Style

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

Jenny Cooper Style

After working as a J.Crew/crewcuts designer for 17 years, Jenny Cooper was looking for a second chapter. She’s now opening a zero waste café in Brooklyn, and bringing her playful vibe to everything she does. As for her style icon? “Children. I like wackily dressed children and their impulse to go overboard.” Here, Jenny shares five outfits she wears in a week…

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

Jacket: similar. Shirt: SZ Blockprints. Pants: SZ Blockprints. Camo bag: Porter Japan, similar. Shoes: New Balance.

“With an outfit, it’s always fun to have something that’s in opposition; it adds an interesting tension. If you’re wearing a huge top, put on skinny pants; if you’re wearing basic jeans, put on funny shoes. Here, I’m wearing bright pastels with camo. The shirt and pants are from SZ Blockprints; they work one of the oldest block printing houses in India.”

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

“The sneakers are men’s New Balance for J.Crew. I always look at men’s clothes, and men’s sneakers can be cooler than women’s. I have big feet so it works!”

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

Jacket: Craig Green. Tee: Everybody’s World (“they make T-shirts out of waste products from fabric mills”); blockprint version by IXV. Jeans: Chimala. Tan belt: similar. Shoes: similar.

“When I first thought about opening a coffee shop, I knew that I wanted zero waste to be the goal. Before, I would get my morning coffee at neighborhood places, and I’d be in these lines of people and everybody would get a plastic cup and I started visualizing what that looked like when they walked away. I thought, if I have a coffee shop, I’ll have to get all the locals to bring reusable cups. It’s a baby-step approach at looking at where there’s plastic in your life and thinking, can I change it? Now it has snowballed, and I’m learning and talking about it more, and more people want to hear about it. It’s really gratifying and kind of awesome.”

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

“I tie my shirts because I wear big pants — and if I didn’t do that, I’d look like a balloon. I find myself falling into uniforms; when I like something, I repeat it a lot until I get sick of it. Right now it’s all about the knot!”

Jenny Cooper Style

Blazer: crewcuts, similar. [Here’s Toby wearing the same blazer!] Shirt: L Train Vintage, similar. Chinos: J.Crew, similar. Belt: vintage, similar. Camo bag: Porter Japan, similar. Shoes: New Balance for J.Crew.

“Embroidering is my hobby, and I spent today embroidering boobs on a pair of chinos. I just thought it was funny to wear boobs on the outside. I also feel like men have owned the motif for so long; I like when women artists start owning it. I’ve had people mistake them for cookies and flowers, which makes me laugh. My 14-year-old son is not on board with these.”

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

“The heart sunglasses were from crewcuts. We used to joke that the boys’ line was for my two children, and the girls’ line was for the women who were designing it. (Heart sunglasses, yeah!) I’m so obsessed with my children — Miller, who is 14, and Walker, who is 16. When I was growing up, I don’t think I ever talked to a 16-year-old boy. Now it’s amazing to have one as a son, who comes up and gives you a sneaky hug. It’s an incredible bond that I didn’t expect and isn’t going away. Now they’re becoming more independent, I’m becoming more independent, and that interaction of all of us getting more independent is amazing.”

Sweater: similar. Pants: IXV. Belt: vintage, similar. Boots: YSL.

“When it comes to shopping, I try to finish everything I have — the whole idea is to not put more trash out there. And then when you need something new, make it something you love. Sustainable brands I like are Veja, Boyish Jeans, Nu Swim, and Riverside Tool & Dye. Eileen Fisher also has an amazing remade program; and For Days is an organic cotton T-shirt subscription that takes back your old T-shirts.”

Jenny Cooper Style

Shirt: SZ Blockprints. Pants: Pineapple Mama Vintage, similar. Shoes: Weejuns by Bass. Earrings: J.Crew.

“When mixing patterns at J.Crew, I learned to start with a color. If the colors fit together, it’s going to look good. And if they don’t fit together, it’s going to look bad. Throw clothes on the floor and see if the colors look good together. If they do, you’re on the way.”

Week of Outfits: Jenny Cooper

“I’m obsessed with sunflowers! It’s like you’re in an Alice in Wonderland story.”

