Style

McKenzie Raley’s Week of Outfits

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

When we photographed Mckenzie Raley’s Greenpoint home a few months ago, I was captivated by her cool, laid-back style. The founder of lingerie line Land of Women, and a model herself, Mckenzie names 1990s Catherine Keener as her fashion muse. Here, she shares five outfits she wore in a week…

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

Sweater: from Japan, similar. Trousers: Madewell. Belt: Vintage Donna Karan, similar. Shoes: Jenni Kayne. Lipstick: RMS Beauty.

“It took me a long time to realize that skinny jeans weren’t great for my body type. But then a whole new pant world opened up for me: Omg, trousers! Culottes! I’m riding that wave right now. When pants are relaxed, I feel relaxed. I’m really digging these wide-leg trousers. The tucking-in of the sweater is also a new phenomenon for me. I didn’t know you could do that and still look fashionable. But it’s totally a thing! I first saw it on a girl at a dinner party, and she had tucked a just a tiny part of her sweater, like a thumb’s worth, into silk pants.”

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

Shirt: Madewell. Jeans: Levi’s. Bracelet: Etten Eller. Purse: Loeffler Randall, similar. Shoes: Jenni Kayne.

“I learned a crazy trick from Instagram for breaking in vintage Levi’s. You sit in a warm bathtub for 15 minutes while wearing your jeans. Then take them off and let them dry until they’re just damp. Finally, put them on again and do lunges. It’s an experience but it feels empowering — you take this stiff material that wasn’t made for you and you make it for you.”

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

“When you’re bustier, if you wear an oversized top it can look too billowy. So, the knot thing is my go-to, to show more of a waist.”

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

Robe: Land of Women. T-shirt: Monogram, similar. Pants: Amazon. Loafers: Gucci from eBay, similar.

“As a model, I often work in Sweden, and the scale of women there is like me. People in the U.S. ask me how tall I am all the time (I’m 5’11” — 6’2” in heels); I loved how in Sweden, it was a non-issue. In stores, they have 2, 4, 6, but they’re not at the top of the pile. I was in tears the last time I was there. When posing for photos, I have a model trick — I smile with my eyes, not just my mouth. ‘Smizing’ is the funny term. You’re literally flirting with the camera, which can feel awkward because I’m pretty reserved. Clients will sometimes say, can we see a jump? I’m like… um, sure. I’m never into it, I come from a long line of non-jumpers. Once, they wanted me to do a dance party BY MYSELF and didn’t play music. We were in a giant warehouse with like 100 people watching. It was a little Zoolander-y, but at the end of the day, it actually looked good.”

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

Leather jacket: Veda. Dress: Land of Women. Purse: Cole Haan, similar.

“This dress is meant to be like the Joan Didion dress where she’s leaning against a Corvette. She’s wearing white, but I wanted it in black. My closet is 99% dark shades. The reason for that is, when I first moved to New York, I only had $30 in my bank account and I wanted to look expensive and wearing black was the only way to do that. When I go back to Minnesota, my family wears jackets that are green and pink and red and blue. They look great. And if I wear color, I do feel peppier. But wearing black makes me feel powerful. I think women SHOULD look intimidating, especially now.”

McKenzie Raley's Week of Outfits

Leather jacket: Veda. Sweater: J. Crew. Pants: Aritzia. Boots: Urban Outfitters, similar.

“This sweater is from J. Crew, but I tailored it with my sewing machine. The machine was a high school graduation gift from my grandma. As a teenager, I’d make my own clothes. One summer, I hot glue gunned everything together — I had a jean skirt that would rip a little every time I sat down in class. Tailoring makes everything look better, whether you do it yourself or take it to a local tailor.”

Thank you so much, Mckenzie! We love you.

P.S. Five other women share their outfits, and a French bra trick.

(Photos by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Erin says...

    McKenzie is such a babe! Thrilled to see a woman who looks like me featured here — always looking for tips on looking stylish from women who understand the struggle of dressing a curvy frame.

  2. Lola says...

    How beautiful!

  3. Tunie says...

    This may sound weird but as a naturally slender, petite woman, I love seeing naturally sized models of all shapes – it really helps to see what the clothes will look like on (even when they are different from me) and I just love seeing women represented honestly. It’s a good vibe whenever I see that.

  4. Heather says...

    I love this post so much!!! Great style. I have a similar body type, and I too have realized recentlythat skinny jeans are not for me!

  5. Finally, a feature on someone who is not stick thin! She is stunning and these suggestions for other body types are great.

  6. Amy says...

    Wow, she looks so effortless and elegant! More Mckenzie, please. This post; the home tour: she seems like such a cool gal.

