The New Fashion Feedback App

Should I get this?

Lena Porter tries on a Andrew Marc x Richard Chai leather jacket for the Snapsure app

dressing room decisions

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a picture of yourself while in a dressing room or at home, to help decide if you should buy it/wear it?
You may have also sent this photo to someone—usually a friend, family member or significant other for their opinion.

If you’ve answered yes, check out this brand new app, Snapsure. It simplifies the whole debating to buy something/does this look good question, that we sometimes ask ourselves.

BONUS: I’m going to be a guest Fashion Expert this Saturday for the app. So, although you love your sister, if you’ve been dying for a professional’s style advice…whether that be on an item you’re thinking about getting or on an outfit combo that just needs another set of eyes to help make a verdict, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. :)

Read here for the official press release:

Let me help you shop the holiday season in style!

Great news, everyone! I’ve been selected as a featured fashion expert in the Snapsure 12 Days of Instant Fashion Feedback event!

Snapsure is an app that makes it quick and easy for you to get instant feedback on the things you buy from the people you trust. Snapsure has chosen a select group of fashion experts to use the app to provide instant feedback on holiday shopping purchases.

On Saturday, December 13, as my gift to you, I will provide FREE personal styling advice to you as you shop and style your way through the season.

Connecting with me on Snapsure is simple:

1. Download the Snapsure application in the App Store and register yourself as a user.

2. Connect with me on Snapsure–my username is Lena.

3. On Saturday, December 13, use Snapsure to take a picture of your holiday style or a holiday shopping item, set the timer and send it to me. I can give you instant fashion feedback as you shop. You can also send your pic to other friends and family. All the responses come back in one easy to read graphic. NOTE: You must have an iPhone or iPod to participate.

Let me help you shine this holiday season with styles that work best for you and your loved ones. Every fashionista could use a little feedback… see you on December 13!

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8 Accessories to Update Your Fall Look

“The Great 8: all the essentials you need to update your fall look”

This was a recent story I styled for Birmingham Magazine. It’s out now, so pick up your copy, then head to downtown bham (Michigan) to check out the goods in person. Ooooh!

photo shoot displaying a lacy bodysuit, chunky chain necklace, blue suede and pony hair bag, Miu Miu tote, wool camel coat, black leaner wrap belt by Jarbo, Pinch Provisions mini emergency kit, Elizabeth Sayles icon bracelet

Styled by Lena Porter
Photographed by CJ Benninger
Birmingham Magazine Fall 2014

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“No Fish No Nothing” You Can Wear Its Sweatshirt

While pulling for a photo shoot, I learned of Kenzo’s “no fish no nothing” slogan.

More and more brands are getting a conscious (or at least being more vocal about it) and that’s something that excites me. Whether you are empowering people to create a better life for themselves, giving access to greatly needed resources, or gifting a kid with a new pair of shoes (!) incorporating philanthropy into your business model is becoming second nature.

Anything that has to do with water is high on my charity list. Maybe it’s the Pisces in me, but when I see water being wasted, I itch (with helpless anxiety). We can’t act like we have endless resources, especially us Americans (which sadly, have a bad rap for being wasteful consumers).

Enter in Japanese born, French luxury retailer Kenzo. The brand is speaking out against the dangers of overfishing and pollution. To help raise awareness, they’ve designed a unisex capsule collection where ALL proceeds will be donated to the Blue Marine Foundation, which ensures the protection of the world’s oceans.

I’m picturing this sweatshirt paired with light blue/grey/black jeans. Hey, maybe even a leather skirt with some asymmetrical zipper action to give it some punch. Or if you’re the kind of person that prefers to break the rules, get nuts with volume and pair it with culottes.


model on runway in Kenzo no fish no nothing sweatshirt


Kenzo no fish no nothing tank


* Good news! This capsule collection is now on sale.

