Style

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Screenwriter Gemma Burgess (and my BFF) lives in downtown Manhattan with her husband and two little boys. “I truly love clothes,” she says. “But when it comes to choosing what to wear, I just wing it. If I’m writing, I wear one step up from pajamas, and if I actually leave the apartment, I dress to feel happy and confident, and that means somewhere between Gordon Gekko and Courtney Love.” Here, Gemma shares five outfits she wore in a week…

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Coat: Zara, similar. T-shirt: Feminist Fight Club. Skirt: The Kooples. Boots: Topshop, similar.

“When people ask me where I’m from, I take a deep breath: I’ve lived in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, Zurich, London and New York City. I don’t feel like I’m from anywhere in particular – I have British and Australian passports, an American green card, and my husband is Irish. I feel most at home in walking cities with crowds and skyscrapers. I lived in London the longest: 11 years. Living there inspired me to just wear what I like and not worry about what anyone else might think. London girls are experimental and cool and full of attitude and humor. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and therefore, they always look just right. Also, for bare legs: I have been trying the St. Tropez spray tan stuff from Sephora, and I must say it is delightful.”

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

“Okay, so here is The Ugly Clutch Story: When we were living in London, my husband Fox was offered a job in Zurich. He commuted for a year, while I worked in advertising, and then I moved to join him in Zurich to work on a book series when I was pregnant with our first son. But Switzerland was hard for me. Fox traveled a lot, and I was lonely and unhappy. My secret dream was to be a screenwriter and live in NYC, but I was scared that I would never do these things. On the corner of our road in Zurich was an odd little boutique, and in the window was this horrendously ugly clutch. Every time I passed it, first heaving my giant pregnant tummy and then pushing the baby in his stroller, I would scowl at it. But as soon as my U.S. visa arrived, I was prematurely nostalgic for the ugly clutch, so I purchased it as a memento. Now it is one of my favorite things. I wear it everywhere.”

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Sweater: Brooks Brothers. Jeans: Zara. Socks: Heat Holders.

“When I’m writing at home, which is almost every day, there is a 99% chance I am wearing my favorite jeans (they’re much too big and soooo comfy), this mottled green sweater that my dad gave my husband years ago and I stole at some point, and a brown leather belt I got when I was 23. I also wear Heat Holders socks, which my husband and I both LOVE and snatch straight from the clean laundry pile to hoard from each other. They are like wearing bunny rabbits: soft and warm.”

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Faux fur jacket: Topshop, similar. Dress: Topshop, similar. Boots: Doc Martens. Fishnet socks: ASOS. Bag: Isabel Marant.

“My date nights outfits depend on my mood and the weather. Sometimes I want to be cozy in a big sweater; sometimes I feel like being a little sparkly and flashy. One time I was wearing something a tad over the top and said to Fox, ‘Is this too much?’ and he said, ‘Well, you look exactly like you, and that’s why I love you.’ We like to squeeze every ounce out of a date by starting early. We kiss the boys goodnight and skip out of the house, before the bedtime/bathtime hour of power, and go to a museum or movie and don’t think or talk about work or children for a few hours. Then we always eat at the bar in a restaurant, rather than at a table. I think food tastes better at the bar, and the drinks are definitely better. (Our go-to spots are Lure, Augustine, Mermaid Oyster Bar and Dirty French.) Then we go home as early as we can without the babysitter thinking we are totally lame.”

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Pants: Vince. Top: H&M, similar. Blazer: Zara, similar. Shoes: Tod’s.

“I wear this to pitch meetings. I’ve been screenwriting for a couple of years – I’ve sold enough pitches and scripts to make a living, but nothing has been on screen yet (please cross your fingers, toes, everything for me; scripts are like baby turtles: most of them never make it to the sea). With screenwriting, the odds are strongly stacked against success. But I try very hard not to think about that. I love to write — I write all the time, constantly, I can’t not write. So, as long as I’m enjoying the journey, I can avoid freaking out about reaching the destination. My favorite TV shows are Catastrophe, Fleabag, You’re The Worst, Shameless and This Is Us; and I love re-watching comfort food like Felicity, The West Wing and Brothers & Sisters.”

A Week of Outfits: Gemma Burgess

Sweater: Brooks Brothers. Jeans: Zara. Slides: Urban Outfitters.

“On the last day of the week, I wrote again at home all day, so I re-wore my favorite jeans and the ancient green sweater. NO JUDGING. I wore a different bra. (Probably.) And my pink fluffy slides. When my husband first saw these slides, he said, ‘You’re not wearing them outside the apartment, right?’ and I said ‘Of course not!’ But I am one hundred percent wearing them outside the apartment. They look like something Miss Piggy would wear, and that is a very good thing.”

Thank you so much, Gemma! We love you. (And here’s her beauty uniform, if you’d like to see.)

P.S. More women share their week of outfits, and five things I can’t stop wearing.

