Jeanette Johnson on Fashion and Faith

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Jeanette Johnson J.'s Everyday Fashion bookWhen her first book, “J's Everyday Fashion and Faith: Personal Style with Purpose,” comes out Oct. 3, it will symbolize one part of Jeanette Johnson’s purpose fulfilled. “I think everything up to this point was leading me to write a book,” remarks the blogger, who started her site, J’s Everyday Fashion, in 2010, focused on stylish, colorful and affordable looks for everyday women. But the blog almost didn’t happen. Originally from Kansas, Johnson was raised in a very conservative Christian household. “Fashion wasn’t something you spent time or money on,” she says. “The message almost became, ‘fashion is bad.’” Like creative passions do, however, fashion kept calling, and Johnson has been fortunate to run her blog as a full-time gig since 2012. Now she hosts style seminars around the country and also speaks at conferences and events. Johnson shares how she got to this point.

How did your book deal come to be?

I was scheduled to do a style seminar at a church in Orlando as a favor to a friend. I do seminars all over the country, but I was so nervous for this one. To help sort through those feelings, I wrote a blog post called, “Fashion and Faith - Can They Coexist?” I got a call from a publisher a week later.

Can you describe the conflict some perceive between faith and fashion?

I think it’s struggling with guilt about things, like people hurting in Third World countries, and thinking, if that’s happening, how am I spending time and money on [clothing]? There’s so much war, pain and sickness in the world, so what place does art—including fashion—have within it?

What can readers expect?

Each chapter covers a different subject, from modesty and beauty to vanity and money. A lot of it is focused on deeper questions like, what is God’s opinion of fashion? It really comes down to granting yourself freedom of personal style—right down to being OK with wearing bright colors. The pivotal thing from me that helped me overcome fashion guilt is setting (and sticking to) a clothing budget.

What are some of your favorite current fashion trends?

Gingham Over-the-shoulder tops and dresses Pompoms and tassels Fruit motifs Sneakers