 For you retail marketing junkies, read below on how Kenzo put a spin on its pop-up shop in Paris (digital)!

in Paris spring 2014, electronic fish swim on Kenzo's digital pop up shop





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A Blast from the Past: 3 Back-to-School Brands

My sister is off to college this month! I remember the day she was born, so shopping for dorm stuff with her is weird, and exciting.

A few quick picks for those heading back to school…and for those of us who aren’t, but like to shop like we are [starting a new season].

1. JanSport

Just like Trapper Keepers, didn’t we all once have a JanSport bag? If you’re feeling nostalgic, you’ll be pumped to know that Madewell is doing a collaboration with JanSport on a variety of backpacks.

jansport madewell compadre backpack color: burgundy


jansport madewell compadre backpack color:  olive

2. Aritzia

This free-spirited Canadian brand came out with a playful back-to-school campaign today. As cheeky as the titles are, I’ve had all of these types in my classes. If you don’t identify with any of these 5 styles, you’re bound to find some go-tos in the Essentials section.

Aritzia models posing as student body: studious, rebellious, adventurous, flirt, most popular and essentials


Aritzia back to school looks: Essentials and Most Studious models 2014

Aritzia models posing as Most Rebellious and Most Adventurous, leather jacket, plaid shirt

Aritzia models posing as 'biggest flirt' and 'most popular' mini skirt, denim jacket

3. Nike

A recent assignment led me into Pogo where I was drawn to the, newly released from their archives, Air Jordan 3 Retro in Wolf Grey sneaks. I know very little about the sneaker head world, but these kicks are cool. While inside the shop, I learned that pre-teens, college kids and collectors are going bananas over this limited edition shoe.

Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Wolf Grey product shot



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Summer Clothes to Protect Your Skin

If you can’t take the heat, wear this…

HSN has asked for dressing tips on how to stay “Safe and Stylish in the Sun.”

If my 25 and under self was writing this, it would read much differently. It wasn’t until about 25 years old that I realized dressing in the summer wasn’t always about how to avoid tan lines, but more importantly about staying cool, being comfortable and protecting your skin. For 3 years I drove along the Pacific Coast on my way to work. (That didn’t suck! Actually, the traffic did, but not the view.) Researchers have stated that American drivers’ with skin cancer had more of it on the left side of their face compared to their right.

I say that because I didn’t use to wear a moisturizer with SPF—thought only to do that when heading to…the beach, lake, pool etc. In talking with several ladies, the general consensus is that we used to get much darker when we were kids. Yes of course, that is party due to the fact that we slept in our swim suits and were outside for much longer than we are now, as adults. It isn’t just that though, my body just can’t take the heat like it used. My face and shoulders get hot very quickly. My maxed out skin color is much lighter than it was growing up.

Just like how our styles evolve as our lives and bodies do, so too is the way we handle dressing for the sun.

If you can relate to any of the above, then here are some suggestions—on looking fantastic while doing your skin a favor.

Lena Porter_for HSN_Safe and Stylish in the Sun campaign 1


tops—lightweight material with sleeves provides coverage for your shoulders

sheer is sexy, cotton is classic. knotting the bottom and rolling up the sleeves adds interest.

* As always, pair opposites to visually look balanced. i.e. flowly linen pants with a form fitting tank; loose top with structured jean shorts

hat—fedora for everyday/driving/errands/BBQs

wide brim sun hat—for some, this is one of those hats you feel more comfortable wearing…while on vacation…in Monaco (because it quite GRAND and maybe not practical for home life.) I like wearing hats like this while gardening—gives full coverage of the ears and shoulders. If this is too luxurious for your tastes, opt for a less wide brim.

sunnies—it’s real annoying when you have on a pair of shades that lets the sun in through the sides. Instead, try on before you buy.

backpack—less is more in the summertime. That rings true for bags, jewelry and makeup. I love my vintage woven backpack in the summer. It’s less weight and gives my shoulders a break. Plus, I dig the texture.

scarves—this one doubles as a beach wrap. There are tons of ways to tie a sarong (and a million videos on Youtube to watch).