(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo.)

  1. yeah. this gal is great. I have read and re-read her beauty uniform countless times. Although I gotta say, that skin is genetic. There ain’t no product that can do that. Anyway, she seems like a real peach.

  2. I love your sense of fashion

  3. one of my favorite weeks of outfits to date!

  4. Cassie says...

    Hahaha, no wonder she’s your BFF — she seems hilarious and so down to earth. Happy that you found each other! :)

  5. Love her sense of humor – keeping everything crossed that we see her work on screen soon!

  6. Elizabeth says...

    Hilarious.

    Good luck getting something to screen – we’re rooting for you!

  7. Lucy W. says...

    I’m not original, but I also have to say, that I love Gemma.
    Her books, especially “A Girl Like You”, are funny, warm and entertaining. You can feel, that the person, who wrote them is happy. Please give my thanks and hugs to her. She inspired me greatly.
    Hugs,
    Lucy

  8. Love the way she feels and talks about style! Wonderful looks!

  9. Liz says...

    I’m so glad you’ve posted about Gemma a few times now, her blog is a delight to read!

  10. Amanda says...

    I blame Gemma for my love of Adidas slides! How can one make shower shoes look so cute!

  11. Keli says...

    Gemma looks comfortable and feminine and cool! Is it possible to get a profile of the Burgess home, if that is her home? It looks like Gemma has a great sense of style at home, too! The artwork has personality, the furniture is warm, the layout leaves room to breathe. It would be nice to get a source for the blue water artwork. :)

  12. the clutch story is so good. what a charming post!!

  13. Lucy W. says...

    I’m not original but I also have to say that I love Gemma.
    Her books (my favorite is “A Girl Like You”) are funny, warm and really entertaining. You can feel that the person who wrote them is happy.
    Please give my thanks and hugs to her.
    She inspired me greatly.

    Lucy W.

  14. mandy says...

    i love gemma! she has such a fun and warm personality. i always feel like i’m her best friend when i read anything she’s written.

  15. Alison says...

    I have the same slides and LOVE them! Something about that fuzz :) I was just wearing them inside but they recently made their outdoor debut on a girls trip to SC!

  16. M says...

    I bought a dress today. Cute, but not normally my style. But in the words of Gemma, I asked myself if I would feel happy and confident wearing it. I answered yes, so I got the dress!

  17. Christina says...

    I really love the fact that she said that when she’s writing at home, she’s in a step up from pajamas, and then *showed* that. TWICE! I love the realness. Also, the pitch outfit is amazing *insert multiple thumbs up emojis*

  18. Laurel says...

    Ummm….I need to follow Gemma’s beauty routine because she looks like she’s 23!

  19. Colleen says...

    Love it. And good taste/humor in TV shows! Check out Casual (on Hulu), Gemma. You’ll love it!

  20. Erica says...

    Gemma is my fashion spirit animal. Geez.

  21. Emm says...

    I think is funny that you had a wiki to Gordon Gekko. Also, love how she rocks those menswear blazers. Teach me your ways!!!

  22. virginie says...

    Love Gemma’s style ! my favourite of this outfit’s series so far!

  23. Olivia Martin says...

    Gemma is my favorite. Always. I still use her trick about the Rimmel eye crayon and get compliments every time I do it.

    • Kristina says...

      What’s the Rimmel eye crayon trick?!?!

  24. Nectar says...

    Catastrophe and Fleabag FTW!

    Getting fur slides asap.

  25. Madeline Burgess says...

    Throwing my weight behind the collective and supporting an apartment tour. Gemma can be the first to complete the Cup of Jo trifecta!

  26. Sophie Keller says...

    Thanks for this post! I’m so jealous of Gemma being Joanna’s BFF and vice versa. And I live in ZH so it kind of could have happened. By the way, I don’t understand how it is special to wear the same outfit twice in a week, but I live in Switzerland, right? We are a few decades late in coolness. And a few decades ahead in sustainable development, I guess?

  27. Kate says...

    Gorgeous post. Gemma is a true inspiration ❤️

  28. Dee says...

    She is adorable!! Thanks for sharing, love her style.

  29. Rebecca says...

    This woman is a girl after my own heart. Her style is top notch!

  30. Mariana says...

    Love Gemma and her style! Her beauty uniform is one of my favourites :)

  31. Holly says...

    I can relate to all of this. Sounds like a great best friend! And our babysitter always wonders why we’re home so early. We’re tired ?!

  32. Whitney says...

    Your chunky rings are amazing!!! It’s probably too much to ask where they are from, but…where are they from?!

    • Rebecca says...

      I believe the “rings” are attached to the clutch. Looks like an Alexander McQueen. Hope that helps!

    • Karinny says...

      I believe they are part of the clutch!

