Take a moment to peruse Pinterest or Instagram, and you can indulge in images of the most delightful dishes, dreamy interiors, and inspiring dressing - all perfectly polished for posting. But there is a tremendous amount of time, energy, and mess that go into creating these, and Jennings Ross is at the helm of this effort daily, putting her interests, expertise, and natural talents to work. She lives her dream of making everything around her beautiful (for which those around her are grateful), and below she shares what’s in her closet.
Share with us a brief look at "a day in the life of Jennings”
I start my day around 8:30 with an iced coffee, and then I head out the door for meetings with clients, usually to do a walkthrough or installation at their home. The rest of my day is typically spent sourcing furniture and/or materials for upcoming projects, drawing plans, working on presentations and sorting through budget spreadsheets. I wrap things up in the evening and head home to pour myself a cocktail and get comfortable before starting on dinner. I love to cook, listen to music and spend time with my family in the evenings. After dinner, I catch up on some shows, do a little online shopping and peruse Pinterest for inspiration. I’m a night owl, so I’m usually up late!
You're incredibly creative and work with all sorts of messy and physically demanding mediums. What is it about "the mess" that invigorates you?
If I’m being honest, the mess isn’t very invigorating to me, as I’m a bit of a neat freak, but I’m working on embracing the mess. :) I do love hands-on projects and the satisfaction that comes from creating something or transforming a space! Nothing beats a good before and after for me. If I know a mess is in my future, I try to dress accordingly in the mornings. That way, I’m not too worried if I get something on my clothing.
When it comes to performance, what does that mean in your everyday life and in your wardrobe?
It’s important to me to look polished and professional when meeting with clients, and being in a creative field, I also want to show my personal style. Accomplishing those things, while also being comfortable enough to unpack furniture, hang pictures, and climb on a ladder is a tall order. It can make getting dressed pretty challenging some days! Aside from work, I cook a lot at home, which can be messy, and I don’t always remember to put on an apron first. Ease of care is an important quality I look for in my clothing.
Why did you choose Mother Oxford as one of your wardrobe staples?
First, Kelsey O’Connell, the designer behind MO is my oldest friend. I’m her biggest fan and always want to support her, and other female-owned businesses when I can! Second, it really met a need for me. It helps me to look my best at work, and not be too concerned about it getting dirty. A white oxford is such a versatile piece. There are countless ways to style it, which totally makes it worth the investment. Last, I’m a hot sauce addict, and always get it on my shirt when wearing white. It never fails. Thanks to MO, I can have my hot sauce and my white shirt. Win-win!
Whether Interior design, visual merchandising in stores, cooking, baking, or painting, what other "accessory" do you pair with your MO (and it doesn't have to be apparel)?
At work, my leather jacket. At home, my Japanese style cross-back apron.
How do you use fashion and personal style to express yourself?
I’m a total mood-dresser, so my style can shift quite a bit depending on how I’m feeling. Regardless, I always try to add an extra layer or a little something that's unexpected. For instance, if I’m wearing just jeans and a top, I try to add at least one more thing, whether it’s a jacket, scarf, belt, or statement jewelry. Even one extra layer makes the whole look more interesting, and can force you to think more creatively about what you’re wearing. I also enjoy mixing styles. If I’m wearing something very feminine like a ruffled dress, I like to edge-it-up with a leather jacket or sneakers.
We have a huge following in Dallas. In your opinion, what about MO is resonating with the women and mothers in TX?
Oh, I didn’t know that! Dallas is a very style-conscious city, rooted in southern tradition. The women here are so polished and well-dressed with a great appreciation for the classics. MO is a perfect marriage between style and function; offering versatility, all-season wearability and amazing, mess-proof performance. What’s not to love?
Learn more about Dallas-based Jennings and see some of her work at www.jenningsross.com