Thank you, Jenny! Her café, IXV, will open this summer.

P.S. More women share their weeks of outfits, including a food writer and nutritionist.

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Amy says...

    Can Jenny please spend an afternoon making a youtube tutorial for how to embroider boobies? Because I want them on ALL THE THINGS now!

    Also those baggy jeans are chic af! I love them!

  2. Christina says...

    “Throw clothes on the floor.”
    Yes, I know there was more to that sentence, but I’m taking that and using it to validate my (very bad) habit…cuz now Cup of Jo made me do it. :)

  3. Wow! These comments are so wonderful and I so appreciate all of you that took the time to read and be so kind!! You are giving me life with your words!!! I agree that children’s clothes are too gendered and talking about it is a great way to start the wheels moving in a different way. I hope you will all stop by the coffee shop when it opens and introduce yourselves!! :-) :-) jenny

  4. Monica Mulhern says...

    Oh my! Jenny is my style icon, so fun, sexy in her own skin woman. Totally inspired. Thank you for sharing her with us!

  5. Kim says...

    Love this!
    Her clothes, her humor and mostly her desire to be the change. Best of luck on your zero waste coffee shop!

  6. Shannon says...

    Although I love her style, this comment about her teenagers touched me: “Now they’re becoming more independent, I’m becoming more independent, and that interaction of all of us getting more independent is amazing.” My only daughter got her license this year and it’s been hard for me to put into words how our lives have shifted. Thank you Jenny for verbalizing it.

  7. Martha L. says...

    I love her style – fun and so creative! I’m definitely pinning this post to give me ideas on how to mix and match my summer wardrobe.

  8. Kelcey says...

    I’m always happy to see these posts up, and realized today that I would enjoy them just about as much without the pictures! I just love reading all of these fabulous peoples perspectives.

  9. f says...

    love all the sustainability and bring that message to clothes! she is the coolest!

  10. E says...

    Great tips on how to make an outfit more ‘you’ and feminine

  11. Lena says...

    LOVE her style and sense of fun!

  12. Celine says...

    I love Jenny’s easy-going style!

    Talking about reusable coffee cups… Meg Hubert from Vancouver, BC makes these ceramics go-go-go coffee cups. I bought one and very seldomly use paper coffee cups now.
    Double win: not only you limit the waste but you also support a local artist!
    http://www.meghubert.com/shop-1

  13. Jessica Melindy says...

    What a giant breath of fresh air!!

  14. MB says...

    What a joyful person and a fun approach to dressing! I love the idea of reducing waste and living in England I think they’ve been a bit more progressive in this than what I know of the US currently (saying this as an American). So many simple tweaks can help to reduce the burden of waste without major inconveniences on a personal level. Besides the obvious (taking your own bags shopping, own coffee cup for takeaway, etc.) it’d be great to get more ideas on how to reduce waste both personally and as a family; I’m not sure if this is something CoJ would consider writing about. If so, thanks in advance!

    • Hi MB! I agree–I would love to see CoJ talk more about the importance of reducing waste, as well as the issues surrounding access to low-waste options. (Although I must say–since consumerism is a HUGE factor in how we produce so much waste (arguably the biggest factor), i would be disappointed if CoJ included any advertising or spon con on such a post.) Anyway, if you’re on instagram then i highly recommend checking out these people: @polly.barks @zerowastechef @popcorn.ceiling.life @zerowastedork @bipocswho_zerowaste @common_earth @dominiquedrakeford @wheeliesustainable @vintage_is_eco @aintnoplanetb and @journeyofakhalifah for starters!

  15. Hayley says...

    Jenny, you are my new style icon! I have similar hair and have been at war with it my entire life. But seeing it on you–it’s so beautiful! I really needed this nudge. So grateful for this post. xoxo

  16. Cynthia says...

    Her smile is the finishing touch on her outfits.

  17. Jess says...

    Jenny just has the most wonderful expressions! She seems like such a warm and exciting person.

    Peace and love COJ commenters! Hope you’re all having a wonderful Friday :)

    • Sasha L says...

      Jess, I just love her big smiles! Happy Friday to you as well friend.