  33. I love those orange slides, they’re the perfect, simple way to slip in a pop of color. Also I wish I were that stylish just “slipping” something on…

    Nicolette | http://www.nicolette.co

  34. I love her anecdotes! She’s a total catch. Friend-catch and otherwise.

  35. Love the fact that you kept it real and showed off your ‘house clothes’ :)

  36. so fun! LOVE that she re-wore the same outfit!!! I do that all the time – no one will remember and I do so much laundry (3 kids, cloth diapers says it all) that I”m putting it in the laundry if it has actual dirt or smell on it.

  37. Abby says...

    I love her wearing the green sweater & big jeans ? 2x and keeping it real. I’m not judging you, girl!

  38. Kelly says...

    Where did Gemma get her eyeglasses, (pic 4) love the color!

  39. Volha says...

    ahhhaha, I wore exactly the same furry slides outside today, and my husband was like they look ridiculous! But I don’t care, they are sooooo comfy and cute )

  40. Kanga says...

    So excited to hear about a grown up named Fox!! … my (Irish) husband and I have always planned to call our son Fox … and he’s finally due in 8 weeks!!

  41. Caroline H says...

    Love how her husband’s name is Fox. That’s my brother’s name and I have never heard of another person with the same. Awesome.

  42. rachel says...

    cant get over how much she looks like Alicia Silverstone! she’s darling.

  43. Ashley says...

    I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS POST FOR YEARS. Gemma is basically my imaginary big sister. I still think about her line about meditating over lipstick in Sephora all the time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Ashley says...

      Also, “eat fat and sweat a lot” is basically my life mantra. Thanks Gemma, you’re the best.

  44. Stephanie says...

    Speaking of other things we want to know about Gemma… I’d love to hear about how she got in to screen writing! Especially as a mom with young kids. I totally resonated with the part where she said that was always a “secret dream” of hers!

  45. Claire says...

    Excellent! I love how un-fussy these outfits are, but she still looks terrific. Love her jeans with her husband’s lovely ex-sweater, and the fuzzy slippers. (Does anybody else like towear men’s cotton or linen shirts in the warm months? They are easy to find at thrift stores. I think men have the best shirts. ) Thanks for the tip on the Heat Holder’s socks too. Even though it is broiling hot here, I am keeping them in mind for winter.

    • Angela says...

      I do! I steal my husbands shirts all the time!

  46. Loving the tweed jacket! Absolutely stunning, thanks for the share. Love reading your blog.

  47. I love Gemma’s style! I can completely see the London inspiration – especially with the skirts and tweeds. I love the furry jacket – I must get one of those myself! She’s not afraid to wear color and I really admire that. I work from home too, and must confess that I will wear the same outfit a few days in a row (with clean undies!).

  48. Stephanie says...

    I love the modern artwork! It would be cool to see CoJ’s picks for cool, abstract art.

  49. This WOO is now tied for first place with Toby – of course she wore the same outfit in one week (as someone who works from home) and I love that she admitted it! I always enjoy these posts but as I’ve been working from home for the past few years it was getting harder and harder to identify with these fashion forward ladies. I find myself making a mental ‘week of non-outfits’ if were ever to be interviewed just to amuse myself and I think Gemma’s is the closest to what my post would look like! That 20 something fashionista is in there somewhere, but she really only comes out for a rare date night, girl’s weekend, or bbq. I also love my joke-gift-turned-never-take-off casio watch, just like her ugly clutch. Made me laugh.

  50. Johanna says...

    I want to know how you two BFFs met!

  51. Sarah says...

    Wait wait wait… are those brass knuckles?! I really hope they are.

  52. Katie Larissa says...

    Thanks for the realism!! I wear the same “at home” uniform too and it’s refreshing to see someone who doesn’t dress to the nines every single day. (Or pretend to. Haha.)

  53. Haylie says...

    The ugly clutch story is the best thing I’ve read all week (and so cinematic, which makes sense!). I live in Austin, which I hate, but everyone else loves, and I’m super lonely. And I *also* desperately want to move to NYC, but I’m not sure if it’ll ever happen. So what I love about the ugly clutch story is how it shows the way that things–a living situation, how you feel about an object–can unexpectedly change for the better. <3

    • Katie says...

      Haylie, I lived in Austin for several years and hated it, too! You’re not alone.

    • Haylie says...

      Aw, thanks, Katie! That helps. It’s hard to hate a place that everyone else loves!

    • grace s says...

      Hi Haylie! I live in Austin actually and if you ever needed someone to chat with or get coffee with, I’d be happy to!

      Best,
      Grace

    • Haylie says...

      Grace! That’s so nice! I’d love to. I’m hayliebrooke@gmail.com. Hit me up!

    • Kate says...

      I currently live in Seattle, but am from the south and considering a move to Austin to be closer to family and I’m afraid I’ll also hate it! I know I’m fortunate to be able to choose my city, but the process of finding a place to settle down is overwhelming.

