Less Is More
by Kendall Morgan
Fashionable minimalist Jenny Walker has refined her clean-lined style into a science.
In a world where the best-dressed list sport the latest trends and “It” accessories, Jenny Walker stands alone. The Dallas-based designer of a line of chic, gender-neutral baby furniture, Jenny carries her pared-down and print-free aesthetic over to her wardrobe. Filled with the likes of Givenchy, Céline, Lanvin, and The Row in shades of black, cream, blush, and tan, her favorite clothes hang with an aesthete’s eye for detail.
“I’ve always been a minimalist, even as a child,” Jenny says. “I like uniforms—when I was in school, I actually slept in mine.”
Jenny comes by her Spartan ways genetically—both her father and mother also avoid clutter. But it wasn’t until her grandmother took her back-to-school shopping with her sister and cousins that she honed her style with an emphasis on purchasing high-quality pieces.
“They’d come out with 25 different things from the contemporary department, and I’d go to Donna Karan and buy a shift dress, a jacket, and a boot,” she recalls. “It continued through college out of [financial] necessity. I got flack from my roommates; they’d go into my closet and borrow things, and I’d say, ‘That’s Donna Karan—you can’t smoke in that!’”
Post-college, she wore a lot of Theory until she landed a job as the assistant to Kenny Goss of the Goss-Michael Foundation. The gig came with a clothing allowance, and Jenny was smart enough to wait until Partner’s Card—The Family Place’s annual discounted shopping event and fundraiser—rolled around to snag key items such as Rick Owens leather jackets on deep discount at Forty Five Ten.
After marrying professional racecar driver Russell Walker and giving birth to her now 3-year-old daughter, Ada, she purged even more. Even though the family moved to an expansive new home near Turtle Creek, there are no tchotchkes on the side tables and no extraneous accessories on their owner. Jenny only likes to wear her wedding rings and a single pair of earrings from Grange Hall.
“I have skimmed everything down,” says Jenny, who prefers to invest in art by the likes of Mary McCartney, Damien Hirst, and Tracey Emin. “A lot of jewelry in fashion is status symbols, and as I’ve gotten older, I don’t feel like I need to have it so you know I’m legit. [Interior designer] Jeremiah Brent said that interiors are fashion that we live in. I don’t need to have it on my wrist; I’d rather see it on my walls.”
A Stylish Philosophy
Jenny Walker is no impulse shopper: She asks herself five easy questions before she adds any item to her wardrobe. When it’s time to clean her closet, she resells items on The Real Real or donates them to The Family Place.
Will it flatter me? Choose elongating silhouettes. Jenny recommends a full-length flared or straight-leg pant with heels or a cropped pant with flats. Skirts that hit below the knee with a slight flare at the hem look good on women of every size.
Is the item wearing me or am I wearing it? Neutral colors let people see you first, not your fashion statement. Citing the classic styles of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston as inspiration, she suggests black, ivory and blush as good colors for brunettes, while blondes “can get away with more color—they’re a better canvas.”
Is it well made? What’s on the inside is as important as the outside. Turn items inside out to check for hanging threads and crooked seams. Looking at things from all angles will let you know a design is worth the money and likely to hold up through multiple wearings.
Does it have multiple uses? Make sure you can dress things up or down. Because she tends to purchase pieces by high-end designers, Jenny considers what they could look good over, under, or paired with in her wardrobe. Dresses must be able to be worn with riding boots and a blazer during the day and work with heels for night.
Does the designer cut for my body? Once you discover the designers that look best on you, you can mix and match items into your wardrobe more easily. And, if you really love a piece, purchase it in multiples so that it will wear slowly and last longer.
Jenny Walker’s Easy Pieces
If your goal is a simple, chic capsule wardrobe, Jenny recommends the following five items to go the distance.
A single-breasted blazer in black or navy: Jenny prefers The Row’s style with quarter-length sleeves.
A basic V-neck or crewneck tee in gray or white: The Great’s sturdy versions available at V.O.D. have stood the test of time in Jenny’s closet.
A sleek, black pant: The Row’s cigarette style holds its shape through multiple wears.
A below-the-knee camel skirt: High-waisted and slightly flared, Jenny loves Jil Sander’s version.
A riding boot and a strappy sandal: Brown boots by Céline and Chloe’s strappy heel can be worn with everything from dresses to jeans.
Source : https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-home/2018/january-february/how-to-declutter-your-life/