Welcome to the nineth installment of Style Thief, where I steal the clothes off queer style icons' backs. Metaphorically, that is. I'll try figure out just exactly what makes queer style icons tick by breaking down their look into itty bitty bite size pieces. I get a lot of questions about how to look like different celebrities/characters, so I'm finally tackling the question "How the hell do I dress like that?"
Jasika Nicole gives me a bad case of the "Do I Want To Be Her Or Be With Her." Sigh. Maybe it's that Fringe FBI agent Astrid Farnsworth's cryptanalysis makes me go weak in the knees. Maybe it's her unbeatably cute website featuring her adorable cartoons. Or maybe, just maybe, it's her spot on style. Well, we can't steal her acting job or her website, so let's steal her style.
Jasika may play a hardcore FBI agent on TV, but her personal style is all about softness. When Jasika is dressing casually, her clothing gives off that eternal coziness that just makes you want to crawl under a blanket and sip hot cocoa with her. It's that goto outfit for when it's just a little chilly and you're just a little sleepy but you know you need to be presentable in public.
She starts with classic straight blue jeans, often held up by a no frills belt. She pairs her jeans with a soft T-shirt in a classic color. While her look probably has you thinking 100% cotton, I actually think a 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester is a better tee option. 50/50s have the look of cotton but they're slightly more durable and tend not to shrink or wrinkle the way 100% cotton does. This is that shirt you pull out of your dresser every time you need a T-shirt for a date where you want to look really great but also like you're not trying at all. This is the shirt you've maybe had since you were 17.
Jasika continues her cozy quest with a longsleeve tan sweater which, last time I checked, is a closet stable for many queermos. Or at least for me. I must have a dozen. To pull her whole look together, Jasika often tops her outfits off with a long rectangle scarf. My favorite thing about Jasika's comfy look is that the whole shabang looks like it could be picked up from the GAP. Adorable yet approachable.
Jasika's red carpet look is just as adorable, but also absolutely put together and chic. She nearly always goes for a slightly retro, A-line dress with a cinched in waist. Often her dresses are creative in cut while classic in overall shape. Additionally, Jasika seems to have a knack for finding dresses with small feminine details. These are the sort of dresses that I drool over at Anthropologie and ModCloth. I have a sneaking suspicion that some of her dresses have been designed by one of my favorite designer, BB Dakota.
To keep her dresses looking fresh, and not like she's attending a garden party, Jasika's dresses hit above the knee by a few inches. This is probably in part because Jasika is so petite (about 5'2") and more petite women can sometimes be overwhelmed by overly long skirts.
Jasika uses a similar style when she pairs a skirt and blouse. A skirt and blouse with a cute belt is a great option because you can find individual pieces that fit your body instead of trying to make a whole dress-unit fit you. A skirt and T-shirt is also a great option when you want to look stylish yet casual. Jasika keeps it dressier by opting for a boat neckline as oppose to a V-neck or crew-neck shirt. Additionally, the segmentation of her outfit into three pieces (top, belt, skirt) creates that "put togetherness" we often want a complete outfit to have. I'm also basically addicted to belts with bows.
Jasika keeps her jewelry simple, rarely wearing more than a few bands on her fingers. I particularly like how she pairs a band on her ring finger of one hand, with another band on the middle finger of her other hand. This asymmetry draws the eyes to her hands without being overwhelming. Additionally, Jasika often keeps her earrings simple and forgoes necklaces completely such that the focus remains on her face. I suppose with a smile like that there's no need to hide behind big bold jewelry.
Jasika definitely knows how to dress for the red carpet, and that extends all the way down to her footwear. I admire that she always has equally adorable pumps to compliment her dresses. Jasika's pumps are never too high and usually have some sort of strap across the front Mary Jane style. In some ways this is an extension of her more casual comfy look. Not only does the lower heel prevent your toes from hurting, the cross straps hold your foot in (similar to the way a boot does) which makes you more stable on your feet. This is a real smart style for someone who doesn't wear heels very often. Actually, it's a great style for anyone with a tendency to stumble or whine about their feet hurting. At the same time, these extra straps are visually interesting and add an extra pop that the classic six inch stiletto just doesn't have.
One accessory Jasika never seems to hit the red carpet without is her gold clamshell style clutch. I'm constantly terrified that if I take a clutch out I'll put it down somewhere, but a close friend once told me, "If you have a purse just hanging on your shoulder you never know if it's there or not. If you have a clutch then you know if there isn't something in your hand then something is missing." I'm still nervous. Either way, a gold clamshell clutch is a great accessory to add to your collection. A clamshell clutch has that sort of timeless appeal, but the gold keeps it modern.
Of course, it's impossible to talke about Jasika without addressing her absolutely perfect hair. Her little afro bob is, legally speaking, the hottest and most adorable hair style I've ever seen in my entire life. She even rocked an alternative lifestyle haircut which I will be forever sad we don't get to see due to her full time TV commitments. Of course, like many women with curly hair (and many women will all sorts of hair), Jasika has a down pat routine to keep up her look.
Jasika regarding her hair during an interviewed with Curly Nikki:
Normal routine is to wash, condition, comb, scrunch/rinse out, apply leave-in conditioner and gel, comb out any frizzies, about 40 minutes of air drying, then 15 or 20 minutes of blow drying with a diffuser... I try to deep-condition every 6 weeks, which is when I get a cut (to keep it the same length throughout the show cause it grows super fast), and also when I give myself a touch-up with a mild relaxer (yes, my hair is this curly and I have a mild relaxer!)... For a while, I had my head shaved on one side but I had to forgo that look because it was too edgy for some roles I was being considered for.
The key to Jasika Nicole's look is all in the details. Flattering but stylish cuts with small feminine details keep her look walking the line between modern and vintage. Jasika proves once again that cute, hot and comfy are not mutually exclusive ideas.