  54. I love Gemma’s appartment! Can you guys do a tour and talk about where she got her table and dining chairs?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the chairs are from restoration hardware! i’ll ask her about the table.

  55. Liz says...

    looooooooove. that’s all. : )

  56. Jillian says...

    Well that was fun!

  57. Love Gemma’s books!! Fingers crossed the Hollywood power tides shift in favor of bringing these baby turtle screenplays to life! Clearly there is a market just based on these comments alone!!

  58. Alice says...

    Her style feels so wonderfully London. Experimental, sassy, with a cool edge. That date night outfit with the green coat is perfection. And overall I particularly love how her outfits really show her humour and wit (the red boots, cool shades, the slides!).

    I’m a writer too, and have a similar approach to dressing (pj’s in private, more fun stuff in public), but what I would really love to read is an interview about her career. I want to side step into screenwriting from fiction and playwriting and want to know how easily she did that. Every time I research the switch I get bombarded by fancy software ads, and then retreat in fear it’s all about who you know anyway.

    • grace s says...

      I’ve never been to London but I loooove all the street style I’ve admired from afar! I love the mix of prints, colors, and proportions.

  59. Leah says...

    Thank you, SO MUCH for this one. I work/write from home too (though nothing as lovely as screenwriting or fiction) and seeing someone else wear their favourite jeans AGAIN and their favourite jumper AGAIN and (probably) a different bra… YES! All the feels. :D

  60. Sasha says...

    Doesn’t everyone rewear the same outfits a couple times?! I have special hooks in my closet for “airing” my not quite dirty laundry, with the express purpose of wearing again (& again!). I guess if Gemma does it, no shame, right?

    • Ashley says...

      This is such a good idea! Way better than my chairdrobe.

    • And better than my floordrobe. I’m not complete slob though. Some clean clothes are hung and folded…

    • Robin says...

      Yes! I have a row of hooks in my room and both my sons’ rooms for the wear-again clothes. With a baby and preschooler in the house putting anything I’ve worn back in the closet is a recipe for disaster but I am not washing my sweaters (or anything but underwear and socks, really) unless it is clearly dirty. There is more than enough laundry in this house already! I do find it’s a good way to figure out which clothes I actually like. I don’t often wear the same outfits every day (clearly dirty is not hard to achieve around here ;). If something hangs out on one of those hooks for too long and I keep choosing not to wear it, it’s probably not “sparking joy” – time to wash it and send it off to goodwill.

    • Gretchen Rubin did two podcast episodes on the question of what to do with clothes that you need to research because they were inundated with comments after the first show, so yes, it’s a thing.

      I have a 5-hook thing next to my bed where my clothes air overnight or two days and then I fold and put back for re-wear.

  61. Laura says...

    House/apartment tour please!

    • Ellen says...

      I second this!

    • Elizabeth says...

      I third it!

  62. Samantha says...

    Love her outfits, but I really want to know about the dining chairs. Is no one else curious? They’re perfect! Would you share the source, Gemma? Thanks!

    • elizabeth r says...

      I was just here to post the same thing!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      they’re from restoration hardware! xo

  63. Great outfits and great interview! I like her style and attitude about writing and work success. And of course, eating at the bar – always the best! :)

  64. Sonja says...

    When I grow up I want to be Gemma.

    • Wb says...

      Ditto

  65. Jo says...

    The 5th pic, (outside what looks like a construction site) is stunning! I thought it was a #tbt pic to when Gemma was in her 20s!!

    You look great Gemma!

  66. Paige says...

    Yay!!! I love Gemma! <3

  67. Emma says...

    She seems so fun and unique! (Also – Catastrophe, Fleabag, & You’re the Worst are my 3 favorite shows so I can’t wait to see something you’ve written, Gemma, as I feel like I will love it based on that!)

  68. Katie G says...

    Gemma seems so fun! I reread her Beauty Uniform post, and it made me think, I’d love to see a series about different people’s exercise/nutrition routines. It is tiresome to see these supermodels talk about how they never work out and eat cheeseburgers every day. Some people may have that body type (and congrats to them for winning the genetic lottery!), but most people (including me) don’t. I find it encouraging to see how people exercise, how they fit it in, etc. It’s also good to see that it does take hard work to be healthy and that I’m not the only one who has to put in lots of effort!

    • Paige says...

      I would love to see this too!! I’m so curious what different routines people have/their diet. Good idea :)

    • Lauren E. says...

      I second!

    • Sasha says...

      What a super idea, I too would love that. Could have a few favorite recipes perhaps too.

    • Em says...

      Great idea!! I would love to see this as well.

    • Rebecca says...

