Anyone with a pulse likely is aware of the epic transformation J.Crew has undergone in recent years, largely due to its president and executive creative director Jenna Lyons, who’s more “sequins” than “roll-neck sweaters.”
Apart from completely overhauling J. Crew’s image and inventory (and causing both sales and brand awareness to skyrocket), Lyons herself has become the embodiment of everything the label represents, and acts as the brand’s de facto spokesperson, designer, model, stylist, and muse.
With her spindly six-foot-tall stature and signature knack for mixing feminine “fancy” items like sequin pants, satin floral trousers, and glittery statement jewelry with broken-in basics (chambray shirts, striped tees, crewneck sweaters), it’s not an exaggeration to say Lyons has become something of a personal-style deity to legions of women who are, for lack of a better word, obsessed with her and everything she represents.
Since we’re also fans of the 42-year-old’s peerless sense of style, we found 20 Jenna Lyons photos that highlight her all-time best looks (no easy feat!) for you to get inspired by, copy, gawk at, or any other reactions you typically have to seeing images of a spectacularly well-dressed person.
MORE: All The Looks: J. Crew’s Colorful, Opulent Fall 2013 Collection
Why we love it: Here's a prime example of why Jenna is such a pro: Not many women would think to wear a button down layered under a sweater to an evening event, but it's a cool way to counteract the inherent dressiness of metallic trousers and cobalt pumps. The result: A party-appropriate look that's just unfussy enough. Oh, and that Altuzarra coat doesn't hurt.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for HBO
Why we love it: Sometimes, it's the seemingly out-of-the-question details that make an outfit truly stellar. In this case, it's the fact that Jenna chose to wear nubby gray socks with pointy pumps, shifting an otherwise basic winter look just so.
Why we love it: It proves black and navy not only can be worn together but should be worn together. Extra points for choosing a sternum-showing top.
D Dipasupil/Getty Images
Why we love it: J. Crew definitely had a hand in shepherding in the matching separates trend we're seeing so much of, and here's the best endorsement.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Why we love it: A look that had fashion folks freaking out (and pinning like mad), Jenna's pairing of a simple striped button-down with bold silk floral pants is beyond striking.
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Why we love it: It was nice to see the queen of mixed prints, sequins, and bold color have a minimalist moment with a simple black suit and white shirt.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Why we love it: Another example of how masterfully Jenna pairs slightly dressed-up bottoms with extra-casual tops.
Dario Cantatore/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Why we love it: What's interesting here is the fact that Jenna paired three fairly strong colors—pink, green, and yellow—yet the result is beautifully basic, not busy.
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Why we love it: Leopard fur coats seem to drift in and out of style every couple of years, but Jenna cemented them as a classic piece.
Why we love it: That Altuzarra coat again. Enough said.
Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images
Why we love it: Amid heaps of serious gowns at the ultra-formal Met Gala, Jenna stunned in a floor-length feather skirt and an oversized V-neck sweater. It was a look that embodied her views on fashion to a T.
Why we love it: Another one of her signature "fancy/basic" combos, Jenna paired slightly baggy camo pants with a fur jacket for a surprisingly chic nighttime look.
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images
Why we love it: Because those striped trousers are perfection.
Why we love it: In this photo shoot, we see Jenna showcasing a slightly edgier side, rocking shiny tight leather pants a J. Crew silk shirt, and predictably fabulous shoes.
Why we love it: Here, Jenna takes a break from her signature bold colors and prints, and instead opts for an effortless monochromatic white look—a plain T-shirt and slightly too-long jeans—topped off by a gray blazer.
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images
Why we love it: This image was one of the first that endeared the public to a relatively unknown Lyons, and perfectly embodies her general sequins-and-stripes aesthetic.
Why we love it: We love this bright green J. Crew sequin skirt on its own, but we also love the way Jenna tempered its glitz with a crisp white shirt.
Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Why we love it: Another high-low look from the annual Met Gala, this time in 2012, Jenna pairs a black-tie-ready hot pink satin skirt with a cropped denim jacket, stunning everyone yet again.