The 28 year old Brooklyn based writer and digital creator Jenna Hochman, is not afraid to mix colour and pattern for a bold look. She knows how to work vintage and secondhand into her existing wardrobe for an effortlessly cool vibe. So I wanted to chat to Jenna to find out what goes into her outfit planning, where she seeks inspiration and where to head for those truly unique pieces. And *spoiler alert* our shared appreciation for Zoë Kravitz is just one of the many reasons you all need to have this blog on your radar.
What made you decide to set up Bury Me In This?
"For as long as I can remember, I have used dreaming up and assembling my outfits as a supplement to my SSRIs. I was officially diagnosed with manic depression in my freshman year of high school, and through many a depressive episode it would be the hardest thing in the world to just get out of bed and start my day. It was thinking of an outfit or referencing pinned inspiration when my motivation was at its lowest that would ultimately get me up. Over the years, I amassed hundreds of mirror pics and flat lays of looks that made me feel excited again, and confident. For me, looking good is on its way to feeling good. It says, I'm worth taking pride in and designing. In addition to boosting my mental health, styling is my chosen mode of creative expression. I've always had an artistic sensibility, using my body as my canvas: acting, singing, public speaking, and now styling outfits. I wanted to create content, share my mood-boosting hack, and foster community, so BMIT was born."
Where does you love of vintage stem from?
"I hate how shallow this is because we have a planet and its future to think about, but if I'm being honest, the root of my love of vintage is that the designs tend to be more idiosyncratic and rare. Fill your closet with vintage and you won't look like everyone else, even if they're also shopping secondhand. I'm annoyingly contrarian in this way — I don't want to wear what someone else is wearing. On the occasion that I find a trend really enticing, I want what others have, but tweaked and made more personal."
What advice would you give to someone who is new to secondhand shopping?
"Check materials. Opt for 100% cotton/wool and avoid synthetic materials unless it's the dopest patterned 70s blouse you've ever seen. Don't assume the most curated, buzzy vintage shops have all the gems — some of my best finds have come from Goodwill and dusty, overstuffed basement shops. I've also found incredible pieces from the highly curated shops. It's a mixed bag! Also, get out of major metropolitan areas once in a while and look for vintage selection in smaller towns to enjoy a massive price cut."
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to set up their own blog?
"Two pieces of advice: Write every single day. (Here's where I need to follow my own advice.) Write all the time, post regularly, and don't get mired in trying to make it perfect or to-theme or you'll never publish. Find out when your creative juices are flowing and harness them, trying not to judge the words before they come out. One way I've found to hack this is to write drunk and edit sober, a very Hemingway thing to say. Another way is to assign yourself the specific task of writing poorly. What you come up with will be better than you think. The second bit of advice is to create content that is really specific. There's a couple of ways I mean this... Make your entry's topic specific. Feel free to embrace uncertainty and meander, but make your point and really hone in. It's strategic to communicate only one idea with your post and explain it well. I used to lament the listicle's impact on digital media, and found it annoying how every article is enumerated "5 Things Your Closet Must Have," but now I see that that's just clearly laying out to a reader what they're getting into. It makes it easier for the reader to commit. It's also good to get specific on the purpose of your post: What is the value you are offering your reader? Is the post instructional? Inspirational? Entertaining? Does it foster connection? I feel like really strong, shareable content that performs well satisfies one of those needs."
Do you have any secondhand shop recommendations?
"Gah there's so much good vintage selection out there, and so widely accessible in this digital age! I could easily go on and on forever, but instead I'll just share my go-tos. For in-person, in-Brooklyn shopping, there's Amarcord, Awoke Vintage, COLLECTIONS, Seven Wonders Collective, and The Break. I also make it my business to show up for any Shop Berriez pop-up. I have a section on my website where I go into more detail about each of these shops' selections. Online I like to shop I Am That (based in Portland, OR; I shop their Instagram and website), Singulier MTL (based in Montreal), and Shop Suki (LA)... and so many more. For the bulk of my vintage procurement, though, I'll usually try Etsy first with a very specifically worded search. This is how I've discovered so many great secondhand and thrift shops."