      Looks like I may be in the minority, but I disagree. There are other places I can go to get that inspiration, and I like that Cup of Jo is just fun (at least as to beauty/style issues — I appreciate the more emotionally heavy or political posts). I also love that the women featured in the beauty and style posts have all different kinds of bodies and there doesn’t seem to be any sense that they are all striving to fit a certain ideal. It helps me feel like even though I’m still struggling with those last ten pounds of baby weight, I don’t have to hold off on rocking certain styles.

  69. Lennon says...

    Omg I can’t believe the sweater she lounges in is almost $500! GOALS

    • Oh my gosh, it would never have been that much – I mean, my father liked my husband just fine, but he would never spend that much on any piece of clothing!! It’s not cashmere – it’s just wool. So I think the link might be wrong, even though it’s a very similar color…

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sorry, our mistake! we’ll swap the link!

    • Sasha says...

      Brooks brothers does a big winter sale, where the cashmeres are 50 percent off. They are still expensive, but not $500. (And I swear a couple of years ago the full price was $300). I like to get one for my husband, whose birthday is in January.

  70. Alexia says...

    @gemma
    I’m nearly the same as you regarding nationalities. I was born in HK, but I have a British/Australian passport from my parents and currently live in the States on a green card. My accent is British when I’m around British people and American-British (meaning American with some British words and sounds) around Americans. Glad to find someone similar to me:)

  71. nicole says...

    Gemma, can we be friends?! WWMPD? (what would miss piggy do?)

  72. Elise says...

    How did you two meet??

    • Michelle says...

      I’d love to know as well! You cool mommas are giving me hope for when I have my little one this October. I’m secretly counting on her to help matchmake with other moms. Living in a newi’sh city with no friends and pregnant can feel VERY lonely. I get so self conscious that people assume I can’t be cool since I’m pregnant. I go to bed at 9:30 most nights but I’m a bag of laughs when I’m awake!

  73. Colleen says...

    Oh my god she’s so rad. But you’re forgetting – how’d you meet?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you guys are so sweet! we met at brunch when our mutual friend was visiting NYC from London. we both had young babies — toby was at home with alex, but i remember that gemma had brought her son errol and i carried him around the restaurant for a few minutes so she could eat her meal. after that, we had our first date at the Jamaican restaurant Miss Lily’s and the rest was history :)

  74. ClareV says...

    She is amazing! I want to read everything she has written and see a flat tour.

    P.S. I’m feeling a little Single White Female over here since I’m also an Aussie that’s lived all over, married to an Irishman with two kiddos, work from home, own a variety of metallic sneakers and have exactly the same taste in TV. I promise I live in another city!

  75. Lisa says...

    “Would Miss Piggy where this?” Is a pretty awesome style rule

    • Lisa says...

      I mean wear, not where

  76. Love those Topshop boots!

  77. Giulia says...

    I live in Zurich for many years, but I grew up in Switzerland as a Swiss Canadian. I could see that Zurich might feel lonely, it’s so structured and rule abiding. It’s hard to break into the locals and joining the ‘expat wifes’ isn’t really what I’d be looking for in Zurich. I have the same Brooks Brother’s sweater that I wear all the time!

  78. I loved this! As a writer myself, I loved that her clothes were comfortable and still fun. I also LOVE reading about other writers!

    india

  79. PM says...

    Gemma seems wonderful! I want her as a BFF, too. :)

  80. Kim says...

    Is that an Alexander McQueen clutch?

    • Omgosh no – though it does have a lot of skulls, it’s not even leather. It is, I think, an Eastern European rip-off of Alexander McQueen, and it was about 80 Swiss Francs, which was about 75 Swiss Francs too much.

      I packed it in my carry-on luggage for a trip a few weeks ago and the airport security guy spent ages staring at my bag on the scanner. Then he called another guy over, and said to him: “is that… a knuckleduster?” I was like “Oh, it’s a clutch! It’s just this ugly clutch thing, I swear! You can look and see!”

    • Kim says...

      Ha ha, great story!

    • Suzanne says...

      Haha, I thought that too! I don’t think it’s ugly at all ?

  81. Debbie says...

    But where are those amazing white cat eye sunglasses from??

    • Debbie says...

      Are you wearing the black ones in the first set of photos? They’re on sale too!

  82. L says...

    Desperately want Gemma to write a vehicle for Busy Philipps — in terms of humor and style they seem *so* well aligned. Also, Gemma, if you like eating at the bar go to I Sodi — order the negroni sbagliato and literally any pasta.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      OMG I SODI!!!! best italian in new york, hands down. their cacio e pepe! the artichokes!

    • Omg. DONE! That is our next date night! (Also, LOVE Busy Philipps.)

    • Could not agree more – the quaintest and most delicious and for some reason would feel just WRONG not sitting at the bar there :)

  83. diana says...

    great post, but now the world must know- what the heck kind of accent does this girl have living in all these different places?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question!! gemma, how would you describe your accent?

      strangers seem to think she’s english, but also there’s a little bit of american, australian and irish mixed in :)

    • It’s HORRENDOUS.

