How To Do Effortless Chic, The R29 Way

Header_JTPhotographed by Jens Ingvarsson.
Every day, R29’s headquarters in downtown Manhattan plays host to 120 employees, plus a cadre of colleagues, clients, special guests, stylists, photographers — maybe even a famous cat or two. In an office buzzing with this much activity, one woman stands as an oasis of calm amidst the photo shoots and frenzy: our managing editor, Jessica Teves.
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Tasked with overseeing our day-to-day operations, Jess’ job is no small feat. But somehow, she keeps everything running smoothly with preternatural grace, calm, and style that’s the envy of the office. Living by “less is more,” Jess pairs luxe separates with standout accessories, for a look that defines effortless chic.
We sat down with Jess to get the scoop on how she achieves her brand of pared-down polish — and took a peek inside her Chloé Baylee bag at the stylish essentials that help maintain her Zen. Read on to meet Refinery29’s rock.
Jess-Vertical-CutPhotographed by Jens Ingvarsson.
What’s an average work day like for you?
"I'm the managing editor at Refinery29, which means I oversee all the day-to-day operations of the editorial department."
That's no small task!
"It's a big responsibility but so very rewarding, too. My favorite part of the job has to be the raw excitement of covering new trends and inspiring people all over the world to embrace and own their personal style. It's all day, every day, but it's exhilarating and exciting at the same time, so you can't help but just float through it all."
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How would you describe your personal style in three words or less?
"Less is more. I tend to favor well-constructed basics in very classic silhouettes, placing more emphasis on the accessories — they allow me to add personality to each look. For basics, I love neutral colors like white, and for fall, nothing is better than a classic, camel cashmere sweater — nothing!"
Walk us through your accessories look — what are your personal go-tos?
"I'm crazy-obsessed with chunky gold jewelry — the more I can stack up and down my arms, the better. And a great bag is so key. I love my Baylee because it's structured and classic, but large enough to hold all the essentials I need to carry me through some very long days. Plus, the duo-tone color scheme allows me to pair it with just about any outfit — totally swoon-worthy."
Do you have any major fashion don'ts?
"At my first Fashion Week, I wore these gorgeous, but ridiculously high, torture-chamber heels that absolutely destroyed my feet. By the end of the day, I was actually hobbling. So, lesson learned: I now throw flats or my Nike Frees in my bag, so I can safely power around town without losing all feeling in my feet."
So, besides those sole-sparing flats, what do you keep in your Baylee bag to get you through your busiest day?
“Nude lipgloss is my thing — I wear it every day, all day! My favorite is Buxom Lip Polish in White Russian. And my Mason Pearson brush is so compact, it goes with me everywhere. My big busy-day secret, though, is Mario Badescu Facial Spray. Just a few spritzes throughout the day keep my face dewy and refreshed.”
What do you read, watch, or do to keep up with the world, and to stay inspired?
"I don't watch much TV — no time! But I do read every website imaginable, scour all the monthly mags, and voraciously devour R29! For me, though, the best inspiration often comes from traveling and experiencing people, their culture, food, and lifestyle in a different way. Stepping outside of your day-to-day routine is one of the very best ways to stay inspired."
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What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the fashion industry?
"In a word: focus. Figure out what you like to do and focus on that one aspect. Do you like to write? Do you want to work on the retail side? Also, try to take on a few internships to fully understand the nuances of this complex industry and fully discover your strengths."
Hair and Makeup by Andrew Colvin.