  18. I love everything about this post!!

  19. Nina says...

    Hehe she seems like a great person to be around :)

  20. A Martin says...

    I love her whimsical style!

  21. Claire says...

    I want to dress like this! So comfortable, interesting, and pretty at the same time.
    And what about that stunning green scarf? I am wondering if it is also from SZ Blockprints?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the green scarf was from a trip she took to india for work years ago. it’s so beautiful!

  22. Kathy Farrell says...

    My favorite piece of repurposed clothing is a very old denim jacket I purchased many years ago at a consignment shop that I added parts of my favorite hooded sweatshirt to. It now great patches on the elbows and a hood attached to the collar. Ready to wear for many more years to come!

  23. Brooke says...

    Oh her face looks so free and alive. You can feel that she’s living her own life with the joy and shenanigans and tenderness that come with that. And boob pants! 🤣🙌🏽🤣 What a wonderful post and I love that you guys feature such neat free people.

  24. Mette says...

    This quote got me! “Now it’s amazing to have one as a son, who comes up and gives you a sneaky hug. It’s an incredible bond that I didn’t expect and isn’t going away. Now they’re becoming more independent, I’m becoming more independent, and that interaction of all of us getting more independent is amazing.”

    As the mum of a 3 year old boy, I often worry – Will he be okay as he grows up? Will he have mental health challenges (I grapple with anxiety, my husband with depression)? Will he want to hang out with me? Will I ever have my freedom back? This quote summed up beautifully how independence can grow without losing the connection and love and that things will probably be okay. It actually made me feel excited about him growing up and becoming a teenager! Thank you.

    • Silver says...

      Hi Mette, I have a 9 year old son (so no idea about the teenager and adult stuff yet) but I also worried about his mental health… people in my family have tended to die by suicide, or at least seriously attempted it… I never wanted to bring a child into the world who might feel the darkness I’d known. But then I fell in love and my darkness cleared so much… I imagined it was just a previous life experience. So I had a child. Sadly he knows that terrible cloud and it was obvious that he would be more sensitive than most (I hate those words but they’re the ones every teacher, doctor and parent apply). So when he told me aged 5 he wished he’d never been born I got into action – he’s had 1:1 psych sessions, art therapy and worked with an Occupational Therapist for three years. The expense was massive but currently, he’s doing it all solo. We have taken a break from all the professional help – he has friends and is happy and more important he has the skills to see when anxiety is creeping up, he knows that breath is a tool, and that there are so many people who feel just like him – so many in fact that there are people who work to help them. He can always return for help – just ask because there is help… he knows that. As a family we are now tooled up to manage our mental health, and we can speak to our son’s teachers to make sure we’re all ok. It’s wonderful raising a child and I guess I just wanted to say there are things you can do to help your son understand himself and the role of his thoughts. Best wishes. I hope you don’t mind me responding like this.

  25. f says...

    I love these posts, but, honestly, this is my favorite ever! I am totally inspired.

    • Missy says...

      This one might be my favorite one too!

  26. Amanda says...

    Aww, I love the bits about her relationship with her teenage sons- My son is almost 3, and I’ve already been dreading him getting older and pulling away. But Jenny makes the transition sound lovely and not as intimidating <3

  27. Jessica says...

    This woman clearly has a PhD in pants.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha yes! with a dissertation on pattern mixing. :)

  28. Lorie says...

    Love her and her style!! I worked with Jenny at J. Crew years ago, she is SO FUN and it comes right through in these pics! Happy to see her new projects, go girl!

  29. Becca says...

    This woman is amazing! I love that these beauty uniforms are always so deep; they go way beyond the clothes the women wear.
    Zero Waste is the FUTURE! I’ve been living zero waste for awhile, started an instagram for my community (@zerowasteelpaso) and am SO excited to see it catching on all over the world! :)

    • Rebeca says...

      I am so excited to read about this zero waste initiative and especially in my community! Following you now <3

    • YES!!! following you now!

  30. Debi says...

    Well, this made me happy! And yea for zero waste…I carry my straw, cup and bags everyday!

    • Trish says...

      I’d love some recommendations on which ones to buy.