      Jk jk. Joanna is right – it’s sort of a funny non-accent, a messy English-Aussie, I often get mistaken for South African which is odd as I’ve never even been there. My sis has the same accent, my Hong Kong school friends have the same accent. And every now and then I hear someone in a bar or something with my accent and I immediately accost them. They always grew up in Hong Kong or Singapore or maybe Dubai. It’s weird!

    • Interesting – I had wondered about this also, as someone who is into different accents, and keen on guessing where people are from.

      Gemma, that’s fascinating.

  84. Nikki says...

    Can you do a post about her apartment!? It looks STUNNING!!

    • Tricia says...

      I second a request for a look at this apartment!

    • NKM says...

      I third! I already loved her “make up” post (a couple years back)!

  85. Ha! I LOVE this! I also work from home and have a similar old hat uniform – overworked cashmere sweater with holes at both elbows and men’s 501s. It is truly the best. I appreciate so much that all involved were authentic about that. Yes we love to see the outfits and individual styles, but your blog is special because it’s always about the person first, and how their life and experiences have shaped their tastes (the ugly clutch story! ) Much more interesting than poses in trendy looks.

  86. Kate Childs says...

    Gemma, I adore you so much! Stop being the coolest. This was such a wonderful post to read. XOXO

  87. Julie says...

    As a writer, it makes me happy to see another writer who dresses it up for outside the house but, while writing, goes for the same old jeans, sweater, and warm socks (even in summer, air conditioning makes my feet freezing!). Woot.

  88. Ok, but how do I BECOME Gemma Burgess?

  89. These are my favorite series! Especially love those red booties.

    Kendall

  90. Anna says...

    Damn, she’s a knock out !! with a sense of humor to match. This is my favorite entry in the outfits series thus far.

  91. Em says...

    Yay! Finally someone I can relate to! I look a lot like Gemma, have a similarly odd style, and also work from home as a writer in my way-too-big jeans and kind of gross sweater. Thanks for featuring her and making me feel cool :)

  92. Anne says...

    Even wearing a bra at all on a work-from-home day is impressive, let alone wearing different bras on different days!

    • hahahah so true. it was totally the same bra.

    • Amy says...

      I was impressed that Gemma wears a bra at home too. I work from home and occasionally I put on a sports bra (thinking that it’ll inspire me to go for a jog!), but that’s about as good as it gets.

  93. Em says...

    GOD BLESS, someone repeated an outfit!! Thank you, Gemma! I get that this series is outfit inspiration, but sometimes these wardrobes feel so unrealistic to me. I find myself thinking there is no way she wore all those outfits in one week. Gotta keep it real sometimes, love it.

  94. sam says...

    yessss i have been waiting for this ever since i saw her silver & gold converses in the anniversary photos :)

    (where are those from by the way?!)

    • They are from the Converses website! I love them. Good trick: I wear them with a 1.5 inch shoe lift. Converses are so flat – way too hard on one’s posture to wear with out a little help.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a REALLY good tip!

  95. Claire says...

    GEMMA I LOVE YOU

  96. Meredith says...

    Gemma I just bought the Schwarzkopf shampoo you recommended in your beauty post – LOVE. Now need to try the spray bronzer above. I have the complexion of one of those shrimp that lives at the bottom of the ocean, hope this helps.

    • Lisa says...

      I would also recommend the Clarins flash bronzing gel (saw it recommended on Man Repeller). It develops relatively quickly, is subtle and looks great. My legs are normally super pale but with this, it’s like I’m gently tanned from a day at the beach

    • Oh YAY! I am no longer super blonde so I don’t use it any more; trying to go back to my real color – but oh, it is the best best best.

      Hope you like the spray; my other favorite is Vichy Capitel Soleil, but it requires the whole gloves-moisturizer kerfuffle.

  97. Carly Haase says...

    I love her black sunglasses in the first outfit! Any chance she can share the brand?

  98. Emma says...

    OK, new rule for this series: you can’t repeat an outfit! Even if you *actually* repeat outfits. This is our one chance to gain a sneak into your life and ohh and awe at your style, so 4 outfits instead of 5 is just NOT OK. I want one more dose of inspiration!

    • Joanna Goddard says...
    • I actually thought it was really refreshing to see someone featured in the same outfit twice. As someone who also works from home, my reality is often alternating the same pairs of yoga pants, so I like the realness of the double-outfit.

    • Sasha says...

      hi, Gemma’s instagram account is private, so we cannot see the photos.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh shoot, i didn’t know that! i’ll ask her if she’ll consider making it public and see what she says :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      (i really want you guys to see a jumpsuit she wore to a party:)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ok she made it public! :)

    • This is true! The idea of repeating one started because Joanna and I were talking about me doing the Five Outfits and I said ‘I can’t; I wear the same thing every single day when I’m writing, like I basically just change my knickers’ and then we decided that was funny. I promise to post more outfits on Instagram!

