Spotlight Guest Contributor: Jess’s Super Powers

By Marcie Everhart

Beautiful color, feminine details, southern charm and grace define North Carolina’s Jess Jannenga at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Many legends suggest that a person’s source of power resides in their hair, and you will get no argument from here! Jess’s long flame of hair fascinates and commands attention. She will turn 50 this summer.

Hello all, my name is Jess and I am from North Carolina, the Lake Norman area. I will be 50 this summer, and am a  fashion blogger who dresses in what I like! I LOVE color! Color has the ability to brighten one’s day as well as provide a means of self expression. I love to combine colors as an artist would a painting. I am a natural red-head with some help from the salon now (a lot of greys).

Why should we relinquish any of our power just because we turn a certain age on a calendar?

I seem to remember all sorts of “rules” about what colors red-heads should and should not wear. I think another big part of Jess’s powerful beauty is the combination of vividly colored clothing with her own personal vivid coloring.

There’s GREEN…

I am a big fan of the “safari look” or whatever you want to call it – neutrals with straw bags, sandals or espadrilles, I love it! So, i styled my very comfy olive cargos from LOFT with the corset tank and added my Mango straw clutch I bought last year. I can’t seem to get enough of the straw bags! (See post here.)
Over the past years, I have been witness to my little niece’s love of fashion. She is a mini-me. She loves jewelry and loves dresses! For quite awhile, she didn’t wear jeans and still prefers to wear a dress or skirt. We are a lot alike! Although I couldn’t tell you what I wore when I was 7! She is funny, smart and loves to see the styles I wear. She asked my hubby, when looking at blog photos, “Are those wedges?” I laughed, getting a kick out of her even knowing what “wedges” are. (See post here.)
It is that time of year that you are thinking about trips or planning one… I mention this, as I always pack at least one or two Karina dresses. I can throw them in my suitcase, and I don’t have to iron them or worry about them wrinkling. (See post here.)

There’s YELLOW…

I knew it was time to take out my lemon print top! Doesn’t it remind you of Spring/Summer? I bought it last year after seeing it on another blogger. Makes me think of a cool glass of lemonade in the summer or kids selling at their lemonade stands! … I do like that I can wear this top on or off the shoulder too. (See post here.)
When you wear yellow, doesn’t it make you smile or put you in a good mood? Yellow, mustard and various shades of, are showing in the fashion world this season. Are you afraid to wear yellow as you don’t think it goes with your skin tone? So, you just don’t wear it at all? … There are so many pretty yellow statement earrings to “test the waters” and see how you like a certain yellow next to your face. (See post here.)

There’s PINK and PEACH…

It seems it was about time I got on the Gingham Bandwagon. I really do love the print, it was a matter of finding just the right style, cut and color for me. I do love the print — a girly pink and white check … a feminine take on a classic style. When I spotted this top on Last Call, I thought to myself, “That’s it!” — a soft blush pink with white gingham top with ruffles in a cold shoulder style. (See post here.)
Combining pink and purple tones with rich neutrals like cognac and olive is something that looks both soft and refreshing. Do you try other color combinations or do you tend to stick to the tried but true? (See post here.)
 I have always loved floral prints, as they are romantic and a lovely reminder of Spring. I do tend to choose medium to larger floral prints, not the tiny florals that remind me of grandma’s afghan. If you looked at my closet, you might think that stems should be intertwined between clothes racks, as I have a fair amount of floral dresses and tops, ready to be picked to be worn. (See post here.)

And the BLUES, powder and navy and sapphire…

By the time March rolls around, I EXPECT it to be Spring like, but we can’t control Mother Nature … I have been trying to send Spring Vibes to her by wearing some Spring looks, but she has ignored me so far! Anyhow, Chico’s is a company very supportive of women at midlife, and I am thrilled that I was able to choose some pieces from their new collection. I love the colors of this Spring line: blues, periwinkle, cobalt, lavender, purples along with reds and berries. (See post here.)
During the Memorial Day sales, I bought a few new pairs of earrings, and these had “Jess” written all over them! The beautiful color and floral style would be worn easily with my current wardrobe. I have actually been having more fun buying statement earrings lately than necklaces, so they are here making their debut. (See post here.)
When you think of the color blue, what feelings does it evoke, emotions? I often think of the sea and the sky, which bring me peace. My mom can attest to my love of water, enjoying the ocean on trips and family vacations. When thinking of Spring, some of my favorite flowers are blue- bluebells and hydrangeas. (See post here.)

And ohmigosh, whoever said red-heads shouldn’t wear red?


Shopping my closet, I felt these two pieces were meant to be together. I love textured looks, especially in the Fall-Winter as there are so many fabrics that lend themselves to this styling. The pecan colored Brahmin bag adds lady-like shape and additional texture to the look and I had to add some print with my leopard heels. (See post here.)



Jess makes you want to find your own parts of the rainbow that will give your style more punch. Another wallop is obviously Jess’s well-chosen jewelry and cat-eye glasses. My personal favorite: the brooches!! Gahhh!

The Real-Real Behind the Scenes

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish is actually an acronym for EDS, an incurable connective tissue disease, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, that Jess has. It causes hypermobility, muscular knots and chronic pain. Jess’s greatest super power of all is her ability to battle this foe with the happiness she creates in herself, her readers, and her collaborating companies with her award-winning, inspiring blog.

A Little Background Music

Almost too beautiful to look at. “Every color illuminates…”

Oh, gosh, I’ve got to add this one too because Jess’s master’s degree is in Jazz Guitar and she does her daily physical therapy exercises to Ella …

Shopping Links

I wanted to share a few shopping links for some very special things here, but everything can be found on Jess’s individual posts.

dress1top (2)earring

The Megan in Breezy Hill, Karina Dresses, $108. Jess has done a lot of collaboration with this company, which specializes in American-made, wrinkle-free, machine-washable dresses with sizes up to 2XL. Each style is known by a woman’s name, and this 1940s-inspired one features puffed sleeves and a knee-length hem. This is a perfect spring/summer reception dress.

Max Studio Cold-Shoulder Ruffled Gingham Blouse, Neiman Marcus Last Call, $69. Jess finds good prices on everything! She’s a careful, deliberate shopper who “feels it is often more advantageous to show how an item is worn several times, and how to be creative with what you have existing in your closet.” She sticks to a strict budget. Jess is not going to show you something unattainable.

Tulipa Sequin Drop Earrings, BaubleBar, $36. All of Jess’s jewelry is joyful.


*Photos of Jess by her husband.


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