  7. Eva says...

    She’s gorgeous! She radiates beauty and seemingly effortless style.

  8. I live in Sweden, but, at 157 cm, my experience is the opposite! In North America I’m a little short, but here I am a midget. 😕

  9. I want to high five her on her comments so bad. And her style, of course. Such a great feature. X

  10. Daynna says...

    Please, please continue to feature many more women with similar body types to this stunning women. Looks like I’m not the only one breathing in that breath of fresh air to finally see someone who’s not skinny and can make damn near anything look good. So, please, CoJ Team, continue featuring models with larger busts, larger hips, etc. We beg of you!

    • Sadie says...

      Yes! Speaking of breathing, I just let out a big breath reading someone else say skinny jeans just aren’t right for her body. They always look SO silly on me, but they’ve been the staple jeans for the last decade! I always second-guess myself -do I just lack the confidence? Somehow hearing somebody else say “these don’t work” felt SO GOOD.

  11. Sam says...

    Thank you for including a curvy woman! She is seriously stunning. I love the jeans trick.

    I would love to see more women of all sizes represented.

  12. I love this. I love the contemporary look. It looks like things I may own similar or can own. I like o see sizes that are not my size but makes me feel that ok I can find similar things.

  13. Elisabeth says...

    This might be my favorite of the series so far (and I’ve loved them all!). Her style, attitude, and body type are so similar to my own. I love how she says, “…when my pants are relaxed, I feel relaxed.” Good god, YES! It’s so nice to not have to worry that your ass might show when you bend over!

    Thank you for showing such diversity in the beautiful women you document!

  14. GoldenMoon says...

    Love the glue gunning tailoring history.

  15. Dory says...

    Second everyone else before me – it’s so wonderful to see someone with my body type on here! What a great post to kick off my Friday afternoon. :)

  16. L8Blmr says...

    One word…Gorgwa!

  17. Angeliki says...

    She looks fantastic and her style looks so chic and effortless. As much as I adore wide leg trousers, I am too short (5’5”) and pear shaped to look good in them!

  18. Christina Lee says...

    I also love this haircut. Who cuts her hair?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she says that Mari at Salon 87 cuts her hair. hope that helps! xo

    • Christina Lee says...

      Thanks so much!

  19. She is beautiful, and her outfits are on POINT. Simple and classic but so stylish. Going to have to steal some of these looks myself. ;)
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  20. eliza says...

    I love her look! Thanks for featuring someone with a body more like mine (busty!) too. I love the Land of Women dress and would love to know what she wears under it — looks rather sheer on the site. TIA!!!

  21. Chandra says...

    This is my favorite style post you’ve done! McKenzie is stunning and I ordered those Madewell trousers immediately after seeing her in them (they’re on sale, ladies!) And I agree 100% that women should appear intimidating. Thank you for the wonderful style inspiration!

    • Erin S says...

      I just order them this morning too!!! I’m so excited to try the on.

    • Trish O says...

      I own these Madewell pants. I am wearing them right now! LOL. I am 5’10” and they are the BEST. I wear them TOO much…but they go with everything. Best pants I have ever had.

    • Mary says...

      FYI! I ordered those pants two weeks ago. I’m pear shaped (runners problems). I am about a size 8 in pants and a 30-31in inseam and I bought a size 4 in those pants and they will need to be severely hemmed. BUT FIT! I don’t know if anyone else will have size problems but just wanted to throw those tips out there. So jealous of the sale. But they are GREAT and I feel regal in them. I want to wear them with simple turtlenecks and sweaters and just sway around like Annie Hall or Kate Hepburn.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, you guys are convincing me to try them too! they are so cute on her.

    • Christina says...

      I ordered these pants immediately as well! Such a great alternative to jeans

  22. She’s gorgeous!! I love how classy and comfortable she is.
    Also, I love that sentiment that women should look intimidating. As a women, I find my inherent nature in being a mother: kind, level headed, calm, and caring but I feel so much myself when I look intimidating wearing a blazer and band tee.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so interesting, sharna.

  23. ck says...

    Hooray! What a beautiful woman and great style.

  24. Katie says...

    Wowww she looks amazing in those wide-leg pants! She looks very comfortable in front of the camera.

  25. Love her! Yes to ’90’s Catherine Keener, Vintage Gucci loafers, and women looking intimidating! Thumbs. Up.

  26. Mirella says...

    So excited you featured her and am so very happy to see someone with my body type represented!!! Yippee :) I can totally relate to going to another country (Germany for me) and feeling like the scale of people was also similar. I felt great being tall there.