    • L says...

      I completely disagree. I thought the repeat outfit was the best part. This is a sneak peak into Gemma’s life and her life includes repeat outfits, just like everyone else’s! There are so many fashion magazines and other places to go for inspiration but what I love about COJ is the “real life” aspect of it. These are real people wearing real outfits in real life. And that’s exactly what I’m here for.

    • Sam H. says...

      Oh, but I love that she re wore an outfit! It makes her seem more human than the others in the series. (I wear my favorite shirt at least 3X a week — only for a few hours each time).

      Though I agree — she has great style and i’ll have to see her IG to get a little more inspiration. :)

    • jillian says...

      The repeat WAS my inspiration. Loved it.

    • As some other commenters have said, I disagree with Emma.

      I really liked seeing a repeated outfit. This felt like a true, authentic representation of what Gemma was wearing.

    • Sara says...

      1000+ I kept scrolling to see if there are any other pics of her coz she is so cool. I was disappointed. It felt like an interview with someone and not “What I wore” series. Not that it was not a good read. Loved her humor and attitude. But I wanted to see more. And what is it people trying to find refreshing reality in a curated series. Everyone knows everybody repeats outfits. And if I ran a blog and this series and 5 people in series gave me the same repeated outfit. I will Not be happy. But of BFFs get away. So only one person will be allowed that in my hypothetical blog series.

  99. MA says...

    I loved her book “A Girl Like You”. Man, those slides tho. Those need to worn on the outside. Love her style!

    • Thank you! That book is my favorite too.

    • ks says...

      I just bought a pair of used alexander wang marabou slides & did such a happy dance – not only over the crazy cheap price but also over how excited my feet were to be in them. funnily, everyone had the same reaction when I showed my friends as gemma’s husband. glad we’ve got a feather shoe support group going – and thanks gemma for being far more fashionable / famous & setting the trend. xx

  100. Maggie says...

    Well I just couldn’t love this more. You are the best Gemma!!! Even if you choose Noel over Ben…..

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      I know, right?!?

    • Ben is every bad boyfriend I ever had. Withholding. Inconsistent. Hot.

  101. Trisha says...

    I love her style! She’s the most relatable to me so far in this series. I seriously sent those slides in an email to my friends and asked if I was too old to wear them (I’m going on 35) and most said yes, which made me want to get them that much more! I feel like I dress just like her. Or I hope I do anyway :-) Love this series!

    • Ohhh you must get them. They will make you so happy!!

    • Trisha, you are not too old. Period.

  102. amy says...

    I love Gemma! You have the coolest best friend. But I’m not surprised. You are super cool as well! Love these outfit posts.

  103. Bethany says...

    I would LOVE a “behind the scenes” post on how you do all the stories on Cup of Jo. For example, do you shoot all the outfits on one day? Over a couple days? I realize the reality is probably a lot of e-mail, but I can’t resist a closer look at how the sausage is made! ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! it would be really fun to do some behind-the-scenes posts, great idea.

      for five outfits posts, we have a long working list of people we think would be great for five outfits (keeping in mind different vibes, styles, price points, cities/states/countries, jobs, etc.)

      then we contact someone to see if they’re interested — like gemma :) we find a photographer, negotiate a rate and figure out a date that works for everyone. then we ask the five outfits person to send snapshots of five possible outfits that they wear all the time, so we can make sure they aren’t repeating anything that someone else just wore or whatever (just in case!). we encourage them to repeat jeans, bags, shoes, etc. as they normally would on an average week.

      then we go to their house on the day of the shoot and shoot all five outfits in a row, but in different locations, so readers can see that these really are outfits that they wear all the time to different things (work, dates, home, weekends, etc.). the shoot usually takes about 3-4 hours. then we write down all the brands of their clothing and accessories so that back at the office we can find those pieces online if they’re still for sale, or similar pieces online if they’re not.

      it’s too busy to talk in-depth during the shoot, so a few days (or sometimes weeks) later, we interview the person on the phone about their style, their rituals, their clothes, their shopping habits, favorite stores, where they wear each look, their family, their job, etc etc etc. we’ll also email a bunch of times.

      then we condense the interview, pulling out the best/most relevant stuff (and sometimes cutting stuff we love, which is hard, but often necessary to make a piece tight and compelling) so it can be read easily within a fun blog post.

      then we chose our final photos from all the ones the photographer took and do any cropping, etc that we might need to do. we upload the photos into a draft post and put in the interview, add the clothing links, format everything, call the interviewee with any last-minute follow-up questions or fact checking, and add all the back-end blog coding and SEO stuff.

      finally, we read the final post with the rest of our team to see if everything makes sense to fresh eyes and to catch any errant typos. then we publish. then we promote on social and answer comments and reader questions, like this! it’s a really fun, multi-faceted process. as our team is always saying, it’s often hard to make something look easy, but that’s the goal we strive for :)

      thank you so much for asking, bethany!

