As a busy mom to twin boys, Janise Burrafato is always on the go. Super mom, part-time blogger, and full-time fashionista, Janise always looks fabulous while juggling all of her responsibilities.
On her blog, Mama in Heels, Janise inspires moms to stay fashionable by showing them how to score big on designer brands. Lately, she’s also been sharing her passion for home decorating and design, applying many of the timeless, classic strategies she follows for fashion to the re-design of her new home in Los Angeles.
I had the chance to chat with Janise about her impeccable style, her love of high-end bargain shopping and her busy life. Here’s a look at this Fabulous After 40 Styleblazer.
Deb: Wow! You always look like a million bucks, so I was surprised to learn that many of your clothes are purchased at discount retailers. Any tips for how best to mix high-end pieces with discount purchases?
Janise: Most if not all of my high-end pieces were purchased at steep discounts. I love sites like Gilt, Hautelook, Ruelala, and My Habit for designer brands without designer prices. I shop for classic pieces in the off-season which means I can score deep discounts as retailers try to make space for new merchandise. For instance, I buy coats and cashmere sweaters in April, swimsuits in September and boots in March to help me stretch my designer dollars. I follow this rule every year without fail.
I also buy from consignment stores on-site or online, like The Real Real. I have scored some designer pieces that were brand new with tags with up to 90% off. I don’t shy away from closeout sites like the Nordstrom Rack and The Outnet, where I have scored on high-end brands and items no longer sold by the original retailer with savings up to 75% to 80%.
Deb: At times your outfits are very glam, other times they are casual. Sometimes they are a bit on the sporty side. How would you describe your overall style?
Janise: My style is always evolving. I think I’m a modern classic gal with an edge, but you will never find me in tennis shoes with jeans (unless I’m moving or painting walls).
Deb: Take us through the process of how you put an outfit together. What goes through your mind as you pick out clothes. Is it more about how you are feeling that day or do you think about what you want to communicate?
Janise: I don’t have a lot of time to decide what to wear. My twins need my constant attention and it’s hard to concentrate on what you want to wear when you are busy taking care of your kids. Fortunately, I have a talent (probably the only one!) of remembering every single item that I have in my closet, so I usually put an outfit together in my head first. Then I would spend the next 5 minutes looking for them and put them on.
Deb: You wear many different colors from neutrals to pastels to brights. Do you have a signature color? If so, what is it and why are you attracted to that color in particular?
Janise: Before starting this blog, I was always in neutrals and jeans. The only brights I wore were my shoes! I became adventurous with mixing colors and neutrals after discovering other bloggers and their inspirations.
Deb: What styles work best for you and why?
Janise: I LOVE dresses because they are so feminine and beautiful, but my favorite style is jeans, neutral color tees, blazers, and pumps. This look is classic and timeless, and it is appropriate for most occasions.
Deb: You’re 45- years-old. Do do you think there is a limit to what women can wear at a certain age?
Janise: I think so. I don’t think women over 40 should wear super-duper low-rise jeans, tube tops, and micro mini-skirts. Let’s face it as we age so do our bodies, and we should respect them.
Deb: On your blog you talk about your – your “second chance” in life. What advice would you give to women over 40 who are experiencing their second chance?
Janise: Get to know yourself more and don’t blame yourself. Listen to what your heart is saying and wait for the spark to grow. Love is indeed sweeter the second time around and since second chance was given to both of you, take really good care of the relationship.
Deb: How do you think your love of interior design plays a part in your fashion sense?
Janise: I think they are quite similar. I think my passion for interior design reflects my fashion sense; classic, timeless style with an edge.
Deb: You have a fantastic collection of shoes from flats to mid heels to high heels to boots. What type of shoe is your favorite and why?
Janise: Each heel height has its function and purpose, but I will always love a classic pump with pointed toe heels that are not over 4″ tall. They will never go out of style.
Deb: What are some of your favorite places to shop?
Janise: I love shopping online because they are easy and efficient. I love ASOS, Mango, Nordstrom, H&M, Neiman Marcus, Old Navy, GAP, Gilt, Ruelala, HauteLook, and Topshop.
Deb: What is one fashion item you would invest in time and time again?
Janise: A Chanel handbag – timeless and elegant
Deb: What is your biggest fashion challenge and how you deal with it?
Janise: I would have to say my height. I have to tailor my jeans ALL.THE.TIME!
Deb: Has the way you dressed changed since turning 40. Do you stay away from certain things now or have you had to make any adjustments?
Janise: I no longer wear micro mini-skirts, super-duper low-rise jeans or tube tops, but yes to everything else.
Deb: What do you want your readers to take away from your blog?
Janise: You don’t have to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks!
Deb: What do you think makes a woman, especially a 40+ woman, beautiful?
Janise: Imperfections, generosity, considerate and kindness.
Deb: Thanks Janise for giving us insight into and inspiration for looking like a million-dollar mom without spending a ton! Ladies, be sure to visit Janise’s beautiful blog, Mama In Heels.