* bonus! I have owned all of these items for YEARS. Another beautiful thing about summer clothes is that they really don’t go out of style.

Tigers fan

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Fashion & Jewelry Workshop Recap

Here’s what happened at the fashion & jewelry workshop I did last weekend at the Showroom of Elegance—as shown through these snapshots:
 Everyone on the planet can wear this tie front blouse.

{does not discriminate against size or personal style}

I was frightened by patterned pants.

{kidding. caught me mid-sentence}

A woman yelled out, ‘uniboob’…

{and it actually described what I was talking about quite nicely}

The ladies took a style personality quiz.

{who doesn’t like quizzes?!}

Indigo Salon gave hand massages

{an underrated luxury}

All the clothes were made in the US.

{think: Ella Moss, Splendid, Rachel Pally, James Perse, Mitten State}

Thx lolaryan!

Stripes CAN be flattering.

{This surprised many. It’s all about the spacing and angle. Thin spacing and stripes do not widen you; wide spaced stripes do. Stripes on diagonals are your friends too.}

Lena Porter, Personal Stylist, holding up clothes at the Showroom of Elegance

event planner and hair stylist pose for a picture, clothing and jewelry are displayed, a striped maxi skirt


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A ‘mother-daughter’ boutique

It’s the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day. How fun!

In honor of this, I want to talk about 3 things:

1. A contest! Long Elegant Legs is a fashion site that caters to taller women.

To win a printed canvas of your mom, as well as a gift card of your choosing, all you need to do is leave a comment below this post, describing the best fashion or life lesson your mother has taught you. Then, LEL will choose a few of their favorites to win!

Cindy & Lena

2. I recently stumbled upon a new boutique (new to Ann Arbor; they have other shops in Kerrytown, Petoskey & Charleston, SC). While chatting with the manager about their merch she said, “We’re a mother-daughter shop.” She means, moms and their daughters can both successfully wear the clothes. In this case, I agree. (unless your daughter is a child) The very fun part of this is that each of you can walk away with a new find, instead of the ‘your store, my store’ shopping excursions. Who knows, you might even pick up the SAME item, but wear it differently. If shopping is a favored pastime for you & your mum, check out V2V.

bustier + long skirt at V2V women's boutique (Arbor Crossing) Ann Arbor, MI

V2V boutique display


glass table jewelry display at V2V Arbor Crossing Ann Arbor, MI

3. If your mother wasn’t or isn’t a big style influence in your life but you love her so damn much…and would like to give her a heart-felt gift, how about creating a Pinterest board of your favorite mom memories? Then, SEND the board to share with her directly on Mother’s Day!

*Pinterest is running a contest too, in which you make a public board of your mom and they select a winner to receive a Teleflora gift card. I read their message yesterday, the deadline is May 7th. Really should check their emails more often.

Pinterest Mother's Day ChallengeP.S. Mollypacks has met and surpassed their goal on Kickstarter—we’re getting fanny packs! Thanks to all of you who pledged and promoted her designs.


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Fashionable leather fanny packs

A long time friend of mine has designed Mollypacks: a line of leather fanny packs—two styles in a variety of colors. The strap is removable, so it doubles as a clutch, giving you lots of use—like concerts and cocktails. I also see this being really useful for all you young moms (hands free!).

models posing outside in New York City with leather fanny packs

This is Molly’s debut line and in order to fund production, she’s created a Kickstarter campaign. In less than a week, she’s already reached 50% of her goal!

To pre-order your favorite one (at a discount) go here:

As with all Kickstarter campaigns, you have to have a video—check it out!

In her words:

“I love a good fanny.

Last year, I found myself in extreme physical and emotional pain. My back was killing me from lugging around my huge handbag everywhere. Not to mention, I was hitting the concert scene pretty hard and I was tired of bumping people with my bag as I squeezed myself to the front row. I needed something smaller and easy to carry, but still fashionable. Then it dawned on me…I needed a fanny pack.