  27. Stephanie says...

    Love her lip color! I know it’s RMS, but which color? Thanks so much. I love these posts.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi stephanie! i asked mckenzie, and she said the RMS color is Modest. thank you!

  28. Such a cool effortless style! I’m all up for the dance party… but without music?! What were they thinking?

  29. Carrie says...

    McKenzie is SO gorgeous! I would love to see her rock an evening gown! She does these flowy shapes so well! I always wished I had a nice shape like this. Which brings me to my next point! Please feature an average height, slightly thicker gal! I’ve been thin my whole life but, well, life catches up to you and I don’t really know how to dress for my shape now.

  30. JB says...

    5’11” represent! I love everything about this. I want that black dress. I want those pants from Amazon.

  31. Sandra says...

    I love her style!!! It makes me a little wistful, though. When I was younger my whole wardrobe was black/white/camel/navy and now that I am in my later 40s it doesn’t work as well anymore and I need more color. I read somewhere that black is too harsh for daytime after 40, and it is true in my case! In any event, I love all of her outfits and so wish I could afford that awesome leather jacket.

  32. She looks great! Love her style (and her wife’s artwork – swoon!). I’m not so sure I want to look intimidating like she says though, I’m more of a friendly and approachable type. :)

  33. Megan says...

    Thank you a thousand times for featuring someone closer to the “average” American woman’s size. We exist!!

    • diane says...

      I agree. Love this look and this model example.

  34. Catie says...

    Jumping on the bandwagon to say THANK YOU for featuring a woman whose shape is much closer to mine than many of the usual outfit posts. I always love reading them no matter what, and I really appreciate the diversity of body types you’re continuing to add. McKenzie is stunning, and this is such great inspiration–especially those pants we all seem to totally dig!

  35. Trisha says...

    whoa- someone said it above I think- “stunner”! she is gorgeous and now she is my style muse. I love every single thing she is wearing! I wonder if I could get away with those wide leg trousers at 5’3?? Also, taking her picture to the salon next time for her haircut! She’s killing it. Please continue this series, I love it and love the diversity!

    • Nectar says...

      I’m 5’3 and I tried those Madewell trousers and I actually look taller! I wear them with 2.5″ heel boots and the length is pretty perfect.

  36. Laura says...

    A woman with breasts! Thank you! Those of us who are busty need waist definition to not look frumpy. So many clothes these days are all about weird shapes and that just doesn’t work for me. I’m reminded of an interview (maybe linked from here actually) in which Lena Dunham’s stylist for Girls admits to fitting the clothes to Lena’s body and then intentionally moving a seem or hemline to make the fit awkward.

  37. L.M. says...

    So nice to see such a beautiful tall, curvy woman on this blog. Representation matters! Thank you!

    • MM says...

      My thought exactly! Thank you, Cup of Jo!

  38. My dad taught me that Levi’s trick, only he said you sit in the tub, and then just leave them on until they dry (several hours!); do your normal activities. But be careful where you sit while they’re wet, because the dye will transfer. :)

  39. Tessa says...

    Thank you for this. It is hard on those of us who diet hard and exercise to be a size 10. Seeing a beautiful stunner who is not a size two is so wonderful. We can all be beautiful! I also love that she embraces that alabaster skin. Well done, Cup of Jo!

  40. Jordon says...

    I love the idea of providing clothes for women of all shapes and sizes and I was excited to visit the Land of Women store HOWEVER the sizes are only from S-L, no XL. Not really inclusive when you know that most women fall into the L and XL (and even XXL) sizes.

    I’m a bit disappointed. I thought this would be resource for finding sizes for all women. Heads up Land of Women: think about including sizes beyond S-L.

    • HJM says...

      I tend to agree… I was excited to think there might be something my size (XL) but no. Another retail fail.

    • Lauren says...

      I thought the same thing! I am a fellow tall lady (6’1″ represent!), and wear a size 18/20… I got super excited to see a curvier gorgeous women featured and that she owns her own clothing company, but when I went to their site it was the typical S-M-L game. Not even close to something I could wear. Land of Women, please consider extending your range to be more inclusive, I guarantee us curvy ladies will love it!

  41. Mallory says...

    My favorite yet! I love seeing women who look like me and who also struggle with the skinny jean trend! Beautiful! Beautiful!

    • Sabrina says...

      Totally agree!
      My favorite so far :-)

  42. Katie C says...

    “When pants are relaxed, I feel relaxed.”
    YES! I love that it’s not all about the skinny jeans anymore. I was getting rather tired of them and they really don’t look that great on me anyways.

  43. Her eyes do smile so much. I think about that in pictures, too….good to know it’s an actual model trick! ;) Gorgeous and confident!

