This blogger, former Miss USA, model, and cook actually does it all! Alyssa Campanella took time from her many talents to share with us the story behind her all encompassing blog, Jumpers and Jasmine, and show us her favorite style staple! With a brain trained in fashion from experience in modeling and pageantry (and a love for a comfy maxi!), Alyssa shows us all the ways to work a maxi skirt (how cute is this one?!) for Spring and Summer and beyond – because this trend isn’t going anywhere!
Name: Alyssa Campanella
Blog: Jumpers & Jasmine
Location: Los Angeles & Toronto
Tell us a little about Jumpers & Jasmine and how it came about!
When I launched my first website, I decided to include a blog that mainly focused on food and recipes. I had taken weekly classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and had already appeared on the Food Network. But since I had also been modeling since I was 16-years old, I also had a background working in the fashion industry. I began taking mental notes from stylists on each shoot and eventually after some time, I began to discover my own personal sense of style. I wanted to share that with my fans, so I began sharing my own Outfit of the Day posts on Instagram during my reign as Miss USA to show my followers how they too could dress like a Miss USA even on a budget. Just before turning 24, I decided I wanted to make that more of a full-time occupation, and thus Jumpers & Jasmine was born.
You won Miss USA in 2011! How has your style evolved since your pageant days?
My style has since evolved into something a bit more conservative and classy than what it used to be, but at the same time a bit bolder. Prior to my reign, my style was a big ball of confusion. Afterwards, after having the chance to meet new designers and attend New York Fashion Week, I started mimicking and putting together some of my favorite looks. I competed in pageants before I was 21, so I was a bit younger and still trying to figure out my sense of style. There’s this notion that being in the pageant world these days requires a lot of sex appeal, and some contestants translate that into their fashion choices. I fell for it. I thought plunging necklines, high slits, and super tight dresses were the way to go because everyone else was wearing them. Plus during my reign, we had stylists pull outfits for us for our appearances. While most of the pieces were incredible, some were clearly just not my style at all. But now I have discovered what truly works best with my personality and who I am.
Now that you’re modeling full time how do you keep your personal style amidst all of the hair and makeup and wardrobe of photoshoots?
The beauty about being a model is getting to see all sorts of different looks on you. In the pageant world, wearing tons and tons of makeup is the norm but as a model being mostly natural is more usual. On castings, they don’t really want you to wear makeup at all because they are looking at you like you’re a canvas and they’re envisioning their masterpiece. You also go to work at a photo shoot completely bare faced. So I found my makeup style to be more in the middle – nothing caked on but enough to add a little something when I go out. As for my wardrobe, on castings I would wear pretty simple things – a white tank, good fitting jeans, and black-heeled boots. On set, however, I could be dressed in crazy layers of fashion pieces that you would normally NEVER see me in or in as little as a bikini for a swimsuit company. I would sell the outfits in the photos because that was my job, even if I didn’t like them. But after experiencing that for over seven years and getting such insight in fashion, I came to learn what was my style and what was not.
What piece did you choose to rework and why?
I chose to play with one of my favorite fashion staples – the maxi skirt. Anyone who peeks into my closet will see a whole entire section reserved for maxi dresses and maxi skirts, which is practically half my entire closet. Living in Los Angeles gives me that privilege of getting to rock them practically year round. They are so feminine and girly, which also defines my own personal style. I only own one pair of shorts, but I own nearly 20 different maxi skirts!
What are all the different ways you can wear this item?
Maxi skirts are surprisingly versatile and can go with pretty much anything – from a long cardigan to a striped t-shirt to a button up blouse – which is why I love them so much.
Go-to beauty product: BB Cream with SPF and Tarte’s Eyebrow Mousse.
Fashion trend you wish would come back: I don’t think it ever will come back but if it could come back, the history nerd in me would have loved to have worn dresses from the 1910’s and 1920’s.
Style Icon: Kate Middleton hands down.
Currently trying to resist buying: More shoes. I own over 60 pairs!
Trend you wish would go away: Crazy hair dyes.
Best beauty trick from pageant days: Applying self tanner with gloves on (no orange hands!).