Unfortunately, the only high quality fanny packs I could find were upwards of $500 and I wasn’t even that crazy about the styles. So I decided I would design my dream fanny pack myself. I’ve been working in the NYC fashion industry for several years, so I knew exactly what to do.

Eventually, I made two sexy fannies (Envelope and Circle).”

Here’s my soon-to-be (if funding is raised):

leather fanny pack in vintage green color

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Which necklace to wear? + Style workshop invitation

Jewelry. It hints at your mood, and is usually the last piece you put on before you leave.

Just like clothes, there are specific types of jewelry that are flattering on you. Your bone structure and personality play a part in the selection—as does the image you want to convey.

Never mind the fact that I’m not smiling in one of the photos below. The agate graduated stone necklace is intense and sleek; it feels fitting to match it with a sleek ponytail. Do you also see how my neck looks longer in that picture? The yellow necklace, in an obviously cheerier color, seems more approachable. (to anyone I come into contact with) It also visually shortens the appearance of my neck, which is fine, because it’s long to begin with.

black agate graduated stone necklace and yellow necklace on lena porter

I like both necklaces, for different occasions. For a first session with a new client, I most likely wouldn’t wear the black, as it might intimidate him/her. (And I want the people I work with to listen to me, not to be scared!) But, if I have a meeting with a brand, then the black necklace would fit in perfectly. As for that audience, the piece can come across more so as creative, and not ‘rah!’

Disclaimer: the photos were taken at the end of the day, hence the reason I look so sleepy!

Speaking of jewelry, here is your Save-the-Date! I’ll be speaking at the fashion & jewelry workshop in May. Hope to see you Michigan ladies there. :)

jewelry and style workshop with Lena Porter invitation


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Tops to wear after a double mastectomy

This title feels very blunt…so I guess I’ll continue on with the feeling.

Last month my grandmother had a double mastectomy. We found out 2 weeks prior that she had breast cancer. So the whole thing happened very quickly, and the timing made it tough to [want to] celebrate my birthday.

The surgery went well and when my grandma woke up, she looked around and said, “Well, I guess I’m still here!” Then joked to the doctor, saying that her boobs would grow back. Ha. When you’re close to 90 years old, people have to laugh at your jokes. Or maybe you just get funnier?

family photo

I don’t want this post to bum you out. Instead, I want to address the very real conversation of life after a double mastectomy. Each of us knows someone affected by Breast Cancer, it’s alarming how many people I can count. (including my namesake grandmother, whom I never got to meet)

Not everyone diagnosed has surgery. Not everyone who has a mastectomy has reconstructive surgery. (or as some say, “their boobs put back”) I’ve learned this is a general misconception; you have to choose to have this reconstruction, it isn’t ‘included.’ Remember, it’s not the main purpose of the operation!

Each woman has her own choice to make. For my grandmother, she chose not to [have reconstructive surgery]. This is mainly because of her age—she really doesn’t give a damn if she’s now flat chested. To me and my sister, it was a little odd when we first saw her, post surgery. Our plump Polish ‘Bacia’ wasn’t the shape we grew up loving. And since we are both at the age where we DO care what we look like, it kind of made us rethink the female body and what is its ideal.

i.e. Are you not feminine if you don’t have boobs anymore? I felt ridiculous just writing that. We do put a lot of emphasis on our bra size though. Post surgery, post breast feeding, pre-puberty…us girls can get preoccupied with the size and shape of our top half.

So what if you don’t go Angelina Jolie and instead, stay without breasts? You use similar techniques to that of a small chested women—to add volume to your top so that you visually balance your appearance.


LOFT model wearing dot collared shirt


LOFT model in mint top


model wearing a leopard post mastectomy tank top


In tops, these are your friends:

1. ruffles

2. chest pockets

3. pattern

4. cowl neck

5. scarves

I stumbled upon the site CureDiva and am incredibly impressed. Your arms can swell after surgery and their compression sleeves come in a variety of patterns…kind of makes me want to sport one, just in support.





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