RHODE ISLAND STYLE MAKER PATRICIA JEFFREY
SET TO LAUNCH LIFESTYLE BLOG
After More Than a Decade as a Leading Local Fashion Merchandiser,
Patty J. Will Dish on Who and What Is Hot and Not in Little Rhody:
Clothes, Health and Wellness, Restaurants and the Scene
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Sept. 25, 2014) — Cranston, R.I., resident Patricia Jeffrey (“Patty J.”), youngest sister of the much accomplished seven Jeffrey offspring of Providence, including oldest brother Bob (who has served as chairman and CEO of the ultimate “Mad Men” ad agency, JWT, for more than a decade), has been building social media clout for several months with her sassy, savvy postings on Facebook and a blog originally intended for friends and family. Today Jeffrey announced the soft launch of her website, Stylistically Speaking (URL www.pattyj.com), on Oct. 1, with official launch in Spring 2015. Visitors to the site will be able to vote on Jeffrey’s Most Stylish RI’ers list, an eclectic ranking that will be promoted across social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
As she finalizes that list (guaranteed to ruffle more than a few feathers) and refines the website and her business model, which incorporates advertising, paid product reviews and sponsorships, Jeffrey says: “I am determined to show people in Rhode Island that we do have real style that we can be proud of: part uniquely New England and part everywhere. Providence is a youthful city, and my own style is influenced by everything from RISD [Rhode Island School of Design] students to quick trips to Barneys in New York City to J. Crew. Style is about knowing who you are and being happy signing off on a look.”
While she was testing her editorial concept, Patty J. found herself in a bit of a celebrity controversy after she snapped a photo of a star in the ladies room of a chic Watch Hill hotel that Jeffrey and the celebrity frequent. Proof of Patty J.’s clout was the call she got from the hotel asking her to unpost the sighting, the photo and all related hashtags.
Says Jeffrey of what to expect on Stylistically Speaking: “Some days I will write about the ultimate workout and others my favorite new destination for lunch. The one constant will be my voice, which other people say is like old-style New Yorker through a Rhode Island filter, with a tint of yogi. I look forward to building bonds with new friends who meet me and my friends and relatives, and even the rescue dog from Tennessee, through my blog posts. Stay tuned and drop me a tweet.”
About Stylistically Speaking
Stylistically Speaking is a new media company focused on recording and promoting Rhode Island lifestyle. Created by Patricia Jeffrey, it is based in the cloud somewhere between Pure Barre in Cranston and Thayer Street in Providence. Jeffrey can be found at yoga, in area coffee and tea bars, and, most recently, meeting with Rhode Island’s most glittery women and men to gather recommendations for her Most Stylish RI’ers list.
I'm a big fan of so many blogs and have been writing all my life, so it seemed like a natural progression.
Who is your role model as a fashion and lifestyle observer?
Besides my brother Bob, who is an ad guy at the very top of his game (think John Hamm in the early episodes of Mad Men), I have a bunch of influences. I've always loved NY Magazine's Look Book and Bill Cunningham's On The Street. I'll also follow anything by Sassy mag founder Jane Pratt. That mag was pretty groundbreaking. I probably still have some issues in my basement. Some of my other fav bloggers are Vogue and Coffee, Into The Gloss, and The Man Repeller. (I used to dress like the Man Repeller back in college—much to my family's chagrin.) And I'd give one of my kidneys to be featured on ITG!.
When did you notice you had the ability to not only observe but also record the "what's now" for those in the know?
When I started my FB account years ago, I'd run into people who'd say "I love your posts!" or "You're so funny on FB—you should start a blog!" And who doesn't like compliments? That inspired me to keep posting. And when a certain celebrity who shall remain nameless (shhh!) had her people phone the hotel (shhh!) where I snapped her photo and posted it with some commentary (shhh!), I knew I was someone whose record was being watched. Seriously, I get a kick out of the storytelling and the dialogues, and also sharing the brands and products I discover.
Can one be stylish in a city without a fashion industry?
Yes, I think so. Providence is definitely a city with lots of style. Personally, I've always been inspired by the kids from the high schools and from RISD. They're extremely creative and put serious effort into cultivating their look.
Tell me about your most daring lifestyle move.