What inspires you creatively?
"My most prominent source of inspiration —other than the clothes/colors/textures themselves— would be film and TV! I was a theatre kid and studied acting and directing in college, and my style philosophy is very much informed by how clothing contributes to a character. I just did an IGTV featuring some outfits inspired by Zoë Kravitz's wardrobe in High Fidelity. Like every other fashion-inclined New Yorker, I bow to Carrie Bradshaw's eclectic/risky style ....but not to her views on bisexuality. I learned how to coordinate an unnatural dyed hair color with my outfits from Kate Winslet as Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (really from costume designer Melissa Toth). Teen Vogue's Michelle Li and Condé Nast's Mianne Chan also do this spectacularly! Recently I've been looking back at The Virgin Suicides movie — their 70s-burnout-preppy layered sweater vests and airy, ethereal sleepcore. Nancy Steiner did Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, the "Don't Speak" No Doubt music video, and the recent TV reboot of Twin Peaks, so she's a badass. I obviously worship at the altar of Pat Field, who famously did most seasons of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada movie, and brings a brilliant madness to everything she touches. My final shout out is Amy Stofsky, who did the early seasons of Weeds AND Mulholland Drive."
How would you describe your style?
"I like to think of myself as a style chameleon. Again, blame the theatre background for my love of costumes. The irony of Bury Me in This is that the name suggests the finality of death, but in actuality my sartorial perspective is a never-settling thing. As you now know, I'm a histrionic, bipolar maniac, and very moody, and so my mood often dictates my look, be it feminine and playful or grungey or eclectic or preppy or artistic... I do embrace one classic fashion rule, which is high/low dressing. I mean this in the sense of mixing dressy elements with casual ones, like a frilly Edwardian slip skirt and lug-sole boots, but also I mean combining inexpensive, thrifted clothes with luxury or heritage accessories. Or the other way around! High contrast for the win!"
Why is secondhand sustainable clothing important to you?
"The fashion industry, specifically textile production, is the second largest polluter in the world, after fuckin' OIL. That suuuucks, man. It bums me out (to say the least). Rampant consumerism —that thirst for new! new! new!— drives overproduction to satisfy a fast fashion model that leads to so much waste and is frankly exhausting. Not to mention the human cost of overproduction, the horrible work environments and standards to meet demand. Secondhand shopping is the way out. Preloved clothes satisfy that (unfortunately ingrained) thirst for new, but break the harmful chain of waste and abuse. Plus, there's something morbid and magical about resurrecting the lifespan of an article of clothing. My friend calls vintage clothing 'haunted clothes', which basically makes my closet a graveyard ...which I love."
What are you go to items in your wardrobe?
"My outfits usually boil down to some kind of funky pair of pants and a top. Or a patterned top with a more neutral bottom. Or I put those ingredients in a blender and you get a more daring pattern clash. My go-to formula is usually to choose one statement vintage piece based on its color/pattern/texture and then build around it. I will admit, I tend to wear any newly purchased non-vintage or secondhand pieces A LOT to avoid being wasteful or cavalier about purchasing new. Usually these purchases are timeless basics; For example, I've worn my Shop Pêche lug-sole boots maybe every other day since I got them, and last week I wore my Moussy Vintage Odessa jeans every day."
What do you think is next for Bury Me In This?
"I've begun venturing into video content, experimenting with my tripod and basic transitions, so there will be more outfit IGTVs down the pipeline. There's a new comedic series I've just launched on my blog that features unexpected style icons of the 00s, and I'm excited to pull out a few more unlikely fashion heroes. Most of all, I'd love to continue doing collaborations and having conversations like these with other stylish, genuine humans in the secondhand fashion community. That's what this is all for, right? All the notifications and DMs and tags hopefully lead to IRL friendships and partnerships. That's the goal of all my fashion pursuits, really: start a conversation, and build community."
Follow Jenna on Instagram - @burymeinthis_
And check out her blog - www.burymeinthis.com
Make sure to subscribe so you can stay tuned for the next instalment of 'In Conversation With...' , coming every Wednesday!