    • @Trish–often one can just use what they already have without buying anything at all! for example, a pasta sauce jar with thick rubberbands around the middle works great as a to go coffee cup and doesn’t spill or leak! (wouldn’t be a very good sauce jar if it did, lol!) if you have to buy, try to buy used if second hand options are available to you. consumerism and the constant production of new things contributes to a lot of our global waste problems.

  31. Ceridwen says...

    This was such a joyful energetic post! I love her. I was feeling a bit flat and tired….winter starting here in Australia….so I feel so lifted.,she is great. And what she said about her relationship with her sons, just beautiful.

    • Kristie says...

      Your comment is almost exactly what I wanted to say!!!! Joyful and energetic!!

  32. I am such a fan of all of those prints – totally inspiring and not over the top LOOK AT ME. Just cool!

  33. Kristin says...

    Such great patterns in her outfits! I am now obsessed with SZ Blockprints…

  34. CC says...

    Great style! Wondering why Crew Cuts and virtually every kids clothing line and store do such a terrible job of providing variety in boys clothing? I realize it’s better than when my son and daughter were little but now I have 3 grandsons 1 to 3 years old and I’m so disappointed with what’s available. My local Crew Cuts at Merrick Park in Miami has a boys section 1/3 the size of the girls. Where are the boy ‘s accessories? We try to not tell them there are girl things and boy things in general but the reality is these boys for the most part don’t want unicorns, sequins and ruffles but they love hats, carry bags, pillows etc…. where’s their stuff? Loft, keds etc , all have had mommy and me promos , why can’t there be non gender specific prints for these collaborations? I’m really asking, what’s the problem with retailers? I’m a grandma ready and able to buy and there’s slim pickings out there.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you might like Primary! they have great unisex clothing in lots of colors, silhouettes, etc..

    • Kelly says...

      I totally agree. Why do ALL boy clothes = sharks and baseball and always comprise 1/4 the girl section. Also why is fruit and animals gendered too? Like apparently anything cute and cuddly is girl, ONLY. Makes me so mad, I straight up won’t shop super gendered brands because the limited boy clothes selection piss me off so much! I love Primary for exactly this reason 😊

    • Heather says...

      Yeah, it’s definitely a struggle. My strategy is to buy my son (4 years old) the least gendered items from the girls’ section in crewcuts (or GAP, etc). He’s skinny, so the clothes fit him better too. I got him a pair of leopard print leggings last winter and he was SO excited to wear his “cheetah pants” to school.

    • Wendy says...

      I so agree with you, CC. There are so few really cute, “I’ve got to buy it” items for my grandsons. I have had some luck with Hanna Andersson (bright stripes and a few gender neutral graphics) and Free To Be Kids (t-shirts with dinosaurs in pink, cats in red). Primary is good for solids and a few stripes, but they are the basics of a wardrobe, not the extra fun things I want to buy as a grandmother.

    • Becky says...

      Yes! This! I have a 7-year old son who is constantly telling me how frustrated he is that he doesn’t have the number of options his sister has when we go clothes shopping. He doesn’t want what he sees in the girls’ section, he just wants fun options for himself! I have started making him sweatshirts and t-shirts out of fun knit prints (that would typically be used for jammies), but he always asks me where the good boys’ stuff is in the stores. We ran into a similar issue at Bath and Body Works the other day. He wanted to pick a smelly body wash along with his sister, but the only things he saw for boys were actually for men! He’s not a man, and he told me he doesn’t want to smell so “serious”. Long story short, he ended up picking some tropical scent in a flowery container and is pleased as punch about it, but come on, retailers! Give us some fun boy stuff!

    • Karyn says...

      Have totally felt all of this with my 7-year-old son’s clothes. And now I find myself getting frustrated with his 3-year-old sister’s choices, haha! Why are girls’ clothes so tight?! Tiny shorts, skinny leggings, hardly ever any comfy play pants like her brother had (in brown, gray, and navy, of course). Have others that buy both noticed that toddler girls’ clothes are half the size of toddler boys in the same size? I find it weird and disturbing. I try to dress my daughter in a mix of the unicorn sparkly colors she wants and some comfy hand-me-downs from her brother, but she would love some of the “good pants” he had in colors other than brown, gray, and navy! Agreed with a previous poster that Hanna Andersson has offered some of the best options for fun patterns and accessories for boys, some less feminized/sexualized shapes in fun colors for girls, and good unisex options for both, but I would love to see a lot more of all of that from all brands.

