Maine Style For chef and health coach Jenn Bravo, it’s ‘easygoing with a few...

For chef and health coach Jenn Bravo, it’s ‘easygoing with a few pops of color’

Maine Style

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Jenn Bravo in her Portland kitchen wearing earrings from Amie in Portland, a rib-knit sweater dress she picked up at a thrift store and linen apron gifted to her by a friend. Photo by Amanda Whitegiver

How do you define Maine style? If you asked the estimated number of women and girls living in the state that question, you might get 682,586 answers (that’s the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 estimate for Maine’s female population). We asked Jenn Bravo, Portland food blogger (bravojenny.com), trained chef and certified health coach (she’s an expert on intuitive eating and staying healthy at every size), about her style and what it means to her.

Style in one sentence:
“Since moving to Maine and becoming a mom, my style has become so much more easygoing: it’s basic with natural, soft materials and a few random pops of pattern and color.”

How is it “Maine”?
“No flannel but I’m a little bit Maine: Jeans and natural materials, like cotton, linen, wools—easy and casual items that reflect nature embody the Maine style to me.”

Inspiration?
“I appreciate as an adult how my friends and those around me dress, so I think I file things away on what I like. Then Pinterest for specific occasion outfits. Otherwise, just going browsing by myself and the tactile experience—it is so much more about my physical and emotional response to things than a trend.”

Developed a style in:
“College. For the first time I took ownership of my style, and I loved it. It was my uniform, I called it; I had dark jeans that I loved and a tank top, and I’d change out the scarves and the cardigan.”

Favorite outfit of all time:
“My rehearsal dinner dress. It was understated; beaded, all-black, cocktail length. Something felt really special about it that I loved.”

To thrift or not to thrift?
“I love to thrift and repurpose because there can be so much waste in the fashion industry.”

Favorites:
“Goodwill, Amelia Maine, Found, Portland Flea for All, Forget-Me-Nots.”

International style icons:
“Iris Apfel. I love her use of mixed patterns and bold, funky, chunky accessories. I’m really drawn to people with a bold colorful style. And Diane Keaton, super classic, beautiful and crisp.”

Pine Tree state style icons:
“Portia Clark for the way her eclectic eye meets classic execution (Her jewelry line Portia Clark Pearls and vintage/found barn Portia’s Barn are prime examples). Jennifer Connor (merchandising at Home Remedies) for her effortless look mixed with her eye for natural toned and textured vintage jewelry. Amy Redfern Griffith (proprietor of Amelia Maine) for her love of high end, classic designer looks (and upcycling).”

What won’t you wear?
“Low rise jeans. I will never wear them again!”

Best deal ever:
“$12 at a Goodwill in Florida for a pair of Levi’s, a neutral tone linen top and a pair of leather mules.”

Biggest purchase ever:
“A pair of Manolo Blahniks on sale at Nordstrom Rack; I bought them years ago so I don’t remember the price, but they were the most expensive purchase other than my wedding dress.”

Bean boots or not?
“I own two pairs, but I really only wear one pair, so the other pair is about due to be passed on.”

All around great local shopping experience?
“Amelia in Boothbay. Body positivity philosophy. Won’t let you buy a piece if you don’t feel totally amazing in it.”

Comfort clothes:
“Jammies! I take off my makeup, take off my bra and then get into my jammies. I’ve been really into matching sets and vintage linen nightgowns in the summer.”

Amanda Whitegiver is a lifestyle family photographer who adores dark chocolate and singing with her two daughters.