Tak­ing a breath and tak­ing stock

Glo­be­trot­ting graphic de­signer is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a re­birth after fin­ish­ing school and liv­ing abroad

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - SH­ERYL NADLER

KATIE JA­COBS

CU­RATES her wardrobe the same way she does her art: clean, sim­ple and mostly black and white.

“I don’t re­ally get too wild with it,” she says of her artis­tic style. “And if I do, it’s in small amounts. And I also don’t use a lot of colour.”

At 25, Ja­cobs, a so­cial worker orig­i­nally from the Bramp­ton-Cale­don area, is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some­thing of a re­birth. After four years of school at Univer­sity of Guelph-Hum­ber, fol­lowed by al­most a year and a half work­ing with in­ner city com­mu­ni­ties in Char­lotte, North Carolina, fol­lowed by two years in Ire­land where she worked as an au pair and then a ra­di­ol­o­gist’s as­sis­tant, Ja­cobs finds her­self here, in Hamil­ton, tak­ing a breath and tak­ing stock.

“I have al­ways been cre­ative — that’s some­thing I’ve al­ways just done and I en­joy do­ing but never thought to pur­sue it,” says Ja­cobs, who works as a res­i­dent ad­viser at Columbia In­ter­na­tional Col­lege dur­ing the week and a host­ess at The Bev­erly restau­rant on week­ends. “And then in com­ing back home, the way ev­ery­thing worked out, I re­ally had an op­por­tu­nity to re­fo­cus and to re­ally think about what I wanted to do and kind of, in this weird way, I had an op­por­tu­nity to start over.”

Graphic de­sign is her cur­rent pur­suit, says Ja­cobs, who picked up cal­lig­ra­phy a cou­ple of years ago and is at­tracted to ty­pog­ra­phy in par­tic­u­lar. As an avid trav­eller, she feels graphic de­sign is a skill that can carry her to jobs any­where

in the world. And when it comes to putting an out­fit to­gether, Ja­cobs’ style re­mains con­sis­tent. “My wardrobe is very, like, black, white, blue, grey, with some­times like a pink shoe or red lip­stick,” she says.

Her­mitage Green is a favourite band out of Lim­er­ick, Ire­land, but what at­tracted her most to the tee she wears here was the font, of course. She pairs it with black cu­lottes from Zara, a black Vero Moda moto-style leather jacket and Truf­fle lace-up shoes from T.K. Maxx (Ir­ish ver­sion of T.J. Maxx). She ac­ces­sorizes with skinny gold rings from River Is­land, a New Look watch and a tiger clutch from Par­fois.

MOST EYE-CATCH­ING PIECE

I have a re­ally great jacket

from Zara. It’s a re­ally nice (navy blue) wa­tery ma­te­rial and it goes to the knees and it has a belt. It kind of has a lit­tle bit of an ‘80s vibe. And you can throw it onto any­thing and it in­stantly be­comes fancy.

QUIRKI­EST WARDROBE ITEM

It’s kind of hard to ex­plain

but it’s made out of tulle fab­ric and it’s see-through and it’s a dress and it’s grey. And it goes to the knees and it’s high (on the neck) and then it kind of goes lower in the back and it’s just straight across (the shoul­ders). Some­times I’ll just wear a black tank top and black pants (un­der­neath it) but then some­times if I’m feel­ing re­ally wild, I’ll wear a white T-shirt and light-coloured boyfriend jeans un­der­neath.

WARDROBE MUST-HAVE

A solid white tee.

Just ba­sic, you can wear with any­thing. Zara and H&M are per­fect for that.

BEST PUR­CHASE

I have a yel­low tutu.

It is ex­cel­lent and short. It goes to the knee and then it’s a bit higher on the waist and I just feel like a Bar­bie and bal­le­rina and just fab­u­lous all at the same time. I (wear it at) a birth­day oc­ca­sion or go­ing out to din­ner. Or if I’m just feel­ing re­ally fab­u­lous and I’m like, ‘You know what, Katie? It’s time to pull out the yel­low tutu.’ I feel like if you wait for an oc­ca­sion to wear it, you’re not go­ing to wear it.

RE­GRETS BUY­ING

I bought this bathing suit

from ASOS and it was red and white striped with lit­tle wa­ter­mel­ons and it was high-waisted with more of a tube top. I wore it a cou­ple of times and I just feel like the high-waisted bot­tom just didn’t work. It looked great on the model but then when I think about it, I’m like, ‘No, it just didn’t quite work.’

LOVES TO SHOP AT

Zara and H&M.

And then I also love to check out thrift stores. I’ve bought some pretty cool pieces from thrift stores — Value Vil­lage in Bramp­ton, specif­i­cally, is a gold mine.

RID­DING HER CLOSET OF

I used to have

so many ran­dom pieces that were great on their own but you couldn’t wear with a lot of things … the one-off that’s great for an event but you can’t wear it again. I want to be able to wear it again. I got rid of a dress that was polka dots. It was one of those wrap ones with the lit­tle cap sleeves and it was flowy and it was very cute but the polka dots just weren’t right.

SPLURGES ON

I re­ally like shoes.

And I’m a size 10 and so … there’s just not a lot of op­tions. The nice shoes, they’re like, oh there’s only five of them. So it’s very hard to find. So when I find a shoe that I like in my size, I’m like, I’m get­ting these.

CAN’T LIVE WITH­OUT BEAUTY PROD­UCT

I re­ally like this lip­stick.

It’s Smash­box (Be Le­gendary in) Bing. And then I also have a Kylie Jenner matte nude. I’m not a fan of Kylie Jenner but her lip­stick is great — it stayed on all day and that’s key. It was just a nice matte nude that you could wear with any­thing and it stayed. Whereas red can be a lit­tle tricky with where else it goes.

“I was liv­ing in the Ir­ish city Gal­way and it’s very artsy, very cre­ative, you can walk to ev­ery­thing, and so I was look­ing for a city with a Euro­pean (feel) but small, not over­whelm­ing,” says Katie Ja­cobs of her de­ci­sion to move to Hamil­ton on her re­turn from Ire­land. Here she wears a graphic band tee with black cu­lottes from Zara, a Vero Moda black leather moto jacket and Truf­fle lace-up shoes.

“I just re­ally liked the em­broi­dery,” says Katie Ja­cobs of her tiger clutch from Par­fois. “And I also think some­times my hair can be wild like a tiger or a lion and so I just con­nected with it.”

So­cial worker and aspir­ing graphic de­signer Katie Ja­cobs is at­tracted to clean lines and sim­ple de­sign in both her art and her wardrobe. Here she wears skinny gold rings from River Is­land and a black, white and gold watch from New Look. She will splurge when she finds a pair of shoes in her hard-to-find size: 10. These black lace-up Truf­fle pumps are from T.K. Maxx, the Ir­ish ver­sion of T.J. Maxx.

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