Saturday was our Salon Xmas party. We do something different each year. Last year it was a bowling party. This year our theme is "A Very Jersey Christmas". Inspired by the fact that most of us watch at least one of the Jersey based reality shows (Jerseyliscious, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives of New Jersey, Mob Wives). Jerseyliscious is a favorite because it's set in a hair salon. I'll post pictures. We've been buzzing about the party at work all week.
So the question I've been getting asked by folks that haven't seen the shows (and don't live in Jersey, Brooklyn, Philly, Queens, etc) is what is the Jersey look?
To clarify, not everyone that lives in New Jersey looks Jersey. That would be like saying everyone in Cali dresses surfer style. And Jersey style is not limited to Jersey, it's a common look in Brooklyn, Queens, staten island, Long Island, and quite a few other spots. If you watch Jersey Shore, you might have also heard it refered to as Guido or Guidette style. Keep in mind, not everyone sporting the look is Italian, and not all Italians dress Jersey style. Having actually grown up in New York (and having a ton of cousins in Jersey) I have to say that while fashions come and go, the overall style has not changed since I was a kid.
Ready to go Jersey?
Let me start you off by saying, if at any point you feel like you look a little gaudy, tacky, trashy, keep on going, if you're going for the stereotypical look there is no such thing as too flashy, too gaudy, too trashy, too tacky.
Specific items may vary depending on what age group you fall in. If you need inspiration, Jersey Shore is more young adult, 20 somethings, Jerseyliscious girls are mostly in thier 20s with a few older cast members. Real Housewives is more 30s 40s and 50s. But if you prefer the younger styles, go for it, part of J style is about wearing what makes you feel hot, if your 40 but think you can rock that micro mini with the 6 inch heels, go for it (lord knows I do).
Color: while you can never go wrong with black, J girls love bright color, metalics, mixing black with brights, mixing brights. And let us not forget the most important color in a jersey girls wardrobe: Animal Print. Yes animal print is a color, and it is a neutral cuz cheetah, leopard, and zebra go with everything.
Anything with bling: sequins, metallics, studs, rhinestones, beads, or fringe.
denim, leather, and spandex are important elements of the look.
when it comes to picking wardrobe best bets are skinny jeans, mini skirts, mini dresses, and leggings. If you are reading this and live in NJ please send me a pair of Jersey leggings, they seem to be so much thicker than California leggings. With cali leggings you have to make sure that your shirt covers your booty or your panties will completely show thru. I've seen Jersey girls wear leggings with short tops and you can't see thru them.
Tops: because of all the leggings, tunic tops are common. make sure yours are either cleavage bearing, halter, strapless, one shoulder, figure hugging, or blinged out. If not wearing leggings (or if you're skinny enough to pull it off) shorter tops are fine. It is perfectly acceptable to wear evening wear style tops in the daytime, so feel free to rock that silver sequinned tank in the a.m.
Carry an enormous purse. If it is animal print, metallic, or blinged out in any way, all the better.
shoes should be high heeled, the higher the better. But you can wear flats if they are boots, especially if they are over the knee boots, or furry like snookie's.
Belts, preferably wide, especially with tunics and minidresses.
Jewelry: you can never wear too much jewelry. your jewelry can never be too big. there can never be too much sparkle. Mainstream fashion rules might dictate that if you're going to wear a bold staement piece (like a necklace), keep the rest of your jewelry small or don't wear anything else. Jersey style means wear the big statement necklace, bracelt, rings, and earings all at once, and when you think you have enough jewelry, add more.
Jackets: being winter some type of coat is needed. Make it leather, faux fur, and if it's cropped, all the better.
Hair: while long extensions are popular, they are not necesary. Jersey girls rock a variety of lengths and styles. The one common thing about Jersey hair is it must be big. Tease, tease, tease, and a ton of hairspray. Jersey girls spend a lot of time on thier hair. I had washed and blow dried my hair that morning. Before the party I sprayed sections of hair with spray, rolled them on large velcro rollers (on base for volume), used my blowdryer to heat up the rollers. I flat ironed the bottom layers. then left the rollers in while I did my makeup and got dressed. After I took the rollers down I back-combed the holy heck out of my hair until it all stood straight up. I inserted a bump-it (a plastic half-moon shaped object used to keep the teased hair from falling down), the largest size, in my crown area and smoothed the hair in the crown area over it. I then smoothed the surface layers on the rest of my hair down (be carefull when smoothing that you don't completely flatten out the underneath hair), and sprayed another 5 pounds of hairspray over it.
Spray tan: Tanning is an important part of the look. Whether you get your tan from the sun, a tanning bed, or self tanner, you can never be too tan. I'm gonna take a quick sec to implore those of you pusuing a tan to avoid the tanning beds, extrememly dangerous, no tan is worth skin cancer. And please use sunscreen outdoors. If you must tan, either get spray tanned, or use a self-tanner at home. Now I know some of you are thinking, but won't it make me orange. There are actually some good ones that give a natural color, but if your going for the J look, orangey skin is perfectly acceptable. The thinking is that it's better to be orange than pale.
Makeup: Like everything else, there is no such thing as too much. The most popular look is a smokey eye with pale lips. Pile on the shadow, eyeliner, mascara. Pop on a pair of false eyelashes. Keep the lip color light but go for something either glossy or shimmery. Add some bronzer (substitute it for blush), because again, you can never look too tan. And although not a requirement, feel free to add glitter anywhere, or glue on some rhinestones.
Nails: Usually long, usually fake. If you don't have long nails and don't want to get acrylics, pick up some press on nails. J girls sport quite a few different nail looks , from french manicures to bright polish, to over the top nail art. Think bright polish, or airbrushed designs, animal prints, rhinestones. Like everything else, there is no too much. The gaudier the better.
Men: The guys get to be a little more comfortable than the ladies but Jersey boyz are more high maintenance than the average guy. For your outfit, snug fitting Ed Hardy style t-shirts (v neck being the hot style right now, or a printed button down shirt and jeans. or you can go soprano style with either a gangster looking suit or a track suit (bonus points if it's velour). Throw on a gold chain, a ring(at least one), a gold bracelt, and maybe an earing or too.
And while the grooming routine is simpler than the ladies, here is a few things to keep in mind. Tanning is important for the fellas too, embrace the orange. And while Jersey men while put on a macho swagger they are worse than girls when it comes to the hair. Barbers do well in Jersey because the men get thier hair trimmed every 2 to 3 weeks, very particular about keeping whatever style haircut they choose clean trimmed. And J men do not wash and go with the hair. Take the time to apply gel after your shower and while some men can get thier hair in the desired style while wet, and just let it dry, many styles require some blow dry time,(like Paulie D's spikes). J men hair is frequently either somewhat spiky, or slicked back. Don't be afraid to use some hairspray after, or a styling paste, pomade, or clay after.
I'm going to have to put pictures in another post. I'm new to this blog thing and haven't figured out how to get pictures up.
Also, coming up this month: holiday hair ideas, and I had a special request for some articles on curly hair.