    • Kara says...

      This!! WHY ARE FRUIT AND ANIMALS GENDERED?!?! (And I mean anything at that, all kids like kid stuff, period.) I’m a mom of boys who really takes issue with this, and I know moms of girls who get very frustrated with the fact that girl’s clothes tend to not be made for running and tumbling and just moving in general. I do like Primary, but my kids like more than basics. If I worked in fashion I would be all over this opportunity to create non-gendered, fun kids clothes.

    • Nicky Busch says...

      Yes! I live in the UK and if anything it maybe worse. Girls clothes = lots of options for the non frilly, sequin, unicorn child. Boys clothes = soccer jock or junior Euro chic i.e. pastel polo shirts and fussy pants. Most clothes for boys covered in slogans – ‘Cool Guy’; ‘Boys Rock’ etc. I just want to buy comfortable, non sport jock (he hates football), non slogan, interesting clothes for an 11 year old boy!

    • Sophia F. says...

      Hi CC: we have a variant of the same problem; my daughters want cool but not sparkly, fun but not princessy. If you’re looking for great colors, try Primary (their basics are FANTASTIC, gender neutral, and truly every color); for clothing with fun graphics that aren’t so stereotypical, try Tea Collection and Mini Boden. Can’t help you with accessories, alas, but on the plus side, boys’ shoes are generally made for active kids, whereas girls’ shoes often seem to be cute foot coverings with zero traction…

  35. Caroline says...

    Totally unrelated by my grandmother’s middle and last name were Walker Miller and I’ve often contemplated naming future children those names! Love seeing the names in print on actual children :)

  36. Natasha says...

    This lady seems like a sheer delight, and an inspiration on many fronts!! I hope her cafe brings in gobs of $ and makes everyone realize that the zero-waste goal is truly the way forward.

    • Suzanne says...

      Agree!!

  37. Owl says...

    I LOVE the idea of a no-waste (even just low-waste) coffee shop! I Wish her all the best and hope it’s a great success!! Love her look, too! She has such a relaxed, natural, embrace life kind of radiance.

  38. agnes says...

    That is my goal, to say that, out loud and not care if I sound crazy: “I spent today embroidering boobs on a pair of chinos.” It really is the benefit of getting older. (I’m not there yet, but it’s my goal for this year).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahah YES!

  39. this is so fun and endearing! and totally agreed about kids style. coincidentally, this morning i told my husband that our 5 year old son is my style icon.

  40. janee says...

    This post made me happy ~

  41. Twyla says...

    “Throw clothes on the floor and see if the colors look good together” is the best advice I’ve heard in a long time! I always sweat about mixing patterns/textures and am totally going to try this. I’m also going to try teaching this to my dad, who will wear a turquoise tie with an olive suit jacket because “they’re both green”…

  42. Katie says...

    “Embroidering is my hobby, and I spent today embroidering boobs on a pair of chinos.”

    Can we be friends? :)

  43. Blythe says...

    Her style is incredible. You can feel and see her playful approach to life. Was also slightly moved to tears to hear her talking about her boys. Currently 8 months pregnant with my first – a little boy – and all of the boy mom stuff is getting me right in the feels!

    • Hannah says...

      Totally unrelated, but my daughter’s name is Blythe and I’ve never “met” another one, so I had to say hi!

      Best of luck with your baby boy 😊

    • Winslow says...

      Congratulations on your baby boy, Blythe! I teared up too! I had a low-level freak-out for the second half of my pregnancy, after finding out my firstborn would be male. What if I don’t fall in love with my baby because of all the b.s. the patriarchy has heaped on us all!? How do I raise him to be a true good dude!? Am I doomed to a canyon dividing us once he’s grown!? Now, he’s two-and-a-half. He was born a true good dude, and the work of my lifetime will be crossing canyons to be close with him. I’ve fallen for him fiercely. Earlier today, in a rare idle moment, my sister (his beloved “Auntie!”) tried that old trick to predict the number and sexes of all my children. FOUR BOYS, according to a ring swinging above my fingers. There was a time in my life when the thought of mothering four boys would have frightened me, but now it’s as welcome as a wave crashing over me on a sweltering day.

