You may have seen Jeannie Mai on the Style Network shows How Do I Look? and Style Pop, as a frequent fashion expert on The Today Show, or alongside Tamera Mowry-Housley and Adrienne Bailon as one of the hosts of The Real, FOX's The View style talk show series. But regardless of where you've seen her fashionable face, you know this girl has some serious style. We caught up with the guru for a chat about the importance of channeling your emotions through what you wear.
Real Beauty: You've pioneered this idea of 'Wearapy.' What exactly is it?
Jeannie Mai: It's channeling therapy through our clothes. We, as women, are so busy today, but unfortunately still have those moments of feeling insecure. But if you were to offset these emotions by wearing great colors and textures to celebrate your body, that's when you experience 'wearapy.' You can pick yourself right up out of the bad mood through the clothes you wear. For example, say today is a bad day and you're not feeling good about yourself, if you were to put on oversized sweats and a t-shirt, you're going to feel worse. The next day, you might feel so comfortable in that sad, little, dark hole that you might repeat it again. That's what I don't want you to do.
RB: So if you are having a down day what should you wear?
JM: I would encourage you to put on a maxi dress. Dresses trick people into thinking you put in effort. You could also put on a pop of color on the lip. If you're wearing black pants and a black t-shirt, putting on a fuchsia lip color is going to make people think that you spent time on yourself. Or you could put on a great pair of statement earrings and a necklace. 'Wearapy' is all about taking that extra effort to offset whatever bad mood you're having, to ultimately put you in a better mood.
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RB: We heard you are creating a 'Wearapy' app. What will it do?
JM: It will allow you to pick what event you're going to or what mood you're in and it will gives you ideas of outfits. So that's exciting too.
RB: Tell us about The Real, why did you get involved and what do you hope viewers take away from it?
JM: It's always been my dream to use television to empower and celebrate women, The Real just takes it ten thousand steps further. It's not just about fashion and style, but it's the first time that I can talk with these other women about the things that I'm going through in my life that are real to me. We all get to laugh, make fun of each other, call each other out-and just be real about how we can be better in our lives.
RB: What are the three item every woman should have in her wardrobe this fall?
JM: A really great pencil-thin belt. You have no idea how easy it is to just wrap it over a cardigan or put in on with a pair of jeans-it will make your hips look really small! Number two is a bright lip color, I love a great fuchsia or a red. It allows people to focus on your face instead of an outfit that you maybe didn't have time to put together. Number three is a heeled motorcycle boot in either tan, brown, or black. They'll look great with jeans or you could also wear with a dress or shorts-it'll just give your whole look a different edge.
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RB: Who do you look for for style inspiration?
JM: I like women who dress for power. Kate Middleton does a great job with her look-I don't know if I'd ever wear some of the things that she wears, but she's inspired me to look ladylike and elegant, yet still really powerful.
RB: Is there any trend you would never try?
JM: I don't want to say never, but I'm not really into a drop-waist. My waist is insignificant, so it doesn't fall correctly because I don't have anything to drop in the first place! My boobs to bellybutton ratio is nothing, so I look like I'm basically an Oompa Loompa.
RB: What is your personal style philosophy?
JM: I always tell women to wear heels as high as their hopes. When I say that, I don't mean that the shoes have to be six inch stilettos. When you dress, you should dress with the intention of what you want to achieve in life. You want to look your best because it tells the world that you're ready for anything. You shouldn't put on heels because you think you have to or it's all that you have, you should put them on to strut toward your goals.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.