  44. Nataly says...

    Loving the diversity! She’s beautiful! If only I could exude such confidence with my newly post partum body… So hard to dress these days, such a self esteem blow, I’d love a post on dressing a curvy post partum body…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good idea! thank you, nataly. and congratulations on your baby! xo

  45. Dana says...

    LOVE. Everything…. such a cool vibe.

  46. Kassie says...

    Genius. I’ve got to learn how to sew. So little seems to fit me just right, I should definitely get into tailoring my own clothes.

  47. Anne says...

    Wow I love how she’s not bothering with skinny jeans!! They’re not that comfy anyway :/

  48. Jami says...

    She looks amazing!!

  49. Amy says...

    Aahhh and all of a sudden I want to cut my hair again – just love everything about her!

  50. Sarah says...

    Yes! Great interview. Love the dress and jacket and “women should look intimidating’ : thanks

  51. Melanie says...

    Thanks for featuring someone with a similar body type to mine. More diversity please! It’s good to know that someone who isn’t thin can still look amazing, no weight loss necessary.

  52. Umm, does McKenzie Raley do makeovers?! What a well-heeled beauty!

  53. Jen says...

    Hallelujia, thank you for featuring a beautiful woman who is not stick thin!

  54. Alice says...

    She is craaaaazy beautiful. And she seems very cool and funny from her answers.

    Thanks so much for sharing your style, McKenzie!

  55. Thank you, thank you. I love this post. I also love her style. She is gorgeous!

    Alina

  56. Kathryn says...

    I love how you are including a broader range of body types. Thanks!

  57. Cynthia says...

    McKenzie exudes confidence! I’m short and stocky, and I know skinny pants will just make my hips look wider, so I go for boot cut pants or jeans. I have learned to dress to suit myself, and not follow the trends.

  58. Jenna says...

    She. Is. Gorgeous. I was just thinking how much confidence was blazing out of her eyes and posture in that first picture, so when I read that she was a model, it made perfect sense. That is what I want to look like every day! So alluring!

  59. Bee says...

    “I think women SHOULD look intimidating, especially now.” – 💜💜💜

  60. Ah, so funny, What goes around comes around. In high school (1960s) we would sit in a bathtub full of VERY hot water to shrink our jeans. McKenzie you are a beauty and you carry yourself like a boss. If only I were as tall…

  61. Fran Lyon-Dugin says...

    Love these looks, especially the dress with leather jacket. She’s my girl! (literally, haha…I’m her Mom)

    • Ali says...

      Haha, go, mom!

    • Maggie says...

      Love this comment! What a great mom you must be to raise such a beautiful and confident daughter!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hi Mckenzie’s mom!!! :)

  62. Love her effortless style. Great outfits.

  63. Karen says...

    It has been a dumb and heartbreaking and brain numbing sort of year–and I know things like fashion or feeling comfortable in my body and bones has been put on the back burner BIG time (as it should be in times like these) BUT this–she looks like me! I look like her! Now i want to go to Sweden and cry in a clothing store, because how nice to not be made to feel as though you are invisible.

    this moment made me think of this epic article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/fashion/chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-boots-no7-makeup.html?_r=0

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on beauty and feminism, a good read, along these same lines.

  64. Tiffany says...

    Thank youuuuuu for posting something relatable to all of us tall, curvy folk! I’m 6’2″ and about to start a new job in an office where I will need to look put together every day. I’ve been feeling stressed out not because of the new workplace pressure, but about what to wear that fits the bill AND I can feel confident in. Those wide leg trousers I am FEELING! This couldn’t have been better timing.

  65. Haha, I had a similar experience when I realized skinny pants weren’t all that right for me. So many other great options out there! Love McKenzie’s looks. :)

  66. Laura says...

    She’s fabulous. I have honestly wondered before if an outfit was too much, venturing on intimidating, but she clearly shows it’s about channeling how great the outfit helps you feel rather than it inciting insecurity.

  67. This may be my favorite edition of the “Week of Outfits” series to date. I am obsessed with McKenzie’s first look -it’s so simple and yet so chic. I love the pop of camel to break up the monotone. Her style is effortless while still feeling fresh and pulled together. I plan on recreating a couple of these looks in the coming weeks. I love this peek into real women’s wardrobes (and lives). Thank you for sharing!

    xo,
    Shawna || http://www.shawnaleeann.com

  68. M Embry says...

    She absolutely does smile with her eyes! First thing I noticed. What a freaking gorgeous person. I also love “women SHOULD look intimidating. Especially now.” Thank you for that, Mackenzie.