My most daring move was definitely going from being a shy bookworm to working directly with the public for so many years as a retail manager. That forced me to get over myself and talk to people. I was secretly—or maybe not so secretly—terrified of that. I did meet a lot of neat people over the years and made so many good friends that I am still in touch with. In fact, many of the people I used to work with have been the biggest supporters of my blogging.
OK, now make me like you. Why should I like Patty Jeffrey, blogger and lifestyle guru around town?
I'd say because I'm not acting or playing a part. I cannot be anything but honest and genuine. What you see is truly what you get. I'm a bad actress, actually. You won't ever see me talk up any product or service that I don't love. So if I endorse it, you can be sure that I've tried it and liked it.
Tell me something that would make me know you relate to the "rest of us.”
I'll tell you all about about my "style flops" (wait 'til we get to THAT question!). I've had so many style and beauty fails: acid-washed jeans, jellies, too-pale foundation, the over-tweezed eyebrows. I'm a style and beauty klutz, so like most people, I'm always looking for the easiest and most accessible ways to look pretty and put-together. If it's too complicated or difficult to do or maintain, count me out.
What did you do before you put fingers to keyboard?
Drink coffee... I used to drink as many as five cups a day, but I've dialed it down to one, most days. I even drink tea now too, which I wasn't wild about until the last year or so. Now I can't get enough of it. There's a whole shelf in my kitchen stocked with dozens of different brands and flavors. So I drink my coffee and I start to type...
And what do you do in your free time?
I started exercising again over the past four or five years after doing nothing for more than a decade. It's unbelievable how much better I feel! You also might find me at a yoga class. My good friend Deb owns a studio in Pawtuxet Village and I like to take her classes. I do Pure Barre too—it's helped me get stronger but not bulky. And I have a rescue/senior dog from Tennessee who keeps me active. We found him on Pet Finder.
Are there any sponsors you would kill to work with?
Target, definitely. It's a fav haunt of mine—I can't go there without spending at least $100. Others on my list? J.Crew (and Jenna Lyons), Whole Foods, and Lipstick Queen, which I've been buying like crazy since reading about it in Jean Godfrey June's column in Lucky magazine. I would probably welcome most of what ends up featured in Lucky because I'm a new-thing junkie—show it to me and let me give it a try!
And who would you ban for bad taste?
I'm not interested in traditional fast food of any kind. The B.Good chain, however, is another story. One opened near me in 2014 and I can't get enough of their Kale smoothies or veggie burgers. Okay, so even if kale is too trendy, I like it, and that makes it right for me. All the ingredients are local and freshly prepared at B. Good. I'd probably ban anything too trendy (except of course when I'm the one succumbing to the trend!).
And for bad politics?
My husband. We're extreme opposites when it comes to our politics. We're like the James Carville and Mary Matalin of the 2000s—only I'm James Carville politically, and he's Mary Matalin. And if you don't agree with Mary, you probably shouldn't engage with my husband on certain subjects, if you get my drift.
Describe your favorite outfit when you were in 7th grade.
In 7th grade, I went to Catholic school and wore a uniform. I do remember sneakers being important, white sneakers like Keds. You had to have a pristine pair. I may or may not have owned a knock-off of a Members Only jacket—a line that btw made a comeback at Barney's NYC a few years ago, if you can believe it!
What did you wear to your own wedding?
I wanted to wear a white suit like Bianca Jagger did, but my family talked me into going with a more traditional wedding dress. My family is a force to be reckoned with! You will hear the family voice in this blog, but that's actually a good thing. There are enough Jeffreys out there, traveling the planet and bringing back style tips, that we are all wiser and happier for it, forceful as they (we) are.
Your finest style moment?
Anytime my hair is blown out and I'm wearing a new pair of heels that don't hurt—that's a win-win.
And your biggest style flop?
There are so many! Anytime I've chased trends or tried to wear something because it was in style that season, I've regretted it big-time. I'm a big believer in cultivating a signature look, but at the same time you do have to change it up once in a while, so you don't get bored or stuck in a style rut.
And what is your most delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
An easy, do-nothing couple of hours. Sunday papers are key. Don't get me wrong—I heart technology, but there's something about reading an old time-y newspaper that relaxes me.