  44. JRG says...

    love this! made me realize how little color i have in my wardrobe. if i ever did a week of outfits it would be 7 days of black and navy blue with maybe some leopard print here or there, ha!

  45. Chelsea says...

    I love that she said she likes to dress like kids! I love watching the outfits my kids put together!

    It’s also so wonderful to hear a mom of teenagers talk about how much fun it is. Too often I feel like parents are trying to make me believe that the teenage years will be completely awful, so I better just enjoy my kids now.

    Thanks, Jenny!

  46. Joaquina says...

    LOVE her style, especially the wide-leg trousers with sneakers. This is probably my favorite week of outfits profile so far. Even better than her clothing is her determination to bring minimal waste to BK. I’ve often fantasized about a cafe that only uses reusable mugs and glasses. No plastic!
    She’s a rock star!

  47. LW says...

    LOVE.

  48. Marie says...

    What amazing energy- I used to get love getting ideas from Crewcuts and it’s so fun to see who was behind it! And I especially loved her words about her sons. Mine are 1 and 4, and reading that there is so much more independence to grow into together felt like a gift today.

  49. Sarah says...

    Okay, she rocks. I wish there was a no waste coffee shop in my neighborhood!

  50. Wendy says...

    This one is a lot of fun, thank you.

  51. Sarah says...

    I love her style! The women of JCrew always seem to impress me with their ability to mix prints and seem timeless/classic instead of a hot mess. I can see why this place can inspire people like Jenna Lyons and Jenny. Love them both <3

  52. Elizabeth says...

    Can we talk about the joy and inner light that radiates from this amazing woman! Loved this “Week of Outfits” Post!!

    • Lauren says...

      I really like this lady (and her style!)

      I sort of feel as though she takes important things like climate change seriously, but doesn’t take HERSELF too seriously. And I bet you she has well brought-up boys!

  53. Hannah R says...

    Aug I want that camo jacket so badly.

  54. liz says...

    woah! — love this one!! I love ALL of her pants here too haha. What a wonderful sense of style! She seems so fun and warm!

  55. Jeanne-Marie says...

    So many things to love here, but my favorite is that children are her style icons. My 3 year old girl has been dressing herself since two and she comes up with the best outfits! Seriously, she can mix prints like a pro and accessorize like no one’s business (like a pretty scarf as a bracelet). She gives me so much inspiration and I find myself copying her style. I love it.

    Big yes to embroidery, sunflowers, and heart sunglasses ❤️.

  56. alex says...

    wow LOVE those boob pants. they’re so subtle so it’s like her sneaky way of sticking it to the man!

    also “my 14-year-old son is not on board with these” hahahahaa

    • Kelly says...

      RIGHT?!?! She hand embroidered boobs onto her pants. :D :D oh I just love it so much. I want to do this now soooo badly.

  57. Hilary says...

    This post made me smile so hard, from the boob pants to the commandeering of Crewcuts (also guilty). Just yesterday, I was looking back at the Liz Libre outfits post because I remembered her embroidered chinos and wanted to recreate them. I think I must.

  58. Lauren E. says...

    Omg OF COURSE she works for J Crew! That aesthetic is spot on. I love everything about this.

  59. Hannah G says...

    I pinned so much of this to my style inspo board! I’ve been reading Cup of Jo for around the last 9 ish years of my life (18-27!) and realized recently how much it has formed my own personal aesthetic. A lot of the makeup I buy (and how I put it on my face) comes from the beauty uniforms, and all these beautiful women have inspired me to be confident in what I like- not necessarily what’s trending on instagram. Wide-leg block print pants, here I come!

  60. Alix O says...

    but what about that green scarf she is wearing??? i must know more! also, her style makes me smile and i am so inspired!

    • Naomi says...

      “Now they’re becoming more independent, I’m becoming more independent, and that interaction of all of us getting more independent is so amazing” LOVE THAT 😊😊

  61. Lisa says...

    I absolutely love this woman’s style.