    • Susan says...

      Wow thanks for sharing your process!! I had no idea how much work and time went into these!

    • Kim L says...

      I absolutely love that you explained how this actually works. If anyone has been following the c&c drama, it’s made me feel a bit disenchanted with the blog world – you constantly remind me that you/COJ are an exception!

    • shannon says...

      Joanna’s comment was just as much fun to read as the post itself! Thanks for the glimpse behind the curtain. Keep up the good work :)

    • Kate says...

      Wow – thank you, Joanna!! Gemma’s post was incredible and I love that you took the time to give us an in depth look at all the work you and the CoJ team do to create a post like this!

    • Laura says...

      you know someone is good at something when they make that something look so effortless – as these posts do! great work.

    • Jillian says...

      I can’t believe you answered that so fully and so promptly. I think Joanna really is as nice as she always seems. ;)

    • Natalie says...

      Agreed – so, so interesting Jo! Thank you!

    • Thank you for posting the behind the scenes information! I agree with @Shannon that it was fun to read! I love all the series on COJ and frequently share them with friends and my boyfriend. <3

    • Katie Larissa says...

      Joanna it was so much fun to read your behind-the-scenes explanation!! Thanks for taking the time to give us a glimpse of the magic. ;)

    • Bethany says...

      Wow! Thanks so much for responding, Joanna. Just have to say, I’m an infrequent commenter but super-fan. Whenever I say: “Jo was saying today…” my husband knows I’m referring to you :) . I discovered the blog when I was 18 and so lonely in my first year of university. Now at 28, it feels like an old friend. Thanks for your response, your commitment to your readers, and for everything you do. You (and the team) do amazing work.

    • Lauren says...

      Thank you SO much for your reply! Helpful, informative, well written, and doesn’t take any of the charm away from the original post either – love it! More, please? :)

    • Nadine says...

      thank you Jo! it’s really interesting to get a glimpse of the work behind the scenes, no wonder your (and all cup of jo’s team’s) posts are so brilliant!

  104. Colleen says...

    Where I am, it’s supposed to be 109 degrees. The idea of people waking around in sweaters and socks (outside of work and working out) makes me cringe. Love the fashion, but cannot fathom sweaters in summer.

    • Colleen says...

      *walking. Darn it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh no! where do you live? the weather has been so humid lately!

    • Same! I am in Phoenix and we are under an extreme heat warning until Saturday and it’s supposed to be 120 degrees today – yikes x10000! It’s going to be tanks and shorts for me for the rest of the summer!

    • Katie says...

      We just moved back to Boise, ID and I’m 20 weeks pregnant and it’s 88 INSIDE my house ? Fall can’t get here soon enough!!!

    • Colleen says...

      Joanna- I live in Roseville, CA. It is going to be 112 on Thursday. On top of that, it has also been humid, which has been a nightmare. I have never wanted a week to end more than this one.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that’s too much!

    • In the Southern Hemisphere its winter so I felt right at home with Jose outfits. I’m South African and by the way, on the accent… when we travel overseas, people think we’re Australian!!!

  105. Lorraine says...

    We also love sitting at the bar on date night – it’s something we never get to do with our little kiddies, and something we used to do all the time pre-babies.

  106. Caitlin says...

    I LOVE her style; varying and interesting and very specific to her. Also, assuming the indoor photos were all taken inside her apartment, could we maybe get her apt tour as well? It looks kick ass.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’ll ask her, caitlin!

    • Emma says...

      Yes, apartment tour!!!!!

    • Erin says...

      Was going to ask for this as well!

  107. Yes, eating at the restaurant bar is the best! Less of a wait, and it’s fun to watch the bartender mix drinks.

  108. Kate says...

    Miss Piggy is ultimate fashion inspiration. Also, I love eating at restaurant bars! I find the food gets there faster and the bartender leaves you alone more than a server would. The people watching is better, too ;)

    • Totally!! We always end up making friends with the bartenders, too. After exactly two drinks I’m always like ‘Ima follow you on Insta!’ I follow a LOT of bartenders.

    • Jo says...

      laughed out loud at the bartenders’ insta following :)))

  109. Anna Kleinfeld says...

    What an inspiring person! Bookmarking her line about enjoying the process and not worrying too much about the destination.

  110. Sasha says...

    Brooks Brothers mens’ cashmere sweaters are the best (such better quality than Jcrew or cashmeres I’ve bought at Macy’s)!

  111. I love the ugly clutch story. I wish I could apply that method–of transforming disgust into mutual respect into outright adoration–to other things in my life.

    Gemma seems cool, and the fluffly Miss Piggy slides kick ass!

  112. Alice Jones says...

    I love Gemma. She seems funny smart and real. I laughed out loud four different times during this story. can be your BFF too?