Meet Jen Pinkston. Sought-after Los Angeles based wardrobe stylist and founding editor of TheEffortlessChic.com – one of our regular reads! We first met Jen on the set of a shoot with Gap a couple years back and were swiftly smitten. Her knack for making everyone on set feel both comfortable and chic makes her exactly the type of gal you want on your team. Today, the style maven is giving us an exclusive sneak peek at her newly decorated office. Plus, we sat down with Jen to snag her style advice, business tips, and more!

First things first! What were your design goals when creating your office space?
I started the process of redesigning my office shortly after finding out that I was pregnant. Suddenly I felt the need for every space in our house to be super organized and functional and this space was currently neither! From a functional standpoint, I need my office to be able to house all of my wardrobe stock and kit supplies that I have for styling. There is so much baggage that comes along with wardrobe styling– everything from dozens and dozens of garment bags to mens and womens shoes in every size and style.  I have plastic bins full of everything from men’s dress socks to women’s tights in a multitude of colors and patterns.  A friend from Austin was visiting me here in LA last month and the airline lost her luggage.  She was so panicked at first, but she ended up finding everything she needed from a bra to jeans that fit in my styling stock!

Aesthetically I knew this was the one room in the house that could truly be my design.  My husband has incredible taste, but it was nice to get to make all of the final decisions on this one particular room.  I wanted it to be clean and modern, but still have a lot of warmth to it. I love texture so much so I enjoyed mixing things like the suede desk chair with the sleek finish of the white shoe shelves.  The antique set of drawers from Big Daddy’s covered my love for mixing textures and styles, as well as providing full functionality.  You can find everything from stationery and fabric to garment bags and glue guns in that piece!  My favorite piece in the room, though, is probably the black and white stripe rug.

You have an enviable closet. What are your favorite insider tips for keeping a closet organized?
I am so particular about a closet!  First of all, all of the hangers have to match!  I am so particular about that.  It seems trivial, but I promise even if that is the only change you make, you will see a big difference!  Acme has the best hanger selection (and closet essentials in general).  Beyond that, I just organize by style – tees, dressier tops, button down, etc. – and then organize those sections by color. The absolute best way to keep a closet organized?  Clean it out often and get rid of what you don’t wear!  Also, everyone should own a steamer.  It is so much quicker and easier than ironing and will save you money at the dry cleaner, too.

Best piece of style advice you offer your clients?
Wear what makes you feel the most confident.  Find that sweet spot of being on trend, but not overly trendy.

If you could have only three wardrobe pieces, what would they be?
I love questions like this!  First of all, a great trench coat.  It is one of the most classic and timeless pieces you can own.  It goes with everything and you can wear it almost year round.  Mine is at least five years old from one of Rag & Bone’s first collections and it’s hands down one of my favorite things I own.  Right now, I’m obsessed with flat ankle boots. I can wear them while running around town shopping all day and feel comfortable and stylish at the same time… even with this growing bump!  These are the ones I currently can’t stop wearing.  Lastly, a great pair of jeans.  You can dress them up, dress them down and wear them just about every day.  It’s worth the investment to find a pair that you are totally over-the-moon in love with!

What does “having style” mean to you?
Looking and feeling confident.  Whether it’s simple and chic or totally over-the-top high fashion, look like you put together your look intentionally and love what you’re wearing!

You used to style Ellen for the Ellen Degeneres Show…favorite memory from the experience?
There are so, so many great memories from my four years there!  My husband proposed to me on the show, though, so that moment is kind of hard to beat!  There was another moment when I was styling her for a shoot with a very well know film director.  We were on the Universal backlot and it was 70 degrees in October, but there was fake snow coming down everywhere for the shot.  It was so surreal.  I remember standing there on set and knowing that it was moment I would never forget.  In general, the show was such an amazing place to get my career started. I got to meet so many talented designers, photographers, and other creatives during that time.  It was an incredible experience!

You’ve built an amazing styling house over the years. What do you attribute your success to?
Saying yes!  I said yes to everything in the beginning!  Even when I was assisting and the pay was so minimal, I was always looking for ways to take on more responsibility and learn more about the industry.  It became even more important when I started my own company. You can learn something or meet someone new from every work experience so I think it’s really important to just work a lot in the beginning, whether it’s a really low budget project or your dream job.  Eventually, you will get so busy that you will have to learn to decline certain jobs and really hone in on what you love.  In the beginning though, it’s better to work for free and gain experience than to not work at all.  Also, surround yourself with really talented people.  Choose assistants, collaborators, and other team members that allow you to elevate your work to the next level.

Any advice to someone just starting out on their own?
I could write a novel on this question!  First, find a good accountant and make sure you are aware of what you will need to run your business and document your income and expenses.  Secondly, be proactive.  If you are still in the process of building your portfolio, reach out to photographers you love, modeling agencies, and hair and make up artists and produce your own shoots.  People are always looking for great wardrobe stylists to do test shoots. Focus on what you love and finding any way to be the absolute best at it.

How about tips for managing a team?
I think being a good leader and manager is a constant work in progress.  At least it is for me!  I have learned that every person has such different strengths and that it’s really important to figure out what people do best and allow them to really use those talents.  I also think it’s necessary to be able to have those hard conversations when things don’t go right and to give people the opportunity to learn and grown from their mistakes.  It’s the least fun part of managing a team, but so important to keep things growing and moving in a positive direction.  I am so appreciative to the team that I get to work with for making me the best I can be.  I try to articulate that as often as possible!

You’re expecting…congrats! How will this change your business (if at all)?
Thank you!  I am so thrilled and can hardly wait to meet her!  I have no doubt that things will change to some degree, but I’m not sure if I can totally anticipate those changes yet or if they are things that I will have to learn along the way.  My plan right now is just to take it one day at a time.  Any business owner mamas out there with great advice?


In the spirit of the festive season, what’s your holiday wish this year?
For this baby girl to keep growing healthy and to be able to be present and savor every moment we have with family and friends over the next few weeks.

Shop Rue: 1. Desk Chair // 2. Mirror // 3. White Shelf // 4. Rug // 5. Notebook and Scissor // 6. Pillow