My Uniform: Joanna Goddard, Founder of “Cup of Jo”

My Uniform: Joanna Goddard, Founder of “Cup of Jo”

There are few editorial sites where the content created is just as fun to read as the readers’ comments. “Cup of Jo” is one of them. Started in 2007 by then magazine editor Joanna Goddard, it quickly grew a loyal fanbase for its ability to engage its readers in a way that would solicit impassioned discussion, recommendations, anecdotes and advice right in the comments section. Its unique ability to cover myriad editorial beats has made it the ultimate lifestyle destination: Decor, style, food, relationships and—after the birth of Joanna’s first son—parenthood. Cup of Jo has been a pleasure for our team to read for years (so many years it’s difficult to remember exactly when we started following it). When we found out Joanna was a fan of ours, we knew we had to find a way to work together. Which is when Somsack, our creative director, started dreaming up a sweater inspired by Joanna’s laidback, easy style and her love of reading. And when we say “reading” we don’t mean the Kindle swiping, app-tapping type of reading: The old school, pick-up and turn-its-pages type! Joanna and Somsack put their heads together: What if there was a sweater just dedicated to reading? Something that makes you want to curl up with a novel and get lost in its pages for hours? Something that was designed for you to do just that? With strategic pockets and everything! Our Reading Sweater was born and today you get to shop it. It’s a true collab, so much of Joanna’s personal style and her love of books is reflected in it. But don’t take our word for it, we asked her all about it...

Where did you grow up?

The suburbs of Michigan. (Midwest is best!)


Where are you spending quarantine?

Our Brooklyn apartment with two rowdy boys and a bearded husband. 


Are you getting dressed every morning?

I stay in my pajamas until lunchtime and then pull on easy dresses, or jeans and sneakers, for the rest of the day.


How would you describe your style in general?

Relaxed, laid-back, touch of feminine.


Was it always this way?

Yes, I've been a jeans-and-sneakers girl since age 4. In fact, I once accidentally twinned with my friend's four-year-old. [Evidence here.]


How did you dress at age 10? At age 16? At age 20?

I've always loved jeans and sneakers. I've worn Converse for decades. Some fashion moments that stood out were my hypercolor T-shirt at age 14, which I thought was so cool, I was almost embarrassed for anyone who wasn't me. In college at the University of Michigan, I wore lots of fleece jackets. I also love, love, loved my wedding dress from J.Crew when I was 30.


How would your husband describe your style?

He teases me for wearing lots of navy blue — he even threw a birthday party for me once and asked everyone to wear navy as a tribute. [Ed note: Yep this happened.]


How would your sons Toby and Anton describe your style?

They notice new dresses and tops in the sweetest way -- they always tell me that I look nice. I remember once after going to the hair salon, five-year-old Toby asked me, "Mama! Did you get a delicious haircut?!"


Do you remember what you were wearing when you met your husband?

Yes, absolutely! We met at a friend's party, where everyone came to watch the Oscars on TV. I had misread the invitation and thought it said to dress up, so I was wearing a slinky midi dress and heels. But I guess it worked out — we've been together now for 13 years.


How did your parents dress growing up?

My dad is colorblind, so he always wears an offbeat mix of colors! But he looks great. And my mom has a uniform of a button-down silk shirt and black pants. I remember she also had a T-shirt that said, "Because I'm the mom, that's why."


What was your first investment purchase, style-wise?

When I was broke in my twenties, I went into the consignment store 'ina in Soho [NYC] and spotted the MOST PERFECT Prada dress for $200. It was a grey wool sheath and fit beautifully. Such a simple dress, but so versatile. But I was on a super tight budget, so I left the store. But then I biked around for a while, thinking about it, and calculated that the cost per wear would be like $1, so it was worth the investment. I flew back to the store, praying that it would still be there. It was, I bought it, and I wore it a gazillion times.


What are you finding the most useful these days in quarantine?

Honestly? TV. Man, I love TV so much, and this is definitely the golden age. I just devoured I May Destroy You, Never Have I Ever and Normal People.


Who has been the greatest influence on your style?

I joke that I dress like Seinfeld because I'm always in a shirt, jeans and white sneakers.


How does writing about style affect how you dress? Did your style change when you started Cup of Jo?

I'm one of those people who wears pieces over and over for years, and Cup of Jo has helped me hone my scouting skills for clothes that will stand the test of time. [Her list of such items can be found right here.]


Tell us about the Reading Sweater! Do you wear it? How do you wear it?

I love this reading sweater! It's cozy and oversized, and perfect for wearing all fall, winter and spring. I wear it by itself or over a T-shirt, or while padding around in pajamas.


What do you like about it?

The pockets!!! You have two big ones for books (or red lip gloss and sea salt chocolate) and a little one to stash your bookmark while reading.


What book should we read while wearing it? 

I just finished the fantastic Olive Kitteridge about a crotchety retired schoolteacher in Maine, and it's no surprise that it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. If you're craving something sexy, try Normal People (and then watch the show!); if you're in the mood for something funny, go for anything by Samantha Irby or Jessi Klein.



3 things you never leave home without:

Lindt sea salt chocolate, Love + Sage lip balm, and of course a book!


3 things we should read right now: 

The Conscious Kid Instagram account. It’s a smart, thoughtful guide to raising race-conscious kids.

The New York Times Modern Love section.

And Cup of Jo!

OK one more: Sad Animal Facts on Instagram always makes me laugh. 


Your uniform, in 3 pieces:



Our reading sweater :)


Thank you, Joanna! Joanna was photographed at her home by Christine Han.

Futher Reading