Jennie Lodge, the blogger behind Going West.
BARE Reporter Gina Harris had the special opportunity to interview Jennie Lodge, the blogger behind the increasingly popular Going West fashion blog. Check out Gina's interview with Katie Hintz-Zambrano, a fashion journalist for AOL's StyleList.
Tell me a bit about yourself (age, location, education...etc)
My real name is Jennie Lodge - just plain Jennie. I was born and raised in a small town in Northeast corn-loving Iowa. I’m 24 and live in Berkeley, but I’ll be moving to San Francisco this summer (finally!). I went to college at the University of Iowa for my degree in Art History and certificate in Museum Studies, and I studied a lot of Spanish. I graduated a semester early, and just two weeks later moved to California with my boyfriend. I applied to grad school, got in, and now I’m getting a dual MBA and master’s degree in Museum Studies.
What inspired you to start blogging?
Chictopia exposed me to style blogging. I loved what bloggers were doing and found them inspiring. By blogging, I have a record of how I’ve styled my clothing as well as how my style has evolved. My blog also pushes me to try new styles and experiment with different pieces. We all fall in love with a certain article of clothing that we’ll want to wear all the time, but you can’t post those same things all the time. You’ll bore your readers and you’ll be bored too!
A photo from the "Saints and Sinners" photo shoot Jennie participated in with fellow bloggers Liz of Late Afternoon and Aimee of Song of Style.
How would you describe the difference in styles between your native hometown and the Bay Area, if any?
There are people in Iowa who have great style. The only problem is that it’s a bit more of challenge to find great pieces. There aren’t as many stores to shop at unless you make a trip to Chicago or Minneapolis (at least 4 hours of driving). Vintage is pretty much what’s left to create an awesome wardrobe. Additionally, your wardrobe has to work with the extreme weather of the different seasons. And at my university, the campus was pretty large, so you had to plan on lots of walking. It was common to see a lot of the same NorthFace jackets and Ugg boots everywhere. I would say as a general statement that it’s easier to have your own style in California, where the weather isn’t as harsh, there are more options for shopping. At least in the Bay Area, style runs across the entire spectrum, so here, I think it’s easier to dress how you want.
How has living here changed your personal style?
Moving to California allowed me to explore my personal style much more. I don’t have to worry about weather or walking everywhere, and shopping is so much better! Iowa is a little more conservative, and that is something I’m still trying to break out of. This area may not be known for fashion, but you feel completely comfortable wearing whatever you want – from designer labels to be practically naked (hey, it’s California). I’m sure my maturity level plays a factor as well. I’m a much more confident person these days, and I also don’t feel the pressure of being judged by my peers like I did in junior high.
Going West is a personal style blog and you always make looking fab so simple, but tell us the truth, don't you ever feel like bumming around?
I may have a lot going on in my life, but I love to be lazy when I can! I’ll admit I wear sweatpants around the house. I’ve gone to 7-eleven looking like I rolled out of bed. It doesn’t kill anyone if you wear something off the pile in your bedroom floor to run errands. (The pile on my bedroom floor is ever-expanding, and I pick from it often.) I love jeans and a tee on casual days, but I’ll give a casual outfit a personal touch with something like interesting jewelry or a great pair of shoes. It helps to dress a step up when you don’t have flip flops or hoodies, and it’s easier to avoid their temptation. And personally, I just like to dress up more often than not.
Favorite thing in your closet?
My favorites constantly change! However, I’ll probably always love my beat up black BDG denim I bought when I first moved here two and a half years ago. Nothing is better than a pair of perfectly worn-in jeans.
Jennie shows off her leopard print Jeffrey Campbell wedges. All photography courtesy of Going West.
Three most important items in any girl's closet?
I think every girl has a different idea of the perfect items for their closet.
1. In general, I think every girl should invest in a good pair of shoes that are versatile.
2. Also, make sure to own basic versatile pieces before you buy all the trendy things or you’ll be constantly buying another version of the same thing.
3. Own at least one ‘fun’ item like a crazy pair of shoes or a trendy dress. They definitely can positively affect your mood when you wear them!
Something about you that we don't know but should:
If I had to dress in one genre/style for the rest of my life, it would be rock n’roll: tall heels, layers of jewelry, ripped band tees & jeans, bodycon dresses, and messy hair. Rock music has always been an influence in my life, and I love the idea of looking great without trying.
Stay tuned for more interviews of your favorite fashion bloggers.