Jessica Gordon Ryan is a woman who wears many hats. Author, wife, mother of three, editorial director of lifestyle blog, The Entertaining House and its foodie counterpart, The Entertaining Kitchen - this bon vivant does it all with a heap of East Coast style and more than a dash of French savoir-faire. Thanks to summers spent in Cannes at the fabulous home of her grandmother, an original in the arenas of style and good taste and her years at a preppy British boarding school, the young girl who grew up on the Upper East side, has more than a few tricks up her stylish sleeve for living a delightful life!
How do you describe your personal style: My style is classic but I love to add whimsical touches – my fashion and design sense are very much alike.
Style Icon: I hate to say Jackie, Audrey, Kate, Grace, Diana… too obvious, really, but they really are the ultimate ambassadors for style and grace.
Modern day girl crush: I really have none but Gwyneth might top my list.
Go-to outfit: I don’t really have one. It all depends on my mood. (And what fits!) Now that the weather is warmer I am loving my white ankle length skinny jeans. They look great with any top, with a nice wedge sandal or my Jack Rogers. What I love most about them is that I can dress them up or dress them down.
Accessory you can’t live without: My pearl necklaces both real and faux. I don’t wear them every day but I do love to pile them all up together for a dramatic and elegant look.
Current weekend uniform: If I am not working – Black yoga pants and black or colorful T-shirt.
Signature scent: Rue 24 Faubourg and GASP, I’m all OUT. I do love Guerlain’s Shalimar as well.
Most coveted item in your wardrobe: As of now? My white ankle skinny jeans! Can you tell how happy I am the warm weather is finally here?
Must-have beauty essential: A good facial moisturizer and a pretty lipstick. Oh wait, that’s two!
Best beauty advice you have ever heard: From both my mother and La Jolie Grandmère – Less is more. Really, except for when I stack my pearl necklaces, I dislike too much make-up, too much jewelry, too much distraction with clothes. One piece should really stand out and the others should all compliment.
You can never have too many: Lipsticks. Sunglasses. Shoes. Would love to have too many shoes!
Style “Don’t”/Pet Peeve: Oh I have many! Women who don’t wear bras who should… women who dress like teenagers… 5 year olds dressed like teenagers… clothes that are too tight when they shouldn’t be… ratty pajama-like clothing – especially at places like the supermarket… I could go on and on really!
Favourite fashion era: I quite like the fashion of today. The fashion of the 80s was horrendous. I love the Flapper style of the Jazz Age (really I love everything of that era) but in terms of dress I love the elegance of the 40s, 50s and early 60s… That said, I would not be able to wear my little white ankle-length skinny jeans if we dressed that way now!
Trend you could do without: I don’t really follow trends, so truth be told I’m not sure!
What will never go out of style: Ahh, I was just going to add this bit in the last sentence. A true classic Preppy style will never go out of fashion.
East coast or West coast: East, for me.
Favourite color/combination: Oh I have so many! In the wintertime I wear a lot of black, but I like to pair it with white and grey or white and light beige. Black on black is gorgeous, sexy and elegant. Black with a touch of color is sophisticated and can be whimsical. In the summertime I tend to wear less back. I love the crispness of an all white outfit. It can be classic, slimming, flattering (and very sexy) if worn properly. I love white, navy and pink. Also love pink and orange.
Currently obsessed with: I bet you can guess? My white jeans, of course, and my Jack Roger sandals, as these have been hibernating all winter.
Favorite city/vacation destination: Locally (by that I mean within driving distance) I would choose Newport, the Cape or Nantucket to travel to. If I have to hop on a plane and travel I would go to the South of France, my childhood home away from home, then to Italy – Tuscany and north. I have never been to Spain (Can you imagine?) and I have plans to get there one day!
Never travel without: My iPhone. I am a very nervous traveler. I listen to music to calm me down. Once on the plane a nice glass of wine or Bloody Mary helps! As a child I was told never to travel with anything of value or my favorite possessions which could be so easily lost or stolen. Of course if I left tomorrow I would not leave my white jeans at home, however!
Favorite sites: The Entertaining House, but of course!
Favorite quote: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” It is becoming my motto.
Always searching for the perfect: Jeans… pair of shoes… sweater… jacket
Greatest extravagance hanging in your closet/wardrobe: A Burberry skirt that I have NEVER worn. Aghhhh!
Never leave home without: A great pair of sunglasses, lipstick and iPhone
Signature cocktail: Anything made with Champagne or Prosecco. I’ve been craving Pimms + Champagne lately… I Wonder why?!
It wouldn’t be ‘my’ party without: I’ve always been known for my food. Though I really think it is the ambiance I create when I have my parties. For me, it’s important not only to serve good food and beverage but to ensure that my guests don’t want to leave. I prefer larger groups of people with lots of finger foods. It’s more prep time ahead of schedule but I find that I can enjoy myself and mingle more this way. Smaller, more intimate gatherings are more work during the actual party.
Favourite flower: I have so many… white tulips are elegant yet simple. The scents from Lilies, Hyacinth and Lavender make me swoon!
Ultimate luxury splurge: I love watches and rings.
Dream dinner guest: My grandmother, La Jolie Grandmère… I would love to hear more of her stories and to be able to capture them on paper for the whole world to read. She was grace, elegance, strength and an amazing woman.
What inspires you: Life inspires me… As do my children, they truly inspire me to aspire to be my best.
Stranded on a desert island, what 5 things could you not live without: Champagne, chocolate, sunscreen, music, someone to keep me company – to laugh with me and keep me intellectually stimulated.
Why Don't You: Take a chance.....and chase your dreams!
1.La Jolie Grandmere 2. Tulips (FTD) 3. Nantucket, Massachusetts 4. HUDSON-Slim bootcut jeans (American Rag) 5.Navajo Classic (Jack Rogers) 6. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin 7. Cannes, France 8. Pearls (Birks) 9. Hermes 24 Faubourg 10. Jackie Kennedy Onassis