saturday mornings can be chill. After a long weeks work, everyone is spending a few more hours in bed, cherishing the much earned sleep. By ten, most are awake. Instead of settling for the kitchen coffee maker used all week, everyone heads out to the local cafe for a rewarding cup of quality joe. As the whole family, friends, cousins, in-laws, cousin's cousins, grandparents, long lost family members, boyfriends, girlfriends, literally everyone heads out, we always end up at the same cafe. The same freaking cafe. And that, is when the morning peace is forgotten.
No seats, no tables, thousands of cups on the counter, hundreds of names shouted out by baristas, no more pastries. No. More. Pastries! Unfortunately, we all get caught up in the mess. However, as bad as it may have been, I knew it would get better. And it did. A young lady walked through the doors of the cafe, contrasting the madness with a vibrant smile. Wearing a one of a kind magenta dress, I realized she wasn't just another long lost family member. It was Janel Ramirez.
You are a classy lady, but we know there's more to you! Spill.
I’m just a girl who has an addiction for sewing, and actually, nothing really fits me, so that’s why I make all my clothes. I have to alter anything that I buy. Normally, the only things that I’ll buy are jeans because it’s really hard to make jeans, but with everything else I’ll pretty much make it because I'm so small. I also love hip hop! If you’ve noticed on Instagram, all my quotes come from hip hop songs, from a lot of the music I listen to. Before I get out of bed, I have my Soundcloud, or Pandora, or Spotify on, and then again when I’m going to bed. So, I’m inspired by music, art and graffiti. I also grew up in Laguna Beach, but I have this ghetto gangster side. I think it came about when I went to college in San Francisco... that’s about it. Just really creative, artistic, like the arts!
We can't ignore the elephant in the room. Your dress is on point. Have you always been into dresses?
No, I have a tomboy style. I have different facades of my dresses and personality. I like to dress tomboy-ish but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more comfortable with my body, so I also like to wear more fitted dresses. When I was younger, I wasn’t comfortable, kind of insecure, but now I’m like “Okay, I'm older. I feel like I’m the appropriate age to wear dresses.” I was listening to DJ Khaled, and at the beginning of every song he’s like, “Timeless, forever, classic” and I’m like "Oh my gosh, that’s my style for sure!" I like to wear dresses that are elegant and that you can wear anywhere. I feel I can wear this [current dress] to any event and feel good about myself- it fits well. But I don’t feel super flashy, cause I made it! To me, it didn’t really cost anything- took a couple hours.
Making your own clothes is an impressive skill. Do you have a favorite piece you've made?
It’s always the last thing I made. so, right now, it’s this dress and anything colorful. I love color. Anything bold and bright.
Any particular colors that you normally stick to?
Bright colors and contrasting. I try to keep it really simple. like right now, I’m wearing a bright color, so I’ll wear black. That’s the theme of everything, cause when I do my photography, I’ll choose a background that really contrasts, that pops really well in the photos.
Your Instagram photos are certainly poppin. Working full time, when do you find the time to shoot?
Usually on Sunday or Saturday mornings, I’m up and getting ready to go do a photoshoot. I try to do it in the mornings before the sun comes up, before eleven. And if I don’t make it before then, I’ll do it after four o’clock, when the sun’s going down. I don’t like too much light in my photos.
You're looks are literally always on fleek. There's probably no chance of ever catching you slippin?
On the weekends, I do change like four or five times. I'll go to the grocery store, wear a pair of leggings I made, and then later, I’ll throw on a little dress and go run errands. It’s always something different. I’m always wondering what the neighbors think when they see me leaving the house, cause I’m always in something different. I really rarely repeat an outfit, because I have so many clothes! some nights, I make like four pieces, because when I sew, I’ll cut like seven pieces, and then I have it lined up. Then I’ll serge the seams, and then have everything ready to do the cover stitch, so I’ll only have to change the thread in the machine one or two times- makes it quicker to make a lot of things.
Okay, so we'll never catch you slippin, so please, teach us your methods!
The first thing that came to my mind was pajamas. Pajamas outside of the house. I remember, I studied abroad in Nadrid, and I left the house in my pajamas. I was wearing Uggs, and I felt super uncomfortable, super scrubby. We ended up going to another city on a train, and we were taking all these pictures that day, and
I regret not putting on a pair of jeans, a simple t-shirt and pulling my hair back- something simple. I could’ve done a little better, so ever since that day, I’ll never forget it. I always leave the house with a little bit of make-up, just feeling a good about myself, because you never know where you’re gonna go or who you’re gonna run into.
When you're meeting with people, you surely want to look the best you can, so for all the ladies out there, care to share your first date outfit?
Actually, I went on a first date Thursday [two days ago] and, I think, black. I always wear black and heels, or wedges. I stuck to wedges because it was a Thursday, but if it was a Friday night I would’ve worn the heels I’m wearing right now, with skinny jeans, dark denim, always, if not black. and I wore a body suit- a black one-shoulder bodysuit that I made the night before, of course! And it was long sleeve- I was exposed on this side! Kept it really classic, simple, a little sexy, but not too sexy.
We know dresses are your niche, but what's your take on accessories?
I keep it simple with accessories. I don’t really like to go super bold. I keep it simple cause I like to have the dress just speak for itself, or whatever I’m wearing to speak for itself.
Wearing bright and bold dresses or any outfit for that matter requires a certain level of confidence. Any advice to those struggling with this?
You have to really not care about what other people think. That’s a big thing. I got a comment on my Instagram- someone said that my clothes look like grandma clothes. It was this one guy, and I was like “Okay, that’s actually kind of funny. It doesn’t hurt me.” You have to not care. And since I started feeling more comfortable with what makes me feel good, I started not caring what people think. I respect people that are eccentric with the way they dress, even if it doesn’t match. It makes me smile because they’re wearing something that makes them feel really good about themselves.
How can we mix your style into our own?
Definitely picking out bold colors. Items that are really expressive of their personality. And continue following me because one day, iIm going to have my own line soon! So pretty soon, they’ll be able to try some of my stuff!
You can follow Janel's chic style, on Instagram.
Janel Ramirez, check her out