1. Who is Jennifer Harper Fleck?
I’m the Niece from The Harper Girls, a multi-generational blog that my Aunt, Dianne Harper Boyer, and I launched back in February 2021. We believe you deserve to live your best life, at any age!
I’m a mid-30’s full-time working mom, with an operations management career in automotive marketing and training. While what “Dress for Success” means has changed over the past 30 years, feeling good in what you’re wearing is still important.2. How do you define fashion and or style?
To me, there’s a big difference between fashion and style.
Style is who you are at your core, and how you feel best and express yourself. This is where a lot of the different types of style come into play, and people usually fall into more than one category. It’s all about taking cues from different styles, and wearing what suits you.
Fashion on the other hand, is what you see in magazines, on the runway, and the on the most fashionable people you know. I love looking at, researching, and learning about fashion. I’ve gotten to a point where I can appreciate how beautiful different fashions are, but I also know what suits me.
Starting with a core collection of items that suit your personal style, mix in fashionable pieces that you love, and want to wear!3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc.
More recently, a lot of my style has been influenced by color and pattern. I’ve been most interested in solids in neutral colors, like black, white, gray, tan, and navy. I also consider stripes a neutral. I’ve loved stripes for as long as I can remember!
I consider these clothes my canvas, so I can express myself with jewelry. And I love to wear a lot of jewelry! Rings on every finger, layered necklaces, and ears full of huggies.
To find new clothes, I usually scroll through different online clothing stores to find new things that feel like they fit my style and personality, I take cues from new trends, and figure out how they could apply to me.4. How has your style evolved?
My style has evolved over the past couple years, as I’ve been figuring out who I am. For the longest time I would buy and wear things that I thought were pretty, but I didn’t always feel comfortable or like myself. I hadn’t made the connection yet between “this item is pretty” and “why don’t I feel more confident?”.
I’ve learned more about what types of clothes make me feel confident. Now, I’m drawn to styles that fit within the chic/minimalist category, with some touches of other styles. A lot of neutrals in black, white, tan, navy. Simple patterns, like stripes. And a lot of gold jewelry! Layered necklaces, rings on every finger, and earrings!5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of?
My dream wardrobe would be full of well-tailored pieces that could be worn for work or everyday. When I find new trends that I love and fit my style, it blends in seamlessly with the rest of my wardrobe.
I would love to walk into my closet, and feel inspired by everything I own. Knowing everything in my closet fits, looks good on me, and goes with anything else I pick!
It’s a lofty dream, but it’s definitely achievable!
6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
How far back are we going? Ha! If it’s high school, I would say cut it out with the sweatshirts everyday. And while we’re at it, maybe less blue eyeshadow?
If it’s my early career-self, I’d tell myself to focus less on fast fashion, and start digging into what styles I feel like represent me. Invest in some staples you’ll have for years and years to come! But who knows, 14 years ago me probably wouldn’t be into wearing what I love now!
Plus, I would tell myself there’s going to be things you’ll wear that don’t feel like you, and that’s ok. You don’t really know who you are yet, but you will!7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
Loving yourself is so important, but it’s also so hard. The time at home hasn’t been too kind on my waistline, so it’s a balance of loving yourself where you are right now, while knowing it’s still ok to want to get better.
When you love yourself unconditionally, it’s so much easier to wear and look however you want. Who cares what other people think about you? Wear what makes you happy! Whatever anyone thinks or says about you, says more about them than it does you.
Wearing clothes that you love and that makes you feel confident helps you to live your best life possible!
8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
Because my style is more minimal/neutral, I love piling on a ton of dainty jewelry to give my look a little oomph. And the jewelry you wear can completely change up your look!
I layer a couple necklaces, including a charm necklace with my daughter’s birthdate, a Rose (for our middle names) and a charm that says “Boss”. The Boss charm was symbolic for me, because I waited until I was promoted into management to start wearing it.
I’ve recently become obsessed with wearing a lot of earrings, and even got a couple more piercings. I love to wear huggie hoops in each of my two lobe piercings. And am on the hunt for some cute cuffs to wear too (without having to get more piercings!)
I love that jewelry is able to tell a story about me, whether its from people just looking at what jewelry I wear, to asking about more of my unique pieces. One of my favorite pieces and stories is my amazing snake ring. My Grandma had a snake ring she wore everyday, that she got in the 70’s in Athens, Greece. It was a staple, and was so unique to her. When she passed, my Aunt Dianne got the ring (rightfully so!), and I was always on the hunt for a snake ring of my own. But because the ring is so unique, I never thought I would find something similar. On the four-year anniversary of her passing, I was casually looking for snake rings on Etsy, and decided why not Google snake ring and see what comes up. I can’t even begin to tell you how shocked I was, when scrolling through pages of snake rings I came across one that was 99% the same as my Grandma’s. It was at a vintage store in New Jersey (the state she was buried in), so clearly this is serendipity. The ring was an investment, but it’s a strong connection to someone who has meant so much in my life. And I love sharing the story with people who ask!9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks?
No matter what, I always wear my wedding rings and my ring with my daughter’s birthstone, and the rest depends on what I’m going to do that day.
If it’s a more casual day, I’ll wear either some stud earrings or small hoops and a necklace or two, if it goes well with the neckline of my outfit. When I want to dress up a bit more, I’ll add on more rings - like my vintage snake ring, and dangly earrings for a little more oomph!10. What are your non-negotiables... What must you have / wear / do? and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been trying to stop myself from saying “I’m never wearing this or that”, because inevitably I end up coming around to whatever it is, and giving it a shot. I know I’ve said I’ll never wear a crop top. But, here we are - I occasionally wear cropped shirts with high waisted jeans. I’ve also gotten to a point where I can appreciate trends and think they’re beautiful, but know at the same time they’re not for me.
Currently, the things I haven’t been wearing a lot of (but never say never!) include; busy prints like florals, big hoop earrings (not good with a toddler), peasant-type flowy tops, or flashy sequins/glitter/rhinestones. I’ve worn all of these in the past, and who knows, I might wear them again!
11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style. So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
The journey to self-confidence and feeling powerful in your own skin, includes figuring out who you are and your personal sense of style. As I’ve learned more about myself, and my personal sense of style, the less I’m influenced by what other people think I should wear, or who I should be. I choose to embrace myself for who I am, what I like to wear, and what makes me feel good. And as much I enjoy getting dressed up, I’m ok not getting dressed up too. There’s always a place in my wardrobe for joggers and sweatshirts.12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
“If you like it, wear it.”
Wear whatever makes you happy and feel confident. With unshakeable confidence, even if other people have opinions on what you choose to wear, it has zero impact on you. Everyone is different and free to express themselves in whatever style and fashions they love and feel comfortable wearing!13. How and where can people connect with you?
Instagram: @_harpergirls (https://www.instagram.com/_harpergirls/)
Facebook: @theharpergirls (https://www.facebook.com/theharpergirls)
Pinterest: @TheHarperGirlsBlog (https://www.pinterest.com/TheHarperGirlsBlog/_created/)
Twitter: @_harpergirls https://twitter.com/_harpergirls
Thank you Jennifer for sharing parts of your story with us. Jewelry and fashion is more than just what we put on our bodies. Our pieces can have deep meaning and help uplift and remind us of our loved ones or our pasts, just like your snake ring!
XoXo Golden Stories