Wardrobe Stylist Jennifer Pickering Shares Her Style Tips

Wardrobe stylist Jennifer Pickering has a penchant for products and brands that are kind to the Earth.
Pickering poses at Rare Plant Fairy in Detroit. Her outfit: Faithfull the Brand Pietra top and Celia skort, Shopbop; evil eye bracelet, Etsy; Missoma Pave Ridge ring, Missoma; various stackable rings, Aurate; Essential pearl earrings, Mejuri; Marina double chain necklace, Missoma; Walking Cradles Orleans sneakers; and a pink rhinestone ring, Stelart. // Photograph by Sal Rodriguez

In 2008, Waterford resident Jennifer Pickering discovered that the federal Food and Drug Administration had not updated its regulations on cosmetic products in 70 years (it eventually did 14 years later with the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022). In 2012, a documentary clip she stumbled upon online showed her how washing polyester clothes can lead to microfibers traveling into the water system, eventually ending up in the ocean and filling the bellies of wildlife.

Since then, the wardrobe stylist has chosen to live a more sustainable lifestyle by only purchasing clothing from her “go-to sustainable fashion brands” and buying clean beauty products — i.e., makeup or skin care products that don’t “use any harmful chemicals, such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, etc.”

The Wayne State University graduate has ehxperience in different aspects of the styling industry, from being a wardrobe assistant for Oprah’s The Life You Want tour when it landed in Auburn Hills in 2014 to being a styling assistant for a General Motors Co. commercial. You may have also seen her work in Hour Media’s Metro Detroit Weddings magazine — her favorite being the cover shoot for the summer/fall 2021 issue, styled with a Bridgerton theme.

Although Pickering may not always be able to select sustainable clothing and accessories for photo shoots, she uses her expertise to post advice on her website, Curated by Jennifer, to help those looking to curate an environmentally conscious wardrobe.

Here, Pickering shares her top sustainable fashion and beauty brands, wardrobe staples, and more.

I draw inspiration from …

Turkish TV shows. I started watching in 2020, … and I just like how they dress. A lot of the outfits I’ve been able to re-create with things I’ve already had in my closet.

Some of my favorite sustainable clothing brands are …

Reformation. For more-affordable sustainable pieces, I like Quince.

My go-to clean beauty brands are …

For foundation, I like Saie and Merit. For mascara, I really like ILIA. My current bronzer and highlighter, I’ve had for a while — it’s from a French, clean, sustainable beauty brand that you can refill called La Bouche Rouge.

Unsustainable fabrics I stay away from …

Pretty much any synthetic fabric, like acrylic, nylon, and polyester.

A wardrobe staple of mine is …

My navy miniskirt from Nazlı Ceren — a sustainable Turkish clothing brand.

My advice to those who want to dress sustainably…

Start off small. You don’t need to jump right into it, because I think that’s what a lot of people do. They want to get rid of all their clothes and then buy all sustainable. … That’s not really being sustainable. Just be more conscious of your buying habits, buy what you need — don’t buy something just to buy.

This story originally appeared in the July 2024 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. To read more, pick up a copy of Hour Detroit at a local retail outlet. Our digital edition will be available on July 8. Plus, click here for fashion tips from other Metro Detroiters featured in MI Style.