  69. Lavinia B. says...

    Love it, thanks for taking your readers’ suggestions and having more diversity in the ladies you profile. So nice to see a tall woman, and thank you for the awesome clothing suggestions. MacKenzie is gorgeous, and I have pretty much the same body type 6 ft and 155 lbs here. Perhaps I should travel to Sweden or the Netherlands for shopping; in the U.S., I tend to feel like a giant in many stores with a tall size 8/10.

  70. Brittney says...

    I love the Week Of Outfits and My Beauty Uniform posts so much! The outfit posts are so creative. I love the diversity. Cup of Jo is the best. You are my absolute favorite blog. Xx.

  71. Brianna says...

    Also, I’d like to amend my comment to say that McKenzie is gorgeous and her taste is impeccable.

  72. Brianna says...

    I always envy women who can pull off wide leg trousers. At 5’2″ and wobbly at best in any heel above an inch, I just look silly. I always wanted to be one of those powerful career women who could run around looking sassy in her wide leg dress trousers and pointy toe heels. I got the powerful career, but not the body or ability for heels/trousers. I struggle daily to dress professionally for work. I need a professional stylist desperately!

    • Christine says...

      I’m 5’1.5″ (or as my 6’2″ friend says “small enough that half inches still matter”) and overall tiny. Through trial and error, I’ve found that skinny trousers work much better for me than anything straight cut or wide-legged if I’m trying to look professional and powerful (as long as they aren’t too tight, that is).

    • Brianna says...

      Thanks, Christine. That’s good to know. I’ll keep an eye for some skinny trousers. I bet Loft has something in their petite section – I tend to do well there.

    • Laura says...

      i too am a professional woman at 5 foot 2! i have found that a slim, ankle length pant is my best fit – ankle length makes your legs look longer (as does a mid rise!) and they can be worn with both heels (i rarely do heels other than wedges at work) and flats.

    • LJ says...

      Totally this, Laura. 5″2 here too and I’ve been trying to work the whole straight-leg, Man Repeller, Mom jean thing lately. Finally gave up and went running ecstatically back to mid-rise, ankle-length skinnies. They’re exactly what works for me.

    • Sadie says...

      It’s like straight and curly hair– we all want what we don’t have. Wide-leg pants are my best friends, and I always find myself pining to be able to pull off those trim-looking ankle-length tapered ones. :)

  73. Katie says...

    Made me laugh out loud: “I come from a long line of non-jumpers.” Me too, friend. Me too.

  74. Samantha says...

    Love this. My body is very similar to hers and now I want to try out some new pants silhouettes. I think I’ll put new clothes on my Xmas list :)

  75. Kathleen says...

    I second all the comments so far. Love seeing a beautiful, stylish woman whose shape mirrors my own.

  76. Auste says...

    Wow. I always love these posts, but this time I want every. single. outfit.

    Also: I really gotta work on my smizing! She looks radiant!:)

  77. Erin S says...

    Those wide leg Madewell trousers look AMAZING on Mckenzie!!! I’m tempted to try them myself now …

  78. I love her style! Thanks for sharing. The black dress and leather jacket is on point. She does look bad a*s, as we all should.

  79. I love McKenzie’s style, and love these week of outfits posts! Also love all the inclusivity on the blog recently. Cup of Jo is just the best!

    xo,
    Laura @ http://www.thriveorsurvive.us

  80. Beautiful woman! Confident and lovely.

  81. jill says...

    Jo, you really listened. Thank you for showing us a different (so, so, hot!) body type. Mckenzie, you’re gorgeous!

  82. Celeste says...

    haha about the hot glue gun skirt.

    This woman is gorgeous and I LOVE her style! <3 Sending to my friend who has almost the exact height/body shape.

  83. Natalie Brennan says...

    Her clothes are elegant, and McKenzie herself is GORGEOUS. #girlcrush

  84. Wonderful style, I especially love the effortless chic look of the moto jacket and flowy black dress. It’s great to see body diversity and the style of such a creative woman! Great choice to feature her!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  85. Christy says...

    Agreed! It’s so nice to see a woman that I can relate to and feel inspired by in terms of fashion. Thank you McKenzie!

  86. Claudia says...

    Oh my gosh it’s so refreshing to see a woman that looks like me in your ‘week of outfits’! More body diversity please. She is absolutely gorgeous and so fashionable.

    • Maggie Ray says...

      Seconded!!! I so often see these kind of posts and think, “Of course this looks amazing on Kylie Jenner, but it’s not going to look like that on me.” This is awesome.

    • Mandy says...

      Totally agree! There are fashionable women of all shapes and sizes, but sometimes I feel that’s not shown here.