style too!

Thank you Macy's for the opportunity!

Fresh Style: Five Reasons for a Fancy Coat

Because you scored an amazing deal on this coat at Goodwill's Glitter Sale.

Because a local reclaimed/vintage furniture studio is the perfect backdrop. Hi Marian Built!

Because sometimes you're asked to dress up for a 60's-themed party, and you oblige for once.

Because one of your best friends is in town and life becomes infinitely more colorful.

Because it's the icing on the (cup)cake of a wonderful girl's night out.

Vintage long dress coat w/faux-fur trim / vintage gold brocade dress (beautiful similar modern one here) & over-the-knee boots (similar) from Nasty Gal / vintage clutch


BJ Penn for RVCA (Video)

In honor of UFC's latest card in Seattle tonight, I wanted to share BJ Penn's latest mini-documentary for RVCA. The lifestyle brand and the celebrated MMA fighter from Hawaii have had a fruitful partnership for many years. RVCA has supported The Prodigy since forever, which is so cool to me considering most MMA fighters partner with clothing brands I could never relate to. RVCA seamlessly bridges the gap between sponsoring top athletes with fashionable clothing that people actually want to wear. This mini-doc follows BJ through his home in Hilo, HI as he preps for tonight's fight. I love the Hawaiian accent and the cameo by Mama Penn.

I won't be at Key Arena for the fights tonight, but I'll be at See Sound Lounge for the Ben Henderson afterparty. Hope to see you there!

BJ PENN from RVCA on Vimeo.


What are Your Favorite Holiday Songs?

Normally I'd respond to that question with "Jackson 5 or *NSYNC's Home for Christmas," but this year a couple of standout remixes have made their way into the fold. These have warmed my heart so much that I can't help but get in the holiday spirit. I hope they affect you the same way:

Tell me your favorite holiday songs or newfound classics in a comment below! 'Tis the season!


Fresh Style: Coast to Coast Cool

C&C California sponsored the Lucky FABB conference back in September and invited us to show our "Coast to Coast Cool" with pieces from their fall/winter '12 collection. I was drawn again to the leather pieces, and chose a laser-cut tank along with a hi-lo wax-coated sweater. 

I styled these two pieces with other winter staples and classics from my closet. I had a lot of fun playing with mixing textures as much as I could; velvet over leather under chambray denim, and one of my favorite vintage brocade dresses underneath the waxed sweater. The results are more of that signature casual but cool. Fresh :)

C&C California leather laser-cut tank / Tobi velvet skirt / H&M chambray top / Zara leather jacket / vintage necklace

Thank you C&C California!